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Organised by Professor David Fowler CBE FRS, Professor John Pyle FRS, Professor John Raven FRS and Professor Mark Sutton
This meeting is centered around the current understanding of the global nitrogen cycle and the extent to which it has been modified by human activities. It will consider processes regulating the sources, transformation in and removal from the atmosphere and their effects on climate, terrestrial and marine ecosystems and human health, and likely trends through this century.
Download the programme here (PDF).
The proceedings of this meeting are scheduled to be published in a future issue of Philosophical Transactions B.
Professor Mark Sutton, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, UK Surface atmosphere exchange of ammonia
Professor Mark Sutton’s interests focus on the emission, atmospheric transfer of atmospheric reactive nitrogen compounds, especially ammonia, including the interactions with greenhouse gas balance, and eutrophication. He is engaged in leading atmospheric flux measurements and in developing models for upscaling to the UK and Europe. In particular, he is concerned in developing a multi-pollutant approach for nitrogen, with special attention to the fate of emissions from agriculture. Professor Sutton coordinates the NitroEurope Integrated Project (www.nitroeurope.eu) investigating the effect of nitrogen on greenhouse gas balance. He is co-chair of the UNECE Task Force on Reactive Nitrogen (under the Geneva Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution), supporting revision of the UNECE Gothenburg Protocol. He has led the European Nitrogen Assessment (ENA), the first continental multi-threat assessment of nitrogen impacts on climate, air pollution, water quality, soil quality and biodiversity, which was published in April 2011.
Professor David Fowler CBE FRS, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, UKThe global Nitrogen cycle 2010 to 2100 and the role of human activity
David Fowler’s research interests are mainly in the biogeochemistry of nitrogen, sulphur and carbon and specifically on surface-atmosphere exchange processes. These interests include some of the major regional environmental issues including photochemical oxidants, eutrophication, acid deposition, emissions of greenhouse gases and atmospheric aerosols. His published work includes 210 refereed publications and a similar output of other papers, reports and books. He has an Honorary Professorship at the University of Nottingham, became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1999, a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 2002, and in 2005 was awarded a CBE for services in Atmospheric Pollution research.
Professor John Pyle FRSOrganiser
Professor John Raven FRS Organiser
Professor Jim Galloway, University of Virginia, USA A chronology of human understanding of the nitrogen cycle 1700 – 2000
James N. Galloway is the Sidman P. Poole Professor of Environmental Sciences, and the Associate Dean for the Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, at the University of Virginia. Dr. Galloway received the B.A. degree in Chemistry and Biology from Whittier College in 1966. In 1972 he received his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego. Following two years as a professional potter in Lexington, Virginia, he accepted a postdoctoral appointment with Gene Likens at Cornell University. In 1976, he accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia and, from 1996 to 2001 served as chair of the department. He serves on the Boards of Trustees of the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole MA, and the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences. From 1988 to 1995, he served as President of the BIOS Board. He was the founding chair of the International Nitrogen Initiative from 2003 to 2008, and was a member of the USA EPA Science Advisory Board from 2003 to 2009. He is currently a lead author in Working Group 1, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
In 2002 he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2008 he was elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and was awarded, with Harold Mooney, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. In 2010 he was elected to the Raven Society, the oldest honor society at the University of Virginia. Most recently, Whittier College awarded him the Alumnus Achievement Award for 2011.
His research on biogeochemistry includes the natural and anthropogenic controls on chemical cycles at the watershed, regional and global scales. His current research focuses on beneficial and detrimental effects of reactive nitrogen as it cascades between the atmosphere, terrestrial ecosystems and freshwater and marine ecosystems.
Professor Kim Pilegaard, Technical University of Denmark, DenmarkProcesses regulating nitric oxide emissions from soil
Kim Pilegaard is head of the Biosystems Division at Risø DTU, National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, Technical University of Denmark. He is also adjunct professor in biosphere-atmosphere exchange at the University of Copenhagen. His research has been centered round biosphere–atmosphere exchange in terrestrial ecosystems. During the 1980’s his research mainly dealt with spread and deposition of heavy metals from industrial activities such as power plants, steel works and mining (Greenland). The next 10 years focused on aspects of acid rain and atmospheric chemistry. During this phase he started working with micro-meteorology and implemented flux measurement methods of nitrogen oxides and ozone. During the last decade the main emphasis has been on greenhouse gas exchange including long-term measurements of CO2 fluxes and effects of climate change. Kim Pilegaard has participated in many of the EU-projects concerning nitrogen and greenhouse gases and has authored or co-authored 86 papers in peer-reviewed journals including Nature.
