Professor Philip Nightingale

Senior Marine Chemist

Professor Philip Nightingale

Contact Details

+44 (0)1752 633100 (switchboard)

Professor Philip Nightingale is a Senior Marine Chemist at PML. His research is based around the identification and subsequent quantification of production and/or removal rates of gases in seawater and their transfer across the air-sea interface. He has worked extensively on the use of deliberate tracers (SF6, Helium-3, rhodamines and spores) to determine air-sea gas exchange rates (ASGAMAGE, DOGEE), in pioneering in-situ iron fertilisation experiments (IronEx1&2, EisenEx) and as Lagrangian tracers for studies of trace gas cycling and biogeochemistry (ACSOE, ICON) in coastal seas, upwelling areas and the open oceans.

Phil has a 1st class BSc from the School of Chemical Sciences and a PhD from the School of Environmental Science both at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and has worked at PML since 1995. He was Head of science for the biogeochemistry science area, Cycling in the Sunlit Ocean, from 2010 - 2013. He has published over 55 ISI listed papers (H index 22, total citations ~3500) and a further 12 non-ISI listed but peer-reviewed papers.  He has extensive experience in the analysis of dissolved gases and has participated in about 35 field experiments, including 2 as Chief Scientist. He has collaborated closely with colleagues from the USA (University of Hawaii, University of Miami, University of Washington, LDEO, Moss Landing), New Zealand and Europe (LODYC, KNMI , Kiel, Mainz, AWI, Bergen) as well as several universities in the UK, particularly UEA, Newcastle, Warwick and Southampton.

He has lectured at the SOLAS Summer Schools in Corsica in 2007/09/11 and BIOCAT in Kiel (2008). He has given invited talks in the UK, Germany, Italy, China, Korea and the USA. He reviews manuscripts for a range of journals and proposals for agencies in the UK, USA, Canada, Norway, and S. Africa, and been an evaluator for the EU FPVI programme. He has supervised or co-supervised 16 PhD students and has acted as an External PhD Examiner for the Universities of Leeds, York, Southampton, Newcastle, UEA and Bretagne. He is a Chartered Chemist and has been a Member of the Royal Society for Chemistry since 1999 and the American Geophysical Union since 1994.

Key Projects

Ocean Acidification Impacts on Sea-Surface Biology, Biogeochemistry and Climate. A NERC Ocean Acidification programme to investigate the impact that the changing seawater chemistry will have on marine organisms and ecosystems, on biogeochemical cycling in the sea, and on how the sea interacts with the atmosphere to influence climate.

Observations and synthesis to establish variability and trends of oceanic pH.  A NERC Ocean Acidification programme of observations, combined with analysis of past and on-going time series, to discover the magnitude of surface pH variations at seasonal-up-to-decadal time scales and addressing the Atlantic, UK shelf and slope waters, and selected locations in the Southern Ocean, using data from time series stations and volunteer observing ships.

Carbochange is a European Union Framework Programme investigating the ocean‘s quantitative role in the uptake of carbon under changing climate conditions, thereby using past and present data to infer on our ocean‘s future.

CaNDyFloSS: Carbon and Nutrient Dynamics and Fluxes over Shelf Systems.  A NERC Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry programme to quantify the role of the NW European shelf seas in the global nutrient and carbon cycles, and to understand the critical processes by which this role is sustained.

RAGNARoCC: Radiatively active gases from the North Atlantic Region and Climate Change.  A NERC Greenhouse Gas Programme to understand how large, and how variable, are sources and sinks of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere from the North Atlantic.

Other Activities

Associate Editor for Marine Chemistry from 2005.

