Prof Zongbo Shi PhD

Professor Zongbo Shi

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Professor of Atmospheric Biogeochemistry

Contact details

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

The atmosphere and atmospheric processes interact with the biogeochemistry of the earth system. This in turn affects human and environmental health, air quality and climate. My group addresses three areas of research central to these impacts:

  • Sources and emissions of chemical substances to the atmosphere
  • Physical and chemical transformation of aerosol particles and their constituents in the atmosphere
  • Interaction of atmospheric chemistry with biogeochemistry of ecosystems

Our work combines field measurement, laboratory analyses, chamber simulation, and numerical modelling approaches.  Our research delivers fundamental understanding of the air pollution and biogeochemical cycling processes, providing knowledge to underpin sustainable developments.


  • PhD Environmental Sciences- China University of Mining and Technology (Beijing)
  • BA Geology – Anhui University of Science and Technology, China


BSc Environmental Sciences / Geography / Earth Sciences

  • EVS229 Environmental Pollution

MSc Air Pollution Management and Control (as Programme lead)

  • Air pollution chemistry
  • Air pollution control technology and management
  • Causes and effects of air Pollutants

Postgraduate supervision

Zongbo Shi has research interests in atmospheric aerosol chemistry and global biogeochemical cycles. He is currently working on the following projects:

Novel approaches to the evaluation of iron and phosphorus availability in dust deposited to the oceans
Developing new understandings of the fundamental pathways of Fe in mineral aerosols from Saharan soils to the marine ecosystem in surface seawater

Dr Shi is also investigating the role of atmospheric processing of dust in P biogeochemical cycles. He welcomes enquiries from prospective doctoral researchers in his areas of interest.

PhD opportunities

Doctoral research

PhD title
Physicochemical properties and bioreactivities of PM10 and PM2.5 in Beijing air

Other activities

  • Fellow of High Education Academy
  • Member of Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Member of European Association of Geochemistry: 
  • Member of NERC peer review college
  • Reviewer of US Natural Science Foundation (NSF), French ANR and Czech Science Foundation
  • Reviewer of Environmental Science & Technology; Natural Geosciences; Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmosphere; Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics; Chemosphere; Atmospheric Environment; Tellus-B; Environmental Chemistry etc.


Recent publications


Dai, Y, Liu, B, Tong, C & Shi, Z 2024, 'Aqpet — An R package for air quality policy evaluation', Environmental Modelling and Software, vol. 177, 106052.

Liu, H, Yi, W, Jalkanen, J-P, Luo, Z, Majamäki, E, Matthias, V, Moldanová, J, Shi, Z & He, K 2024, 'Atmospheric impacts and regulation framework of shipping emissions: achievements, challenges and frontiers', Fundamental Research.

Kraisitnitikul, P, Thepnuan, D, Chansuebsri, S, Yabueng, N, Wiriya, W, Saksakulkrai, S, Shi, Z & Chantara, S 2024, 'Contrasting compositions of PM2.5 in Northern Thailand during La Niña (2017) and El Niño (2019) years', Journal of Environmental Sciences, vol. 135, pp. 585-599.

Wu, L, Wang, P, Zhang, Q, Ren, H, Shi, Z, Hu, W, Chen, J, Xie, Q, Li, L, Yue, S, Wei, L, Song, L, Zhang, Y, Wang, Z, Chen, S, Wei, W, Wang, X, Zhang, Y, Kong, S, Ge, B, Yang, T, Fang, Y, Ren, L, Deng, J, Sun, Y, Wang, Z, Zhang, H, Hu, J, Liu, CQ, Harrison, RM, Ying, Q & Fu, P 2024, 'Dominant contribution of combustion-related ammonium during haze pollution in Beijing', Science Bulletin, vol. 69, no. 7, pp. 978-987.

Tian, X, Yu, H, Wei, Y, Shi, Z, Feng, Y, Zhang, L & Shi, G 2024, 'Gas-particle partitioning process contributes more to nitrate dominated air pollution than oxidation process in northern China', Aerosol Science and Technology, vol. 58, no. 2, pp. 181-194.

Xu, B, Yu, H, Shi, Z, Liu, J, Wei, Y, Zhang, Z, Huangfu, Y, Xu, H, Li, Y, Zhang, L, Feng, Y & Shi, G 2024, 'Knowledge-guided machine learning reveals pivotal drivers for gas-to-particle conversion of atmospheric nitrate', Environmental Science and Ecotechnology, vol. 19, 100333.

Brean, J, Rowell, A, Beddows, DCS, Weinhold, K, Mettke, P, Merkel, M, Tuch, T, Rissanen, M, Maso, MD, Kumar, A, Barua, S, Iyer, S, Karppinen, A, Wiedensohler, A, Shi, Z & Harrison, RM 2024, 'Road Traffic Emissions Lead to Much Enhanced New Particle Formation through Increased Growth Rates', Environmental Science and Technology.

Wang, C, Zhu, W, Shi, Z & Li, J 2023, 'A Sensitive Online SPE-LC–APCI–MS/MS Method for Simultaneous Determination of 17 Nitrated and Oxygenated Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Atmospheric Particulate Matter', Chromatographia, vol. 86, no. 10, pp. 677-688.

Zheng, H, Kong, S, Zhai , S, Sun , X, Cheng , Y, Yao , L, Song , C, Zheng , Z, Shi, Z & Harrison, R 2023, 'An intercomparison of weather normalization of PM2.5 concentration using traditional statistical methods, machine learning, and chemistry transport models', npj Climate and Atmospheric Science, vol. 6, no. 214, 214.

Liu, B, Bryson, JR, Sevinc, D, Cole, M, Elliott, R, Bartington, S, Bloss, W & Shi, Z 2023, 'Assessing the Impacts of Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone on Air Quality: Estimates from a Machine Learning and Synthetic Control Approach', Environmental and Resource Economics, vol. 86, no. 1-2, pp. 203-231.,

Song, C, Liu, B, Cheng, K, Cole, MA, Dai, Q, Elliott, RJR & Shi, Z 2023, 'Attribution of air quality benefits to clean winter heating polices in China: combining machine learning with causal inference', Environmental Science and Technology.

Srivastava, D, Li, W, Tong, S, Shi, Z & Harrison, RM 2023, 'Characterization of products formed from the oxidation of toluene and m-xylene with varying NOx and OH exposure', Chemosphere, vol. 334, 139002.

Review article

Zhang, G, Peng, X, Sun, W, Fu, Y, Yang, Y, Liu, D, Shi, Z, Tang, M, Wang, X & Bi, X 2024, 'Fog/cloud processing of atmospheric aerosols from a single particle perspective: a review of field observations', Atmospheric Environment, vol. 329, 120536.

Li, W, Riemer, N, Xu, L, Wang, Y, Adachi, K, Shi, Z, Zhang, D, Zheng, Z & Laskin, A 2024, 'Microphysical properties of atmospheric soot and organic particles: measurements, modeling, and impacts', npj Climate and Atmospheric Science, vol. 7, no. 1, 65.

Saksakulkrai, S, Chantara, S & Shi, Z 2023, 'Airborne particulate matter in Southeast Asia: a review on variation, chemical compositions and source apportionment', Environmental Chemistry, vol. 19, no. 7, pp. 401-431.

View all publications in research portal