People > Dr Frances Hopkins

Dr Frances Hopkins

Marine Biogeochemist

Contact Details

+44 (0)1752 633100 (switchboard)


Dr Frances E Hopkins is a marine biogeochemist at PML working on the production and cycling of climatically- and atmospherically-important marine trace gases. After obtaining a First Class degree in marine biology and oceanography from Bangor University, she carried out her PhD research under the supervision of Prof. Peter Liss at the University of East Anglia. Her PhD project investigated the effects of ocean acidification (OA) on a range of key trace gases, including halocarbons and dimethyl sulfide (DMS). Frances joined PML in 2009, enabling her to continue this research through involvement in both the European Project on Ocean Acidification (EPOCA) and the UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme (UKOA).

Her research has involved regular sea-going and land-based expeditions, in locations including Norway, Italy, the eastern Atlantic, Svalbard, the NW European shelf, the Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean. Frances has a wide range of experience in analytical techniques for marine trace gas analysis, including gas chromatography with mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and flame photometric detection (GC-FPD), proton transfer reaction - mass spectrometry (PTR MS), atmospheric pressure ionization - chemical ionization mass spectrometry (API CIMS).

Her recent and ongoing research includes two NERC funded projects (“Microbial degradation of DMSO in seawater” and “A multidisciplinary study of DMSP production and lysis - from enzymes to organisms to process modelling”), and two PML Research Programme projects, one investigating the role of ozone in the production of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at the sea surface, and the other examining the controls on DMS production by tropical corals.

Frances has been actively involved in the establishment of the Penlee Point Atmospheric Observatory, a project which represents an expansion of the Western Channel Observatory. A range of meteorological and analytical instruments have been installed and continuously monitor a range of important compounds in the marine atmosphere.


Bacterial DMS

Is bacterial DMS consumption dependent on methylamines in marine waters?

Contact: Dr Joanna L Dixon

Dimethylsulfide (DMS) is a key ingredient in the cocktail of gases that makes up the 'smell of the sea'. Around 300 million tons of DMS are...

A multidisciplinary study of DMSP production and lysis

A multidisciplinary study of DMSP production and lysis - from enzymes to organisms to process modelling

Contact: Dr Ruth Airs

A billion tonnes of the dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) is made each year by marine phytoplankton, seaweeds, corals, coastal plants and marine...

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Other key projects

ACSIS: The North Atlantic Climate System Integrated Study

PML Research Programme: Speciation of volatile organic carbon (VOC) in surface waters and products from reactions with atmospheric ozone.

PML Research Programme: Do coral reef organisms respond to short-term sub-lethal stress events by increasing the production of antioxidant reduced sulphur compounds?

Recent publications

  • Hopkins, FE; Stephens, JA; Richier, S; Moore, CM; Cripps, G; Nightingale, PD; Archer, SD. 2018 Dimethylsulfide (DMS) production in polar oceans is resilient to ocean acidification. Biogeosciences Discussions. (In Press)
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  • Endres, S; Maes, F; Hopkins, FE; Houghton, K; Martensson, EM; Oeffner, J; Quack, B; Singh, P; Turner, DR. 2018 A new perspective at the ship-air-sea interface: the environmental impacts of exhaust gas scrubber discharge. Frontiers in Marine Science. 10.3389/fmars.2018.00139
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  • Sims, RP; Schuster, U; Watson, AJ; Yang, M ; Hopkins, FE; Stephens, JA; Bell, TG . 2017 A measurement system for vertical seawater profiles close to the air–sea interface. Ocean Science, 13 (5). 649-660. 10.5194/os-13-649-2017
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  • Hopkins, FE; Bell, TG ; Yang, M ; Suggett, DJ; Steinke, M. 2016 Air exposure of coral is a significant source of dimethylsulfide (DMS) to the atmosphere. Scientific Reports, 6. 36031. 10.1038/srep36031
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  • Yang, M ; Bell, TG ; Hopkins, FE; Kitidis, V ; Cazenave, P; Nightingale, PD; Yelland, MJ; Pascal, RW; Prytherch, J.; Brooks, I. M.; Smyth, TJ. 2016 Air-sea fluxes of CO2 and CH4 from the Penlee Point Atmospheric Observatory on the south-west coast of the UK. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 16 (9). 5745-5761. 10.5194/acp-16-5745-2016
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  • Yang, M ; Bell, TG ; Hopkins, FE; Smyth, TJ. 2016 Attribution of Atmospheric Sulfur Dioxide over the English Channel to Dimethylsulfide and Changing Ship Emissions. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions. 1-19. 10.5194/acp-2016-56
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Selected key publications

FE Hopkins, SD Archer (2014) Consistent increase in dimethyl sulphide (DMS) in response to high CO2 in five shipboard bioassays from contrasting NW European shelf waters. Biogeosciences 11, 4925 – 4940, doi: 10.5194/bg-11-4925-2014.

SD Archer, SA Kimmance, JA Stephens, FE Hopkins, R Bellerby, K Schulz (2013) Contrasting responses to ocean acidification of DMS and its precursor DMSP in Arctic waters. Biogeosciences, 10, 1893 – 1908.

FE Hopkins, SA Kimmance, JA Stephens, C Brussaard, R Bellerby, J Czerny, K Schulz, S Klavsen, S Archer (2013) Response of halocarbons to ocean acidification in the Arctic. Biogeosciences, 10, 2331 – 2345.

FE Hopkins, SM Turner, PD Nightingale, M Steinke, D Bakker, PS Liss (2009) Ocean acidification and marine trace gas emissions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), 107, 760.

Other activities

Chair of PML’s Athena Swan committee

Member of PML’s Environmental Sustainability committee.