Plants & Pollution 

Prof Rob MacKenzie is Professior of Atmopsheric Science and Director of BIFoR. He is academic lead for BIFoR FACE and key to the Green Infrastructure research team and also supervises a number of students looking at plant atmopsheric interactions. 

Dr Christian Pfrang is part of another ‘free air experiment’ in the UK, a Free Air Diesel and Ozone Enrichment facility (FADOE).  The experiment aims to understand the real world effects of air pollutants like ground level ozone and diesel exhaust. The 8 metre diameter rings allow the team led by Dr Neil Mullinger (CEH) to control the levels of ozone, diesel or both within each ring, this allows the team the opportunity to test how varying levels of these pollutants might effect the pollination success rates of the plants inside each ring. To put this simply, do bees visit the plants in the polluted rings less frequently than those with no pollution? Dr Pfrang is also part of the DOMINO project, led by Dr Robbie Girling at the University of Reading. The project aims to investigate the mechanisms by which air pollution can disrupt vital airborne chemical signals that insects such as bees and moths use for critical processes, such as mating or finding a flower, and will evaluate the ecological consequences of this phenomenon. 

Prof Francis Pope is an environmental scientist with wide ranging interests in the atmospheric sciences, human health and sustainable cities. He trained as a physical chemist and he uses this fundamental knowledge to develop novel instrumentation and probe systems of interest. Francis has active research projects in the broad areas of air pollution, climate change, fundamental aerosol chemistry and microphysics, and city resilience. He leads the ‘A Systems Approach to Air Pollution (ASAP) East Africa’ 

Doctoral Research

Laura James is a PhD student supervised by Christian Pfrang, her research title is ‘Talking’ trees; the impacts of ozone and elevated COon chemical communication networks. Laura undertakes part of her research at the BIFoR FACE facility. 

Edward Bannister is PhD student supervised by Rob MacKenzie, his research looks at windflow around a forest. Ed undertakes part of his research at the BIFoR FACE facility, making use of the four meteorological towers and flux tower. 

Sophie Mills is a PhD student supervised by Rob MacKenzie and Francis Pope. Her research title is "The effect of elevated COon primary biological aerosol (bioaerosol) production, in particular pollen and fungal spores, in woodlands'. Sophie undertakes her research at the BIFoR FACE facility.

Dr Alfred Bockarie graduates in 2021. His PhD study examined the air pollution emissions from charcoal production and use. He was supervised by Dr Eloïse Marais (Leicester), Prof. Rob MacKenzie and Prof. Roy Harrison.  Read more about Dr Bockarie's research in his article "Air Pollution and Climate Forcing of the Charcoal Industry in Africa"

Laura James talks about her research .

Recent Publications

Abdulrasheed, M. MacKenzie, A.R. Whyatt, J.D Chapman, L. (2020) Allometric scaling of thermal infrared emitted from UK cities and its relation to urban form, City and Environment Interactions, Vol(5)

Bannister, E.J., Cai, X., Zhong, J. and Mackenzie, A.R. (2021). 'Neighbourhood-Scale Flow Regimes and Pollution Transport in Cities', Boundary-Layer Meteorology, vol. 179, no. 2, pp. 259-289. 

Gubb, C, Blanusa, T, Griffiths, A & Pfrang, C. (2019) Interaction between plant species & substrate type in the removal of CO2 indoors', Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health, 12, 10, pp.1197-1206. 

James, M. W. R., Ben, L., Neil, J. M., Lisa, M. B., Eiko, N., Christian, P., & Robbie, D. G. (2022). Anthropogenic air pollutants reduce insect-mediated pollination services. Environmental Pollution, 297, 118847. doi:

Rap, A., et al (2019) Enhanced global primary production by biogenic aerosol via diffuse radiation fertilization. Nature Geoscience 11(9), 640-644. 

Reid, J., et al(2018) The viscosity of organic particles in the atmosphere. Nature Communications 9(1), 956