Dr Zongbo Shi PhD

Dr Zongbo Shi

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Reader in 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 research group addresses three areas of atmospheric biochemistry central to these impacts:

  • Sources and processes affecting air quality
  • Emission, processing and deposition of atmospheric nutrients and their impact on terrestrial and marine ecosystems
  • Interaction of nutrient and carbon cycles 

Our work combines field measurement, laboratory, simulation chamber, free-air carbon dioxide enrichment (FACE), and numerical modelling approaches.  Our research delivers fundamental understanding of the surface earth system, 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
  • EVS116 From molecules to materials

MSc Air Pollution Management and Control (as Programme lead)

  • Air pollution chemistry
  • Air Quality Management
  • Causes and Effects of Air Pollutants
  • Air Pollution Control Technology

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


Zhang, Y, VU, VT, Sun, J, He, J, Shen, X, Lin, W, Zhang, X, Zhong, J, Gao, W, Wang, Y, Fu, TM, Ma, Y, Li, W & Shi, Z 2020, 'Significant changes in chemistry of fine particles in wintertime Beijing from 2007 to 2017: impact of clean air actions', Environmental Science and Technology. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.9b04678

Brean, J, Harrison, R, Shi, Z, Beddows, D, Joe Acton, W, Hewitt, CN, Squires, FA & Lee, J 2019, 'Observations of highly oxidized molecules and particle nucleation in the atmosphere of Beijing', Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 19, no. 23, pp. 14933-14947.

Zhou, H, Zhao, H, Li, M, Feng, Q, Qi, J, Shi, Z, Mao, H & Jin, T 2019, 'Primary particulate matter emissions and estimates of secondary organic aerosol formation potential from the exhaust of a China V diesel engine', Atmospheric Environment, vol. 218, 116987. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2019.116987

Li, C, Li, S, Yue, F-Y, He, S-N, Shi, Z, Di, C-L & Liu, C-Q 2020, 'Nitrate sources and formation of rainwater constrained by dual isotopes in Southeast Asia: example from Singapore', Chemosphere, vol. 241, 125024. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.125024

VU, VT, Shi, Z, Cheng, J, Zhang, Q, He, K, Wang, S & Harrison, R 2019, 'Assessing the impact of clean air action on air quality trends in Beijing using a machine learning technique', Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 19, no. 17, pp. 11303-11314. https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-19-11303-2019

Lyu, R, Shi, Z, Alam, MS, Wu, X, Liu, D, Vu, VT, Stark, C, Fu, P, Feng, Y & Harrison, R 2019, 'Insight into the composition of organic compounds (≥C 6) in PM 2.5 in wintertime in Beijing, China', Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 19, pp. 10865-10881 . https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-19-10865-2019

Yu, H, Li, W, Zhang, Y, Tunved, P, Dall'Osto, M, Shen, X, Sun, J, Zhang, X, Zhang, J & Shi, Z 2019, 'Organic coating on sulfate and soot particles during late Summer in the Svalbard Archipelago', Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 19, pp. 10433–10446. https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-19-10433-2019

Zhang, C, Ito, A, Shi, Z, Aita, MN, Yao, X, Chu, Q, Shi, J, Gong, X & Gao, H 2019, 'Fertilization of the Northwest Pacific Ocean by East Asia air pollutants', Global Biogeochemical Cycles, vol. 33, no. 6, pp. 690-702. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GB006146

Shi, Z, Vu, T, Kotthaus, S, Harrison, RM, Grimmond, S, Yue, S, Zhu, T, Lee, J, Han, Y, Demuzere, M, Dunmore, RE, Ren, L, Liu, D, Wang, Y, Wild, O, Allan, J, Joe Acton, W, Barlow, J, Barratt, B, Beddows, D, Bloss, WJ, Calzolai, G, Carruthers, D, Carslaw, DC, Chan, Q, Chatzidiakou, L, Chen, Y, Crilley, L, Coe, H, Dai, T, Doherty, R, Duan, F, Fu, P, Ge, B, Ge, M, Guan, D, Hamilton, JF, He, K, Heal, M, Heard, D, Nicholas Hewitt, C, Hollaway, M, Hu, M, Ji, D, Jiang, X, Jones, R, Kalberer, M, Kelly, FJ, Kramer, L, Langford, B, Lin, C, Lewis, AC, Li, J, Li, W, Liu, H, Liu, J, Loh, M, Lu, K, Lucarelli, F, Mann, G, McFiggans, G, Miller, MR, Mills, G, Monk, P, Nemitz, E, O'Connor, F, Ouyang, B, Palmer, PI, Percival, C, Popoola, O, Reeves, C, Rickard, AR, Shao, L, Shi, G, Spracklen, D, Stevenson, D, Sun, Y, Sun, Z, Tao, S, Tong, S, Wang, Q, Wang, W, Wang, X, Wang, X, Wang, Z, Wei, L, Whalley, L, Wu, X, Wu, Z, Xie, P, Yang, F, Zhang, Q, Zhang, Y, Zhang, Y & Zheng, M 2019, 'Introduction to the special issue “In-depth study of air pollution sources and processes within Beijing and its surrounding region (APHH-Beijing)”', Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 19, no. 11, pp. 7519-7546. https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-19-7519-2019

Liu, Y, Zheng, M, Yu, M, Cai, X, Du, H, Li, J, Zhou, T, Yan, C, Wang, X, Shi, Z, Harrison, RM, Zhang, Q & He, K 2019, 'High-time-resolution source apportionment of PM 2.5 in Beijing with multiple models', Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 19, no. 9, pp. 6595-6609. https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-19-6595-2019

Lyu, R, Shi, Z, Alam, M, Wu, X, Liu, D, VU, VT, Stark, C, Xu, R, Fu, P, Feng, Y & Harrison, R 2019, 'Alkanes and Aliphatic Carbonyl Compounds in Wintertime PM2.5 in Beijing, China', Atmospheric Environment, vol. 202, pp. 244-255. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2019.01.023

Lyu, R, Alam, M, Stark, C, Xu, R, Shi, Z, Feng, Y & Harrison, R 2019, 'Aliphatic carbonyl compounds (C8-C26) in wintertime atmospheric aerosol in London, UK', Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 2233-2246. https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-19-2233-2019

Ma, X, Xiao, Z, He, L, Shi, Z, Cao, Y, Tian, Z, Vu, VT & Liu, J 2019, 'Chemical composition and source apportionment of PM 2.5 in urban areas of Xiangtan, central south China', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 16, no. 4, 539. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040539

Zhang, W, Tong, S, Ge, M, An, J, Shi, Z, Hou, S, Xia, K, Qu, Y, Zhang, H, Chu, B, Sun, Y & He, H 2019, 'Variations and sources of nitrous acid (HONO) during a severe pollution episode in Beijing in winter 2016', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 648, pp. 253-262. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.08.133

Zhang, Y, Yuan, Q, Huang, D, Kong, S, Zhang, J, Wang, X, Lu, C, Shi, Z, Zhang, X, Sun, Y, Wang, Z, Shao, L, Zhu, J & Li, W 2018, 'Direct observations of fine primary particles from residential coal burning: insights into their morphology, composition, and hygroscopicity', Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, vol. 123, no. 22, pp. 12,964 - 12,979. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018JD028988

View all publications in research portal