Professor Mark Fitzsimons

Professor Mark Fitzsimons

Professor of Environmental Chemistry

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

Professor Mark Fitzsimons can be contacted through arrangement with our Press Office, to speak to the media on these areas of expertise.
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Marine pollution
  • Freshwater pollution
  • Eutrophication
  • Emerging contaminants
  • Nutrients


  • 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


I am a Professor of Environmental Chemistry at the University of Plymouth, where I have worked since 2001. Understanding the reactivity and characterisation of aquatic organic nitrogen (ON; both natural and xenobiotic) have been my research priorities and I have developed methods measure very low concentrations of these molecules in both water and sediments. I lead the Biogeochemistry Research Centreand my interest in nitrogen has spanned the measurement of trace gases in the Southern Ocean, the environmental fate of pharmaceuticalsin water and sediments and investigating the chemistry of artificial soils made from inert waste materials.
Research highlights include demonstrating that the uptake of ON to estuarine suspended particles is biologically- and not chemically-controlled (Tappin et al. 2010), identifying a photochemical-microbial degradation pathway for removal of N-containing benzodiazepines (e.g. valium) from aquatic systems (Tappin et al. 2014), and obtaining the first methylamine data for the Southern Ocean (Dall'Osto et al. 2017). I have supervised 10 PhD and 1 MPhil student to completion and my projects on nutrient cycling have been funded from a variety of sources,including the NERC, the Leverhulme Trust, the Environment Agency and the EU. I am a member of the NERC Peer Review College.
I grew up by the sea in County Down, on the island of Ireland, and loved Chemistry at school; this led me to search for a university degree programme that could combine the two. I graduated in BSc (Hons) in Chemistry with Oceanography from the University of Liverpool, UK, and remained there to continue my PhD research under the supervision of Professor George Wolff(Thesis title:"The Geochemistry of the Methylamines in Recent Marine and Lacustrine Sediments") in the Environmental Organic Chemistry and Geochemistry Group. I then moved to the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom and worked with Professor Paul Dando on a pan-European project studying the biogeochemistry of hydrothermal, geothermal and cold seep ecosystems. In 1995, I joined Middlesex University as a Lecturer in Environmental Chemistry and renewed my interest in the biogeochemistry of organic nitrogen. At Plymouth, in addition to teaching I have acted as Admissions Tutor, Programme Lead for Chemistry, Senior Tutor and Employability Lead.
Career History
2019- Professor of Environmental Chemistry, University of Plymouth
2010- Associate Professor in Organic Geochemistry, University of Plymouth
2006- Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC)
2006- Senior Lecturer in Organic Geochemistry, University of Plymouth.
2001- Lecturer in Organic Geochemistry, Centre for Chemical Sciences, University of Plymouth
1995- Elected to the Royal Society of Chemistry as Member and Chartered Chemist (CChem MRSC)
1995- Lecturer in Environmental Chemistry, Urban Pollution Research Centre, Middlesex University
1993- Higher Scientific Officer, Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom MAST II project: "Oxic-anoxic interfaces as productive sites"
1993- PhD Marine Organic Geochemistry (The Geochemistry of the Methylamines in Recent Marine and Lacustrine Sediments); University of Liverpool
1989- BSc (Hons) Chemistry with Oceanography; University of Liverpool

Professional membership

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC)
  • Chartered Chemist (CChem) 
  • Member of Institute of Soil Science (M. I. Soil Sci.)
  • Member of RSC Environmental Chemistry Group
  • Member of RSC Analytical Division
  • Member of the Estuarine and Coastal Sciences Association.
  • Member of Scottish Association of Marine Science

Roles on external bodies

  • 2009-date Member of NERC Peer Review College
  • 2009-2010 President of European Association of Chemistry and the Environment
  • 2011-2014 Secretary of Estuarine and Coastal Sciences Association (ECSA)
  • 2011-2014 Member of RSC Analytical Division Council
  • 2011-2014 Trustee of Analytical Chemistry Trust Fund