Professor John Burrows, University of Bremen, GermanyThe NO2 observed from space and the global budget for NO2
Professor Burrows was educated at Trinity College Cambridge University. After a post doctoral research at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, he became a staff member at the A.E.R.E. and a scientist at the Physical Chemistry Laboratory, University of Oxford. In 1982 he joined the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz. Since 1992 he has been Professor of Physics of the Ocean and Atmosphere at the University of Bremen, founding the Institute of Environmental Physics in 1993, being seconded from 2008 to 2010 to be science director of the Biogeochemistry programme at NERC:CEH where he is now a fellow. His research began in the laboratory studying the kinetics and spectroscopy of atmospheric constituents. He has pioneered the remote sensing of atmospheric trace gases and constituents from space. He has published over 450 peer reviewed articles in the areas of photochemistry, kinetics, remote sensing, atmospheric chemistry and physics, biogeochemistry, pollution and climate change. He is an AGU and AAS fellow and was awarded the Nordberg medal for his research by COSPAR in 2006.
Professor Klaus Butterbach-Bahl, Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research, GermanyNitrous oxide emissions from soils, current understanding of the processes and modelling
Klaus Butterbach-Bahl is Head of Department “Bio-Geo-Chemical Processes” at the Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Atmospheric Environmental Research (IMK-IFU), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, and Professor at the University of Freiburg, Germany, and Guest Research Professor at the Institute for Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China. His main research interests are related to measurements and modeling of biosphere-hydrosphere-atmosphere exchange processes of environmental important trace compounds at site and regional scales with a specific focus on nitrogen compounds.
Dr Lex Bouwman, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) and Utrecht University, The NetherlandsGlobal emissions of N2O and N2, trends and uncertainties
Dr Bouwman obtained his PhD in 1995 at Wageningen University and Research Centre. From 1996 he worked on several activities related to global scale agriculture and land use. The main research fields are: (i) modelling environmental impacts of livestock and crop production systems, land use and grazing systems in the framework of the Integrated Model for the Assessment of the Global Environment (IMAGE); (ii) construction of spatial distributions of nutrient surface balances in agricultural and natural ecosystems, and effluents from sewerage systems to drive a global model for riverine transport of dissolved and particulate N and P compounds from (agro-)ecosystems and point sources; (iii) data analysis and development of models for describing fluxes of N gas emissions from global agricultural fields. In 2011, Dr Bouwman became Professor at the Department of Earth Sciences – Geochemistry, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, concentrating on nutrient transport from land to sea.
Professor Tim Jickells, University of East Anglia, UKThe cycling of organic nitrogen through the atmosphere; process understanding and global significance
Tim Jickells is a Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia. His research interests include marine and atmospheric biogeochemistry and particularly the impacts of atmospheric deposition on the marine environment. His research work focuses particularly on field and laboratory studies of the cycles of the main marine nutrients, iron, nitrogen and phosphorus. He is currently also the NERC Theme Leader for Earth System Science.
Professor Peter Vitousek, Stanford University, USANitrogen fixation, process understanding and global quantification
Peter Vitousek has been on the faculty at Stanford University since 1984. His research interests include: evaluating the global cycles of nitrogen and phosphorus, and how they are altered by human activity; determining the effects of invasive species on the workings of whole ecosystems; understanding how the interaction of land and culture contributed to the sustainability of Hawaiian society before European contact; and more generally using the extraordinary ecosystems of Hawai`i as models for understanding how the world works. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was awarded the 2010 Japan Prize. He was born in Hawaii, and is director of the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources and co-director of the First Nations Futures Institute.
Dr Robin Dennis, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, USARemoval of gaseous and particulate nitrogen compounds from the atmosphere
Robin L. Dennis is a senior scientist with the Atmospheric Modeling and Analysis Division at EPA's National Exposure Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development in Research Triangle Park, NC. He received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Wisconsin‑Madison. He is the AMAD team lead for linking atmospheric and terrestrial/aquatic ecosystem models to assess ecosystem exposure due to atmospheric pollutants, particularly reactive nitrogen and sulfur. He is involved in advancing the Community Multiscale Air Quality model (CMAQ) for secondary (welfare) ambient air quality standards, water quality assessments, and critical loads analyses at the regional scale. He helped bring atmospheric deposition into Chesapeake Bay load allocation agreements. He received a SETAC Scientific Achievement Award in 1999, a NERL Scientific Achievement Award in 2006 and a NOAA Administrators Award in 2007. His group is one of the first to incorporate ammonia bi-directional air-surface exchange in regional air quality models.
