Over the course of her career, Professor Kimberly Prather has co-authored over 230 publications on a variety of topics related to atmospheric aerosols. Awards for her work include being an elected member of three academies: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Sciences. She is an elected fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the Association for the Advancement of Arts and Sciences.

Research Interests

Her research focuses on how aerosols impact clouds, climate, and precipitation. Her group develops on-line mass spectrometers that are being used to determine the sources and transport pathways of airborne bacteria and viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, and their impacts on indoor air quality and human health. She is now working towards spatially and temporally mapping the global distribution of airborne microbes to better understand their impacts on clouds, climate, and human health. Prather is the founding Director of the NSF Center for Aerosol Impacts on Chemistry of the Environment (CAICE), an NSF Center for Chemical Innovation. CAICE has transferred the full complexity of the ocean-atmosphere system into the laboratory where scientists are investigating how ocean biology influences atmospheric chemistry, clouds, and climate. Professor Prather has been active in science communication throughout her career. Most recently, she has been involved in science communication related to the role of aerosol transmissions of SARS-CoV-2 during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has given many media interviews and been an international leader in getting policy changes enacted to protect against the spread of this airborne virus and improve indoor air quality. She has helped develop safe re-opening plans for schools and businesses worldwide.

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Primary Section

Section 16: Geophysics

Secondary Section

Section 14: Chemistry