I was born in Wrexham, North Wales and educated at King’s School, Chester and Magdalene College, Cambridge. I’ve been employed by the British Antarctic Survey since 1977 and work in the Meteorological and Ozone Monitoring Unit. In the early 1980s I discovered what is now known as the Antarctic ozone hole. This discovery was published in Nature in 1985. I’ve made 14 trips to the Antarctic, visiting all the British bases. I’m responsible for running the operational side of the BAS meteorological observing program. This work includes purchasing, testing and installing new equipment, writing computer software, recruiting Antarctic scientists, training staff, analysing data, solving problems, writing papers and giving public lectures. I am also a Union Safety Representive and as such am vice-chair of the NERC H&S Committee.
I received a Blue Peter Badge for the ozone hole discovery. Recent awards include the Society of Chemical Industry Environment Medal and the Institute of Physics Charles Chree Medal and Prize.
My interests include:
Astronomy – I carry out a lot of amateur observing, particularly of solar system bodies and variable stars. I’m the Director of the British Astronomical Association and Society for Popular Astronomy comet sections and have been a committee member of the Cambridge University Astronomical Society since 1974. I was elected to the Council of the Royal Astronomical Society in May 2003. I carry out some research on comets and asteroids at the Cambridge University Observatories and give public lectures to astronomical societies. I have discovered seven comets on the SOHO LASCO coronagraphs.
Bell-ringing – I’m the Tower Captain at St Benet’s church in Cambridge and Steeple-Keeper at St Andrew’s, Chesterton.
Cricket – I am the treasurer/webmaster of the BAS cricket club.
Ice Hockey – I am a player and coach with the Cambridge University Ice Hockey Club, and played in the Varsity match against Oxford 1989/90 (forward), 92/93 and 93/94 (net-minder), winning man of the match for Cambridge in 1993. I am a licensed British Ice Hockey Association referee. I also play roller hockey.
Nature conservation – I was President of the Cambridge Natural History Society for 1999 – 2001 and am now vice-President. I co-organised the 2001 Conversazione or annual exhibition.