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


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.

Wang, H, Wang, H, Lu, X, Lu, K, Zhang, L, Tham, YJ, Shi, Z, Aikin, K, Fan, S, Brown, SS & Zhang, Y 2023, 'Increased night-time oxidation over China despite widespread decrease across the globe', Nature Geoscience.

Tian, Y, Wang, X, Zhao, P, Shi, Z & Harrison, R 2023, 'PM2.5 source apportionment using organic marker-based chemical mass balance modeling: influence of inorganic markers and sensitivity to source profiles', Atmospheric Environment, vol. 294, 119477.

Zhang, G, Hu, X, Sun, W, Yang, Y, Guo, Z, Fu, Y, Wang, H, Zhou, S, Li, L, Tang, M, Shi, Z, Chen, D, Bi, X & Wang, X 2022, 'A comprehensive study about the in-cloud processing of nitrate through coupled measurements of individual cloud residuals and cloud water', Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 22, no. 14, pp. 9571-9582.

Alwadei, M, Srivastava, D, Alam, MS, Shi, Z & Bloss, WJ 2022, 'Chemical characteristics and source apportionment of particulate matter (PM2.5) in Dammam, Saudi Arabia: impact of dust storms', Atmospheric Environment: X, vol. 14, 100164.

Saleem, M, Iqbal, J, Shi, Z, Garrett, SH & Shah, MH 2022, 'Distribution and bioaccumulation of essential and toxic metals in tissues of thaila (Catla catla) from a natural lake, Pakistan and its possible health impact on consumers', Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, vol. 10, no. 7, 933.

Wang, Z, Yu, H, Liang, W, Wang, F, Wang, G, Chen, D, Wang, W, Zhao, H, Feng, Y, Shi, Z & Shi, G 2022, 'Ensemble source apportionment of air pollutants and carbon dioxide based on online measurements', Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 370, 133468.

Jain, S, Doherty, RM, Sexton, D, Turnock, S, Li, C, Jia, Z, Shi, Z & Pei, L 2022, 'Future projections of daily haze-conducive and clear weather conditions over the North China Plain using a perturbed parameter ensemble', Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 22, no. 11, pp. 7443-7460.

Fu, Y, Peng, X, Sun, W, Hu, X, Wang, D, Yang, Y, Guo, Z, Wang, Y, Zhang, G, Zhu, J, Ou, J, Shi, Z, Wang, X & Bi, X 2022, 'Impact of cloud process in the mixing state and microphysical properties of soot particles: implications in light absorption enhancement', Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, vol. 127, no. 21, e2022JD037169.

Singh, A, Bartington, SE, Song, C, Ghaffarpasand, O, Kraftl, M, Shi, Z, Pope, FD, Stacey, B, Hall, J, Thomas, GN, Bloss, WJ & Leach, FCP 2022, 'Impacts of emergency health protection measures upon air quality, traffic and public health: evidence from Oxford, UK', Environmental Pollution, vol. 293, 118584.

Wang, Z, Shi, Z, Wang, F, Liang, W, Shi, G, Wang, W, Chen, D, Liang, D, Feng, Y & Russell, AG 2022, 'Implications for ozone control by understanding the survivor bias in observed ozone-volatile organic compounds system', npj Climate and Atmospheric Science, vol. 5, no. 1, 39.

Baldo, C, Ito, A, Krom, MD, Li, W, Jones, T, Drake, N, Ignatyev, K, Davidson, N & Shi, Z 2022, 'Iron from coal combustion particles dissolves much faster than mineral dust under simulated atmospheric acidic conditions', Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 22, no. 9, pp. 6045-6066.

Zhang, J, Wang, Y, Teng, X, Liu, L, Xu, Y, Ren, L, Shi, Z, Zhang, Y, Jiang, J, Liu, D, Hu, M, Shao, L, Chen, J, Martin, ST, Zhang, X & Li, W 2022, 'Liquid-liquid phase separation reduces radiative absorption by aged black carbon aerosols', Communications Earth and Environment, vol. 3, no. 1, 128.

Şahin, ÜA, Harrison, RM, Alam, MS, Beddows, DCS, Bousiotis, D, Shi, Z, Crilley, LR, Bloss, W, Brean, J, Khanna, I & Verma, R 2022, 'Measurement report: interpretation of wide-range particulate matter size distributions in Delhi', Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 22, no. 8, pp. 5415-5433.

Review article

Srivastava, D, Vu, TV, Tong, S, Shi, Z & Harrison, RM 2022, 'Formation of secondary organic aerosols from anthropogenic precursors in laboratory studies', npj Climate and Atmospheric Science, vol. 5, no. 1, 22.

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