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, eabd6696.

Hama, S, Kumar, P, Alam, MS, Rooney, DJ, Bloss, WJ, Shi, Z, Harrison, RM, Crilley, LR, Khare, M & Gupta, SK 2021, 'Chemical source profiles of fine particles for five different sources in Delhi', Chemosphere, vol. 274, 129913.

Saleem, M, Shi, Z & Shah, MH 2021, 'Evaluation of Contamination Status and Health Risk Assessment of Essential and Toxic Metals in Cyprinus carpio from Mangla Lake, Pakistan', Biological Trace Element Research.

Zhang, Y, Shi, Z, Wang, Y, Liu, L, Zhang, J, Li, J, Xia, Y, Ding, X, Liu, D, Kong, S, Niu, H, Fu, P, Zhang, X & Li, W 2021, 'Fine particles from village air in northern China in winter: Large contribution of primary organic aerosols from residential solid fuel burning', Environmental Pollution, vol. 272, 116420.

Bloss, WJ, Kramer, L, Crilley, LR, Vu, T, Harrison, RM, Shi, Z, Lee, JD, Squires, FA, Whalley, LK, Slater, E, Woodward-Massey, R, Ye, C, Heard, DE, Tong, S, Hou, S, Sun, Y, Xu, J, Wei, L & Fu, P 2021, 'Insights into air pollution chemistry and sulphate formation from nitrous acid (HONO) measurements during haze events in Beijing', Faraday Discussions.

Hamilton, JF, Bryant, DJ, Edwards, PM, Ouyang, B, Bannan, TJ, Mehra, A, Mayhew, AW, Hopkins, JR, Dunmore, RE, Squires, FA, Lee, JD, Newland, MJ, Worrall, SD, Bacak, A, Coe, H, Whalley, LK, Heard, DE, Slater, EJ, Jones, RL, Cui, T, Surratt, JD, Reeves, CE, Mills, GP, Grimmond, S, Sun, Y, Xu, W, Shi, Z & Rickard, AR 2021, 'Key Role of NO3 Radicals in the Production of Isoprene Nitrates and Nitrooxyorganosulfates in Beijing', Environmental Science and Technology, vol. 55, no. 2, pp. 842-853.

Li, W, Liu, L, Zhang, J, Xu, L, Wang, Y, Sun, Y & Shi, Z 2021, 'Microscopic Evidence for Phase Separation of Organic Species and Inorganic Salts in Fine Ambient Aerosol Particles', Environmental Science and Technology.

Harrison, RM, Vu, TV, Jafar, H & Shi, Z 2021, 'More mileage in reducing urban air pollution from road traffic', Environment International, vol. 149, 106329.

Liu, L, Zhang, J, Zhang, Y, Wang, Y, Xu, L, Yuan, Q, Liu, D, Sun, Y, Fu, P, Shi, Z & Li, W 2021, 'Persistent residential burning-related primary organic particles during wintertime hazes in North China: Insights into their aging and optical changes', Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 2251-2265.

Wu, L, Yue, S, Shi, Z, Hu, W, Chen, J, Ren, H, Deng, J, Ren, L, Fang, Y, Yan, H, Li, W, Harrison, RM & Fu, P 2021, 'Source forensics of inorganic and organic nitrogen using δ15N for tropospheric aerosols over Mt. Tai', npj Climate and Atmospheric Science, vol. 4, no. 1, 8.

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.

Xu, J, Song, S, Harrison, RM, Song, C, Wei, L, Zhang, Q, Sun, Y, Lei, L, Zhang, C, Yao, X, Chen, D, Li, W, Wu, M, Tian, H, Luo, L, Tong, S, Li, W, Wang, J, Shi, G, Huangfu, Y, Tian, Y, Ge, B, Su, S, Peng, C, Chen, Y, Yang, F, Mihajlidi-zelić, A, Đorđević, D, Swift, SJ, Andrews, I, Hamilton, JF, Sun, Y, Kramawijaya, A, Han, J, Saksakulkrai, S, Baldo, C, Hou, S, Zheng, F, Daellenbach, KR, Yan, C, Liu, Y, Kulmala, M, Fu, P & Shi, Z 2020, 'An interlaboratory comparison of aerosol inorganic ion measurements by ion chromatography: implications for aerosol pH estimate', Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, vol. 13, no. 11, pp. 6325-6341.


Liu, L, Zhang, J, Du, R, Teng, X, Hu, R, Yuan, Q, Tang, S, Ren, C, Huang, X, Xu, L, Zhang, Y, Zhang, X, Song, C, Liu, B, Lu, G, Shi, Z & Li, W 2021, 'Chemistry of atmospheric fine particles during the COVID-19 pandemic in a megacity of eastern China', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 48, no. 2, 2020GL091611.

Working paper

Shi, Z, Xu , J, Harrison, R, Bloss, W, Allan, J, Barratt, B, Coe, H, Doherty, R, Fu , P, Grimmond, S, Guan , D, Guo , X, Hamilton, J, He , K, Heard, D, Hewitt, N, Jones, R, Kalberer, M, Kelly, F, Lee, J, Lewis, A, Li , J, Loh, M, Miller, M, Monks, P, Netmitz, E, Palmer, P, Reeves, C, Shao, L, Sun, Z, Tao , S, Tong , S, Whalley, L, Wang , X, Wild, O, Wu , Z, Xie , P, Zhang , Q, Zheng, M & Zhu , T 2021 'Atmospheric pollution and human health in a Chinese megacity (APHH-Beijing) programme: final report' University of Birmingham.

Shi 时宗波, Z, Xu 徐婧莎, J, Harrison, R, Bloss, W, Allan, J, Barratt, B, Coe, H, Doherty, R, Fu 傅平青, P, Grimmond, S, Guan 关大博, D, Guo 郭新彪, X, Hamilton, J, He 贺克斌, K, Heard, D, Hewitt, N, Jones, R, Kalberer, M, Kelly, F, Lee, J, Lewis, A, Li 李杰, J, Loh, M, Miller, M, Monks, P, Netmitz, E, Palmer, P, Reeves, C, Shao 邵龙义, L, Sun 孙志伟, Z, Tao 陶澍, S, Tong 佟胜睿, S, Whalley, L, Wang 王新明, X, Wang 王学军, X, Wild, O, Wu 吴志军, Z, Xie 谢品华, P, Zhang 张强, Q, Zheng 郑玫, M & Zhu 朱彤, T 2021 '中国超大城市空气污染和人体健康 (APHH-Beijing) 中英联合研究计划: 最终报告' University of Birmingham.

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