Dr Anthony Lewis

Dr Anthony Lewis

Teaching and Support Assistant

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)




I obtained my Ph.D. in organic geochemistry from the University of Bristol in 1985, having worked in the Organic Geochemistry Unit under the direction of Professor J.R. Maxwell. In January 1986, I moved to the School of Geology & Geophysics, University of Oklahoma to work with Professor R.P. Philp on the petroleum geochemistry of the Anadarko Basin. In April 1988, I moved on to the School of Applied Chemistry, Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Western Australia. While there, I worked with Professor R. Alexander and Professor R.I. Kagi (Centre for Petroleum and Environmental Organic Geochemistry) on the alkylbiphenyl geochemistry of the Canning Basin and the analysis of halocarbon contamination in the potable water supplies of Perth. In December 1989 I returned to the U.K. and, in February 1990, I was offered a BP EMRA by Professor S.J. Rowland in the Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth. We applied a mass balance approach to the early diagenesis of organic matter in offshore Peru sediments and observed the formation of a fraction we called "uncharacterised" on a short time-scale. After completing the EMRA, I stayed in Plymouth and accepted the post of Scientific Officer in the Petroleum & Environmental Geochemistry Group (PEGG). In the summer of 2000, I was offered and accepted a Senior Lectureship in the School of Environmental Sciences, now the School of Geography, Earth, and Environmental Sciences.

Professional membership

I am a member ot the Royal Society of Chemistry, The Geochemical Society and the European Association of Organic Geochemists. Between September 2001 and September 2009 I was on the board of the EAOG as the Membership and Website Officer.



Teaching interests

From January 2004 to August 2007 and September 2016 to August 2018 I was Programme Manager of the Chemistry Programme. I have been Stage 3/4 Tutor and Module Leader of Stage 1 modules, Stage 2 modules and the final year Project module of the Chemistry Programme and also Module Leader of the final year Project module of the Environmental Science Programme. Currently, I am invloved in delivering organic chemistry in Stages 1 and 2 and computer skills in Stage 1 of the Chemistry Programme.



Research interests

  • Environmental organic and petroleum geochemistry.
  • Application of GC and GC-MS, in conjunction with the biological marker concept, to problem solving in a wider context.
  • Graph theoretical calculations and their application to geochemically interesting compounds.
  • Computer applications in organic geochemistry.

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

Robson, W.J. (2018) The Separation of the Polar Constituents of Petroleum. Ph.D.
With Professor S.J. Rowland (Director of Studies)

Wilde, M.J. (2016) On the bicyclic acids of petroleum. Ph.D.
With Professor S.J. Rowland (Director of Studies)

Cree, C.H.L. (2014) Distributions of glycine betaine and the methylamines in coastal waters: Analytical developments and a seasonal study. Ph.D.
With Dr Mark Fitzsimons (Director of Studies)

Jones, D. (2013) Synthesis, fractionation, characterisation and toxicity of naphthenic acids from complex mixtures. Ph.D.
With Professor S.J. Rowland (Director of Studies)

West, C.E. (2007) The photodegradation of diazepam and its human metabolites in water. Ph.D.
With Professor S.J. Rowland (Director of Studies)

Smith, B.E. (2006) Naphthenic acids: Synthesis, characterisation and factors influencing environmental fate. Ph.D.
With Professor S.J. Rowland (Director of Studies)

Booth, A.M. (2004) Biodegradation, water solubility and characterisation studies of unresolved complex mixtures (UCMs) of aromatic hydrocarbons. Ph.D.
With Professor S.J. Rowland

Sutton, P.A. (2000) The quantitative isolation of 'insoluble organic matter' (IOM) from sediments and bacteria, and its attempted dissolution using the ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride-aluminium (III) chloride
With Professor S.J. Rowland (Director of Studies)

Sturt, H.F. (2000) Molecular characterisation of fluidised catalytic cracker feedstocks using ruthenium tetroxide oxidation: A study of model hydrocarbons
With Professor S.J. Rowland (Director of Studies)




Scarlett, A.G., Clough, R., West, C.E., Lewis, C.A., Booth, A.M. and Rowland, S.J. (2011) Alkylnaphthalenes: Priority pollutants or minor contributors to the poor health of marine mussels? Environmental Science & Technology 45, 6160-6166. [doi: 10.1021/es201234a].

