William H. Brune

William H. Brune

  • Distinguished Professor of Meteorology
617 Walker Building
University Park, PA 16802
Email: whb2@psu.edu
Phone: (814) 865-3286


  1. Ph.D. -- Johns Hopkins University

Research Specialties:

Atmospheric/Air Chemistry:

Brune studies the atmosphere's oxidation chemistry by making measurements in field campaigns and then modeling the measurements with photochemical box models. These studies address fundamental questions of air quality near Earth's surface, of atmospheric effects of global pollution in the middle and upper troposphere, and of ozone destruction in the stratosphere. He, his research associates, and his students have developed instruments to measure atmospheric hydroxyl and hydroperoxyl radicals, OH reactivity (the inverse of the OH lifetime), potential aerosol mass, and the ozone production rate. Their Potential Aerosol Mass chambers are used by more than a dozen research groups for laboratory and field studies of particle formation and aging. He and his colleagues also assess atmospheric chemistry model uncertainty and the sensitivity of model outputs to model inputs. This research is focused on improving the understanding of atmospheric oxidation processes.

Join us as we explore the atmosphere's oxidation chemistry with field measurements, laboratory studies, and modeling. Be a valuable member in our scientific collaborations with other research groups around the world. Become an expert in an expanding research area that has significant implications for society, global change, and environmental policy.


  • Member of the Graduate Faculty

Curriculum Vitae:


Research Interests:

Atmospheric photochemistry from Earth's surface to the stratosphere; atmospheric aerosol particle formation and aging; uncertainty and sensitivity analysis for atmospheric chemistry models and measurements; new measurement strategies for atmospheric oxidation processes

Teaching Interests:

Atmospheric chemistry, phenomena of the middle atmosphere, cloud chemistry and physics, thermodynamics, micrometeorology, instruments.


Selected Publications:

Chen, S., W.H. Brune, A.T. Lambe, P. Davidovits, T.B. Onasch, Modeling organic aerosol from the oxidation of alpha-pinene in a Potential Aerosol Mass (PAM) chamber, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 5017-5031, DOI: 10.5194/acp-13-5017-2013, 2013.

Chen, S., W.H. Brune, O.O. Oluwole, C.E. Kolb, F. Bacon, G.Y. Li, H. Rabitz, Global Sensitivity Analysis of the Regional Atmospheric Chemical Mechanism: An Application of Random Sampling-High Dimensional Model Representation to Urban Oxidation Chemistry, Environmental Science and Technology, 46, 11162-11170   DOI: 10.1021/es301565w, 2012.

Mao, J., X. Ren, L. Zhang, D. M. Van Duin, R. C. Cohen, J.-H. Park, A. H. Goldstein, F. Paulot, M. R. Beaver, J.D. Crounse, P. O. Wennberg, J. P. DiGangi, S. B. Henry, F. N. Keutsch, C. Park, G. W. Schade, G. M. Wolfe, J. A. Thornton, and W. H. Brune, Insights into hydroxyl measurements and atmospheric oxidation in a California forest, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 8009–8020, 2012.

Lambe, A.T., T.B. Onasch, D.R. Croasdale, J. Martin, A.T. Alexander, P. Massoli, J.H. Kroll, M.R. Canagaratna, W.H. Brune, D.R. Worsnop, P. Davdovits, Transitions from Functionalization to Fragmentation Reactions of Laboratory Secondary Organic Aerosol (SOA) Generated from the OH Oxidation of Alkane Precursors,  Environmental Science and Technology, 46, 5430-5437, DOI: 10.1021/es300274t, 2012.

Cazorla, M., W.H. Brune, X. Ren, and B. Lefer, Direct measurement of ozone production rates in Houston in 2009 and comparison with two estimation methods, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 1203–1212, 2012.

Kang, E., M.J. Root, D.W. Toohey, W.H. Brune, Introducing the concept of Potential Aerosol Mass (PAM), Atmos. Chem. Phys., 7, 5727–5744, 2007.

Di Carlo, P; W.H. Brune, M. Martinez, H. Harder, R. Lesher, X.R. Ren, T. Thornberry, M.A. Carroll, V. Young, P.B. Shepson, D. Riemer, E. Apel, C. Campbell, Missing OH reactivity in a forest: Evidence for unknown reactive biogenic VOCs, Science, 304, 722-725, 2004.

Ren, X., H. Harder, M. Martinez, R. L. Lesher, A. Oliger, J. B. Simpas, W.H. Brune, J. J. Schwab, K. L. Demerjian, Y. He, X. Zhou, and H. Gao, OH and HO2 Chemistry in the Urban Atmosphere of New York City, Atmospheric Environment, 37, 3639-3651, 2003.