Prof. Renyi Zhang
iCACGP Commission Member
Professor of Atmospheric Sciences and Chemistry
Director of Center for Atmospheric Chemistry and Environment
Holder of the Harold J. Haynes Chair in Geosciences
Texas A&M University
Research Interests        Awards        Publications        Detailed CV

Ph.D., 1993, Atmospheric Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

M.S., 1989, Physics, University of Nevada-Reno

B.S., 1983, Atmospheric Science, Nanjing Institute of Meteorology

Research Interests:   

My research has covered a variety of areas in atmospheric chemistry and physics and, in particular, the impacts of global air pollution on human health, ecosystems, and climate:

  • (i) Photochemical oxidation of hydrocarbons emitted from anthropogenic and biogenic sources has major implications for local and regional air quality. We conduct laboratory work to investigate the hydrocarbon oxidation reactions initiated by hydroxyl radical OH and other radical species, focusing on the formation of intermediate radicals and their subsequent degradation reactions. In addition, calculations using quantum chemical and kinetic rate theories are performed to study the structures, energetics, and isomeric branching to assess the preferred pathways of the organic radicals. Our objective is to quantitatively understand the kinetics and mechanism of atmospheric volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and their roles in tropospheric ozone and secondary aerosol formation.
  • (ii) Aerosols in the atmosphere profoundly impact human health, radiative transfer, weather, and climate. We combine experimental and theoretical approaches to investigate nucleation, growth, and transformation of aerosols at the fundamental molecular level. These include elucidation of the formation of thermodynamically stable clusters from molecular complexes and clusters, the growth of stable clusters to nano- and submicrometer-sized particles, and transformation and properties of submicrometer-sized particles. The chemical and physical properties of aerosols are measured to assess their effects on weather, human health, visibility, and climate.
  • (iii) We develop state-of-the-art instrumentation to measure trace gaseous compounds and aerosols in the atmosphere. Our instruments have been deployed to study multi-phase atmospheric chemical processes in Houston and Mexico City. Most recently, our team participated in air quality studies in Beijing during the 2008 summer Olympic Games (CAREBeijing-08) and in Guangzhou during the field campaign, the Program of Regional Integrated Experiments of Air Quality in the Pearl River Delta (PRIDE-PRD).
  • (iv) Air pollutants emitted from anthropogenic and natural sources are transported in the atmosphere while undergoing chemical transformation, affecting human health, agricultural activity, and climate. An understanding of the chemistry and transport of air pollutants is critical for devising strategies to improve urban, rural, and regional air quality. We employ chemical transport models (CTMs) to investigate formation of ozone and particulate matter and air quality on the urban and regional scales. We also investigate aerosol-cloud-climate interaction using cloud-resolving models and mesoscale models.
  • Awards:   

    Holder of Harold J. Haynes Endowed Chair in Geosciences, Texas A&M University, 2010

    Cheung-Kong Distinguished Scholar Award, Ministry of Education - China, 2009

    Bush Excellence Award for Faculty in International Research, Texas A&M University, 2009

    Outstanding International Collaboration Research Award, China National Science Foundation, 2007

    Distinguished Achievement Award for Faculty Research, College of Geosciences, Texas A&M University, 2002

    NASA New Investigator Award 1999-2003

    NASA Graduate Fellowship, 1990-1993


    Editor, Journal of Geophysical Research . Atmospheres, 2009 - present

    Director, Center for Atmospheric Chemistry and Environment, Texas A&M University, 2007 - present

    Professor, Department of Chemistry, College of Science, Texas A&M University, 2007 - present

    Tepin Professorship, Fudan University, China, 2006 - present

    Adjunct Professor, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, China, 2006 . present

    Professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, College of Geosciences, Texas A&M University, 2005 - present

    Associate Professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, 2002 - present

    Assistant Professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, 1997 - 2002

    Research Associate, 1996-1997, Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences and Department of Chemistry, MIT

    Post Doctoral Research Associate, 1993-1996, Chemical Kinetics and Photochemistry Group, NASA-Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology


    Dr. Zhang has published 126 refereed journal papers, with 36 in AGU journals and 83 as a leading or corresponding author (denoted as *). His publications have covered the areas of cloud microphysics (4), thunderstorm electrification (5), stratospheric heterogeneous chemistry (16), lightning chemistry (7), hydrocarbon oxidation chemistry (36), aerosol formation, growth, and properties (24), urban air pollution (10), instrument development (5), atmospheric measurements of gases and aerosols (9), and aerosols-cloudclimate interaction (11). His work has resulted in more than 2700 literature citations, with an h-index of 34.

    Selected Publications   

    Detailed CV