Rainer Volkamer
Professor • Institute Fellow, CIRES
Chemistry • Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)

Office: Ekeley M325
Lab: E M342, M322, M309
Lab Phone: 303-735-2235
Fax: 303-492-5894


Ph.D.: Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Germany
Postdoctoral Fellow: University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Postdoctoral Fellow: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Areas of Expertise

Trace Gases & Radicals, Remote Sensing, Atmospheric/Astrochemistry, Aerosols & Clouds, Atmospheric Field Studies, Instrument Development

Awards and Honors

  • NSF CAREER Award recipient, 2009
  • Feodor-Lynen Fellow (2005-2007)
  • Henry & Camille Dreyfus Fellow (2002-2004)
  • Marie Curie Fellow (1998-2000)
  • Erasmus Fellow (1992-1993)

Research Interests

Rainer’s general interest is the study of atmospheric chemistry in air quality and climate science, using a combination of in-situ and remote sensing measurement techniques, which he and his group are developing and deploying in polluted urban and pristine atmospheric environments from ships, research aircrafts, and autonomous ground-based networks, and in simulation chamber experiments to develop and test the mechanistic understanding represented in atmospheric models used to manage air resources and climate.

Current Research

Ocean-Atmosphere interactions over the Tropical Pacific Ocean (NSF-SGER); Coastal Halogen Atmospheric Research of Mercury Depletion (EPRI Technology Innovation); Remote Sensing of ozone and secondary organic aerosol precursor gases (NSF-CAREER); Development of Optical Spectroscopic Instrumentation for use in field and laboratory studies; Numerical Modeling of fast photochemical processes of relevance to Air Quality

Volkamer, R., J. Ziemann, and J. Molina. Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation from Acetylene (C2H2): Seed Effect on SOA Yields due to Organic Photochemistry in the Aerosol Aqueous Phase. 2009, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 8, 1907-1928, 2009.

Barnard, R., R. Volkamer, and E.I. Kassianov. Estimation of the mass absorption cross section of the organic carbon componenet of aerosols in the Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA), 2008, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 8(22), 6665-6679. 

Myriokefalitakis, S., M. Vrekoussis, K. Tsigaridis, F. Wittrock, A. Richter, C. Bruehl, R. Volkamer, J. P. Burrows, and M. Kanakidou, The influence of natural and anthropogenic secondary sources on the glyoxal global distribution, 2008, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics,8(16), 4965-4981.

Volkamer, R., F. San Martini, D. Salcedo, L. T. Molina, J. L. Jimenez, and M. J. Molina, A Missing Sink for Gas-Phase Glyoxal in Mexico City: Formation of Secondary Organic Aerosol, 2007, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L19807. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2007GL030752

Volkamer, R.; Jimenez, J.L.; Dzepina, K.; Salcedo, D.; SanMartini, F.M.; Molina, L.T.; Worsnop, D.R.; Molina, M.J.; Secondary Organic Aerosol formation from Anthropogenic Air Pollution: Rapid and higher than expected. 2006, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L17811. doi: 10.1029/2006GL026899.

Volkamer, R.; Molina, L.T.; Molina, M.J.; Shirley, T.; Brune, W.H.; DOAS measurement of Glyoxal as a new marker for fast VOC chemistry in urban air. 2005, Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L08806. doi: 10.1029/2005GL022616.