Dr Rachael Beale

Senior Analytical Marine Chemist

Contact Details

+44 (0)1752 633100 (switchboard)

Dr Rachael Beale has worked at PML as an analytical chemist since January 2006. She gained her PhD whilst working, in collaboration with the University of East Anglia with supervisors Prof. Peter Liss (UEA) and Dr Philip Nightingale (PML). Her focus has been to develop analytical techniques to extract oxygenated volatile organic compounds (OVOCs) from seawater to further our understanding on the role of the ocean in the cycling of these atmospherically reactive gases. Rachael has a keen interest in marine trace gases and their atmospheric interaction, gas exchange processes and photochemical enhancement of carbonyls in the sea surface. She has a wide experience in method development, validation and instrumentation, including proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry and gas chromatography.

Rachael has taken part in 4 research cruises (DOGEE I & II, ICON and AMT19) measuring OVOCs and was also involved with the use of SF6 and 3He as Lagrangian tracers. She currently supervises one PhD student with Newcastle University who is researching the role of natural surfactants in gas exchange.


Beale, R., J. Dixon, S. Arnold, P. Liss and P. Nightingale (2013), Methanol, acetaldehyde and acetone in the surface waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Journal Geophysical Research – Oceans, Vol. 118, doi: 10.1002/jgrc.20322.

Beale, R., P. S. Liss, J. L. Dixon, P. D. Nightingale (2011), Quantification of oxygenated volatile organic compounds in seawater by membrane inlet - proton transfer reaction / mass spectrometry, Anal. Chim. Acta., 706, 128-134.

Beale, R (2011), Ph.D Thesis, Quantification of Oxygenated Volatile Organic Compounds in Seawater, University of East Anglia.

Beale, R., P. S. Liss, P. D. Nightingale (2010), First oceanic measurements of ethanol and propanol, Geophys. Res. Lett. 37, L24607.

Yang, M., R. Beale, T. Smyth and B. Blomquist (2013), Measurements of OVOC fluxes by eddy covariance using a proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometer – method development at a coastal site, Atmospheric Chemistry and  Physics, 13, 6165-6184, doi: 10.5194/acp-13-6165-2013.

Dixon, J., R. Beale and P. Nightingale (2013), Production of methanol, acetaldehyde and acetone in the Atlantic Ocean, Geophysical Research Letters, accepted for publication August 2013.

Carpenter, L. J., S. D. Archer and R. Beale (2012), Ocean-atmosphere trace gas exchange, Chem. Soc. Rev., 41(19), 6473-6506. Doi: 10.1039/c2cs35121h.

Read K, L.J. Carpenter, S. Arnold, R. Beale, P.D. Nightingale, J.R. Hopkins, A.C. Lewis, J.D. Lee, L. Mendes, & S.J. Pickering (2012), Multi-annual observations of acetone, methanol and acetaldehyde in remote tropical Atlantic air: Implications for atmospheric OVOC budgets and oxidative capacity, Environ. Sci. and Technol., 46, 11028-11039.

Dixon, J. L., R. Beale, P. D. Nightingale (2011a), Microbial methanol uptake in northeast Atlantic waters, ISME, J5, 704 – 716, doi: 10.1038/ismej.2010.169.

Dixon, J. L., R. Beale, P. D. Nightingale (2011b), Rapid biological oxidation of methanol in the tropical Atlantic; significance as a microbial carbon source, Biogeosciences, 8,  1-10.

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