Surratt wins AAAR’s outstanding dissertation award

Oct. 3, 2013
Dr. Jason Surratt

Dr. Jason Surratt

Jason Surratt, PhD, assistant professor of environmental sciences and engineering (ESE), has won the prestigious Sheldon K. Friedlander Award from the American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR). Surratt was recognized Oct. 2 at the AAAR’s 32nd annual conference in Portland, Ore.
The award, which recognizes an outstanding doctoral dissertation in the field of aerosol science and technology, was established in 1997 to memorialize Professor Friedlander, one of AAAR’s founders and a graduate student mentor at Columbia and Johns Hopkins universities, the California Institute of Technology and the University of California for more than 50 years.
Surratt’s dissertation, “Analysis of the Chemical Composition of Atmospheric Organic Aerosols by Mass Spectrometry,” demonstrates how the detailed chemical analysis of air, especially through advanced mass spectrometric techniques, has been critical to the discovery of previously unidentified sources of fine particulate matter. Specifically, the work demonstrated how human-caused pollutants interact with natural emissions from trees (i.e., isoprene) to increase levels of fine particulate matter in the air.
“Identifying sources of fine particulate matter will help develop effective control strategies for reducing their effects on climate change, local air quality and human health,” Surratt said.
This thesis has led to new and ongoing work now being conducted in his laboratory.
“The Sheldon K. Friedlander Award is yet another illustration of the high-quality, innovative research that Jason Surratt is conducting at the forefront of atmospheric chemistry,” said Michael Aitken, PhD, professor and chair of the School’s ESE department. “Although this award is for his dissertation research, his contributions to the understanding of atmospheric particulate matter have only accelerated in the short time he has been at UNC. We are proud of his accomplishments and thankful he chose to join our faculty.”
Surratt joined the Gillings School faculty in 2010. His research has been honored widely, including with the Health Effects Institute’s Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award in 2012 and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Early Career Award in 2013.

Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or