Teaching interests

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

Staff serving as external examiners

PhD: University of Liverpool; University of Essex; UHI Millenium Institute; Dublin City University
MSc: University of Hull
External validation: BSc (Hons) Marine Science, Scottish Association for Marine Science/UHI Millenium Institute; Postgraduate courses in Environmental Science, Environmental Research Institute/UHI Millenium Institute 


Research interests

Research overviewNitrogen is an essential nutrient for plant growth. However, a considerable increase in the industrial production of nitrogen during the 20th century (rising from ~15 Tg* of nitrogen in 1860 to 186 Tg in 2005), and its global use in artificial fertilizers, means that it is now present at excessively high concentrations in many coastal and inland waters. This has led to a host of water quality problems, including excess plant growth, harmful algal blooms and increased water treatment costs.
Although drinking water is a liquid, natural waters are a complex mixture of liquid water, particles and living and dead organisms. These components of water all affect how nitrogen reacts in rivers and estuaries, and how much reaches the open sea. My recent research has looked at how this mixture affects nitrogen concentrations in water, particularly the little understood organic nitrogen fraction. Human inputs are also very important and I am interested in understanding how routine activities such as dredging and sewage effluent discharge influence nitrogen concentrations, as well the predicted changed weather patterns associated with climate change.
My research has focussed on understanding the behaviour ofvolatile, reactive chemical molecules in the environment, particularly thosecontaining nitrogen, and I have secured funding for a diverse portfolio ofresearch. Many of these compounds have been historically difficult to measureand recent method advances I have pioneered have led to collaborations on majorinternational marine research programmes, where volatile nitrogen compounds areof great interest of the oceanographic community (e.g the Antarctic CircumpolarExpedition).
Currently funded research areas are:
  • Marine cycling of volatile amines and their role in climate regulation (NERC)
  • Can organic nitrogen support marine phytoplankton production? (EU)
  • Environmental behaviour of pharmaceuticals in surface water and soils (NERC, Astra Zeneca)
  • Biogeochemistry and sustainability of engineered soils; FABSOIL (EU)
Through this work I hope to contribute to improved management of our aquatic ecosystems. This would include outcomes such as how the organic nitrogen transported by rivers into estuaries actually affects the ecosystem (e.g. does it stay in the estuary and remain unreactive or is it transported into coastal waters where it can stimulate algal blooms?). This data can then be used to improve environmental models that try to simulate how estuarine systems behave in order to provide a scientific understanding for the development of environmental management and policy.
1Tg = 1x109 Kg

Research groups

Other research

Associate Editor for Environmental Chemistry Letters, Organic Geochemistry, Land.Review Editor (Global Change and the Future Ocean) Frontiers in Marine Science
I have reviewed papers for the following journals: 
  • AnalyticaChimica Acta
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • AquaticGeochemistry
  • AquaticMicrobial Ecology
  • Chemosphere 
  • Engineering and Computational Mechanics
  • Environmental Pollution
  • Environmental Science and Pollution Research
  • Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts
  • Environmental Science & Technology
  • Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
  • Frontiers in Marine Science
  • Hydrobiologia
  • Limnology and Oceanography
  • Limnology and Oceanography: Methods
  • Marine Chemistry 
  • Marine Environmental Research
  • Nature Communications
  • Oceanologia 
  • Organic Geochemistry 
  • The Science of the Total Environment

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

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)

