Rebecca Sheesley, Ph.D.

Rebecca Sheesley, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
High Res Photo
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Stockholm University, Bolin Centre for Climate Research, 2007-2009
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2004-2007
  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2004
  • B.S., Wheaton College, 1998
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 Texas, the Upper Midwest, Southern California, Scandinavia, South Asia and the North American Arctic. Carbonaceous aerosols and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) 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, real time measurements of aerosol optical properties and VOCs, the application of source apportionment models and carbon isotope methodologies. Dr. Sheesley is also interested in using these methods to assess how climate and policy changes impact biogenic and anthropogenic VOCs emissions and atmospheric chemistry and how VOC emissions impact ambient concentrations of primary and secondary carbonaceous aerosols in urban and remote environments. The integration of VOC, aerosol optical properties, 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 3316: Introduction to Air Quality
  • ENV 3387: Environmental Chemistry
  • ENV 5387: Advanced Environmental Chemistry
  • ENV 43C2: Environmental Capstone
  • ENV 4613: Field School in Environmental Science
  • ENV 1399: First Year Seminar in Environmental Health & Climate Change
Recent Published Works

Student names are in italics

Wex, H., Huang, L., Zhang, W., Hung, H., Traversi, R., Becagli, S., Sheesley, R.J., Moffett, C.E., Barrett, T.E., Bossi, R. and Skov, H., 2019. Annual variability of ice-nucleating particle concentrations at different Arctic locations. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 19(7), pp.5293-5311.

Winiger, P., T. E. Barrett, R. J. Sheesley, L. Huang, S. Sharma, L. A. Barrie, K. E. Yttri, N. Evangeliou, S. Eckhardt, A. Stohl, Z. Klimont, C. Heyes, I. P. Semiletov, O. V. Dudarev, A. Charkin, N. Shakhova, H. Holmstrand, A. Andersson and Ö. Gustafsson (2019). “Source apportionment of circum-Arctic atmospheric black carbon from isotopes and modeling.” Science Advances 5(2): eaau8052.

Al-Naiema, I. M., S. Yoon, Y.-Q. Wang, Y.-X. Zhang, R. J. Sheesley and E. A. Stone (2018). “Source apportionment of fine particulate matter organic carbon in Shenzhen, China by chemical mass balance and radiocarbon methods.” Environmental Pollution 240: 34-43.

Yoon, S., D. Fairley, T. E. Barrett and R. J. Sheesley (2018). “Biomass and fossil fuel combustion contributions to elemental carbon across the San Francisco Bay Area.” Atmospheric Environment 195: 229-242.

Schulze, B. C., H. W. Wallace, A. T. Bui, J. H. Flynn, M. H. Erickson, S. Alvarez, Q. Dai, S. Usenko, R. J. Sheesley and R. J. Griffin (2018). “The impacts of regional shipping emissions on the chemical characteristics of coastal submicron aerosols near Houston, TX.” Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics 18(19).

Gunsch, M. J., Kirpes, R. M., Kolesar, K. R., Barrett, T. E., China, S., Sheesley, R. J., Laskin, A., Wiedensohler, A., Tuch, T. & Pratt, K. A. (2017). Contributions of transported Prudhoe Bay oil field emissions to the aerosol population in Utqiaġvik, Alaska. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 17(17), 10879-10892.

Barrett, T. E., and R. J. Sheesley (2017), Year-round optical properties and source characterization of Arctic organic carbon aerosols on the North Slope Alaska, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 122, 9319–9331, doi:10.1002/2016JD026194.

Sheesley, R. J., Nallathamby, P. D., Surratt, J. D., Lee, A., Lewandowski, M., Offenberg, J. H., Jaoui, M., & Kleindienst, T. E. (2017). Constraints on primary and secondary particulate carbon sources using chemical tracer and 14 C methods during CalNex-Bakersfield. Atmospheric Environment, 166, 204-214.

Bikkina, S., Andersson, A., Ram, K., Sarin, M. M., Sheesley, R. J., Kirillova, E. N., Rengarajan, R., Sudheer, A.K. & Gustafsson, Ö. (2017). Carbon isotopeconstrained seasonality of carbonaceous aerosol sources from an urban location (Kanpur) in the IndoGangetic Plain. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 122(9), 4903-4923.

Sinha, P. R., Kondo, Y., Koike, M., Ogren, J. A., Jefferson, A., Barrett, T. E., Sheesley, R. J., Ohata, S., Moteki, N., Coe, H., Liu, D., Irwin, M., Tunved, P., P. K., Zhao, Y. (2017) Evaluation of black carbon measurements in the Arctic. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 122(6), 3544-3572.

Clark, A. E., Yoon, S., Sheesley, R. J., & Usenko, S. (2017). Spatial and Temporal Distributions of Organophosphate Ester Concentrations from Atmospheric Particulate Matter Samples Collected across Houston, TX. Environmental Science & Technology, 51(8), 4239-4247.