Investigating the Chemistry of Atmospheric Aerosols and their Impacts on Health and Climate

Human exposures to particulate matter is among the leading causes of premature death worldwide. Particles in the air are also known to have large, but uncertain effects on the radiative balance of the earth. The health and climate effects of particulate matter depends on their chemical and physical properties, which reflect their origins and atmospheric processing. Research in the Stone Group combines analytical, environmental, and organic chemistry to advance our understanding of the chemical composition and sources of atmospheric particulate matter.  We use chromatography and mass spectrometry to improve measurements of atmospheric pollutants and source apportionment techniques to link pollution to its sources.

Research Projects

  • Characterization of atmospheric pollens under extreme weather conditions with chemical, physical, and biological methods
  • In the NSF CCI, Center for Aerosol Impacts on Chemistry of the Environment (CAICE), our mission is to transform our ability to accurately predict the impact of aerosols on the chemistry of the environment. We apply analytical techniques to measure the molecular constituents of sea spray aerosol and its variation with biological processes in the ocean.
  • Development of instrumental methods for the separation and quantification of organosulfates in atmospheric aerosols, using  liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry.
  • Source apportionment of ambient particulate matter in urban and remote locations.
  • Characterization of emissions from biomass burning through in situ and laboratory experiments.
  • Biomass used in co-firing at the University of Iowa Power Plant.

    Biomass used in co-firing at the University of Iowa Power Plant.

  • 10 major organosulfates (m/z) identified in  Centreville, AL during summer 2013

    10 major organosulfates (m/z) identified in Centreville, AL during summer 2013

  • Defining chemical properties by which chemical species are transferred from the ocean surface to sea spray aerosol (SSA).

    Defining chemical properties by which chemical species are transferred from the ocean surface to sea spray aerosol (SSA).

  • Aerosol produced by wave breaking on the ocean surface, or sea spray aerosol (SSA).

    Aerosol produced by wave breaking on the ocean surface, or sea spray aerosol (SSA).

  • Influence of rain on the abundance and size distribution of pollens and fungal spores in the atmosphere

    Influence of rain on the abundance and size distribution of pollens and fungal spores in the atmosphere

  • A comparison of bioaerosols in urban and background sites in Iowa.

    A comparison of bioaerosols in urban and background sites in Iowa.