Grants & contracts

MAIN AWARDS(excluding studentship awards)
2021-2023 EU INTERREG - €2.2 million (PI)
Reconstructed Soils from Waste (ReCon Soil)
2018-2021 NERC Discovery Science - £121,757 (Co-I)
Is bacterial DMS consumption dependent on methylamines in marine waters?
Dr Joanna Dixon, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth (PI)
2017-2019 EU (ERDF - Agritech) - £210,000 (PI)
FABSOIL: Investigation of the biogeochemical properties of manufactured soils.
2016-2019 NERC International Opportunities Fund - £35,000 (Co-I)
NOSASSO (Nitrogen Osmolytes Across the Surface Southern Ocean: Environmental Drivers and Bioinformatics); Dr Ruth Airs, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth (PI)
2016-2018 Swiss Polar Institute (Antarctic Circumpolar Expedition)- €33,000 (Co-I)
SORPASSO (Surveying Organic Reactive gases and Particles Across the Surface Southern Ocean); Professor Rafel
SimoCSIS, Barcelona, Spain (PI)
2014-2017 EU Doctoral Programme on Marine Ecosystem Health and Conservation –MARES €121,680 (PI)
Organic nitrogen uptake by marine algae: consequences for marine ecosystem functioning and biodiversity; with Dr Ian Probert (Station Biologique de Roscoff, France)
2011-2014 European Social Fund-Combined Universities of Cornwall £60,000 (PI)
The Perfect Soil; with Dr Tim Pettitt (Eden Project) and Dr Gavyn Rollinson (University of Exeter)
2008-2012 Government of Portugal. £70,000 (Co-I)
Nitrogen reduction in marine systems: in-situ study of alternative metabolic pathways linked to Coastal Groundwater Discharge; with Dr Carlos Rocha, Trinity College Dublin,Ireland
2007-2010 NERC £323,452 (PI)
Bacterial Assimilation of Riverine Organic Nitrogen; with Dr AlanTappin (R Co-I), University of Plymouth and Professor Alan McCarthy (Co-I), University of Liverpool.
2003-2006 The Leverhulme Trust £103,184 (PI)
Natural estuarine particles and their uptake of nitrogen in estuaries; with Dr Alan Tappin (R Co-I) and Professor Geoff Millward (Co-I), University of Plymouth


Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Laudone G (2024) 'Biochar improves fertility in waste derived manufactured soils, but not resilience to climate change' Science of the Total Environment , DOI Open access
Scoble L, Ussher SJ, Fitzsimons MF, Ansell L, Craven M & Fyfe RM (2023) 'Optimisation of classification methods to differentiate morphologically-similar pollen grains from FT-IR spectra' Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 321, 105041-105041 , DOI Open access
Fitzsimons MF, Tilley M & Cree CHL (2022) 'The determination of volatile amines in aquatic marine systems: A review' Analytica Chimica Acta 1241, , DOI Open access
Johnson KL, Gray ND, Stone W, Kelly BFJ, Fitzimons M, Clarke C, Blake L, Chivasa S, Mtambanengwe F & Mapfumo P (2022) 'A nation that rebuilds its soils rebuild itself- an engineer's perspective' Soil Security 7, , DOI Open access
White C, Ussher SJ, Fitzsimons MF, Atkinson S, Woodward EMS, Yang M & Bell TG (2021) 'Inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus in Western European aerosol and the significance of dry deposition flux into stratified shelf waters' Atmospheric Environment 261, , DOI Open access
Akenga P, Gachanja A, Fitzsimons MF, Tappin A & Comber S (2020) 'Uptake, accumulation and impact of antiretroviral and antiviral pharmaceutical compounds in lettuce' Science of The Total Environment 766, (0) 144499-144499 , DOI Open access
Fitzsimons MF, Probert I, Gaillard F & Rees AP (2020) 'Dissolved organic phosphorus uptake by marine phytoplankton is enhanced by the presence of dissolved organic nitrogen' Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 530-531, 151434-151434 , DOI Open access
Lees KE, Fitzsimons MF, Snape J, Tappin A & Comber SDW (2020) 'Developing the OECD 106 fate testing protocol for active pharmaceuticals in soil' Environmental Technology 1-11 , DOI Open access
Bagnis S, Boxall A, Gachanja A, Fitzsimons M, Murigi M, Snape J, Tappin A, Wilkinson J & Comber S (2019) 'Characterization of the Nairobi River catchment impact zone and occurrence of pharmaceuticals: implications for an impact zone inclusive environmental risk assessment' Science of The Total Environment 134925-134925 , DOI Open access
Schofield HK, Pettitt TR, Tappin AD, Rollinson GK & Fitzsimons MF (2019) 'Biochar incorporation increased nitrogen and carbon retention in a waste-derived soil' Science of the Total Environment , DOI Open access
Dall’Osto M, Airs RL, Beale R, Cree C, Fitzsimons MF, Beddows D, Harrison RM, Ceburnis D, O’Dowd C & Rinaldi M (2019) 'Simultaneous Detection of Alkylamines in the Surface Ocean and Atmosphere of the Antarctic Sympagic Environment' ACS Earth and Space Chemistry 3, (5) 854-862 , DOI Open access
Fitzsimons MF & Cree C (2019) 'Aliphatic amines at the Cape Verde Atmospheric Observatory: abundance, origins and sea-air fluxes' Atmospheric Environment , DOI Open access
Fitzsimons MF, Cree C, Airs R & Archer S (2018) 'Measurement of methylamines in seawater using solid phase microextraction and gas chromatography' Limnology and Oceanography: Methods 16, (7) , DOI Open access
Lees K, Fitzsimons M, Snape J, Tappin A & Comber S (2018) 'Soil sterilisation methods for use in OECD 106: How effective are they?' Chemosphere 209, 61-67 , DOI Open access
Comber SDW, Bagnis S, Snape J, Fitzsimons M & Tappin A (2018) 'Processes of distribution of pharmaceuticals in surface freshwaters: implications for risk assessment' Environmental Chemistry Letters 16, (4) , DOI Open access
Schofield HK, Tappin A & Fitzsimons MF (2017) 'Does carbon limitation reduce nitrogen retention in soil?' Environmental Chemistry Letters , DOI Open access
Bagnis S, Fitzsimons M, Snape J, Tappin A & Comber S (2017) 'Sorption of active pharmaceutical ingredients in untreated wastewater effluent and effect of dilution in freshwater: Implications for an “impact zone” environmental risk assessment approach' Science of the Total Environment 624, 333-341 , DOI Open access
Dall’Osto M, Ovadnevaite J, Paglione M, Beddows DCS, Ceburnis D, Cree C, Cortés P, Zamanillo M, Nunes SO & Pérez GL (2017) 'Antarctic sea ice region as a source of biogenic organic nitrogen in aerosols' Scientific Reports 7, (1) 0-0 , DOI Open access
Fitzsimons MF, Tappin AD, McCarthy AJ & Loughnane JP (2016) 'Unexpected removal of the most neutral cationic pharmaceutical in river waters' Environmental Chemistry Letters , DOI Open access
Lees K, Fitzsimons M, Snape J, Tappin A & Comber S (2016) 'Pharmaceuticals in soils of lower income countries: Physico-chemical fate and risks from wastewater irrigation' Environment international , DOI Open access
Tappin AD, Loughnane JP, McCarthy AJ & Fitzsimons MF (2016) 'Bacterio-plankton transformation of diazepam and 2-amino-5-chlorobenzophenone in river waters' Environ Sci Process Impacts 16, (10) 2227-2236 Author Site , DOI Open access
Tappin AD, Loughnane JP, McCarthy AJ & Fitzsimons MF (2012) 'Removal of atrazine from river waters by indigenous microorganisms' ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMISTRY LETTERS 10, (1) 89-96 , DOI
Lee Abdullah A, Yasin Z, Shutes BR & Fitzsimons M (2011) 'Sediment fallout rates in Tanjung Rhu coral reefs' Kajian Malaysia 29, (2) 1-30
