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Personal profile


I came to UEA in 1985 as NERC Reader in Atmospheric Chemistry based in Environmental Sciences and Chemistry. Prior to that I had worked for 17 years at AERE Harwell and was intimately involved in the research which demonstrated the significance of chemical processes occurring in the atmosphere producing acid rain and ozone. Whilst at UEA I built up a large group of atmospheric chemists who took part in experiments around the world studying the behaviour of ozone and many related gases. In 1992 I set up the Weybourne Atmospheric Observatory on funds mostly provided by BP plc. This has been responsible for documenting changes in ozone and many other gases in the atmosphere over the UK from the early 1990s until the present. From 1995 to 2000 I led the NERC ACSOE (Atmospheric Chemistry Studies in the Oceanic Environment) research programme which involved most of the UK atmospheric chemistry community and provided career opportunities for many. I have been an active member of advisory groups associated with the UN Assessment of Stratospheric Ozone, the US National Academy of Sciences, the UK Department of the Environment, the Met Office Hadley Centre, the European Union and the EUREKA EUROTRAC project. I was awarded the Gaskell Memorial Medal by the Royal Met Soc in 1987 and received the Haagen-Smit Award from Elsevier in 2003 for a paper on acid rain formation published in 1979. In 1997 I was made an affiliate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder Colorado. I am a fellow of the Royal Met Soc, a foreign member of the Max Planck Society, and a member of Academia Europaea. On my retirement in 2004 I received a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship. I continue to be active and was recently made a member of the European Research Council Panel on Earth System Sciences. I am also the chairman of the reactive gases group of the committee set up to advise the WMO Global Atmospheric Watch programme. My main research interests are now focused on observations of changing atmospheric composition at Weybourne.

Additional Contacts

Fax: +44 (0)1603 591327

Key Research Interests

Atmospheric composition and chemistry; influence of human activities on the natural system.

Significant Publications

  • Sturges, W.T., T.J. Wallington, M.D. Hurley, K.P Shine, K. Sihra, A. Engel, D.E. Oram, S.A. Penkett, R. Mulvaney, and C.A.M. Brenninkmeijer, (2000) A potent new greenhouse gas identified in the atmosphere: SF5CF3. Science289, 611-613,
  • Sturges, W.T., S.A. Penkett, J.M. Barnola, J. Chappellaz, E. Atlas, and V. Stroud, A (2001) Long-term record of carbonyl sulfide (COS) in two hemispheres from firn air measurements. Geophys. Res. Lett.,28(21), 4095-4098,
  • Sturges, W.T., H.P. McIntyre, S.A. Penkett, J. Chappellaz, J.-M. Barnola, R. Mulvaney, E. Atlas, and V. Stroud, (2001), Methyl bromide, other brominated methanes and methyl iodide in polar firn air. J. Geophys. Res.106(D2), 1595-1606. DOI: 10.1029/2000JD900511
  • Reeves, C.E. and S.A. Penkett, (2003). Measurements of peroxides and what they tell us. Chem. Rev.,103, 5199-5218. DOI: 10.1021/cr0205053
  • Zanis P, P.S. Monks, T.J. Green, E. Schuepbach, L.J. Carpenter, G.P. Mills, A.R. Rickard, N. Brough, andS.A. Penkett, (2003) Seasonal variation of peroxy radicals in the lower free troposphere based on observations from the FREE Tropospheric EXperiments in the Swiss Alps. Geophys. Res. Lttr.30(10): art. no. 1497. DOI: 10.1029/2003GL017122
  • Penkett, S.A., R.A. Burgess, H. Coe, I. Coll, Ø. Hov, A. Lindskog, N. Schmidbauer, S.Solberg, M. Roemer, T. Thijsse, J. Beck and C.E. Reeves, (2007), Evidence for large average concentrations of the nitrate radical (NO3) in Western Europe from the HANSA hydrocarbon database. Atmos. Environ.41, 3465–3478. DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2006.11.055

Publications: EPrints Digital Repository