PhD, University in Auckland

Visiting address
Phone: +852 34424676

Author IDs


I was born in Australia, but went to university in Auckland, New Zealand where I did a PhD on the aqueous chemistry of sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere. I was until recently a Professor in Atmospheric Chemistry at the University of East Anglia, U.K. and have served as a senior editor of Atmospheric Environment in 1990. I am convinced that environmental pollution is not merely a matter of environmental chemistry. The smells have to be smelt. Painting and poetry can be as informative as a scientific description when trying to understand the complexities of environmental problems. I admire detective writers; no crap and their hearts are in the right place. The title of my book The Big Smoke was meant remind us of Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep, so I was pleased when this academic book was reviewed as "reading like a thriller". Recently I have been thinking much about the representation air pollution in cinema in films such as Blade Runner. I am really excited to be in Hong Kong as it offers great potential to explore the way we are exposed to air pollutants and consider how such exposures might be reduced.

Research Interests/Areas

I remain interested in atmospheric sulphur chemistry that formed the subject of my PhD in the early 1970s and have just completed a major review of the biogeochemical cycling of organosulfides. My current research interests are:

  • long-term changes in urban air pollution and its effects on health and material damage
  • the statistical structure of air pollution monitoring data and its implications to policy
  • impact of climate change on historic sites and their use
  • I have collaborative projects on the sea surface microlayer, binding to particulate material and the environmental chemistry of pharmaceuticals