I am an associate research scholar at Princeton University working with Larry Horowitz at NOAA/GFDL. I am broadly interested in the interactions between biosphere and atmosphere, the role of atmospheric chemistry in mediating these interactions, their impact on air quality and ecosystem health as well as their disturbance by anthropogenic activities. I am especially interested in the role of agriculture and food production for air quality and climate.
I got interested in agriculture and more specifically ammonia during my postdoc in Prof. Daniel Jacob's atmospheric chemistry group. In 1909, Fritz Haber discovered how to convert atmospheric nitrogen gas into ammonia. This process was later optimized by Carl Bosch, allowing for a dramatic increase in the availability of reactive nitrogen. Used as chemical fertilizer, Haber-Bosch synthesized reactive nitrogen is thought to be directly responsible for feeding half of the world population. A detrimental side effect of the extensive use of reactive nitrogen for food production is the increase of ammonia emissions. Ammonia's interactions with other anthropogenic emissions promote the production of particulate matter, which has well-documented adverse health effect. Ammonia deposition can also perturb ecosystem functioning, by increasing nitrogen availability.
I graduated from Caltech in 2011 working with Prof. Paul Wennberg's group. My PhD focused on the photochemical degradation of isoprene in the atmosphere. Isoprene is as large a source of carbon to the atmosphere as methane, but unlike methane it is oxidized in a matter of hours. This makes it a very interesting compound to investigate how interactions between natural and anthropogenic emissions affect local and regional air quality.