Management Board for the EnvEast Doctoral Training Partnership from 2013


Boon A, JS Robinson, PD Nightingale, L. Cardenas, DR Chadwick & A Verhoef, Determination of the gas diffusion coefficient of a peat grassland soil, Euro. J. Soil Sci., 64, 681-687, DOI: 10.1111/ejss.12056, 2013

Jones, MR, PD Nightingale, SM Turner & PS Liss, Adaptation of a load-inject valve for a flow injection chemiluminescence system enabling dual-reagent injection enhances understanding of environmental Fenton chemistry, Anal. Chim. Acta, 796, 55-60, DOI: 10.1016/j.aca.2013.08.003, 2013

Dixon JL, S Sargeant, PD Nightingale & JC Murrell, Gradients in microbial methanol uptake: productive coastal upwelling waters to oligotrophic gyres in the Atlantic Ocean, ISME J. doi:10.1038/ismej.2012.130, 2013

Read KA, LJ Carpenter, SR Arnold, R. Beale, PD Nightingale, JR Hopkins, AC Lewis, JD Lee, L Mendes, SJ Pickering, Multiannual Observations of Acetone, Methanol, and Acetaldehyde in Remote Tropical Atlantic Air: Implications for Atmospheric OVOC Budgets and Oxidative Capacity, Environ. Sci & Technol., 11028-11039   DOI: 10.1021/es302082p, 2012

Cox MJ, H Schaefer, PD Nightingale, IR McDonald, JC Murrell, Diversity of methyl halide-degrading microorganisms in oceanic and coastal waters, FEMS Microbiol Lett. 334, 111-118 DOI:10.1111/j.1574-6968.2012.02624, 2012

Loucaides S, T. Tyrrell, EP Achterberg, R Torres, PD Nightingale, V Kitidis, P Serret, M Woodward, C Robinson, Biological and physical forcing of carbonate chemistry in an upwelling filament off northwest Africa: Results from a Lagrangian study, Glob. Biogeochem. Cycles, 26, DOI:10.1029/2011GB004216 2012

Dixon, JL & PD Nightingale, Fine-scale variability in methanol uptake and oxidation: from the microlayer to 1000m, Biogeosci. 9 2961-2972 DOI: 10.5194/bg-9-2961-2012, 2012

Avgoustidi V, PD Nightingale, I Joint, M Steinke, SM Turner, FE Hopkins, PS Liss, Decreased marine dimethyl sulfide production under elevated CO2 levels in mesocosm and in vitro studies, Env. Chem., 9, 399-404 DOI: 10.1071/EN11125, 2012

Salter ME, Upstill-Goddard RC, Nightingale PD, et al., Impact of an artificial surfactant release on air–sea gas fluxes during DOGEE II, J. Geophys. Res. 116: C11016 doi: 10.1029/2011JC007023, 2011.

Dixon JL, Beale R and Nightingale PD, Rapid biological oxidation of methanol in the tropical Atlantic: significance as a microbial carbon source, Biogeosciences, 8, 2707-2716, doi:10.5194/bg-8-2707, 2011

Beale R, Liss PS, Dixon JL & Nightingale PD, Quantification of Oxygenated Volatile Organic Compounds in seawater by Membrane Inlet–Proton Transfer Reaction/Mass Spectrometry, Anal. Chim. Acta, 706 128-134 doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2011.08.023, 2011. 

Hopkins FE, Nightingale PD and Liss PS, Effect of ocean acidification on the marine source of atmospherically active trace gases. In: Ocean Acidification. Eds: J-P Gattuso and L. Hansson, Oxford University Press (2011).

Dixon JL, Beale R, Nightingale PD, Microbial methanol uptake in the northeast Atlantic, ISME 5 704-716, 2011

Beale, R, Liss, PS & Nightingale PD, First oceanic measurements of ethanol and propanol, Geophys. Res. Lett. 37 L24607, 2010

Huebert B, Blomquist B, Yang M., Archer S., Nightingale P. et al., Linearity of DMS transfer coefficient with both friction velocity and wind speed, Geophys Res. Lett. 37 L01605 2010

Hopkins FE, Turner SM, Nightingale PD, Steinke M, Bakker D, Liss PS, Ocean acidification and marine trace gas production Proc. Nat Acad. Sci, 107 760-765, 2010

Nightingale PD, Air-Sea Gas Transfer, in Lower Atmosphere Surface Ocean Interactions eds le Quere and Saltzman, AGU Monograph 187, 69 : 98, 2009.

Rhee TS, Nightingale PD, Woolf DK, et al., Influence of energetic wind and waves on gas transfer in a large wind-wave tunnel facility, J.  Geophys. Res. 112: DI 10.1029, 2007

Archer SD, Goldson LE, Liddicoat MI, Cummings DG, Nightingale PD, Marked seasonality in the concentrations and sea-to-air flux of volatile iodocarbon compounds, J. Geophys. Res. 112 DI10.1029, 2007

Woolf DK, Leifer S, Nightingale PD et al., Modelling of bubble-mediated gas transfer; fundamental principles and a laboratory test. J. Mar. Sys 66:  DI 10.1016, 2007.

Bakker DCE, Bozec Y, Nightingale PD et al. Iron and mixing affect biological carbon uptake in SOIREE and EisenEx, two Southern Ocean iron fertilisation experiments. Deep Sea Res 52 1001-1019, 2005

Turner SM, Harvey MJ, Law CS, Nightingale PD & Liss PS, Iron-induced changes in oceanic sulfur biogeochemistry, Geophys Res Lett, 31: art. no. L14307, 2004.

Nightingale PD & Liss PS  Gases in seawater: in The Oceans & Marine Geochemistry, ed Elderfield, Vol 6: A Treatise on Marine Geochemistry Ch 3 pg 49–82, 2003.

Archer SD, Gilbert FJ, Nightingale PD et al, Transformation of DMSP to DMS during summer in the North Sea with an examination of key processes via a modelling approach. Deep-Sea Res. 3067-3301, 2002.

Nightingale PD, Law CS, Watson AJ, Liss PS et al., In-situ evaluation of air- sea gas exchange parameterisation using novel conservative and volatile tracers. Glob. Biogeochem. Cycles, 14, 373-387, 2000

Nightingale PD, Liss PS and Schlosser P, Measurements of air-sea gas transfer during an open ocean algal bloom. Geophys. Res. Let., 27, 2117-2120, 2000

Coale KH, Johnson KS, Fitzwater, SE; et al., Title:  A massive phytoplankton bloom induced by an ecosystem-scale iron fertilization experiment in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, Nature, 383, 495-501, DOI: 10.1038/383495a0, 1996

Cooper, DJ; Watson, AJ & Nightingale, PD, Large decrease in ocean-surface CO2 fugacity in response to in situ iron fertilization, Nature, 383, 511-513, DOI: 10.1038/383511a0, 1996.

Turner, SM; Nightingale, PD; Spokes, LJ & Liss PS, Increased dimethyl sulphide concentrations in sea water from in situ iron enrichment , Nature, 383, 513-517, DOI: 10.1038/383513a0, 1996.

Turner, SM; Malin, G; Nightingale, PD & Liss PS, Seasonal variation of dimethyl sulphide in the North Sea and an assessment of fluxes to the atmosphere , Marine Chemistry, 54, 245-262, DOI:10.1016/0304-4203(96)00028-X, 1996

Nightingale PD, Malin G, Liss PS. Production of chloroform and other low molecular weight halocarbons by some species of macroalgae, Limnology and Oceanography, 40, 680-689, 1995

Martin JH, Coale KH, Johnson KS et al., Testing the iron hypothesis in ecosystems of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, Nature, 371, 123-129, DOI: 10.1038/371123a0, 1994

Krysell, M; Nightingale, PD  Low-molecular-weight halocarbons in the Humber and Rhine estuaries determined using a new purge-and-trap gas-chromatographic method, Continental Shelf Research, 14, 1311-1329, DOI: 10.1016/0278-4343(94)90050-7, 1994

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