Menu

Search

Rob MacKenzie

Rob MacKenzie

Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Birmingham

Rob MacKenzie was born into a crofting family in central Glasgow. Ultimately central Glasgow proved not to be conducive to crofting and the family returned to the Hebrides, but not before Rob had spent 9 happy years running around Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, which was right next to his family’s tenement flat.
On returning to the Hebrides, Rob never quite lost his soft city ways, but he did at least complement them with plenty of fresh air and open spaces, so that, when looking for something to do with his growing interest in science he opted for Environmental Chemistry at Edinburgh. Edinburgh —Auld Reekie. Whilst at Edinburgh, Rob developed a fascination for experimental poetry of various kinds, and for much of the subsequent two decades he was able to combine his research career with forays into the poetry world, until typing at a computer screen all day finally “did for” his ability to turn a phrase. He was anthologised in Polygon’s 1994 collection of new Scottish poetry, _Dream State_, and his collection, _Off Ardglas_ (Invisible Books, 1997), is still available from all good bookshops that don’t throw out old stock.

A major focus of Rob’s research has been the ozone layer. This work, much of which was carried out whilst Rob was Scientific Coordinator of the Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of Cambridge, used observations to test models of the chemistry and physics of ozone depletion. Along with colleagues in Italy, Russia, and Germany, Rob was a founding member of the team that used a unique research aircraft — a Russian ex-spyplane called the Geophysica — which could carry scientific instruments to 20 km altitude (over 12 miles high). In the ten years from 1997, the Geophysica clocked-up over 500 flight hours, in twelve scientific campaigns across the world, from Arctic Finland to Tierra del Fuego via the Seychelles and Brazil. These were not usually relaxing tours of interesting holiday destinations, but were instead rather frantic attempts to guide a pilot who couldn’t speak much English into invisible clouds of microscopic acid droplets. The attempts at guidance were sometimes successful and led to — amongst many other things — the identification of a hitherto unobserved cloud, the Ultrathin Tropical Tropopause Cloud, which plays a significant role in determining the composition of air entering the ozone layer.

Subsequently Rob has continued trying to beat military hardware into scientific ploughshares, particularly in respect of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones). He led a recent scoping study for the Natural Environment Research Council into the use of drones for Earth and environmental science and is part of the first UK team to make use of the Global Hawk, a very large drone which is the robot equivalent of the Geophysica.

The other key aspect of Rob's research is how atmospheric composition is affected by the underlying land surface, especially the way in which these interactions affect pollution in cities.

A 150-year-old note from Charles Darwin is inspiring a change in the way forests are planted

Nov 06, 2021 08:04 am UTC| Nature

More than 150 years ago Victorian biologist Charles Darwin made a powerful observation: that a mixture of species planted together often grow more strongly than species planted individually. It has taken a century and a...

Using forests to manage carbon: a heated debate

Jul 25, 2017 14:40 pm UTC| Insights & Views Nature

The best way of managing trees and forests for climate change and accounting for contributions of forests and forestry activities in carbon budgets remains hotly contested. Forests can either take up carbon dioxide (CO₂)...

1 

Economy

Customer in Indonesia threatens to sue KFC for deceptive chicken sandwich ad

A KFC store in Indonesia had agreed to settle allegations of deception by a customer through mediation and abide by his four demands, including the company feeding orphanages for a month. The customer Erwin Sandi...

Rice strain developed as oral vaccine against cholera

Researchers primarily from the University of Tokyos Institute of Medical Science (IMSUT) have developed a rice strain packed with a protein that protects against cholera symptoms, including diarrhea. Cholera is mostly...

Burger King Canada expands King lineup of sandwiches with limited-edition Peppercorn King

Burger King Canada expanded its King lineup of sandwiches with the introduction of the Peppercorn King at participating BK locations nationwide for a limited time. The Peppercorn King features a flame-grilled beef...

Adidas partners with Coinbase as it prepares for Metaverse launch

Adidas Oroginal has announced a partnership with Coinbase via Twitter as it teases plans to launch a metaverse. The Nasdaq-listed crypto exchange Coinbase tweeted back with a handshake emoji. Adidas recently...

Politics

Kamala Harris praises guilty verdict in Ahmaud Arbery murder trial

The verdict for the trial on the murder of Ahmaud Arbery was delivered this week as one of the two monitored trials that recently took place. US Vice President Kamala Harris weighed in on the verdict, praising the jury for...

Donald Trump investigation: New York prosecutors to look into 'pattern of fraud' in probe

Among the number of investigations that twice-impeached former President Donald Trump is at the center of is one regarding his business empire. New York prosecutors are reportedly looking into whether the former president...

Joe Biden nominates Shalanda Young for OMB director

There are still spots in US President Joe Bidens administration that have yet to be filled. In his second attempt to fill in a key role in his White House, Biden nominated Shalanda Young to lead the Office of Management...

Nancy Pelosi buying $25 million Florida mansion rumors are false, says real estate agent

Rumors have circulated that US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is set to purchase a $25 million mansion in Florida. A real estate agent debunked the rumors, saying that there is no association between the multimillion-dollar...

Science

7-Eleven to test autonomous outdoor delivery robot in Seoul

7-Eleven will begin test-driving Neubie, an autonomous, short-range delivery robot equipped with a camera-based autonomous driving system at a store in Seouls Seocho district. According to the convenience store chain,...

S. Korean scientist discovers plants absorb microplastics

South Korean Yoon Hak-won found that agricultural crops also absorb microplastics, just like in fishery products, which could be harmful to humans. Yoon, a Korea Institute of Toxicology researcher, found microplastics...

Heinz's Mars-inspired ketchup faces Hunt's Uranus edition

Hunts has come up with its Uranus Ketchup in response to Heinz Ketchup Marz Edition, developed to mimic flavors sourced on Mars. The Heinz Ketchup Marz Edition was made of tomatoes grown under controlled soil,...

Dogecoin-funded space mission to launch in Q1 2022

Elon Musks Dogecoin-funded space mission is set to launch in the first quarter of 2022, making Doge the first crypto and the first meme coin in space. The billionaire had tweeted about the space mission in May,...

More eco-friendly frozen water bottles found better than gel packs for food deliveries

The Korea Federation for Environmental Movement (KFEM) found that frozen water bottles are more than effective enough to replace gel packs, which are difficult to recycle, for fresh food deliveries. KFEMs...

Technology

Huawei Nova 8 SE gets a 4G-only version in China

Earlier this week, there were rumors that Huawei was gearing up to announce an LTE-only version of the Nova 8 SE. And that quickly became a reality. The company reportedly launched the Huawei Nova 8 SE 4G early Friday...

‘Monster Hunter Rise’ PC will be updated with all Switch content at launch

More console-only games are getting their PC ports recently, and Monster Hunter Rise will follow the same fate in a little over a month. Capcom has also given PC gamers more reasons to look forward to the titles port after...

‘Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection’ might launch without a multiplayer mode

One of the biggest announcements Sony made during an event last September was that the beloved Uncharted 4 and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy titles are launching on PC and getting a proper PS5 version. But it now appears that...

Xiaomi 12 is rumored to launch on December 12

Xiaomi is reportedly aiming to be the first smartphone maker to announce its flagship phone powered by the upcoming Snapdragon 8-series SoC. And the company is rumored to launch the Xiaomi 12 series in time for Chinas...

‘Genshin Impact’ version 2.4 could officially introduce the Enkanomiya area

The Genshin Impact 2.3 update had just gone live a few days ago, but leaks are already out about the potential additions coming to the game in version 2.4. Aside from anticipated events and characters, sources have...
  • Market Data
Close

Welcome to EconoTimes

Sign up for daily updates for the most important
stories unfolding in the global economy.