Dr Palmer is originally from the UK and graduated with an M.Sc. in Chemistry, Resource and the Environment from the University of York in 2002, and continued to complete a Ph.D. (Atmospheric Chemistry) at the same institution in 2006. Following this Dr Palmer worked as a post doc. in the Department of Oceanography, U.C.T. where he researched the effects of halogenated gases on the marine atmosphere. These gases are released from seaweeds and find their way to the atmosphere, where they seed clouds – a possible link between biology and climate. In this post Dr Palmer was also instrumental in the development of a new U.C.T. M.Sc. module on the science behind climate change; An Introduction to Earth Systems Science.
At the end of 2010 Dr Palmer took up part time position as consultant to ACCESS. Here Dr Palmer helped develop and run the ACCESS/ DST “Habitable Planet” workshops (an initiative to attract more students to Earth Systems Science) and coordinated the outreach component of the ACCESS-SATREPS Japanese collaboration. Whilst doing this he was also still involved in trace gas research at UCT, working with students to develop and deploy the 1st ever cryogenic per-concentration GC-MS for trace gas analysis in South Africa.
In 2012 Dr Palmer moved to ACCESS full time to take up a role as the Education and Training manager; the position he currently holds. In this position he has overseen the expansion of the Habitable Planet Programme, both in terms of numbers and geographically (with workshops having been held all over South Africa as well as Namibia and Kenya). In addition to work is underway to extend Habitable Planet to schools and develop a post graduate model to support teaching at South Africa’s historically disadvantaged institutions.
Dr Palmer is widely published in the field of atmospheric chemistry and Earth systems science, with notable research publications in PNAS, Environmental Chemistry and a an article in Nature Geoscience. He is the author of several entries in the “Encyclopedia of Global Warming and Climate Change” (SAGE, 2008) and many popular articles on the topic in South Africa.
Tel: 021 658 3991