Research Program

My research is in the broad area of air quality systems engineering with emphasis on the investigation of the chemical and physical characteristics of atmospheric aerosols.  I am interested in investigating secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation, source characterization of combustion derived particulate emissions, and field measurements of particulate in the atmosphere.  Atmospheric aerosols are of significant interest as they negatively impact human health, degrade visibility, and impact the Earth’s global radiation balance.

Our research group has adopted the following multidimensional approach towards acquiring a greater understanding of atmospheric fine particulate matter.

  1. Environmental chamber simulations to improve estimation and prediction of secondary aerosol formation
  2. Emission source characterization for a number of important, but undefined, sources.
  3. Field studies to estimate the contributions of various sources to air quality in an area.
  4. Identification of pathways for adverse health impacts from fine particulate matter .

All of these dimensions include both a laboratory and a field component. The advantage of a combined research program is that it allows us to address these important scientific and societal issues in a holistic manner.


Current research group

Visiting Scholars

  • Katie Purvis-Roberts (Pitzer)


Ph.D. Students

  • Thomas Eckel
  • Ryan Drover
  • Tianbo Tang
  • Daniel Gonzalez
  • Huawei Li
  • Yanyu Zhang
  • Kyah Gracia

M.S. Students

Undergraduate Researchers 

  • Brenda Blanco
  • Yesenia Cardenas
  • Allison Cocker
  • Juyhun Do
  • John Williams
  • Charles Elliot
  • Sergio Gomez
  • Michelle Lau
  • Marisol Trujillo 

Current Projects

Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation

  • Simulation of atmospheric processes under highly controlled environmental parameters
  • Impact of NOx on O3 and SOA formation
  • Gas-particle partitioning as a function of T and RH
  • SOA formation from primary sources (e.g., vehicles, cooking, etc.), unburned fuels, and consumer products
  • SOA from IVOCs and mixtures
  • Agricultural sources including amines and reduced sulfur species
  • Member of ICARUS chamber database program

Combustion Emissions

This work includes research on impacts of changing fuel composition, engine technology, and after-treatment strategy from both on-road and non-road sources. 

  • light, medium and heavy duty vehicles
  • marine vessels ranging from small harbor craft to Panamax ocean going vessels
  • locomotives
  • aircrafts
  • gas turbines

Health Effects

As part of the BREATHE center, we provide characterization and delivery of particulate matter and gases for the study of health effects from exposure to:

  • combustion emissions
  • SOA
  • pollen
  • dust
  • polluted environments
  • ...

Low-cost Sensor Networks

  • QA/QC analysis of sensors
  • Evaluation of community scale air quality