Dr Antony Birchill

Dr Antony Birchill

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

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



2019-present- Post doctoral research fellow 'marine trace metals' at the University of Plymouth

2017-2019- Research engineer in Ocean Technology and Engineering group, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.


2009-2013- MSci in Oceanography from the University of Southampton

2013-2017- PhD in Environmental Sciences from the University of Plymouth

Professional membership

Royal Society of Chemistry



Teaching interests

2021-present. Associate lecturer on chemistry undergraduate program (CHM 1013, CHM 1016).

2016-present. Research project supervisor for bachelors, masters and MRes students. I have supervised students from the following disciplines: Chemistry, Environmental Science, Electrical Engineering and Environmental Geochemistry.



Research interests

I am research fellow working on the 'Carbon Uptake and Seasonal Traits in Antarctic Remineralisation Depth' (https://roses.ac.uk/) programme. I am a marine biogeochemist with an interest in marine trace metal cycling, developing and applying novel microfluidic analytical techniques and quantifying measurement uncertainties. I have worked on the Shelf Sea Biogeochemisty (https://www.uk-ssb.org/), AlterEco (http://altereco.ac.uk/), Atlantos (https://www.atlantos-h2020.eu/) and Roses (https://roses.ac.uk/) research programmes. In doing so I conducted research into the Celtic Sea, Hebridean Sea, North Sea and South East Pacific Ocean using both traditional and novel analytical approaches.

Grants & contracts

2020 ‘Determining soil pH using a novel graphene based sensor: a proof of concept study’. Seale-Hayne Educational Trust. £9905.

2020  Alan Tetlow Bursary for attendance at Center for Ecology and Hydrology course 'Field Electronics and Sensors’. Royal Society of Chemistry. £770.




Birchill, A.J., A.D. Beaton, R. Pascal, A. Schaap, M. Mowlem, T. Hull, J. Kaiser, Y. Voynova, C. Williams, M.Palmer (2021). Exploring ocean biogeochemistry using a Lab-on-Chip phosphate analyser on an underwater glider. Frontiers in Marine Science: Ocean Observations. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2021.698102

Hubot, N., S. Giering, J. Füssel, J. Robidart, A.J. Birchill, M. Stinchcombe, C. Dumousseaud, C. Lucas (2021). Evidence of nitrification associated with globally distributed pelagic jellyfish. Limnology and Oceanography.  https://doi.org/10.1002/lno.11736

Schmidt, K., A.J. Birchill, G.A. Tarran, R.J.W. Brewin, W. Padro, E.M.S. Woodward, T.J. Smyth, J. Clark, C.E. Widdicombe, A.E. Hickman, D.G. Johns, A. Milne, S.J. Ussher, L. Polimene, M.C. Lohan, A. Atkinson. (2020). Picocyanobacteria win under increasing iron-nitrogen starvation of temperate shelf waters. Global Change Biologyhttps://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15161

Birchill A.J., G. Clinton-Bailey, R. Hanz, E. Mawji, T. Cariou, C. White, S.J. Ussher, P.J. Worsfold, E. P. Achterberg, M. Mowlem (2019). Realistic measurement uncertainties for marine macronutrient measurements conducted using gas segmented flow and Lab-on-Chip techniques. Talanta. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.talanta.2019.03.032

Birchill, A. J., N. Hartner, K. Kunde, D. Gonzalez-Santana, B. Siemering, A. Milne, S. C. Painter, C. J. Daniels, S. Ussher, P. J. Worsfold, M. C. Lohan (2019). The eastern extent of seasonal iron limitation in the high latitude North Atlantic. Nature Scientific Reports. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-37436-3 

Worsfold, P.J., E.A. Achterberg, A.J. Birchill, R. Clough, I. Leito, M.C. Lohan, A. Milne, S.J. Ussher (2019). Estimating uncertainties in oceanographic methods. Frontiers in Marine Biogeochemistryhttps://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2018.00515

Rusiecka, D., M. Gledhill, A. Milne, E. P. Achterberg, A. L. Annett, S. Atkinson, A.J. Birchill, J. Karstensen, M.C. Lohan, C. Mariez, R. Middag, J. M. Rolinson, T. Tanhua, S.J. Ussher, D. Connelly (2018). Long range transport and sediment release of Pb in the North East Atlantic. Geophysical Research Lettershttps://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL076825

Birchill, A. J., A. Milne, E. M. S. Woodward, A. L. Annett, W. Giebert, S. Ussher, P. J. Worsfold, D. Rusiecka, E. P. Achterberg, C. Harris, M. Gledhill, M. C. Lohan (2017). Seasonal iron depletion in temperate shelf seas. Geophysical Research Lettershttps://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL073881

Klar, J., W. B. Homoky, P. J. Statham, A. J. Birchill, E. Harris, E. M. S. Woodward, B. Silburn, M. Cooper, R. H. James, D. P. Connelly (2017). Stability of dissolved and soluble Fe (II) in shelf sediment pore waters and release to an oxic water column. Biogeochemistryhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s10533-017-0309-x

Hopwood, M. J., A. J. Birchill, M. Gledhill, A. Milne, E. P. Achterberg (2017). A 4 method comparison for the measurement of Fe(II) at nanomolar concentrations in coastal seawater. Frontiers in Marine Biogeochemistryhttps://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2017.00192

Other Publications

Published Datasets

Birchill A.J., A.D. Beaton, R.W. Pascal, T. Hull, J. Kaiser (2021). An Alternative Framework to Assess Marine Ecosystem Functioning in Shelf Seas (AlterEco) post-recovery Seaglider Lab-on-a-chip (LoC) nitrate + nitrite (NOx) data between November 2017 and April 2019 in the North Sea. British Oceanographic Data Centre, National Oceanography Centre, NERC, UK. doi:10/f6dg.

Birchill A.J., A.D. Beaton, R.W. Pascal, T. Hull, J. Kaiser (2021). An Alternative Framework to Assess Marine Ecosystem Functioning in Shelf Seas (AlterEco) post-recovery Seaglider Lab-on-a-chip (LoC) phosphate data between August and September 2018 in the North Sea. British Oceanographic Data Centre, National Oceanography Centre, NERC, UK. doi:10/f984.



Reports & invited lectures

2018- Seasonal iron depletion in a temperate shelf sea. Marine Biogeochemistry Division seminar series, Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research (GEOMAR), Kiel.

2017- The Hebridean shelf as the eastern extent of sub-Arctic Atlantic seasonal iron limitation. Advances in Marine Biogeochemistry, Challenger Society meeting, Scottish Association of Marine Science.

Conferences organised

2019- Session at Goldschmidt 2019 meeting, Barcelona, ‘Development and Application of Emerging Autonomous Technology for Biogeochemical Measurements of Aquatic Environments’.