Dr Gilles Billen, CNRS, FranceModelling the nitrogen cascade from watershed soils to the sea: from local to regional and global scales
Gilles Billen got his PhD at the Free University of Brussels in 1976, where he later headed the Group of Aquatic Environmental Microbiology for 15 years. He was mostly active in studying microbial processes in estuarine and marine areas, in connection with the cycles of carbon and nutrients. In 1997, he moved to Paris, and joined the CNRS, for taking, until 2007, the direction of the National Research Program on the Seine river (PIREN-Seine). He played a leading role in the development of biogeochemical modelling tools, aimed at testing scenarios for water resources management. He also participated in various international forums, such as the SCOPE-UNESCO Global NEWS program and the NinE (Nitrogen in Europe) ESF Network, and participated to the editorial team of the European Nitrogen Assessment. He is now conducting interdisciplinary research on urban metabolism and the biogeochemical relationships between urban and rural territories.
Dr Maren Voss, Leibniz-Institut fur Ostseeforschung Warnemuende, GermanyThe marine nitrogen cycle: recent discoveries, uncertainties and response to climate change
Since 1992 Maren Voss has been affiliated to the Leibniz Institute of Baltic Sea Research, Warnemünde, where she leads a working group which focuses on a better understanding of the marine nitrogen cycle and the anthropogenic perturbation. Her group specifically study sources and sinks of reactive nitrogen in water and sediments. Therefore they have strong collaborations with terrestrial, fresh water and agriculture research groups. Quality objectives for the Wadden Sea were in her focus of work when she worked at the National Park Bureau of the Wadden Sea in 1992. Before that she graduated at Kiel University in 1988 where she also received her PhD in 1990 with a thesis entitled “Stable isotopes in suspended and sedimenting particles in the Northern North Atlantic”. In 1989 and 1990 she spent six month at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the USA to learn and establish nitrogen stable isotope work in marine sciences in Germany.
Professor Eric Wolff FRS, British Antarctic Survey, UKIce sheets and nitrogen
Eric Wolff is a senior scientist at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) in Cambridge. After graduating as a chemist, he has studied ice cores from the Antarctic and Greenland for the past 30 years, using them to understand changing climate, as well as changing levels of pollution in remote areas. He also carries out research into the chemistry of the lower parts of the Antarctic atmosphere. At BAS, he leads the programme: “Chemistry and Past Climate”. He chaired the science committee of the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica (EPICA), which produced 800,000 year records of climate from the Dome C (Antarctica) ice core and co-chairs the international initiative to coordinate future ice core research. He has published over 150 papers, many of which have been highly cited. He was awarded the Agassiz medal of the European Geosciences Union cryosphere division in 2009, and was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2010.
Dr Soenke Zaehle, Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry, GermanyNitrogen-Carbon cycle interactions at the global scale
Sönke Zaehle studied geo-ecology and environmental sciences in Braunschweig, Germany, and Norwich, UK, and holds a PhD from the University of Potsdam and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. During his PostDoc at the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement in Gif-sur-Yvette, France, he became interested in studying the interactions between the terrestrial biosphere and the climate system using comprehensive numerical models. One of his key areas of interest is the role of nutrient cycling, in particular nitrogen, in biogeophysical and biogeochemical land-atmosphere interactions. Since 2009 he is head of the research group terrestrial biosphere modelling and data assimilation at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany.
Dr Frank Dentener, Joint Research Center, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, ItalyGlobal deposition of fixed nitrogen and trends
Dr Frank Dentener is currently a research scientist with the Climate Change Unit of the European Commission Joint Research Centre, in Italy, working on global-regional scale modelling of air pollution and climate issues. He completed his PhD at the department of Physics and Astrophysics of the University of Utrecht, in the Netherlands. In 2002 he won the Thomas Kuhn prize from the International Air pollution Prevention Organization. In 2010 he was elected Secretary of the International Commission on Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution (CACGP/IUPAC). He is currently co-chair for the Task Force on Hemispheric Transport Air pollution. His current research focuses on global and regional photochemical and aerosol processes, air pollution and climate, the nitrogen cycle, and their interaction and representation in global atmospheric models. Model results are used to design optimized policy strategies to reduce both the emissions of climate gases and air pollution.
Professor Jan Willem Erisman, ECN, The Netherlands Consequences of human modification of the global nitrogen cycle
Jan Willem Erisman has a background in environmental research, especially the atmosphere – biosphere exchange of gases and aerosols related to acidification and eutrophication and climate change, both scientific as well as policy development and evaluation studies. Recently work has focused on optimizing food production and energy use while minimizing the environmental impacts from increased nitrogen cycling. During three years he was unit manager Clean Fossil Fuels, managing research on hydrogen production from fossil fuels, hydrogen storage and concepts for a hydrogen economy, CO2 capture technologies, environmental emission reduction technologies and environmental research. Since 2006 he heads the unit Biomass, Coal and Environmental research, managing about 70 scientists working in the field of environmental research, research on biomass pre-treatment and conversion technologies, liquid and gaseous products from biomass and environmental reduction technologies. He is Extraordinary Professor at the VU university Amsterdam on Integrated nitrogen studies.
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