Tuesday, February 7, 2023 - 3:30pm


The world’s oceans serve as a major reservoir of biological material, organic carbon, inorganic salts, and environmental toxins including plastics, which can become airborne in sea spray aerosol (SSA). Properties such as the viscosity and molecular composition of SSA are poorly characterized but affect gas–particle partitioning, uptake of trace gases, and the lifetimes of toxic components in aerosol. In this talk, I will discuss recent work from my group concerning (1) online mass spectrometric and particle bounce/rebound measurements of real SSA generated in a wave flume mesocosm complemented by theoretical modeling of SSA viscosity, (2) quantitative offline analyses of toxic plastic chemical residues and other contaminants in aerosol sampled in coastal San Diego and connections to SSA, and (3) the role of viscosity and reactive chlorine species in the heterogeneous and photosensitized oxidation kinetics of plastic additive species in model SSA generated in the lab.


I am an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). My research is in analytical and physical atmospheric chemistry with an emphasis on aerosol multiphase chemistry, reaction kinetics, and methods in mass spectrometry for the analysis of aerosols in the environment. I received my B.Sc. in Chemistry in 2007 from Winthrop University, a small college in Rock Hill, South Carolina. In 2009, I got my Masters in Analytical Chemistry from Purdue University. I then pursued a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University, where I graduated in 2015. Between 2015 and 2018, I was a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Prof. Paul B. Shepson at Purdue University. I was a member of the Thirteenth Atmospheric Chemistry Colloquium for Emerging Senior Scientists (ACCESS XIII), William A. Lee Fellow at UCSD between 2018 and 2021, and my work has been supported by an EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Early Career Award (PI), NSF-AGS research grant (PI), and by the NSF Center for Aerosol Impacts on Chemistry of the Environment (NSF-CAICE) (Co-I).


Nate Slade


UC San Diego


RH 104