Mark Fitzsimons

Academic profile

Professor Mark Fitzsimons

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

The Global Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Mark's work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

Goal 02: SDG 2 - Zero HungerGoal 03: SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-beingGoal 04: SDG 4 - Quality EducationGoal 06: SDG 6 - Clean Water and SanitationGoal 09: SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and InfrastructureGoal 11: SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGoal 13: SDG 13 - Climate ActionGoal 15: SDG 15 - Life on LandGoal 17: SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

About Mark

  • Professor of Environmental Chemistry
  • Lead for Biogeochemistry Research Centre
  • Principal and Co-Investigator on several externally-funded research programmes (see Research Interests)
  • Teaching on BSc (Hons) Chemistry, MChem (Hons) Analytical Chemistry and MSc Environmental Geochemistry

Supervised Research Degrees

2021-2024 Laura Scoble (University of Plymouth)
Project title: Chemotaxonomy of pollen through the application of infrared spectroscopy
With Prof Ralph Fyfe (DoS), Dr Simon Ussher
2016-date Caroline White (University of Plymouth)
Project title: Comparison of natural and anthropogenic sources of atmospheric nitrogen in the coastal zone and the open ocean.
With Dr Simon Ussher (DoS), Dr Tom Bell (PML)
 2022 Preston Akenga (Commonwealth Science Council)
Project title: Soil and wastewater properties influencing antiviral uptake in plants.
With Dr Sean Comber (DoS), Dr Alan Tappin, Professor Anthony Gachanja (Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya)

2019 Simone Bagnis (Astra Zeneca) - PhD
Project title: Understanding the fate of emerging pollutants and developing aquatic risk assessment methodologies for environmental waters where sewage treatment infrastructure is limited or absent.
With Dr Sean Comber (DoS), Dr Alan Tappin, Dr Jason Snape (AZ)
2018 Monica Raccagni (EU-MARES) - MPhil
Project title: Organic nitrogen uptake by marine algae: consequences for marine ecosystem functioning and biodiversity.
With Dr Ian Probert (UPMC,France) Professor Maeve Lohan, Dr Agnese Marchini (Uni Pavia, Italy)
2018 Katherine Lees (Astra Zeneca) - PhD
Project title: Developing soil risk assessments of active pharmaceutical ingredients in regions with highwater reuse.
With Dr Sean Comber (DoS), Dr Alan Tappin, Dr Jason Snape (AZ)
2016 Emma Pidduck (NERC) - PhD
Do suspended sedimentary processes influence fluxes of nitrogen and phosphorus in estuaries?
With Dr Andrew Manning (DoS), Professor Paul Worsfold and Dr Alex Souza (Proudman OceanogrphicLaboratory)
2015 Charlotte Cree (NERC) - PhD
Thesis Title: Climate Distributions of glycine betaine and the methylamines in coastal waters : analytical developments and a seasonal study.
With Dr C. Anthony Lewis, Dr Steve Archer (Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences) and Dr Ruth Airs (PML)
2015 Kate Schofield (ESF-CUC studentship) - PhD
Project Title: The Perfect Soil: an investigation of the chemical characteristics needed for healthy soils at the Eden Project, Cornwall.
With Dr Alan Tappin, Dr Tim Pettitt (Eden Project) and Dr Gavyn Rollinson (Camborne School of Mines)
2007 Clare Redshaw (BBSRC) - PhD
Thesis title: The transport and fate of fluoxetine hydrochoride, diazepam and their human metabolites in sewage sludge-amended soil.
With Professor Steve Rowland (DoS) and Professor Peter Matthews
2007 Mekibib Dawit (Environment Agency) - PhD
Thesis title: The biogeochemical cycling of ammonium and methylamines in inter-tidal sediments.
With Professor Mike Revitt (Middlesex University)
2006 Chris Leakey (NERC) - PhD
Thesis title: Quantifying inhabitation, feeding and connectivity between adjacent estuarine and coastal regions for three commercially important marine fishes.
With Prof Martin Attrill (DoS) and Dr Simon Jennings (CEFAS)
2006 Philippa Curtis-Jackson (NERC) - PhD
Thesis title: Characterisation of algal-derived organic nitrogen.
With Dr Guillame Masse
2004 Anisah Lee Abdullah (Government of Malaysia) - PhD
Thesis title: Modelling of suspended sediment in coastal waters using remote sensing and GIS techniques.
With Professor Brian Shutes (DoS; Middlsex University) and Dr Wan Ruslan (University Sains Malaysia)


Organic Chemistry:
  • Chemistry of carbonyl compounds
  • Ion Rearrangements
Analytical Chemistry: 
  • Gas Chromatography
  • High Performance Liquid Chromatography
  • Mass Spectrometry
Environmental Chemistry:
  • Occurrence and behaviour of pharmaceuticals in soils and aquatic systems