Veronica Vaida’s interests in teaching and research are at the interface of fundamental chemistry and environmental science, including planetary atmospheres, the contemporary and ancient Earth. Her research brings techniques and concepts of physical chemistry to the study of atmospheric chemistry and climate. Veronica was born and received her early education in Romania, where she started the study of Chemistry at the University of Bucharest. She received her B.Sc. degree at Brown University and completed her Ph.D. at Yale. Veronica then went to Harvard University, as a post-doctoral fellow, then as an assistant and associate professor in chemistry. In 1984 Veronica Vaida moved to the University of Colorado, Boulder where she is currently a Professor of Chemistry and a fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. Veronica was a fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Physical Society. She was awarded the Wilson Prize in Spectroscopy, and the Irving Langmuir Prize in chemical physics by the American Chemical Society. Veronica is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the National Academy of Sciences.

Research Interests

Veronica Vaida's teaching and research have followed an interdisciplinary path at the interface of physical chemistry and atmospheric and environmental science targeting planetary atmospheres including the contemporary and prebiotic Earth. Her research at the University of Colorado focused on light-initiated reactions of molecules and radicals of atmospheric interest. She developed methods for the study of the effect of water on chemical reactivity by investigating components of interest in the contemporary and prebiotic atmospheres in water clusters (hydrates), at water-air interfaces and in atmospheric aerosols to provide the fundamental data-base needed to establish the role of chemistry in aqueous environments in atmospheric chemistry and climate. Currently her research investigates the special chemical environment provided by water-air interfaces in the natural environment provided by oceans, atmospheric aerosols, cloud droplets and fog. Physical chemistry provides the tools and concepts used in the Vaida research group. The relevance of the work in the Vaida group is to atmospheric chemistry, prebiotic evolution of chemical complexity needed for life, climate, energy and the environment.

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 14: Chemistry