People > Dr Tim Smyth

Dr Tim Smyth

Head of Science - Marine Biogeochemistry and Ocean observations

Contact Details

+44 (0)1752 633100 (switchboard)


Dr Tim Smyth is the Head of Science for Marine Biogeochemistry and Observations at PML. This involves leading a team of around 20 people ranging from PhD students to experienced senior scientists across a range of disciplines from air-sea exchange, nutrient cycling to molecular science within the broad remit of marine biogeochemistry. His brief also includes oversight of the Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT) as well as the Western Channel Observatory (WCO: both NERC National Capability) which he has been leading for the past decade.

Since joining PML in 1997 as a data analyst and algorithm developer for the then newly launched SeaWiFS ocean colour satellite, his research interests have broadly encompassed theoretical and experimental atmospheric and in-water optics. He has a strong interest in developing innovative technologies for automated marine measurements including the WCO buoys, ship emissions and atmospheric aerosols.

He has around 280 days of sea-going experience including being Chief Scientist on two Atlantic Meridional Transect (2014, 2015) expeditions between the UK and Falkland Islands.

He has over eighty peer-reviewed ISI papers.


  • BSc. (Hons) Class I: Physics and Meteorology. University of Reading (1991 – 1994)
  • PhD: “Precipitation measurements in convective storms using multiparameter radar”. University of Reading (1997)



Combining Autonomous observations and Models for Predicting and Understanding Shelf seas

Contact: Professor Icarus Allen

CAMPUS is a three-year project (2018–2021), funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, combining state-of-the-art computer modelling...


Multiscale Observation Networks for Optical monitoring of Coastal waters, Lakes and Estuaries (MONOCLE)

Contact: Stefan Simis

Funded by EU H2020, MONOCLE brings together 12 partners from across Europe to create sustainable in situ observation solutions...

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Other key projects

NERC National Capability:
  • Western Channel Observatory
  • Atlantic Meridional Transect
  • An Alternative Framework to Assess Marine Ecosystem Functioning in Shelf Seas (AlterEco) (NE/P013910/1)
  • Atlantic BiogeoChemical fluxes (ABC) (NE/M005038/1) 
Horizons 2020:
  • AtlantOS
ESA Ocean Colour Climate Change Initiative:
  • Aerosol and SST option

Recent publications

  • Loveday, BR; Smyth, TJ. 2018 A 40-year global data set of visible-channel remote-sensing reflectances and coccolithophore bloom occurrence derived from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer catalogue. Earth System Science Data, 10 (4). 2043-2054. 10.5194/essd-10-2043-2018
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  • Brewin, RJW; Smale, DA ; Moore, PJ; Dall’Olmo, G ; Miller, PI; Taylor, BH; Smyth, TJ; Fishwick, J; Yang, M . 2018 Evaluating Operational AVHRR Sea Surface Temperature Data at the Coastline Using Benthic Temperature Loggers. Remote Sensing, 10 (6), 925. 1-23. 10.3390/rs10060925
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  • Land, PE; Shutler, JD; Smyth, TJ. 2017 Correction of Sensor Saturation Effects in MODIS Oceanic Particulate Inorganic Carbon. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing. 1-9. 10.1109/TGRS.2017.2763456
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  • Cornwell, L; Findlay, HS; Fileman, ES; Smyth, TJ; Hirst, AG; Bruun, JT; McEvoy, AJ; Widdicombe, CE; Castellani, C; Lewis, C; Atkinson, A. 2018 Seasonality of Oithona similis and Calanus helgolandicus reproduction and abundance: contrasting responses to environmental variation at a shelf site. Journal of Plankton Research, 40 (3). 295-310. 10.1093/plankt/fby007
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  • Bruun, JT; Allen, JI; Smyth, TJ. 2017 Heartbeat of the Southern Oscillation explains ENSO climatic resonances. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 122 (8). 6746-6772. 10.1002/2017JC012892
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  • Davies, TW; Smyth, TJ. 2017 Why artificial light at night should be a focus for global change research in the 21st century. Global Change Biology. 10.1111/gcb.13927
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View more publications

Other activities

  • Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society (since 1998)
  • NERC Peer Review College – panel member and reviewer
  • NERC Expert Scientific Moorings Assessment Group
  • National Centre for Atmospheric Science: Atmospheric Measurement Facility Advisory Group
  • UK Integrated Monitoring and Observing Network – Executive
  • National Centre for Ocean Forecasting (now National Partnership for Ocean Prediction) – executive (until 2015)
  • Chair of PML IT Strategy group