Prof Zongbo Shi PhD

Prof 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


Shi, Z, Song, C, Liu, B, Lu, G, Xu, J, VU, VT, Elliott, RJR, Li, W, Bloss, W & Harrison, R 2021, 'Abrupt but smaller than expected changes in surface air quality attributable to COVID-19 lockdowns', Science Advances, vol. 7, no. 3.

Xu, J, Srivastava, D, Wu, X, Hou, S, Vu, T, Liu, D, Sun, Y, Vlachou, A, Moschos, V, Salazar, G, Szidat, S, Prévôt, ASH, Fu, P, Harrison, RM & Shi, Z 2020, 'An evaluation of source apportionment of fine OC and PM2.5 by multiple methods: APHH-Beijing campaigns as a case study', Faraday Discussions.

Qu, L, Wang, W, Li, M, Xu, X, Shi, Z, Mao, H & Jin, T 2020, 'Dependence of pollutant emission factors and fuel consumption on driving conditions and gasoline vehicle types', Atmospheric Pollution Research.

Davis, A, Nasser, F, Lead, JR & Shi, Z 2020, 'Development and application of a ratiometric nanosensor for measuring pH inside the gastrointestinal tract of zooplankton', Environmental Science: Nano, vol. 7, no. 6, pp. 1652-1660.

Steimer, SS, Patton, DJ, Vu, TV, Panagi, M, Monks, PS, Harrison, RM, Fleming, ZL, Shi, Z & Kalberer, M 2020, 'Differences in the composition of organic aerosols between winter and summer in Beijing: A study by direct-infusion ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry', Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 20, no. 21, 683, pp. 13303-13318.

Baldo, C, Formenti, P, Nowak, S, Chevaillier, S, Cazaunau, M, Pangui, E, Di Biagio, C, Doussin, JF, Ignatyev, K, Dagsson-Waldhauserova, P, Arnalds, O, Mackenzie, AR & Shi, Z 2020, 'Distinct chemical and mineralogical composition of Icelandic dust compared to northern African and Asian dust', Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 20, no. 21, pp. 13521-13539.

Yuan, Q, Xu, J, Liu, L, Zhang, A, Liu, Y, Zhang, J, Wan, X, Li, M, Qin, K, Cong, Z, Wang, Y, Kang, S, Shi, Z, Pósfai, M & Li, W 2020, 'Evidence for Large Amounts of Brown Carbonaceous Tarballs in the Himalayan Atmosphere', Environmental Science and Technology Letters.

Zhang, J, Liu, L, Xu, L, Lin, Q, Zhao, H, Wang, Z, Guo, S, Hu, M, Liu, D, Shi, Z, Huang, D & Li, W 2020, 'Exploring wintertime regional haze in northeast China: role of coal and biomass burning', Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 20, no. 9, pp. 5355-5372.

Bloss, W, Kramer, L, Crilley, L, Vu, TV, Harrison, RM, Shi, Z, Lee, JD, Squires, F, Whalley, LK, Slater, E, Woodward-massey, R, Ye, C, Heard, DE, Tong, S, Hou, S, Sun, Y, Xu, J, Wei, L & Fu, P 2020, 'Insights into air pollution chemistry and sulphate formation from nitrous acid (HONO) measurements during haze events in Beijing', Faraday Discussions.

Zhu, Y, Li, W, Lin, Q, Yuan, Q, Liu, L, Zhang, J, Zhang, Y, Shao, L, Niu, H, Yang, S & Shi, Z 2020, 'Iron solubility in fine particles associated with secondary acidic aerosols in east China', Environmental Pollution, vol. 264, 114769.

Fan, Y, Liu, CQ, Li, L, Ren, L, Ren, H, Zhang, Z, Li, Q, Wang, S, Hu, W, Deng, J, Wu, L, Zhong, S, Zhao, Y, Mouli Pavuluri, C, Li, X, Pan, X, Sun, Y, Wang, Z, Kawamura, K, Shi, Z & Fu, P 2020, 'Large contributions of biogenic and anthropogenic sources to fine organic aerosols in Tianjin, North China', Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 117-137.

Brean, J, Beddows, DCS, Shi, Z, Temime-Roussel, B, Marchand, N, Querol, X, Alastuey, A, Minguillon, MC & Harrison, RM 2020, 'Molecular insights into new particle formation in Barcelona, Spain', Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 20, no. 16, pp. 10029-10045.

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.

Wan, K, Shackley, S, Doherty, R, Shi, Z, Zhang, P & Golding, N 2020, 'Science-policy interplay on air pollution governance in China', Environmental Science and Policy, vol. 107, pp. 150-157.

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, vol. 54, no. 3, pp. 1344-1352.

View all publications in research portal