University of Rochester

Atmospheric Chemistry & Climate Group

Dr. Lee T. Murray

Our Group

The University of Rochester Atmospheric Chemistry & Climate Group explores the nexus of atmospheric composition and climate. We develop and use state-of-the-science global air quality and climate models, employing both forward and inverse methods to interpret and assimilate various surface, aircraft and satellite observations to further understanding of atmospheric processes and humanity's role in the Earth system.

Our research is motivated by three grand challenges:

Air Quality

Air Quality

Air pollution is the leading cause of preventable death world-wide.

Science-driven policies have greatly improved air quality in certain locations, but furthur improvements are increasingly challenging. Meanwhile, air pollution is deteriorating in developing countries. Complicating everything is how air quality may change in a warming world. We seek to minimize these uncertainties and inform public health.

Climate Change

Climate Change

Human-caused climate change is one of the greatest threats facing humanity today.

Our group focuses on understanding the physical science basis of Earth's climate. How and why has Earth's climate naturally varied in the past? In what ways are humans changing the present climate? What will the future look like? Above all, how does atmospheric chemistry influence climate change and vice versa?

Big Data

Big Data

We live in an era of Big Data.

Research is increasingly limited by lack of computational power rather than data availability. Atmospheric models helped motivate creation of the first computers, and have pushed their limits ever since. We regularly need to generate, process and distill PB of data into fundamental knowledge. We seek to identify and apply new computational methods for efficiency and data mining.

Prospective Group Members

Our group admits students through the Ph.D. programs in Geosciences or Physics and Astronomy. Research opportunities may exist for M.S. students in the Goergen Institute for Data Science and for undergraduate students interested in term-time or summer research. Our research is highly interdisciplinary, so students from a wide variety of backgrounds will be considered. Successful applicants will be highly self-motivated and have demonstrated aptitude in prior research experiences. Previous programming experience is preferred, but not required.

Prospective students and postdoctoral researchers are encouraged to contact Dr. Murray via e-mail at with any questions. A list of presently available opportunities may be found on our Group Openings page.

Our group is interested in promoting diversity in the Geosciences. Applicants from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply and explore the resources available through the UR David T. Kearns Center.