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Professor C Freeman C.Biol F.S.B

Brief job description

Professor of Wetland Science, School of Biological Sciences, Bangor University. Primary duties include teaching environmental science and carrying out research into wetland biogeochemistry with an emphasis on enzymology. Administrative duties: Deputy Head of the School of Biological Sciences. Student Employability Officer. Director of the Wolfson Carbon Capture Laboratory, the Bangor Wetlands Group and CELW Ltd.


Membership of professional bodies/honours:


In the media

Prof C Freeman, 2007 Mullard Award Winner BBC TV's Peat Special (the "Science" bits) Peat bogs "amplify" global warming


Examples of Service to the Scientific Community:

  • Member of  a Royal Society International Travel Grants Committee 2007-10
  • Member of  a Royal Society advisory group on climate change, biodiversity, and increased carbon dioxide 2006-.
  • Treasurer of the Society of Wetland Scientists European Chapter 2005-9
  • Past-President of Society of Wetland Scientists European Chapter 2004
  • Member of grant review panel for the Society of Wetland Scientists' Ramsar Support Grant Program 2004
  • Member of Society of Wetland Scientists Nominations Committee 2003-2004
  • Member of a National Science Foundation (NSF, USA) Grant Selection Panel 2003-2004, 2006
  • Member of the UK United Nations Environment Program Climate change & Energy Forum 2001-2002.
  • Chairman of Committee B of Royal Society Summer Studentship Grant awards committee 2000.
  • Peer reviewer for: NERC, NSF, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, Nature, Science, Biogeochemistry, Global Change Biology, Limnology & Oceanography, Hydrobiologia, Water Research, Soil Biology & Biochemistry, Environmental Science and Technology, Wetlands, Journal of Environmental Quality, Hydrology & Earth Systems Science, Science of the Total Environment, Ecological Engineering, Chemosphere, Aquatic Microbial Ecology, Oecologia, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Aquatic Sciences, Geophysical Research Letters.
  • Editorial Board Member for Wetlands Ecology & Management the Journal of Wetland Biogeochemistry 2002. Member of the International Advisory Board for the Korean Journal of Limnology (2002-present).


Other esteem indicators:

  • External examiner for Postgraduate degree candidates at Macauley Institute/Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen University, Oxford Brookes University, University of Joensuu, Rhodes University, Barcelona University, National University of Ireland, Lancaster University.
  • Invited talks include: Nottingham University, Durham University, Edinburgh University, Barcelona University, Ewha Univerity Seoul, Sheffield University, Oxford Brookes University, The Macauley Institute, Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei, Berlin, University of Florida, Institute of Biology North Wales Branch, University of Helsinki, Leeds University, Uppsala University, Stirling University, Queen Mary University of London, Ewha University, Yonsei University.
  • Invited by Lord May, Past President of the Royal Society to discuss research with HRH Prince of Wales. Invited to the Queen’s Reception for Scientists
  • Selected to participate in SET 2000 & Royal Society MP Pairing scheme at the House of Commons
  • Significant media coverage of research including New York Times, BBC, New Scientist , Telegraph the Independent and in countries such as Germany & Poland. Documentaries by the BBC and Sky Digital.


Outline of research interests

  • Wetland enzymes. Studies of the regulatory significance of phenol oxidase & hydrolase enzymes in wetland biogeochemical cycling
  • Trace gas emissions from peatlands.  Measurements of nitrous oxide, methane and Carbon dioxide from peat, and potential feedback responses to climate change.
  • Dissolved organic carbon in rivers and streams.  Quantitative and qualitative (incl. Molecular weight) studies of dissolved organic carbon transported in rivers and streams.
  • Phenolic materials as regulators of aquatic ecosystem processes.  Studies of the inhibition of microbial metabolism by phenolics and their consequences for biogeochemical cycling.
  • Constructed wetlands for the remediation of aquatic pollution.  Measurement of treatment efficiency in wetlands used for water quality amelioration with an emphasis on the role of plants and microbial enzymes in the remediative process.
  • Biofilms and the metabolism of dissolved organic carbon.  Studies of in-stream removal of dissolved organic carbon during its transport from terrestrial to oceanic environments by river biofilms
  • Wetlands and climate change.  Studies of the impacts land use change, elevated CO2, increased drought frequency and increased temperature on peatland biogeochemistry


Selected recent papers:

  • Fenner N, Freeman C (2011) Drought-induced carbon loss in peatlands. Nature Geoscience   4 : 895-900  
  • S. Moore, C.D. Evans, S.E. Page, M.H. Garnett, T.G. Jones, C. Freeman, A. Hooijer, A.J. Wiltshire, S.H. Limin and V. Gauci  (2013) Deep instability of deforested tropical peatlands revealed by fluvial organic carbon fluxes;   Nature,   493,  660–663
  • Freeman C, Ostle J, Kang H (2001). An enzymic latch on a global carbon store. Nature. 409, 149.
  • Freeman C ,  C. D. Evans, D. T. Monteith, B. Reynolds and N. Fenner (2001) Export of organic carbon from peat soils. Nature 412, 785.
  • Tranvik, LJ, Jansson, M; Reply; Evans C.D., Freeman C , D. T. Monteith, B. Reynolds and N. Fenner (2002) Climate Change: Terrestrial Export of Organic Carbon Nature 415, 861-862.
  • Freeman C, Fenner N, Ostle NJ, Kang H, Dowrick DJ, Reynolds B, Lock MA, Sleep D,  Hughes S and Hudson J. (2004) Dissolved organic carbon export from peatlands under elevated carbon dioxide levels  Nature 430, 195 – 198
  • Bragazza L, Freeman C, T Jones, H Rydin, J Limpens, N Fenner, T Ellis, R Gerdola, M Hajek, T Hajek, P Iacumin, L Kutnark, T Tahvanainen, H Toberman. (2006) Atmospheric nitrogen deposition promotes carbon loss from peat bogs PNAS 103(51): 19386-19389



  • 1990 PhD Microbial  Ecology
    Bangor University
    Thesis topic - Microbial metabolism of aquatic dissolved organic carbon
  • 1986 BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences
    Nottingham Trent University. 2(i)
  • 1983 TEC Higher Certificate in Science & Administration
    Peoples College Nottingham
  • 1981 TEC Certificate in Sciences (Chemistry)
    Charles Keene College, Leicester


Summary of past employment:

  • 2005 - Professor of Wetland Science, Bangor University.
  • 2004-2008 Royal Society Industry Fellow, with Welsh Water PLC & Bangor University.
  • 2003-2005 - Senior Lecturer, Bangor University.
  • 2002-2003 - Lecturer, Bangor University.
  • 1994-2002 - Royal Society Research Fellow, Bangor University.
  • 1990-1994 - Post-Doctoral Research Officer at CEH Bangor  /  UW, Bangor.
  • 1986-1989 - Research  Assistant Bangor University.
  • 1981-1986 - Research Technician University of Nottingham.
  • 1978-1981 - Trainee Research Technician  University of Nottingham

Related information

BSc, HTEC and TEC gained part-time while working in the research labs of the University of Nottingham. PhD gained while a Research Assistant at Bangor University.



Prof Chris Freeman is the director of CELW Ltd. A wetland and environmental consultancy company based at Bangor University.

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