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William H. Brune
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William H. Brune

  • Distinguished Professor of Meteorology
617 Walker Building
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 865-3286


  1. Ph.D. -- Johns Hopkins University

Research Specialties:

Atmospheric/Air Chemistry:

Explore the atmosphere's chemistry at locations around the world. Join us on science teams for aircraft and ground-based field campaigns, as we measure hydrogen oxides with state-of-the-art laser techniques and analyze their key roles in global air pollution. Become an expert in an expanding research area that has significant implications for society, global change, and environmental policy.


  • Member of the Graduate Faculty

Research Interests:

Atmospheric photochemistry from Earth's surface to the stratosphere; atmospheric interactions between photochemistry and dynamics; chemical reactions in the gas-phase on surfaces; spectroscopic detection techniques.

Teaching Interests:

Atmospheric chemistry, phenomena of the middle atmosphere, cloud chemistry and physics, micrometeorology, instruments.

Dr. Brune studies the role of chemistry, particularly reactive free radicals, in atmospheric processes. These studies address fundamental questions of air quality near Earth's surface, of atmospheric effects of global pollution in the middle and upper troposphere, and of ozone destruction in the stratosphere. He develops state-of-the-art instruments based on spectroscopic and photochemical principles to detect atmospheric trace constituents and to study chemical mechanisms in the laboratory. His research includes the measurement and analysis of the hydrogen free radicals OH and HO2 and total atmospheric OH reactivity using ground-based platforms and aircraft. He, his colleagues and students also conduct laboratory and field studies of oxidation processes that result in the pollutants ozone and atmospheric particles.

Selected Publications:

Shirley, T.R., W. H. Brune, X. Ren, J. Mao, R. Lesher, B. Cardenas, R. Volkamer, L. T. Molina, M. J. Molina, B. Lamb, E. Velasco, T. Jobson, and M. Alexander, Atmospheric oxidation in the Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) during April 2003, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 6, 2753-2765, 2006.

Ren, X., W.H. Brune, A. Oliger, A.R. Metcalf, J. B. Simpas, T. Shirley, J. J. Schwab, C. Bai, U. Roychowdhury, Y. Li, C. Cai, K.L. Demerjian, Y. He, X. Zhou, H. Gao, and J. Hou, OH, HO_2 , and OH reactivity during the PMTACS­NY Whiteface Mountain 2002 campaign: Observations and model comparison, J. Geophys. Res., 111, D10S03, doi:10.1029/2005JD006126, 2006.

Ren, X.R., Brune, W.H., Cantrell, C.A., G.D. Edwards, T. Shirley, A.R. Metcalf and R.L. Lesher, Hydroxyl and peroxy radical chemistry in a rural area of Central Pennsylvania: Observations and model comparisons, J. Atmos. Chem., 52 (3): 231-257, 2005.

Di Carlo, P; W.H. Brune, M. Martinez, H. Harder, R. Lesher, X.R. Ren, T. Thornberry, M.A. Carroll, V. Young, P.B. Shepson, D. Riemer, E. Apel, C. Campbell, Missing OH reactivity in a forest: Evidence for unknown reactive biogenic VOCs, Science, 304, 722-725, 2004.

Ren, X.R., H. Harder, M. Martinez, I.C. Faloona, D. Tan, R.L. Lesher, P. Di Carlo, J.B. Simpas, W.H. Brune, Interference testing for atmospheric HOx measurements by laser-induced fluorescence, J. Atmos. Chem., 47, 169-190, 2004.

Faloona, I.C., D. Tan, R.L. Lesher, N.L. Hazen, C.L. Frame, J.B. Simpas, H. Harder, M. Martinez, P. Di Carlo, X.R. Ren, W.H. Brune, A laser-induced fluorescence instrument for detecting tropospheric OH and HO_2 : Characteristics and calibration, J. Atmos. Chem., 47, 139-167, 2004.

Martinez, M, H. Harder, X. Ren, R.L. Lesher, W.H. Brune, Measuring atmospheric naphthalene with laser-induced fluorescence, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 4, 563-569, 2004.

Ren, X., H. Harder, M. Martinez, R. L. Lesher, A. Oliger, J. B. Simpas, W.H. Brune, J. J. Schwab, K. L. Demerjian, Y. He, X. Zhou, and H. Gao, OH and HO2 Chemistry in the Urban Atmosphere of New York City, Atmospheric Environment, *37*, 3639-3651, 2003.

Kovacs, T.A., W.H. Brune, H. Harder, M. Martinez, J.B. Simpas, G.J. Frost, E. Williams, T. Jobson, C. Stroud, V. Young, A. Fried, and B. Wert, Direct measurements of urban OH reactivity during Nashville SOS in summer 1999. J. Environ. Monit., 5, 68­74, 2003.

Faloona, I., D. Tan, W. Brune, J. Hurst, D. Barket, T. Couch, P. Shepson, E. Apel, D. Riemer, T. Thornberry, M. A. Carroll, S. Sillman, S. Bertman., Nighttime observations of anomalously high levels of hydroxyl radicals above a deciduous forest canopy. J. Geophys. Res., 106, 24,315, 2001.