Ussher SJ, Manning AJ, Tappin AD & Fitzsimons MF (2011) 'Observed dissolved and particulate nitrogen concentrations in a mini flume' HYDROBIOLOGIA 672, (1) 69-77 , DOI
Tappin AD, Millward GE & Fitzsimons MF (2010) 'Particle-water interactions of organic nitrogen in turbid estuaries' MARINE CHEMISTRY 122, (1-4) 28-38 , DOI
Leakey CDB, Attrill MJ & Fitzsimons MF (2009) 'Multi-element otolith chemistry of juvenile sole (<i>Solea solea</i>), whiting (<i>Merlangius merlangus</i>) and European seabass (<i>Dicentrarchus labrax</i>) in the Thames Estuary and adjacent coastal regions' JOURNAL OF SEA RESEARCH 61, (4) 268-274 , DOI
Rees AP, Hope SB, Widdicombe CE, Dixon JL, Woodward EMS & Fitzsimons MF (2009) 'Alkaline phosphatase activity in the western English Channel: Elevations induced by high summertime rainfall' ESTUARINE COASTAL AND SHELF SCIENCE 81, (4) 569-574 , DOI
Curtis-Jackson PK, Masse G, Gledhill M & Fitzsimons MF (2009) 'Characterization of low molecular weight dissolved organic nitrogen by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry' LIMNOLOGY AND OCEANOGRAPHY-METHODS 7, 52-63 , DOI
Worsfold PJ, Monbet P, Tappin AD, Fitzsimons MF, Stiles DA & McKelvie ID (2008) 'Characterisation and quantification of organic phosphorus and organic nitrogen components in aquatic systems: a review' Anal Chim Acta 624, (1) 37-58 Author Site , DOI
Leakey CDB, Attrill MJ, Jennings S & Fitzsimons MF (2008) 'Retrospective quantification of estuarine feeding activity by coastally caught marine fishes' JOURNAL OF SEA RESEARCH 60, (3) 210-214 , DOI
Leakey CDB, Attrill MJ, Jennings S & Fitzsimons MF (2008) 'Stable isotopes in juvenile marine fishes and their invertebrate prey from the Thames Estuary, UK, and adjacent coastal regions' ESTUARINE COASTAL AND SHELF SCIENCE 77, (3) 513-522 , DOI
Tappin AD, Millward GE & Fitzsimons MF (2007) 'Distributions, cycling and recovery of amino acids in estuarine waters and sediments' Environmental Chemistry Letters 5, (3) 161-167
Tappin AD, Fitzsimons MF & Millward GE (2007) 'Natural estuarine particles and their uptake of nitrogen in estuaries' Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 71, (15) A1005-A1005
Tappin AD, Millward GE & Fitzsimons MF (2007) 'The distribution, cycling and recovery of amino acids in estuarine waters and sediments. , ' Environmental Chemistry Letters 5, 161-167
Haley SM, Tappin AD, Bond PR & Fitzsimons MF (2006) 'A comparison of SEM-EDS with ICP-AES for the quantitative elemental determination of estuarine particles' Environmental Chemistry Letters 4, (4) 235-238
Fitzsimons MF, Millward GE, Revitt DM & Dawit MD (2006) 'Desorption kinetics of ammonium and methylamines from estuarine sediments: Consequences for the cycling of nitrogen' Marine Chemistry 101, (1-2) 12-26
Fitzsimons MF & Belt ST (2005) 'Dynamic behaviour of 1-aminopropan-2-one in sewage: a preliminary synthetic and spectroscopic study' Environmental Chemistry Letters 3, (2) 70-73
Fitzsimons MF, Dawit M, Revitt DM & Rocha C (2005) 'Effects of early tidal inundation on the cycling of methylamines in inter-tidal sediments' Marine Ecology-Progress Series 294, 51-61
Dawit M, Williams ID & Fitzsimons MF (2001) 'Determination of 1-aminopropan-2-one, a dissolved sewage component, in water samples' Water Research 35, (5) 1135-1140
Tappin A, Millward GE & Fitzsimons MF (2001) 'Distribution, cycling and recovery of amino acids in estuarine waters and sediments' Environmental Chemistry Letters 5, 161-167
Fitzsimons MF, Kahni-Danon B & Dawitt M (2001) 'Distributions and adsorption of the methylamines in the inter- tidal sediments of an East Anglian Estuary' Environmental and Experimental Botany 46, (3) 225-236
Mattison RG, Abbiati M, Dando PR, Fitzsimons MF, Pratt SM, Southward AJ & Southward EC (1998) 'Chemoautotrophic Microbial Mats in Submarine Caves with Hydrothermal Sulphidic Springs at Cape Palinuro, Italy' Microb Ecol 35, (1) 58-71 Author Site , DOI
Fitzsimons MF, Jemmett AW & Wolff GA (1997) 'A preliminary study of the geochemistry of methylamines in a salt marsh' ORGANIC GEOCHEMISTRY 27, (1-2) 15-24 , DOI
Fitzsimons MF, Dando PR, Hughes JA, Thiermann F, Akoumianaki I & Pratt SM (1997) 'Submarine hydrothermal brine seeps off Milos, Greece: Observations and geochemistry' MARINE CHEMISTRY 57, (3-4) 325-340 , DOI
Fitzsimons MF, Lohan M, Tappin AD & Millward GE (2012) 'Role of Suspended Particles in Estuarine and Coastal Biogeochemistry' in Wolanski E; McLusky D Treatise on Estuarine and Coastal Science Academic Press 71-114
Fitzsimons MF, Lohan MC, Tappin AD & Millward GE (2011) '4.04 The Role of Suspended Particles in Estuarine and Coastal Biogeochemistry' Treatise on Estuarine and Coastal Science Elsevier 71-114 , DOI
Conference Papers
Pidduck EL, Manning AJ, Verney R, Fitzsimons MF, Worsfold PJ & Souza AJ (2010) 'Nutrient Dynamics of the Seine Estuary, France' 14th Biennial Challenger Conference for Marine Science National Oceanography Centre, Southampton 9-/-0/20109-/-0/2010
Fitzsimons M, Henderson G, Bresnan E, Brooke J, Davidson K, Dearnaley M, Ford A, Galloway T, Halsall C & Horton T (2023) Assessment of unusual crustacean mortality in the north-east of England in 2021 and 2022. Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, UK UK Government


