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Assistant Professor


Personal Profile

Lei Zhu worked as a Research Scholar at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics before joining SUSTech. His research area is atmospheric chemistry with interests including remote sensing of trace gases, data assimilation, air quality, and atmosphere-land-ocean interactions. Lei has published more than 20 journal papers, with the total citation of > 1000 and the h-index of 16. He is a science team member of several satellites such as OMI, OMPS, TEMPO, and GEMS. Lei was awarded William T. Pecora Team Award (NASA and DOI, 2018), NASA Group Achievement Award (2015), and Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching (2013).

Ground website: https://www.acmrsg.org/


Research Area

Atmospheric chemistry



2016, Ph.D. in Engineering Science, Harvard University

2011, M.S. in Environmental Science, Peking University

2008, B.S. in Environmental Science, Nankai University


Professional Experience

2019.12–Present, Assistant Professor, Southern University of Science and Technology

2019.08–2019.12, Research Scholar, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

2017.01–2019.07, Postdoc, Harvard University


Awards & Honors

Academic Recognition

2019, Recognized reviewer for Atmospheric Pollution Research

2018, NASA/DOI William T. Pecora Team Award for OMI

2017, Outstanding reviewer for Atmospheric Environment

2015, NASA Group Achievement Award for SEAC4RS

2008, Graduate with honors, Nankai University


2013, Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching


2019, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Visiting Scientist Fellowship

2014-2016, Harvard Graduate Consortium on Energy and Environment Fellowship

2008-2010, Graduate Scholarship, Peking University



Atmospheric Sciences related courses


Selected Publications

(* denotes corresponding author)

Zhu, L.*, G. González Abad, C. R. Nowlan, et al.: Validation of satellite formaldehyde (HCHO) retrievals using observations from 12 aircraft campaigns, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1117, 2020.

Zhu, L.*, Jacob, D. J., Eastham, S. D., et al.: Effect of sea salt aerosol on tropospheric bromine chemistry, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 6497-6507, 2019.

Zhu, L.*, L. J. Mickley, D. J. Jacob et al.: Long-term (2005–2014) trends in formaldehyde (HCHO) columns across North America as seen by the OMI satellite instrument: Evidence of changing emissions of volatile organic compounds, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, 7079–7086, 2017.

Zhu, L.*, D. J. Jacob, F. N. Keutsch et al.: Formaldehyde (HCHO) as a Hazardous Air Pollutant: Mapping surface air concentrations from satellite and inferring cancer risks in the United States, Environ. Sci. Technol., 51, 5650–5657, 2017.

Zhu, L.*, D. J. Jacob, P. S. Kim et al.: Observing atmospheric formaldehyde (HCHO) from space: validation and intercomparison of six retrievals from four satellites (OMI, GOME2A, GOME2B, OMPS) with SEAC4RS aircraft observations over the southeast US, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 13477–13490, 2016.

Zhu, L.*, D. J. Jacob, L. J. Mickley et al.: Anthropogenic emissions of highly reactive volatile organic compounds in eastern Texas inferred from oversampling of satellite (OMI) measurements of HCHO columns, Environ. Res. Lett., 9, 114004, 2014.

Zhu, L., X. Huang, H. Shi et al.: Transport pathways and potential sources of PM10 in Beijing, Atmos. Environ., 45, 594–604, 2011.