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Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


  • Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, 2010


Our research is mainly focused on understanding the chemical formation and evolution of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) in the Earth’s atmosphere. Since numerical models currently underestimate the amount of SOA mass observed in fine aerosol collected from several locations, which indicates that significant sources of SOA are not yet identified or well characterized, we chemically characterize both smog chamber-generated and ambient SOA in order to more adequately describe sources (e.g., heterogeneous chemistry) of SOA in the troposphere. By using this approach, Professor Surratt has helped to elucidate the chemical pathways leading to organic aerosol formation from the atmospheric oxidation of isoprene, which is the most abundant non-methane hydrocarbon emitted annually into the Earth’s atmosphere that was previously thought not to be a significant source of SOA.

Areas of Expertise

  • Atmospheric chemistry fundamentals