Reports & invited lectures

Media appearances

  • Reuters International : Moments of Innovation (February 2019)
  • BBC Spotlight. FABSOIL (January 2019)
  • Pirate FM: Interview on FABSOIL (March 2018)
  • ITV News: Feature on deteriorating bathing water quality in Southwest England (April 2013).
  • BBC (The Politics Show): Feature on the extension of nitrate-vulnerable zones (October 2008).
Recent invited presentations and Plenary Lectures:
  • UK All Party Parliamentary Group for the Polar Regions. Surveying organic reactive gases and particles across the surface Southern Ocean; Royal Society, London, November 2017.
  • International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation Society triennial meeting (IBBS 17). The environmental fate of benzodiazepines; Manchester, September 2017.
  • Genes to Gases Invited Workshop : Climate active methylamines and their nitrogen osmolyte precursors in marine systems; University of East Anglia, Norwich, June 2017.
  • Endeavour Society : Cycling of nitrogen in marine systems; University of Bangor, March 2015.
  • PML Lecture Series : Abundance and speciation of organic nutrients during algal growth cycles; Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth, May 2014

Conferences organised

Goldschmidt 2007 Conference - "atoms to planets", Cologne, Germany, 19-24 August, 2007 Joint Session Convenor for Themed Symposium - Geochemical Impact of Anthropogenic Activities on the Riverine and Coastal Environment
4th European Conference on Environmental Chemistry, Plymouth, 10-13 December, 2003 (Main Organiser)
Invited Speakers: 
Professor Walter Giger 
Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology, Zurich, Switzerland 
"Occurrence and Fate of Antibiotics as Trace Contaminants in Wastewaters, Sewage Sludges and Surface Waters." 
Dr Ron Beckett 
Monash University, 
Clayton, Australia 
"Characterisation of Environmental Particles and Macromolecules by Field-Flow Fractionation."

Other academic activities

Chemistry Tutor for Year 2 undergraduates.
Module leader for Year 2 modules in Professional & Scientific Skills and Organic Chemistry; Year 3 module - Chemistry Research Project & Professional Skills
Research Expertise
Nutrient cycling
Freshwater and marine pollution
Analytical methods for environmental secience
Particle-water interactions

Additional information

Away from my scientific work, I am a very keen sportsman and musician. My preferred sports are soccer (5-a-side) and golf. I have also learned to wakeboard and drive a boat recently; taking the boat out into Plymouth Sound on a sunny summer's evening for a wakeboarding session is hard to beat. I enjoy walking in the beautiful counties of Devon and Cornwall and, in between times, follow Plymouth Albion RFC. My main musical instruments are the piano and violin. My piano playing has been revived after lying dormant for many years (i.e. when I couldn't get near a piano), and I am now taking off in a jazz and blues direction, inspired by Abdullah ibrahim. I play mainly Irish music on the violin, a habit I picked up (like drinking Guinness) in the great city of Liverpool, and I am a big fan of Martin Hayes.