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Fellows Directory

John Plane

John Plane

Professor John Plane FRS


Elected: 2020





John Plane uses experimental and theoretical physical chemistry to investigate phenomena in environments ranging from planetary atmospheres to dust formation around stars. He has pioneered techniques for studying gas-phase reactions of metallic species, and is a world-leading expert on the chemistry of metals which ablate from cosmic dust particles in upper atmospheres.

He has also made significant contributions to understanding the chemistry of the Earth’s lower atmosphere - in particular iodine chemistry - using a combination of observations, laboratory studies and atmospheric modelling.

John Plane was born in South Africa. After his MA and PhD at the University of Cambridge and a research fellowship at St. John’s College (Cambridge), he has held appointments at the University of Miami (Florida), University of East Anglia, and the University of Leeds. He has been awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry Tilden Prize (2006), the European Geoscience Union Vilhelm Bjerknes Medal (2017), and was elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (2017). He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Astronomical Society.

Professional positions

Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry, School of Chemistry, University of Leeds

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Chemistry
    • Chemistry, physical, Chemistry, theoretical
  • Earth and environmental sciences
    • Atmospheric chemistry, Climate sciences, Ionospheric physics, Planetary science
  • Astronomy and physics
    • Astrophysics


Cosmic dust, stellar dust formation, meteoric ablation, mesospheric chemistry, tropospheric chemistry, halogen chemistry

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