Yang Li, Ph.D.

Yang Li, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
High Res Photo
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Harvard University, Cambridge
  • Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • M.Sc., Peking University, Beijing, China



Dr. Li is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Science. Prior to joining Baylor, she was a Postdoc Fellow at Harvard University, where she worked on MethaneSAT and MethaneAIR data analysis and science applications, with a focus on greenhouse gas flux inversion. Her other research projects at Harvard centered on using a coupled modeling framework to investigate the impacts of future changes in climate, vegetation, and land use practices on dust mobilization and wildfire activity. Dr. Li received her Ph.D. at the University of Michigan, where she applied and developed a large-eddy simulation model and regional chemical transport models to interpret the vertical distribution of biogenic volatile organic compounds. At Michigan, she also did a glacial project investigating the impact of aerosol deposition on snowmelt over the Greenland Ice Sheet. Dr. Li’s research interests span from local atmospheric chemistry modeling of trace gases and aerosols to global interpretation of climate and air quality co-benefits.



The Li research group studies atmospheric chemistry in the boundary layer as well as the interactions between air quality and climate change. The importance of our work, which entails the development and application of sophisticated atmospheric models, is in advancing our understanding of the chemical and physical processes of key air pollutants and their changes under future climate. Our research products are of great utility to environmental managers and especially the health impacts community.

Our research areas include:

  • High-resolution modeling of urban air quality
  • Trends in wildfire and dust in response to 21st century climate
  • Atmospheric chemistry in the fire smoke polluted boundary layer
  • Trace gas-aerosol-cloud interactions
  • Changes in greenhouse gas emissions and air quality co-benefits
Selected Publications

Li, Y., Mickley, L. J., and Kaplan, J. O. Response of dust emissions in southwestern North America to 21st century trends in climate, CO2 fertilization, and land use: Implications for air quality, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-311, in review, 2020.

Li, Y., Mickley, L. J., Liu, P., and Kaplan, J. O. Trends and spatial shifts in lightning fires and smoke concentrations in response to 21st century climate over the national forests and parks of the western United States, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 20, 8827–8838, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-20-8827-2020, 2020.

Li, Y., Barth, M. C., and Steiner, A. L. Comparing turbulent mixing of atmospheric oxidants across model scales. Atmospheric Environment, 199, 88-101, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2018.11.004, 2019.

Li, Y. and Flanner, M. G. Investigating the impact of aerosol deposition on snow melt over the Greenland ice sheet using a large-ensemble kernel. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 18, 16005-16018, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-16005-2018, 2018.

Li, Y., Barth, M. C., Patton, E. G., and Steiner, A. L. Impact of in-cloud aqueous processes on the chemistry and transport of biogenic volatile organic compounds. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 122, 11,131-111,153, 10.1002/2017JD026688, 2017.

Li, Y., Barth, M. C., Chen, G., Patton, E. G., Kim, S. W., Wisthaler, A., Mikoviny, T., Fried, A., Clark, R., and Steiner, A. L. Large‐eddy simulation of biogenic VOC chemistry during the DISCOVER‐AQ 2011 campaign. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 121, 8083-8105, 2016.


Current Openings

Undergraduate Students: We have a variety of air quality and climate related projects designed for undergraduate students. Please contact Dr. Li if you are interested in doing fun research with us.

Graduate Students: We are recruiting Ph.D. students to join our group in Fall 2022. If you are interested in our research, please contact Dr. Li to discuss research interests and potential projects. Ph.D. students in the Department of Environmental Science are fully funded through research and teaching assistantships.

Postdoctoral Research: We currently have an open postdoctoral position. If you are interested in our research topics, please contact Dr. Li to discuss potential opportunities.