Active Research Projects

Air quality in sub-Saharan Africa

With support from the National Science Foundation and the US State Department, we have started an air quality monitoring network in Kinshasa, DR Congo, a megacity with population over 11 million which suffers from poor air quality yet has no monitoring infrastructure. Other projects include air quality knowledge capacity building in Accra, Ghana (partner with Ghana EPA), sensor deployments in Nairobi, Kenya, Kampala, Uganda, and Lomé, Togo, and using models and remote sensing techniques in India, China, and sub-Saharan Africa.

Regional climate response to changes in regional aerosol emissions

Some topics we have worked on in the past include: 1) The impact of changes in emissions in specific regions on local and remote climate, 2) Aerosol impacts on clouds and precipitation and 3) The effect of absorbing aerosols on tropical monsoon systems. We use and develop three coupled chemistry-climate models: GFDL climate models, GISS ModelE, and CESM (NCAR).

Recent Publication


March 21, 2023

The Westervelt++ group goes to Rwanda!

The whole group made the long journey to Kigali, RW, from March 7-10, for the CAMS-Net + AfriqAir annual meeting. The Westervelt group was one of the meeting organizers and are the home to the NSF-funded CAMS-Net project. Several great presentations, posters, panel discussions, and tutorials from all group members. Plus it was the first time some of our group members had met our African collaborators in person. Photos from the event are here: 

March 15, 2023

New Paper by former Postdoc Zhonghua Zheng featured in Eos!

Former group postdoctoral research scientist Dr. Zhonghua Zheng (now at Manchester UK) published a paper recently on the use of auto machine learning (AutoML) for atmospheric chemistry research using publicly available satellite data. This paper was featured as an EOS Editor's highlight: "Unleashing the Power of AutoML for Atmospheric Research". Link below: 

February 27, 2023

Setting up a monitoring network in Puerto Rico to understand the Saharan Air Layer

Last week, Dr. Westervelt visited Prof. Héctor Jimenez of the Department of Physics at University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez (UPRM). We are kicking off a new collaborative project using well-calibrated PM10 instruments from QuantAQ to understand the impact of tropical meteorology and topography on the evolution of the Saharan Air Layer. Students from UPRM will lead the analysis and will also visit LDEO. Some photos below!