World authority on pollution retires

Professor David Fowler CBE
Professor David Fowler CBE
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AN Edinburgh-based world authority on air pollution has retired after a career spanning 42 years.

Professor David Fowler CBE – a world expert who led research on air pollution issues including acid rain, ground level ozone and sources of greenhouse gases – has retired at the UK’s Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.

Professor Fowler, who was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1999 and a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 2002, saw his research into atmospheric pollution published in more than 250 peer reviewed papers.

He became a Professor of Environmental Science at Nottingham University in 1991 with special research interests in land-atmosphere exchange of trace gases and aerosols, ground level ozone, and long-range deposition and effects of pollutants in Europe.

His advancement in understanding of the global biogeochemical cycles for Nitrogen, Carbon and Sulphur was recognised in 2005 when he was awarded the CBE for his research into atmospheric pollution.

In 2013, Professor Fowler was also recognised by the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) when he was awarded the highest level of Individual Merit Promotion given to scientists working for the organisation.

Professor Mark Bailey, Director of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in Lancaster, said, “I wish David all the best for all the plans he has for his retirement. His contribution to CEH, NERC and the international science base is exceptional and too large to articulate in these few words of thanks.

“We worked closely together from about 2003 when we became Directors and members of the CEH Executive board. David brought balance and rigour to the many discussions. Decisive and always insightful, but matched with a great sense of humour and a highly competitive nature!

“His argument was always based on sound logic and the simple objective of scientific excellence. What other objective is there? He is an exceptional scientist and a highly valued colleague.

“It has been a pleasure to have worked with David and we will miss regular contact with him.”

A substantial part of Professor Fowler’s research was devoted to bringing together the process research and monitoring data for policy makers at the UK Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as well as the European Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

He has also supervised 25 PhD students working to gain their qualifications in the field of environmental physics.

Professor Fowler, who is also a CEH Fellow, has held various appointments as a committee chairman including Chair of The Royal Society Global Environmental Research Committee.