People > E. Malcolm S. Woodward

E. Malcolm S. Woodward

Chemical Oceanographer and Head of the PML Nutrient Facility

Contact Details


Malcolm has been a Chemical Oceanographer at PML since 1978, and Head of the Nutrient Facility from 1993. His specialist research areas are nitrogen cycling and nutrient studies of varying oceanic environments. He has developed novel techniques for the analysis of nanomolar concentrations of phosphate, nitrate, nitrite, and ammonium in oligotrophic waters and worked in all of the world’s Oceans. He has over 190 refereed publications, books and reports, with a current h-index of 45.

He has participated in over 80 major international research cruises, being responsible for the nutrient analyses on all these voyages, with also 5 cruises as Principal Scientist.

Recently he has been a co-I of 2 research projects involving nanomolar nutrient delivery, one investigating Zinc, Iron and Phosphate in the North Atlantic (ZIPLOc) and the other studying nutrients and trace metals along the Mid-Ocean Ridge (FRidge). He was also responsible for nutrient delivery to both the Pelagic and Benthic research sub-groups comprising the UK Shelf Seas Biogeochemistry (SSB) programme.

Malcolm has been a visiting international scientist 3 times to the New Zealand, NIWA laboratory studying nutrients in the Tasman Sea, and participated in the NZ Geotraces voyage to the South Pacific. He has also recently been co-Chair of an International SCOR working group, #147,: ‘Towards Comparability of global nutrient data’, aimed at improving the quality and reliability of global nutrient analysis through re-writing the GO-SHIP nutrient manual, advising on techniques, good practice, and using CRM’s.

Malcolm is responsible for nutrient delivery for the Western Channel Observatory (WCO), and also recently participated in the recent ANDREX II/ORCHESTRA cruise to the Weddell Sea. He has represented the UK Marine Chemistry community advising on the science spaces for the RRS Sir David Attenborough (SDA), and is now a member of the Science Commissioning working group for the ship.


S-3 EUROHAB - Sentinel products for detecting EUtROphication and Harmful Algal Bloom events
S-3 EUROHAB - Sentinel products for detecting EUtROphication and Harmful Algal Bloom events

S-3 EUROHAB will use the latest satellite technology to improve the way water quality and harmful algal blooms (HABs) are monitored in the English...

Land ocean carbon transfer (LOCATE)
Land ocean carbon transfer (LOCATE)

Contact: Dr Andy Rees

Our climate, and hence our lifestyle and economy, is profoundly influenced by the concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, which...

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Other key projects

  • International and UK Geotraces
  • INNOVATE UK project developing a novel ammonia sensor
  • ZIPLOc: Zinc, Iron and Phosphorous in the North Atlantic
  • FRidge: Biogeochemistry of the mid Atlantic Ridge

Selected key publications

Zackary I. Johnson, Erik R. Zinser, Allison Coe, Nathan P. McNulty, E. Malcolm S. Woodward, Sallie W. Chisholm. (2006). Niche partitioning among Prochlorococcus ecotypes along ocean-scale environmental gradients. Science, 24th March 2006, Volume 311, number 5768, p 1669. doi:10.1126/science.1118052

Mantoura, R.F.C., and E.M.S. Woodward (1983). Conservative behaviour of riverine dissolved organic carbon in the Severn Estuary: chemical and geochemical implications. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 47, pp 1293-1309. doi:10.1016/0016-7037(83)90069-8

C. Mark Moore, Matthew M. Mills, Eric P. Achterberg, Richard J. Geider, Julie La Roche, Mike I. Lucas, Elaine L. McDonagh, Xi Pan, Alex J. Poulton, Micha J. Rijkenberg, David J. Suggett, Simon J. Ussher, E. Malcolm S. Woodward. Large-scale distribution of Atlantic nitrogen fixation controlled by iron supply. (2009). Nature Geosciences, 2, 867-871. doi:10.1038/NGEO667

Rhiannon L. Mather, Sarah E. Reynolds, George A. Wolff, Richard G. Williams, Sinhue Torres-Valdes, Xi Pan, E. Malcolm S. Woodward, Richard Sanders, and Eric P. Achterberg. Phosphorus cycling in the North and South Atlantic Ocean subtropical gyres. (2008). Nature Geoscience 1, 439-443 (22 Jun 2008).

Woodward, E.M.S., and A.P. Rees, (2001). Nutrient distributions in an anticyclonic eddy in the North East Atlantic Ocean, with reference to nanomolar ammonium concentrations. Deep Sea Research II, 48, Nos. 4-5, 775–794. doi:10.1038/ngeo232

Thingstad, T.F., M.D. Krom, R.F.C. Mantoura, G.A.F. Flaten, S.Groom, B. Herut, N.Kress,, A. Pasternak, P. Pitta, S. Psarra, F. Rassoulzadegan, T. Tanaka, A. Tselipides, P. Wassmann, E.M.S. Woodward, C. Wexels-Riser, G. Zodiatis, T. Zohary. 2005. Nature of P limitation in the ultraoligotrophic Eastern Mediterranean. Science, 12th August 2005, Volume 309, 1068-1071. doi:10.1126/science.1112632

Other activities

  • UK Marine chemistry representative on the RRS Sir David Attenborough scientific spaces design and consultation team.
  • Member of the RRS Sir David Attenborough Science Commissioning Working Group