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

A Network of Field-Calibrated Low-Cost Sensor Measurements of PM2.5 in Lomé, Togo, Over One to Two Years


April 07, 2022

PhD student Garima Raheja awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship!

Garima was recently awarded a Graduate Student Research Fellowship by the National Science Foundation, which will support her research for the next few years. Raheja's proposal is titled "Developing a Universal Machine Learning Calibration Model for Low-Cost Air Sensors". She will continue working towards improving data access via low cost sensors with an eye towards improving data quality in 1) underserved and undermonitored areas of the USA and 2) major cities in the Global South. The NSF GRFP receives about 12,000 applicants each year and awards around 2,000.

March 27, 2022

Prof. Westervelt invited to speak at NOAA Administrator Dr. Richard Spinrad's Lamont town hall

Dr. Richard Spinrad, Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, visited Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory on Friday March 25. He delivered remarks at a town hall and took questions from the Lamont community. Prior to his remarks, Lamont scientists presented a series of lightning talks including Prof Westervelt who spoke on air pollution and climate research in sub-Saharan Africa. Photos below, credit Francesco Fiondella. 

March 27, 2022

New group paper published on air quality monitoring in Togo

A new Westervelt group paper led by PhD student Garima Raheja was published recently in ACS Earth and Space Chemistry. Raheja analyzed ~2 years of calibrated low cost sensor in Lomé, Togo. To our knowledge this is the first ambient air quality profile in Togo. Co-authors included scientists and students from the Université de Lomé and a non-profit in Ghana. 

Link to paper: