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Alfie Mayhew

Biography

As a PhD student at the University of York’s Wolfson Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratories (WACL) I study the night-time chemistry of isoprene through the box modelling of chamber experiments, alongside analysis of ambient measurements.

I undertook my undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of York, where I was introduced to Atmospheric Chemistry as a subject. I then carried out my Masters project in WACL investigating the ionisation of compounds in electrospray mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), through machine learning predictions of relative ionisation efficiency (RIE). My masters project introduced me to coding in python, which I now use almost daily in my PhD project and enjoy thoroughly.

Qualifications

Masters in Chemistry (MChem)

Memberships and Fellowships

  • Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
  • The Aerosol Society

Research interests

Isoprene is the most emitted non-methane volatile organic compound (VOC) globally, so the chemistry of this compound is highly consequential for air quality and climate. I am particularly interested in the potential for Secondary Organic Aerosol (SOA) formation from isoprene.

The study of SOA is challenging due to the complexity of the organic mixtures produced when aerosol is formed, alongside the potential for heterogeneous and particle-phase reactions that are difficult to model and study. As such, there are large uncertainties surrounding SOA formation and composition, despite its potential to have a large impact on human health and climate.

Project title

Does Night-time Chemistry of Isoprene Impact Air Quality in Polluted Environment?

Supervisors

Funding

Leeds York NERC Panorama Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) 

Project outline

The project aims to understand the impact of night-time isoprene chemistry on air quality in polluted urban and rural environments. Simulation chamber experiments will be used alongside ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry analysis of ambient particle samples to identify the impact of nitrate radical chemistry (which can become the major loss route of isoprene at night) on the fate of isoprene in the atmosphere.

Presentations

I participated in the Atmospheric Chemical Mechanisms conference (ACM) in November 2020, presenting my work in the form of a lightning talk.

Wolfson Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratory

General enquiries: wacl@york.ac.uk

Postal address: Wolfson Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, Innovation Way, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD