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

McDonald's Canada offers new Bacon' N Crispy Onion Quarter Pounder

McDonalds has begun offering the Bacon N Crispy Onion Quarter Pounder, only in Canada. The sandwich consists of a quarter-pound beef patty, hickory smoked bacon, crispy onions, a grilled onion sauce, cheese, ketchup,...

NBA to broadcast games in India via multiplatform deal with Viacom18

The National Basketball Association (NBA) inked a new multi-year broadcast partnership with Viacom18 to air its games across linear and streaming platforms in India. The Mumbai-based media group will cover the NBAs...

Chipotle Mexican Grill launches exclusive Cilantro Soap

Chipotle Mexican Grill is not just about food, and this was made evident when it announced another new item to its Chipotle Goods line. The latest addition was revealed to have been made after being inspired by a popular...

McDonald's Singapore adds Angus Mushroom Supreme, Sea Salt McFlurry to the menu

McDonalds Singapore just expanded its menu list with the addition of two new items. The restaurant chain was bringing back the Angus Mushroom Supreme burger sandwich and introduced an interesting dessert flavor McDonalds...

Burger King marking Whopper's 64th birthday by offering the iconic burger sandwich at its original price of 37¢

Burger Kings Whopper burger sandwich is turning 64 this year, and to mark the special day, the fast-food chain is offering a hard-to-resist deal to customers. It was announced that BK is throwing a birthday bash by selling...

Politics

Nancy Pelosi condemns Rep. Lauren Boebert's attacks against Rep. Ilhan Omar

The recent Islamophobic attacks that Colorado GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert made against Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar have also led to internal squabbles in the House Republican caucus. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted Boeberts...

Taliban criticizes UN for postponing decision on who would represent Afghanistan

The international community is still reluctant to acknowledge the Talibans government in Afghanistan following the withdrawal in August. The insurgent group recently criticized the United Nations for postponing its...

Melania Trump in talks to write memoir about life in White House

Former first lady Melania Trump has stayed out of the spotlight for much of the year since leaving Washington. The former first lady is also set to write a memoir about her time in the White House. Page Six reports that...

Joe Biden unveils new efforts against COVID-19 in the winter months

With a new variant threatening to spread in the US, President Joe Biden and his administration now brace for a possible new surge of cases, especially in the winter months. Biden is set to announce a new strategy to fight...

Science

New study shows drinking coffee, tea may reduce risk of dementia, stroke

Coffee and tea drinkers had lower risks of dementia and stroke, according to a study published in Plos Medicine in November 2021. This study involved 365,682 participants aged 50 to 74 years from the UK...

Doosan Robotics launches collaborative robot cafe

Doosan Robotics Co. has produced an unmanned modular robot cafe, which refers to a robot that can work with a human. The unmanned modular robot cafe is 1.8 meters wide, 1.59 meters long, and 1.85 meters high. Doosan...

Nissan to roll out unmanned vehicle for traversing the moon's surface

Nissan Motor Co. rolled out on Dec.2 an unmanned rover prototype to operate on the moon using its electric cars all-wheel-control technology to let it operate under harsh conditions. The Japan Aerospace Exploration...

S. Korean researchers find use for apple peel and crab apple as natural pigment

South Koreas Apple Use Research Institute has developed a reddish natural pigment extraction and recycling method using wasted apple peel and crab apples. Apple peel contains the reddish natural pigments called...

Pigeons consider safety, food availability in picking where to perch

Pigeons consider safety and food availability in picking where to perch, according to Keio University professor emeritus of animal behavior, Shigeru Watanabe. The finding could help cities manage pigeon...

Technology

Samsung Galaxy A73 could sport a 108MP main camera and launch in December

Renders allegedly showing the design of the upcoming Galaxy A73 surfaced recently, and it appears that Samsung is not planning a significant redesign. However, several notable changes in the technical specifications were...

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE will cost $699 in the US, report says

With the possibility of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE launching in a month, more details about the anticipated mid-range phone have leaked once again. This time, the devices introductory price in the United States has been...

‘The Matrix Awakens’ movie tie-in could launch on PS5 soon

The highly anticipated sequel film The Matrix Resurrections will premiere in a few weeks, but that may not be the only thing that sci-fi fans should expect. A promotional image for The Matrix Awakens recently leaked, and...

EA eyes building a ‘Battlefield’ universe with interconnected stories and characters

EA announced major changes in some of its studios involved with the development of the Battlefield franchise. Aside from having a new leader in Respawn Entertainment, co-founder Vince Zampella, the company also teased at...
  • Market Data
Close

Welcome to EconoTimes

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