Karsten Baumann, PhD
Dr. Baumann has researched atmospheric processes leading to air pollution and its effects on ecosystem and human health for over 30 years. His thesis work was on ozone deposition into forests and its ecological effects. After his post-doctoral work with NOAA and NCAR in Boulder, Colorado, he directed two research centers at Georgia Tech, focusing on secondary organic aerosol (SOA) in the Southeastern US. In 2007, Dr. Baumann joined Atmospheric Research & Analysis, Inc., where he built and staffed a laboratory specifically designed for advanced chemical analyses of aerosol samples collected in the South-Eastern Aerosol Research and Characterization (SEARCH) network. Since its inception in 1998, the scientific value of SEARCH grew steadily and is manifested by over 300 scientific publications to date.
In 2013, Dr. Baumann managed the SEARCH-Centreville site to serve as ground site for the Southern Oxidants & Aerosol Study, and studied boundary layer dynamics effects on air quality in rural and urban settings of the SOAS domain. Since July 2015, he implemented and optimized automated gas chromatographic instrumentation at four SEARCH network sites for hourly collection of volatile organic compounds (VOC) data. The availability of highly resolved continuous VOC data allowed new insights into diurnal and seasonal characteristics of ambient VOC and their changing role in photochemical processes leading to ozone and SOA pollution across the Southeast.
In recent collaborations with the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany, Dr. Baumann focused on health risks posed by reactive oxygen species formed in the human lung. He developed an experimental setup for reproducible loading of a simulated epithelial lining fluid (SELF) with certain quinones alone or in combination with other nitrated and oxygenated PAH or transition metals. Such loaded SELF are suitable to measure possible synergistic, antagonistic or additive effects of the target compounds' oxidative potential in both extra- and intra-cellular assay environments. His current research interests are in multi-phase reactions occurring on indoor surfaces involving different oxidants.