Booth, A.M., Scarlett, A.G., Lewis, C.A., Belt, S.T. and Rowland, S.J. (2008) Unresolved complex mixtures (UCMs) of aromatic hydrocarbons: Branched alkyl indanes and branched alkyl tetralins are present in UCMs and accumulated by and toxic to, the mussel Mytilus edulis. Environmental Science & Technology 42, 8122-8126. [doi: 10.1021/es801601x].

Smith, B.E., Lewis, C.A., Belt, S.T., Whitby, C. and Rowland, S.J. (2008) Effects of alkyl chain branching on the biotransformation of naphthenic acids. Environmental Science & Technology 42, 9323-9328. [doi: 10.1021/es801922p].

Booth, A.M., Aitken, C., Jones, D.M., Lewis, C.A. and Rowland, S.J. (2007) Resistance of toxic alkylcyclohexyltetralins to biodegradation by aerobic bacteria. Organic Geochemistry 38, 540-550. [doi: ].

Booth, A., Sutton, P.A., Lewis, C.A., Lewis, A.C., Scarlett, A., Wing Chau, Widdows, J. and Rowland, S.J. (2007) Unresolved complex mixtures of aromatic hydrocarbons: Thousands of overlooked persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic contaminants in mussels. Environmental Science and Technology 41, 457-464. [doi: 10.1021/es0615829].

Smith, B.E., Sutton, P.A., Lewis, C.A., Dunsmore, B., Fowler, G., Krane, J., Lutnaes, B.F., Brandal, Ø., Sjöblom, J. and Rowland, S.J. (2007) Analysis of 'ARN' naphthenic acids by high temperature gas chromatography and high performance liquid chromatography. Journal of Separation Science 30, 375-380. [doi: 10.1002/jssc.200600266].

Sutton, P.A., Lewis, C.A. and Rowland S.J. (2005) Isolation of individual hydrocarbons from the unresolved complex hydrocarbon mixture of a biodegraded crude oil using preparative capillary gas chromatography. Organic Geochemistry 36, 963-970. [doi: 10.1016/j.orggeochem.2004.11.007].

Massé, G., Belt, S.T., Allard, W.G., Lewis, C.A., Wakeham, S.G. and Rowland, S.J. (2004) Occurrence of novel monocyclic alkenes from diatoms in marine sedimenting particles and sediments. Organic Geochemistry 35, 813-822.

Johns, L., Belt, S.T., Lewis, C.A., Rowland, S.J., Massé, G., Robert J.-M. and König W.A. (2000) Configurations of polyunsaturated sesterterpenoids from the diatom, Haslea ostrearia. Phytochemistry 53, 607-611.

Rowland, S.J., Belt, S.T., Johns, L., Wraige, E.J., Lewis, C.A., Robert, J.-M. Massé, G., König, W., Frampton, D., Blackburn, S., Revill, A.T. and Volkman, J.K. (1999) Controls on the sedimentary distributions of the highly branched isoprenoid lipids of diatomaceous algae. 19th International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry, Istanbul, Turkey, 6-10 September 1999, Abstracts Part 1, 04B, Tubitak Marmara Research Center, 17-18.

Johns, L., Wraige, E.J., Belt, S.T., Lewis, C.A., Massé, G., Robert, J.-M. and Rowland, S.J. (1999) Identification of a C25 highly branched isoprenoid (HBI) diene in Antarctic sediments, Antarctic sea-ice diatoms and cultured diatoms. Org. Geochem. 30, 1471-1475.

Sutton, P.A., Lewis, C.A., Patell, Y., Seddon, K.R. and Rowland, S.J. (1998) Attempted dissolution of 'insoluble organic matter' from Methanococcus jannaschii and Rostherne Mere (UK) sediment with 1-ethyl-3-methyl imidazolium chloride/aluminium (III) chloride. Ancient Biomolecules 2, 195-207.

Heath, D.J., Lewis, C.A. and Rowland, S.J. (1997) The use of high temperature gas chromatography to study the biodegradation of high molecular weight hydrocarbons. Org. Geochem. 26, 769-785.

Lewis, C.A. (1997) Analytical techniques in organic geochemistry. In: Modern Analytical Geochemistry (Edited by Gill, R), pp. 243-272, Addison Wesley Longman Limited, Harlow, U.K.

Wraige, E.J., Belt, S.T., Lewis, C.A., Cooke, D.A., Robert, J.-M., Massé, G. and Rowland, S.J. (1997) Variations in structures and distributions of C25 highly branched isoprenoid (HBI) alkenes in cultures of the diatom, Haslea ostrearia (Simonsen). Org. Geochem. 27, 497-505.