Baylor University
Environmental Science
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Baylor > Environmental Science > Faculty and Staff > Rebecca Sheesley, Ph.D.
Rebecca Sheesley, Ph.D.

Profile Dr. Sheesley

Contact Information:
Department of Environmental Science
Baylor University
One Bear Place #97266
Waco, TX 76798-7266

Office: BSB A.425

Phone: (254) 710-3158

FAX: (254) 710-3409



Research Group:
Sheesley Lab

Associate Professor of Environmental Science
Fellow, Ecological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (EEES)


  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Stockholm University, Bolin Centre for Climate Research, 2007-2009 B.S., Wheaton College, 1998.
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2004-2007
  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2004

Academic Interests and Research:

Dr. Sheesley is interested in understanding local to global impacts of atmospheric particulate matter. Her work on air quality spans several continents, with studies in the Upper Midwest, Southern California, Scandinavia, South Asia and now the North American Arctic. Carbonaceous aerosols in the atmosphere are a continually changing complex mixture that interacts with the biosphere, impacts climate change and can have negative effects on human health. In order to understand the impacts of carbonaceous aerosols, the chemical composition needs to be investigated; to effectively mitigate the impact, sources of the aerosols need to be defined. This thesis has been the basis of Dr. Sheesley's previous carbonaceous aerosol studies. She has focused her efforts on refining methods for the analysis of organic tracers, the application of source apportionment models and have begun to incorporate carbon isotope methodologies. Dr. Sheesley is also interested in using these methods to assess the global impacts of primary and secondary carbonaceous aerosols on climate change and human health. The integration of organic tracer and isotope analysis into larger biosphere and human health impact research projects provides distinct advantages for statistical analysis and a source-oriented perspective.


  • ENV 4304: Aquatic Chemistry
  • ENV 42C1: Environmental Capstone
  • ENV 4102: Seminar in Environmental Science
  • ENV 4613: Field School in Environmental Science
  • ENV 1399: First Year Seminar in Environmental Health & Climate Change

Recent Published Works:

Student names are underlined

Barrett, T. E. and Sheesley, R. J. (In press, 2014) Urban impacts on regional carbonaceous aerosols: case study in the Central USA. J. of the Air and Waste Management Association.

Napelenok, S., Simon, H., Bhave, P., Pye, H., Pouliot, G., Sheesley, R.J., Schauer, J.J. (2014) “Diagnostic Air Quality Model Evaluation of Source Specific Primary and Secondary Fine Particulate Carbon.” Environmental Science & Technology, 48 (1) 464–473, DOI: 10.1021/es403304w.

Kirillova, E.N ., Andersson A., Sheesley R. J., Kruså M., Praveen P.S., K. Budhavant, P.D. Safai, P.S.P. Rao and Ö. Gustafsson. (2012). 13C- and 14C-based study of sources and atmospheric processing of water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC) in South Asian aerosols. J. Geophys. Res. 118 (D2) DOI: 10.1002/jgrd.50130

Liu, S., L. Ahlm, D. A. Day, L. M. Russell, Y. Zhao, D. R. Gentner, R. J. Weber, A. H. Goldstein, M. Jaoui, J. H. Offenberg, T. E. Kleindienst, C. Rubitschun, J. D. Surratt, R. J. Sheesley and S. Scheller (2012). Secondary organic aerosol formation from fossil fuel sources contribute majority of summertime organic mass at Bakersfield. J. Geophys. Res. 117 (D23); DOI: 10.1029/2012JD018170.

Sheesley, R. J., E. Kirillova, A. Andersson, M. Krus’, P. S. Praveen, K. Budhavant, P. D. Safai, P. S. P. Rao and O. Gustafsson . "Year-round radiocarbon-based source apportionment of carbonaceous aerosols at two background sites in South Asia." Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, 2012 117(D10): D10202.

Sheesley, R.J., Andersson, A., Gustafsson, O. Source characterization of organic aerosols using Monte Carlo source apportionment of PAHs at two South Asian receptor sites. Atmospheric Environment, 2011 45(23): 3874-3881. doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2011.01.031

Andersson, A., Sheesley, R.J., Krus’, M., Johansson, C., Gustafsson, O. 14C-Based source assessment of soot aerosols in Stockholm and the Swedish EMEP-Aspvreten regional background site. Atmospheric Environment, 2011 45 215-222.

Sheesley R.J., Deminter J. T., Meiritz M., Snyder D.C. and Schauer J.J., Temporal Trends in Motor Vehicle and Secondary Organic Tracers Using in Situ Methylation Thermal Desorption GCMS. Environmental Science & Technology 2010 44, 9398-9404

Kirillova, E.N., Sheesley, R.J., Andersson, A., Gustafsson O. Natural abundance 13C and 14C analysis of water soluble organic carbon (WSOC) in atmospheric aerosols, Analytical Chemistry, 2010 82, 7973-7978.

Sheesley, R.J., Schauer, J.J., Orf, M.L. Assessing the impact of industrial source emissions on atmospheric carbonaceous aerosol concentrations using data and particulate matter samples from routine monitoring networks. Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association, 2010 60 (2) 149-155.

Spira-Cohen, A, Chen, L.C., Kendall, M., Sheesley, R.J., Thurston, G.D. Personal exposures to traffic-related particle pollution among children with asthma in the South Bronx, NY, Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, advanced on-line publication: 28 October 2009 doi:10.1038/jes.2009.34.

Zhang, Y, ,Sheesley, R.J., Schauer, J.J., Lewandowski, M., Jaoui, M., Offenberg, J.H., Kleindienst, T.E., Edney, E.O. Source Apportionment of Primary and Secondary Organic Aerosols Using Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) of Molecular Markers, Atmospheric Environment, 2009 43(34) 5567-5574.

Gustafsson, O., Krus’, M., Zencak, Z., Sheesley, R.J., Granat, L., Engstr’m, E., Praveen, P.S., Rao, P.S.P., Leck, C., Rodhe, H. Brown Clouds over South Asia: biomass or fossil fuel combustion? Science, 2009 323 (5913) 495 - 498

Sheesley, R.J., Krus’, M., Krecl, P., Johansson, C., Gustafsson, O. Source apportionment of elevated wintertime PAHs by compound specific radiocarbon analysis. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 2009 9 3347-3356.