Accessibility statement

Dr. Claire Hughes
Director of Learning and Teaching & Deputy Head of Department



Claire joined the Department of Environment and Geography in 2011 from the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia where she worked as a senior research associate. 

Claire is a marine biogeochemist specialising in understanding the processes that control the emission of environmentally-significant trace gases from the marine biosphere to the atmosphere.

Her work involves measuring trace gas concentrations in seawater during ship- and land-based field campaigns and carrying out laboratory experiments to improve understanding of their sources and sinks.

The ultimate aim of this work is to determine the magnitude of the oceanic source of key trace gases so that their impact on processes taking place in the atmosphere such as ozone depletion and secondary aerosol formation can be established.

The majority of Claire’s research has been done on the volatile halogens but she has also worked on the alkyl nitrates and dimethyl sulphide (DMS).

Claire’s work has recently focused on the western Antarctic Peninsula but she has also carried out research in the Arctic, tropical Atlantic, north Atlantic and a freshwater lake in southeastern England.

Her most recent research was aimed at assessing the impact of a climate-induced change in phytoplankton community structure on biogenic bromine emissions from coastal waters of the western Antarctic Peninsula.


Senior Lecturer in Environmental Chemistry Department of Environment and Geography, University of York 
Post-doctoral Research Associate  University of East Anglia, Antarctic Funding Initiative 
NERC Science Co-ordinator  The UK Surface Ocean-Lower Atmosphere Study 
PhD, Iodocarbon production in the sea  University of East Anglia 
MSc, Chemical Oceanography  Oceanography Department, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada
Research Associate University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
BSc (Hons) 1st class, Marine Biology  Department of Marine Sciences, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne 



  • Inter-annual variability in the production of ozone-depleting bromocarbon gases in near-shore Antarctic waters
    Joint principal investigator with Peter Liss (University of East Anglia) on this British Antarctic Survey Collaborative Gearing Scheme (CGS) project.
  • The production of ozone-depleting bromocarbons in coastal waters of the western Antarctic Peninsula
    Co-investigator on this NERC Antarctic Funding Initiative (AFI) project. Other investigators include Peter Liss (PI), Gill Malin, Sue Turner and Roland von Glasow (University of East Anglia) and Andy Clarke (British Antarctic Survey)
  • Investigation of the Near-Surface Production of Iodocarbons: Rates and Exchanges (INSPIRE)
    Co-investigator on this NERC UK Surface Ocean-Lower Atmosphere (SOLAS) project. Other investigators include Gill Malin (PI), Peter Liss and Manuela Martino (University of East Anglia) and Phil Nightingale, Steve Archer (Plymouth Marine Laboratory)

External activities


  • 2010-present   Chair of the editorial board for Ocean Challenge the main publication of the Challenger Society for Marine Science
  • 2010-present   Local representative, Challenger Society for Marine Science
  • 2010-present   Council member for the Challenger Society for Marine Science
  • 2011-present   Member of the COST/SOLAS working group on sea-ice biogeochemistry

Prizes and awards

  • 2010     Awarded an honorary fellowship by the Challenger Society for Marine Sciences for her work on halogen biogeochemistry
  • 2008    Norman Heaps award for best oral presentation, Challenger Society for Marine Science conference

Editorial duties

  • Reviewer for Environmental Chemistry, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Journal of Phycology, Marine Chemistry, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Deep-Sea Research, and the Journal of Geophysical Research.

Contact details

Dr Claire Hughes
Director of Learning and Teaching Deputy Head of Department
Department of Environment and Geography
University of York
YO10 5NG

Tel: 01904 324010