2018 EAS Young Investigator Award

Prof. Kerri Pratt

Kerri Pratt is the Seyhan N. Eğe Assistant Professor of the Department of Chemistry and Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. Dr. Pratt received her B.S. in Chemistry from the Pennsylvania State University in 2004 and her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego in 2009. As a Ph.D. student she received a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and EPA STAR Graduate Fellowship. She completed her postdoctoral research at Purdue University as a NOAA Climate & Global Change Postdoctoral Fellow and NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in Polar Regions Research. Dr. Pratt joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 2013.

Her analytical and environmental chemistry research focuses on the application of novel mass spectrometry methods to the study of the chemical interactions of atmospheric trace gases, particles, clouds, and snow to improve understanding and prediction of air quality and climate change. Using a chemical ionization mass spectrometer, she has made significant advances in understanding Arctic snowpack photochemical reactions that result in the production of molecular halogen trace gases at sub-ppt to ppt levels; notably, she published the first measurement of molecular iodine (I2) in the Arctic and discovered the source to be photochemical oxidation of iodide in the sunlit snowpack. Using a custom single-particle mass spectrometer, her group measures the chemical composition of individual submicrometer atmospheric particles in real-time; deployment of this instrument to the Alaskan Arctic for the first time led to the identification of oil field aerosol emissions significantly impacting Arctic air masses, which has implications for Arctic system change. In addition to these real-time techniques, her group used nanospray desorption electrospray ionization coupled with high-resolution mass spectrometry to make the first direct comparison of the molecular composition of high molecular weight organic compounds in atmospheric particles and cloud water, improving knowledge of cloud droplet reactions. Overall, her research group strives to make noteworthy contributions to environmental chemistry that are enabled by advancements in analytical chemistry, allowing her to tackle critical scientific questions in the Arctic where low analyte concentrations and logistically difficult conditions challenge traditional methods.

For her innovative research, she has received numerous awards, including the American Society for Mass Spectrometry Research Award (2014), Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh Starter Grant Award (2014), National Academy of Sciences Gulf Research Program Early Career Fellowship (2016), Sloan Research Fellowship in Chemistry (2017), and the American Chemical Society James J. Morgan Environmental Science & Technology Early Career Lectureship (2018). She is a working group co-chair of the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) Project activity “air Pollution in the Arctic: Climate, Environment, and Societies” (PACES) and is the liaison between PACES and the IGAC activity “Cryosphere and Atmospheric Chemistry” (CATCH).