People > Dr Rachael Beale

Dr Rachael Beale

Senior Analytical Marine Chemist

Contact Details

+44 (0)1752 633100 (switchboard)


Dr Rachael Beale is a Senior Marine Analytical Chemist and has worked at PML since 2006. Rachael has a keen interest in marine trace gases and their atmospheric interaction, gas exchange processes and photochemical enhancement in the sea surface. Her expertise is method development with a wide variety of analytical instrumentation including proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR/MS), gas and liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry and sample preparation (purge and trap, equilibration, filtration, water minimisation). Rachael has made significant progress into the research of marine oxygenated volatile organic compounds (OVOCs) through the development and optimisation of a membrane inlet system coupled to a PTR/MS enabling quantification of the fist seasonal cycle of OVOCs in coastal waters. Rachael has also published the first ever measurements of ethanol and propanol in seawater. 

Rachael is currently involved with the first seasonal cycle of nitrogenous osmolytes in surface seawater, a method she helped develop at PML using liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. 

Rachael has taken part in 4 research cruises (DOGEE I & II, ICON and AMT19) measuring OVOCs and was also involved with the use of SF6 and 3He as Lagrangian tracers.

In addition to research, Rachael is the Chemical Health & Safety Advisor for PML and sits on the H&S committee. Her current role is writing new policies and updating documentation to improve the overall H&S effectiveness within PML.

Rachael manages PMLs first laboratory-based apprenticeship (funded through the Lloyds Register Foundation) and is currently supervising three PhD students. 


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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Selected key publications

Beale, R; Johnson, MT; Liss, PS; Nightingale, PD. 2014 Air-Sea Exchange of Marine Trace Gases. In: Treatise on Geochemistry. Elsevier Ltd., Chapter 8.3, 53-92, 40pp.

Beale, R., P. S. Liss, J. L. Dixon, P. D. Nightingale (2011), Quantification of oxygenated volatile organic compounds in seawater by membrane inlet - proton transfer reaction / mass spectrometry, Anal. Chim. Acta., 706, 128-134.

Yang, M., R. Beale, T. Smyth and B. Blomquist (2013), Measurements of OVOC fluxes by eddy covariance using a proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometer – method development at a coastal site, Atmospheric Chemistry and  Physics, 13, 6165-6184, doi: 10.5194/acp-13-6165-2013.

Dixon, J., R. Beale and P. Nightingale (2013), Production of methanol, acetaldehyde and acetone in the Atlantic Ocean, Geophysical Research Letters, 40, 4700-4705. doi: 10.1002/grl.50922.

Carpenter, L. J., S. D. Archer and R. Beale (2012), Ocean-atmosphere trace gas exchange, Chem. Soc. Rev., 41(19), 6473-6506. Doi: 10.1039/c2cs35121h.

Beale, R., P. S. Liss, P. D. Nightingale (2010), First oceanic measurements of ethanol and propanol, Geophys. Res. Lett. 37, L24607.

Other activities

Member of the PML Health and Safety Committee