There are three strands to my research in Atmospheric Chemistry. First, we have developed a range of computer models that describe the troposphere (~ lowest 10 km) on urban, regional and global scales and have developed the CRI (Common Representative Intermediates) methodology. The CRI methodology allows us to generate chemical schemes that are compact and traceable back to smog chamber data. Hence we are able to estimate chemical model uncertainty and in addition to generate secondary organic aerosol in a self consistent way for the first time. A particular focus has been the interaction of chemical emissions from terrestrial vegetation and the atmosphere. Using the CRI we have been able to investigate elements of the degradation of isoprene (C5H8) in the atmosphere that provide clues about how the OH radical may be recycled efficiently. Such recycling is important in determining greenhouse gas lifetimes in past, present and future climates.
Second, we have developed an inert tracer technique to track air flow both indoors and outdoors, using cyclic perfluorocarbons. This work has allowed us to derive a range of parameterisations to estimate the concentration of a pollutant downwind of either a stationary or moving source as a function of building geometry and wind speed. Recently, we have developed a reactive tracer that allows us to probe the OH field in the urban environment and also indoors. We have also developed instruments based on GC technology to measured very short lived halocarbons that are also implicated in the Earth's climate, where they are believed to be atmospheric coolers.
Third, in collaboration with Dr. Carl Percival and Prof. John Dyke at Manchester Uni. and Drs. Craig Taatjes and Dave Osborn at the Sandia Lab. in SanFrancisco, we have developed a number of novel laboratory systems to measure the kinetics and products of key radical-radical and radical-stable reactions believed to occur in the atmosphere. Most notably, in 2008, we were the first group in the world to observe a Criegee biradical in the gas-phase.
My interests are very varied, but I have three main themes. First, the role of context in science education, in particular mathematics. I am interested in a range of generating problems at primary, secondary and tertiary level that generate a desire to investigate and explore science contexts. In mathematics I have explored a number of chemistry contexts that allow mathematical tools to be introduced quite naturally and even students who are fearful or loathing of mathematics can adapt and use these mathematical concepts as tools. Second, I am interested in transitions across the key stages in the UK context and from primary to secondary and from secondary to tertiary, what are the barriers to smooth transition? what are the elements that enhance and augment these transitions? Third, I am interested in understanding how to make public engagement interventions as effective as possible, in terms of cognition, aspiration raising and long term impact.
I am a Professor in the School of Chemistry. I did my first degree, in Chemistry and Mathematics at the University of Southampton (1985-1989) and then did a D.Phil. with Professor Richard Wayne at Oxford (1990-1993). There I carried out laboratory studies of radical reactions of importance in the troposphere and lower stratosphere.
I then moved to Centre for Atmospheric Science at Cambridge University (1994-1999), to work as a postdoctoral researcher with Professor John Pyle FRS. Whilst at Cambridge I developed my interest in tropospheric modelling.
Since 1999 I have been at Bristol University, first as a lecturer, then Reader (2004) and now Professor (2007), conducting research into Atmospheric Chemistry, Science Education and Public Engagement in Science. I have received the following awards and accolades am currently the Director of the AstraZeneca Science Teaching Trust.
1998: Fellow Royal Meteorological Society
2002: Visiting Professor National Central University Taiwan.
2004: Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellowship - Rising Star category
2005: Higher Education Teaching Award, Royal Society of Chemistry.
2005: Faculty of Science Teaching Award, University of Bristol.
2005: Visiting Scientist at the Hadley Centre for Climate Change Met. Office, UK.
2006: SCI International Science Education Award
2007: Engagement Award, University of Bristol.
2008: Tertiary Education Award, Royal Society of Chemistry
2009: Michael Hunt Award, Royal Meteorological Society.
2009: Business in the Community Big Tick Award (Director of Bristol ChemLabS Outreach)
2009: Bank of America Merrill Lynch Education Award (Director of Bristol ChemLabS Outreach)
2010: Business in the Community Big Tick reaccreditation (Director of Bristol ChemLabS Outreach)
2010: Times Higher Education Supplement University ICT Award for the Bristol ChemLabS’ Dynamic Laboratory Manual and the Bristol ChemLabS Outreach schools DLM.
2010: Director of the AstraZeneca Science Teaching Trust
2011: Royal Society of South Africa Schonland Lecturer.
View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system
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