School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Guenther Uher




I am a marine biogeochemist with wider interests in the cycling of climatically active trace gases, organic matter geochemistry and aquatic photochemical processes. My research work in marine biogeochemistry started with studies of marine sulphur gas cycling at the Max Planck Inst for Chemistry. In Newcastle, I expanded my work into areas of dissolved organic matter cycling and marine photochemistry, largely with funding from NERC, and also developed interests in greenhouse gas cycling and nitrogen biogeochemistry. I  have served on the NERC Peer Review College 2008-2012 and on the Editorial Board of Marine Science since 2011.

Roles and Responsibilities

Lecturer in Marine Biogeochemistry


PhD Marine Biogeochemistry, Gutenberg Univ. & Max Planck Inst for Chemistry, Mainz, DE, 1994
Dipl. Chem. Physical & Aquatic Chemistry, Univ. Karlsruhe, DE, 1988

Certificate for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (CLTHE), Newcastle University, 2002 

Previous Positions

since 2001 Teaching and Research Officer (MAST)
1998-2001 Senior Research Associate (MAST)
1996-1998 Postdoctoral Research Associate (MAST)
1994-1996 Postdoctoral Research Associate (Max Planck Inst f Chemistry)
1990-1994 Research Associate (Max Planck Institute for Chemistry)


American Geophysical Union, Life Member
European Geophysical Union
Challenger Society for Marine Science, UK
International Humic Substances Society
Fellow of The Higher Education Academy


Research Interests

Google Scholar Profile

Marine Biogeochemistry, Marine Trace Gas Emissions, Organic Matter Cycling, Aquatic Photochemistry

My research in Marine Biogeochemistry centres on issues of Global Change and its interactions with the coastal and open ocean. Research activities include:

- biogeochemical cycling of marine sulphur gases such as dimethyl sulphide and carbonyl sulphide
- coastal greenhouse gas emissions
- role of dissolved organic carbon inputs and transformations in the global carbon cycle
- photochemical production of carbon, nitrogen and sulphur species
- characterisation and photochemical degradation of dissolved organic matter
- impact of dissolved organic nitrogen transformations on the marine nutrient budget

Further information about the Oceans and Climate Research Group

Current Work

Recent and ongoing projects:

Marine Surfactant photodegradation (PhD studentship: Philippa Rickard, start date 10/2014)

Basin wide distribution and spectral properties of coloured dissolved organic matter absorbance (MaST funded, since 2013)

The Atlantic Meridional Transect programme: sub-projects nitrous oxide cycling & coloured dissolved organic matter photochemistry (NERC consortium award, £48k, 2001-2006)

Nitrification, denitrification and nitrous oxide in Indian mangrove ecosystems, (NERC, £ 275k, 2002-2005)

The contribution of atmospheric methane from coastal marine sources, (NERC, £ 348k, 2002-2005)

Origins, transformations, and biological uptake of organic nitrogen in river-sea systems (NERC-GANE; Newcastle: £36k, Edinburgh: £125k, 2001-2004)

Ammonium photoproduction in oligotrophic seas (NERC, £15k, 2002–2003)
hosted by the EU CYCLOPS programme

The impact of dissolved organic matter photochemistry on the marine nitrogen cycle (NERC-GANE, £142k, 1999-2002)

Photobleaching rates of chromophoric dissolved organic matter (UNESCO Keizo Obuchi fellowship to Dr. Shalini Akella, 2004)

Postgraduate Supervision

Current PhD projects
- Philippa Rickard (started 10/2014) Marine surfactant photodegradation

Completed PhD supervisions:
- Paul Mann (2010) Ammonium photoproduction and CDOM biogeochemistry
- Clare Swift (2009) Environmental impact of seawater scrubbing
- Anastasios Anestis (2008) Estuarine nitrogen cycling
- Louise Tizzard (2008) Coastal methane from geological sources
- Emma Suddick (2007) UHI / Aberdeen University,
Ammonium photoproduction in peatland ecosystems
(co-supervised with Stuart Gibb, ERI, Thurso, UHI)
- Julian Pillans (2006) Dimethyl sulphide photo-oxidation
- Grant Forster (2006) Methane & nitrous oxide
- Robert Spencer (2005) Biogeochemistry of dissolved organic matter and inorganic nitrogen in two N.E. UK estuaries
- Vas Kitidis (2002) CDOM dynamics and photoammonification in the marine environment
- Aron P. Stubbins (2001) Aspects of aquatic CO photoproduction from CDOM

Esteem Indicators

Editorial Board member, Marine Science, Scientific & Academic Publishing since 2011.

Member of the NERC Peer Review College 2008-2012.

Invited member of the EU network COST (European Cooperation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research), Action 735, "Tools for Assessing Global Air–Sea Fluxes of Climate and Air Pollution Relevant Gases", 2006-2011.

Marine Sciences Core Member of the NERC Network on Fluorescence for the Water Sciences, lead by A. Baker & J. Lead (U. Birmingham) 2006-9.

EGU General Assemblies 2006-2009: Session Convener "Biogeochemistry of dissolved organic matter".
For the latest session programme please see EGU 2009 session BG 1.5.

Invited member of the CARBOEUROPE-GHG initiative on greenhouse gas emissions from the European Coastal Zone (2002-5). 

Host to MARE Science Prize winner Dr. Hermann W. Bange 1999, Geomar, Kiel, Germany. Project results published in Chemosphere, 58(2), 177-183, 2005.


Undergraduate Teaching

MST1203 The Marine Environment, Module Leader
MST1207 Introductory Oceanography, Module Leader
MST1204 Academic and Professional Skills for the Biosciences
MST1205 Marine Practical Skills 1
MST2103 Marine Processes and Cycles, Module Leader
MST2104 Marine Research and Employability Skills
MST2105 Marine Practical Skills, Module Leader
MST3103 Advanced Oceanography
MST3104 Research Project: Marine Biology, Module Leader
MST3105 Research Project: Marine Zoology, Module Leader
MST3106 Research Project: Marine Biology and Oceanography, Module Leader
MST3107 Research Project: Overseas