Loretta J. Mickley
Senior Research Fellow
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Harvard University
29 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
phone: 617-496-5635
mickley at fas dot harvard dot edu
mickley at seas dot harvard dot edu

*** May 2022: Please visit New Website ***
This page will be retired in June 2022.

Loretta Mickley co-leads the Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling Group at Harvard. Her research focuses on chemistry-climate interactions in the troposphere. She seeks to understand how short-lived gases and particles affect climate and how climate, in turn, influences atmospheric composition. Key topics:

  • Effects of climate change on smog episodes and wildfires.
  • Impacts of aerosol trends on regional climate.
  • Oxidation capacity of paleo atmospheres.
  • Current grad students and postdocs advised by Dr. Mickley include Eimy Bonilla, Tianjia Tina Liu, and Jonathan Moch. Harvard college students in our group include Kent Toshima and Miah Caine. Recent alumni include Yang Li and Pengfei Liu. For other alumni, go here.

    See also . . . Research . . . Publications . . . CV . . . Info for students .

      In the News

      *** Please note.*** This page is moving to a new website, and links to many papers are now broken. To see papers, go here.

    • August 2021 Our collaboration with Francesca Dominici and her team leads to a new paper linking smoke exposure to incidence of covid-19 in the western US. Media accounts include this and this. Tina Liu and Miah Caine contributed.

    • February 2021 Our findings on the health implications of fossil fuel burning draws much attention from around the world. The research was led by former Harvard postdoc Eloise Marais.

    • February 2021 A new paper focusing on Delhi particulate pollution and led by Sachin Gunthe and recent Harvard postdoc Pengfei Liu receives much attention here and elsewhere.

    • September 2020 In its coverage of the huge fires in the West, the New York Times cites two of Coco Liu's 2017 papers linking wildfire and health, including the health of elderly Blacks.

    • November 2019 New research led by former postdoc Eloise Marais quantifies the potential consequences of future development in Africa on air quality, and the Guardian takes note.

    • August 2019 Our 2016 paper on Indonesian fires, led by Shannon Koplitz, is once again in the news.

    • July-August 2019 Miriam Marlier's new paper on Indonesian fires, smoke exposure, and public health is published. The paper introduces the SMOKE policy tool, an integrative framework to maximize the health benefits from peatland restoration. Tina Liu travels to Indonesia to meet with government officials and gets local press here, here, and here and more globally here.

    • January 2019 Recent alum Ploy Achakulwisut has a terrific new oped in Scientific American on the links between climate change and health.

    • December 2018 Loretta contributes to a new paper strengthening the scientific support for the 2009 EPA Endangerment Finding for greenhouse gases. Media mentions include this, this, and this.

    • October 2018 Jonathan Moch's new paper on an overlooked chemical mechanism to explain Beijing smog is noticed here, here, and here .

    • June 2018 Ploy Achakulwisut writes an essay in The Conversation, describing her research on the effect of climate change on dust in the U.S. Southwest. Her essay is picked up here, here, and elsewhere.

    • May 2018 Dan Cusworth's research on smoke from agricultural fires in Punjab contributes to Green Screen, the winning entry in the 2018 Seed for Change in India competition of the Lakshi Mittal South Asia Institute.

    • April 2018 Recent PhD student Ploy Achakulwisut has a compelling oped piece on fossil fuel combustion and health in the Guardian.

    • April 2018 Dan Cusworth receives attention here and here for his work on the contribution of agricultural fires to air pollution in Delhi.

    • April 2017 Lu Shen creates a cool interactive online tool for tracking U.S. ozone trends and variability in summer.

    • March 2017 Loretta serves on a review panel for the National Academy of Sciences, and the outcome is noticed.

    • September 2016 Shannon Koplitz's new paper on the health impacts from the massive 2015 haze event in Equatorial Asia is out and receives attention from around the world. The study is named one of the top papers in ERL for 2016.

    • August 2016 Our new paper predicting increased frequency of "smokewaves" from wildfires in the western U.S. due to climate change gets press here, here, and here. Coco Liu is the lead author.

    • April 2016 Lu Shen devises a more robust method to predict ozone episodes in the future climate, and his paper receives media attention here, here, and here.

    • January 2015 Lei Zhu is in the news for his work using satellite data to infer large emissions of anthropogenic volatile organic compounds from the petrochemical industry near Houston, Texas.

    • May 2014 Eric Leibensperger's paper on the U.S. warming hole receives renewed attention in the aftermath of the Third National Climate Assessment.

    • Summer 2013 Xu Yue's new paper on climate change, wildfires, and future air quality in the western United States is in the news here, here, and here.

    • May 2012 Our research on the US warming hole is featured as the Image of the Day on NASA's Earth Observatory website.

    • Winter 2012 Our study showing the impact of changing aerosols on regional climate in the eastern United States draws attention at the New York Times and NASA.

    • Spring 2010 We get press in diverse places for a joint project with Stonybrook that investigated the impact of kudzu invasion in the Southeast US on soil NOx emissions and surface ozone.

    • December 2009 The EPA releases their endangerment finding that CO2 and other greenhouse gases threaten public health and welfare. The accompanying Technical Support Document (TSD) cites our research. [May 2017. This EPA site has vanished, but the TSD has been preserved here.]

    • Summer 2009 Dominick Spracklen is in the news for our work on future wildfires and air quality.

    • Winter 2005 We get press for our research on the impact of climate change on stagnation frequency and smog.

    Look here.