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Professor of Atmospheric Biogeochemistry, University of Birmingham

Zongbo Shi started his career as a geologist, gaining BA degree at Anhui University of Science and Technology, China. After studied for one and half years in Sedimentology in China University of Mining and Technology (Beijing), he was directly enrolled as a PhD student for his outstanding academic performance. During his PhD work, he investigated physicochemical properties and bioreactivity of urban aerosols and dust in Beijing. He then went to Tsinghua University working on fog and haze processing of primary particles (e.g., vehicle exhaust particles) and the sources of urban aerosols in Beijing, Shenzhen, and Ningbo. These works were part of the major air pollution mitigation consortium projects which developed air pollution control strategies in these cities. He was then granted a JSPS fellowship with a total funding of more than 1 million JPY to work in Prefectural University of Kumamoto, Japan where he focused on aging of the Asian dust and its impact on their chemical compositions and hygroscopic properties. Subsequently, he worked at School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds to work on a NERC-funded project where he combined the knowledge in geochemistry with atmospheric sciences and global aerosol modeling to understand the atmospheric processing of iron and phosphorous in mineral dust.

He joined University of Birmingham in 2011 as a NERC fellow and also the first Birmingham Fellow. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2017, Reader in 2019 and Professor in 2020. His current research aims at improving the estimation of the deposition fluxes of bioavailable iron, phosphorous and trace metals to the global ecosystems. This is approached by a combination of field measurements of atmospheric depositions and atmospheric aerosols, laboratory simulations of atmospheric processes, and global transport modeling simulations.

Research interests include:

Global Biogeochemical Cycles
Atmospheric Chemistry
Environmental Geochemistry


  • –present
    Research Fellow in Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham