Personal profile

Personal profile

Research interests

I have three research interests that are broadly concerned with investigating how light scattering at the molecular level affects modern climate change.

  • Measuring the optical properties of thin coatings on atmospheric aerosol (by neutron scattering and optical trapping), and propagating these effects to a top-of the atmosphere albedo with radiative-transfer calculation.
  • Exploring how atmospheric processing of atmospheric aerosol can affect modern climate change.
  • Quantifying the propagation of solar radiation (sunlight) through and reflection from sea ice and snow packs (by field measurement, computational modelling and simulation in out sea ice tanks). Specifically considering photosynthetic active radiation for algae growth, BRDF and remote sensing and the effect of crude oil on sea cie.

​The work combines polar field measurements, simulation with our sea ice facility, work at national and international facilities, laboratory studies and numerical modelling approaches. The work attempts to quantify the effect of molecular changes on the large scale climate system.


D.Phil, Physical Chemistry - University of Oxford

BA Chemistry - University of Oxford


Martin King completed his undergraduate degree and PhD at the University of Oxford, the latter concerning laboratory studies of the kinetics of the atmospheric nitrate radical with biogenic volatile organic compounds and organic radicals (Supervised by Richard P Wayne).  He then worked as a Frontier research fellow at the International Arctic Research Centre and Geophysical Institute at Alaska Fairbanks, with Bill Simpson building the first cavity ring-down instrument for gas-phase nitrate radical and quantifying how far visible and UV light penetrates Arctic snowpacks. He then worked as a fixed-term lecturer in the department of Chemistry at University of Edinburgh using the ATOFMS aerosol mass-spectrometer and then  lecturer  the chemistry department at King’s College London where he worked on photochemistry in snow and ice, structure-activity relationships for atmospheric reaction based on frontier orbital theory and  started studying the oxidation of thin organic films at the air-water interface.

He moved to the department of Geology and then Earth Sciences at Royal Holloway University of London in 2003.  His continuing research is a combination of laboratory studies: using optical trapping and Mie Spectroscopy of aerosol extracted from the atmosphere to determine the atmospheric lifetime  and optical properties of atmospheric aerosol, the optical properties of artificial sea ice for remote sensing and crude Oil pollution and neutron reflectometry to following the oxidation of thin organic films pertinent to cloud physics, mammal lung lining and cell walls; Antarctic and Arctic fieldwork in polar regions to determine the optical properties of sea-ice and polar snowpack; and calculations of how thin films on atmospheric aerosol change the radiative-transfer of solar radiation through Terrestrial and Martian atmospheres. In brief he uses scattering at the molecular level affects modern climate change. All his work is collaborative with the PhDs, PDRAs, academic colleagues and technical staff he has had the pleasure to work with.

Positions of responsibility

Member of STFC science Board

Member of NERC Peer review college

Member of STFC LSF peer review college

Vice-Dean Research and knowledge exchange for the school of life sciences and environment.

Former chair. Vice chair, Secretary of the RSC Special Interest group on Environmental Chemistry

Former member and chair of the STFC advisory panel on soft matter and life sciences.

Personal profile


Martin King's Research Webpages


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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