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Professor Claire Hughes



Director of Learning and Teaching (Environment and Geography)
Deputy Head of Department (Environment and Geography)
Director of Education (Environmental Sustainability Academy at York, ESAY) 

Claire Hughes joined York in 2011 from the University of East Anglia where she gained her PhD and then worked as a post-doctoral research associate focussing on marine biogeochemistry in polar regions. Claire also holds an MSc in ‘Chemical Oceanography’ from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia (Canada), and a BSc (hons) in ‘Marine Biology’ (first class) from the University of Newcastle. Claire transferred to a teaching and scholarship contract in 2020 to follow her passion for learning and teaching. She was promoted to Professor (Teaching and Scholarship) in 2021. 

Claire is currently Director of Learning and Teaching and Deputy Head of Department (Teaching) in the Department of Environment and Geography at York. She is also currently Director of Education for the Environmental Sustainability Academy at York (ESAY). ESAY is a £1.3 million initiative that aims to cohere and boost environmental sustainability teaching, research and operations at the University of York.

Claire is a member of University Teaching Committee (UTC). She was awarded a Vice Chancellor’s Teaching Award in 2016, Making the Difference award in 2017 and University Rewarding Excellence award in 2020 in recognition of her excellent leadership in learning and teaching.



  • Global challenge pedagogic research:

    Selected pedagogic publications:

    Fazey, I., Hughes, C., Schäpke, N. A., Leicester, G., Eyre, L., Goldstein, B. E,, Hodgson, A., Mason-Jones, A. J., Moser, S. C., Sharpe, B., and Reed, M. S. (2021) Renewing Universities in Our Climate Emergency: Stewarding System Change and Transformation. Frontiers in Sustainability 2,

  • Marine biogeochemistry:

    Selected publications in marine sciences:

    Hepach, H., Hughes, C., Hogg, K., Collings, S., Chance, R. (2020) Senescence as the main driver of iodide release from a diverse range of marine phytoplankton. Biogeosciences 17,  2453-2471 

    Wadley, M.,  Stevens, D.P., Jickells, T.J., Hughes, C., Chance, R., Carpenter, L.J. (2020) Modelling iodine in the ocean. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 34 (9),

    Carpenter, L.J., Chance, R., Sherwen, T., Adams, T.J., Ball, S.M., Evans, M.J., Hepach, H., Hollis, L.D.J., Hughes, C., Jickells, T.D., Tinel, L., Stevens, D.P., Wadley, M.R., Mahajan, A. (2021) Marine iodine emissions in a changing world. Proceedings of the Royal Society A 477,

    Hughes, C., Barton, E., Hepach, H., Chance, R., Pickering, M., Hogg, K., Wadley, M., Stevens, D. and Jickells, T.D. (2021) Iodate production in cultures of marine ammonia-oxidising bacteria: implications for future inorganic iodine distributions in the oceans. Marine Chemistry 234,

    Selected projects in marine science:

    2007-2008: Malin, G., C. Hughes, M. Martino, P.S. Liss, P. Nightingale, T. Smyth & S. Archer, ‘Investigation of the Near-Surface Production of Iodocarbons: Rates and Exchanges (INSPIRE)’, NERC UK Surface Ocean-Lower Atmosphere Study (UK SOLAS), £132,419

     2008-2011: Liss, P.S., C. Hughes, G. Malin, A. Clarke, R. von Glasow & S. Turner ,‘The production of ozone-depleting bromocarbon trace gases in near-shore Antarctic Waters’, NERC Antarctic Funding Initiative (AFI), £444,077 

     2012-2015: Hughes, C.The physiological and ecological roles of volatile halogen production by marine diatoms’, NERC New Investigators, £99,524 

     2016-2019: Carpenter, L.J., C. Hughes & M. Evans (York); S. Ball (Leicester); T. Jickells & D. Stevens (UEA). ‘Iodide in the ocean: distribution and impact on iodine production and ozone loss’, NERC standard grant. £700k

External activities


2010: Awarded a prestigious Challenger Society for Marine Science Fellowship in recognition of her work in marine biogeochemistry

2014-present: Volunteer Director for the ‘Yorkshire Energy Doctor’ which is an award-winning grant-funded, not-for-profit  organisation which gives free advice and support to people in or at risk of fuel poverty, and free training to staff in frontline organisations in providing energy advice

2020-2021: Academic lead for the first York-Maastricht Partnership (YMP) MSc programme in ‘Sustainable Business: Leadership, Innovation and Management’

Contact details

Professor Claire Hughes
Department of Environment and Geography
University of York
YO10 5NG

Tel: 01904 324010