Alex Baker

Professor

  • 01.37E Sciences

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Personal profile

Biography

I am a chemist by training, but developed a strong interest in the oceans during my undergraduate degree.  During my PhD, most of which was completed at Plymouth Marine Laboratory, I studied the chemistry of complex natural organic matter in estuarine conditions.  I then went on to investigate the fate of similar organic materials during alumina recovery from bauxite at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.  After returning to the UK, I spent some time at the University of Liverpool working on the analysis of iron and other trace metals in seawater.  In 1997 I moved to the University of East Anglia, where my research interests have developed into the fields of marine and atmospheric iodine biogeochemistry and the atmospheric transport of nutrients and trace metals and their impact on the marine carbon cycle.

Career

  • 1984-1987, University of Southampton, BSc (Hons), Chemistry with Oceanography, Upper Second Class
  • 1987-1992, University of Southampton, PhD, Marine Chemistry
  • 1992-1994, Research Fellow, Chemistry Department, University of the West Indies, Jamaica
  • 1995-1997, Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Oceanography Laboratories, University of Liverpool
  • 1997-2005, Senior Research Assistant, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
  • 1999, Temporary Lecturer, Chemistry Department, University of the West Indies, Jamaica
  • 2005-2010, RCUK Academic Fellow, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
  • 2010-2017, Reader in Marine and Atmospheric Chemistry, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
  • 2017-present, Professor of Marine and Atmospheric Chemistry, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia

PhD Opportunities

I am currently advertising this PhD studentship: Microplastics: All up in the air?  Deadline: 10th July 2021.

 

Other PhD Positions

However, feel free to email me to discuss alternative projects in other areas of ocean-atmosphere chemical exchange and sources of funding.

Click here for other PhD opportunities in the School of Environmental Sciences. 

Key Research Interests and Expertise

My current research focuses on the chemistry of interactions between the atmosphere and the surface of the ocean.  A major part of this involves a study of deposition in aerosols and rain of nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, silicon, iron and other trace metals) to the ocean, in order to assess their impact on marine productivity and hence the global carbon cycle.  On a global scale, iron is the nutrient for which atmospheric inputs to the ocean have the most significant impact on phytoplankton growth.  I study the factors that control how much of the iron that falls into the ocean actually dissolves in seawater as this is the fraction which helps to fuel phytoplankton growth.  My other main research area involves the study of iodine cycling in the marine atmosphere (where iodine chemistry influences ozone destruction and new aerosol formation) and in seawater (where the metabolism of iodine by algae is linked to the flux of iodine from the ocean into the atmosphere).


Publications: EPrints Digital Repository

Key Responsibilities

  • Director of Admissions for ENV
  • Natural Sciences Rep and Placement Director Year in Europe

Professional Activities

  • Member of the UN-sponsored Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) 2013
  • Member of GESAMP Working Group 38 (Atmospheric input of chemicals to the ocean) 2008

Teaching Interests

My main teaching interests lie in the areas of marine and atmospheric chemistry and in analytical skills used to study the chemistry of the environment.

Network

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