Peter Liss

Peter Liss


  • 02.05 CRU

Personal profile


I have been based in the School of Environmental Sciences at the UEA for more than 40 years, researching and teaching many aspects of environmental chemistry. In particular my research has focused on the biogeochemical interactions between the ocean and the atmosphere, specialising in the processes of air-sea gas exchange, the mechanisms of trace gas formation in the oceans, and their reactivity and role in the atmosphere. In 2017 I was made an Emeritus Professor at UEA. 

For 5 years I was Chair of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and until 2007 Chair of its Surface Ocean – Lower Atmosphere Study project (SOLAS, co-sponsored by WCRP, SCOR and CACGP). I served on the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) for 5 years, chairing both its Marine and Atmospheric Sciences Boards. On 3 occasions I have been a member of the UK’s Research Assessment Exercise, the last as Chair of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Panel in 2001. I was President of the Challenger Society for Marine Sciences (2006-2008) and from 2005 to 2011 a Commissioner of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution and have been a member of Defra’s Scientific Advisory Council. Also in UK I chair the Marine Environmental Data and Information Network (MEDIN), the Advisory Committee of the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology in Scotland (MASTS), the National Oceanography Centre Association (NOC-A) and the Underwater Sound Forum (USF).

I was the first recipient of the Challenger Society Medal, have been awarded the Plymouth Marine Sciences Medal and the John Jeyes Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry, am Guest Professor of the Ocean University of Qingdao, China and a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and created Commander of the British Empire in 2008 for services to science, as well as being elected to the Academia Europaea in 2012. In Europe I have been Chair of the European Research Council’s Earth System Science Advanced Grants Panel, Chair of COST Action 735, participated in many EU Framework Research programmes and have been a member of international advisory boards for funding agencies, institutes and universities in several countries, as well as the USA. I was a member of the Executive Group of the ‘Future Earth’ Task Team of the International Council for Science (ICSU), the Belmont Forum and others. In 2013-2014 I was one of the first Eminent Scholars of the newly established Institute for Advanced Studies at Texas A & M University, USA and am now Adjunct Professor there. In 2014-2015 I was Interim Executive Director of the International Council for Science (ICSU) in Paris.

Key Research Interests

Environmental chemistry; biogeochemical interaction between the oceans and atmosphere; global change.

Ongoing research projects:

Atmosphere-ocean exchange in the Anthropocene – how air pollution modifies the ‘smell of the sea’ Ph.D. project of Daniel Phillips (based at Plymouth Marine Laboratory).

Ocean plastics and trace gases (pending Ph.D. project).

Links between sea surface biological activity and atmospheric properties.

Can carbonic anhydrase significantly affect air - sea CO2 exchange?

Publications: EPrints Digital Repository

Areas of Expertise

Chemistry of natural waters and their exchange processes with the atmosphere.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or