Thomas Berkemeier

Thomas Berkemeier

Group Leader
Berkemeier Group
Multiphase Chemistry

Main Focus

For more information, please also see the Berkemeier Group webpage.

Kinetic Modelling of Physiological Chemistry and Biology
  • Production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the epithelial lining fluid (ELF)
  • Radical yield of chemical reactions in aqueous media

Chemical kinetics of atmospheric multiphase systems

  • Oxidative ageing of atmospheric aerosols
  • Laboratory experiments and modelling of the formation of secondary organic aerosol (SOA)

Diffusion in high viscosity systems (esp. semi-solid and glassy organic aerosol)

  • Interplay and competition of chemical reactions and diffusion
  • Ice nucleation of glassy organic aerosol

Curriculum Vitae

Professional Career

since 2020: Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Multiphase Chemistry Department, Mainz, Germany; Group leader for "Chemical Kinetics & Reaction Mechanisms" in the department of Prof. Dr. Ulrich Pöschl.

2018 – 2020: Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Multiphase Chemistry Department, Mainz, Germany; Research on the subject "Kinetic modelling of physiological chemistry in the epithelial lining fluid" with Prof. Dr. Ulrich Pöschl.

2016 – 2018: School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, GA, USA; Postdoctoral Fellow on the subject "Growth, Evaporation and Particle Phase Chemistry of Organic Aerosols" with Dr. Nga Lee (Sally) Ng.


2013 – 2016: Max Planck Planck Graduate Center with the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany; Doctoral thesis with distinction (summa cum laude), supervised by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Pöschl and Prof. Dr. Peter Spichtinger. Research on the subject “Multiphase kinetics of molecular diffusion, phase transitions and chemical reactions in liquid, semi-solid and glassy organic aerosols” in the group of Dr. Manabu Shiraiwa.

2010 – 2012: Universität Bielefeld, Fakultät für Chemie; M.Sc. (1.0) in Chemistry (Physical Chemistry, Theoretical Chemistry). Research on the subject "Modeling the competition of deposition ice nucleation and liquefaction of glassy aerosol particles", co-supervised by Prof. Dr. Thomas Koop and Prof. Dr. Ulrich Pöschl.

2007 – 2010: Universität Bielefeld, Fakultät für Chemie; B.Sc. (1.1) in Chemistry. Research on the subject "Ice growth inhibition by antifreeze glycopeptides and its suppression by boric acid" in the group of Prof. Dr. Thomas Koop.


  • 2008-2011: Teaching Assistant at Bielefeld University
    • General and Inorganic Chemistry (Prof. Dr. Norbert Mitzel)
    • Physical Chemistry (Prof'in Dr. Katharina Kohse-Höinghaus)
    • Organic Chemistry (Prof'in Dr. Adelheid Godt, Prof. Dr. Jochen Mattay).
  • 2011: Teaching Assistant Advanced Physical Chemistry at Bielefeld University (Prof. Dr. Thomas Koop).
  • 2016: Teaching Assistant Analytical Chemistry at Max Planck Institute for Chemistry / Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.
  • 2016-2017: Guest lecturer in the Aerosol Chemistry lecture of Dr. Nga Lee (Sally) Ng at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA.

Scholarships and Awards

  • Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society for outstanding scientific achievements of a young scientist, 2016. (weblink)
  • Eckert Postdoctoral Fellowship at Georgia Institute of Technology (USA), 2016.
  • Förderpreis der Friedrich Wilhelm Helweg StiftungBest student award at Bielefeld University, Department of Chemistry, class of 2012. (weblink)


32 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles that received over 900 citations with h-index 19 according to ISI Web of Knowledge. For more information, please see my Google Scholar Page.

(32) Wilson, J., Octaviani, M., Bandowe, B. A. M., Wietzoreck, M., Zetzsch, C., Pöschl, U., Berkemeier, T., Lammel, G.: Modeling the Formation, Degradation, and Spatiotemporal Distribution of 2-Nitrofluoranthene and 2-Nitropyrene in the Global Atmosphere, Environ. Sci. Technol., accepted, (2020).

(31) Wilson, J., Pöschl, U., Shiraiwa, M., Berkemeier, T.: Non-equilibrium interplay between gas-particle partitioning and multiphase chemical reactions of semi-volatile compounds: mechanistic insights and practical implications for atmospheric modeling of PAHs, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss. 20, in review, (2020).

(30) Berkemeier, T., Takeuchi, M., Eris, G., Ng, N. L.: Kinetic modelling of formation and evaporation of SOA from NO3 oxidation of pure and mixed monoterpenes, Atmos. Chem. Phys. 20, accepted, (2020).

(29) Tong, H., Zhang, Y., Filippi, A., Wang, T., Li, C., Liu, F., Leppla, D., Kourtchev, I., Wang, K., Keskinen, H.-M., Levula, J., Arangio, A. M., Shen, F., Ditas, F., Martin, S. T., Artaxo, P., Godoi, R. H. M., Yamamoto, C. I., De Souza, R. A. F., Huang, R.-J., Berkemeier, T., Wang, Y., Su, H., Cheng, Y., Pope, F. D., Fu., P., Yao., M., Pöhlker, C., Petäjä, T., Kulmala, M., Andreae, M. O., Shiraiwa, M., Pöschl, U., Hoffmann, T., Kalberer, M.: Radical Formation by Fine Particulate Matter Associated with Highly Oxygenated Moleculues, Environ. Sci. Technol. 53(21), 12506-12518, (2019).

(28) Alpert, P. A., Arroyo, P. C., Dou, J., Krieger, U. K., Steimer, S. S., Förster, J.-D., Ditas, F., Pöhlker, C., Rossignol, S., Passananti, M., Perrier, S., George, C., Shiraiwa, M., Berkemeier, T., Watts, B., Ammann, M.: Visualizing reaction and diffusion in xanthan gum aerosol particles exposed to ozone, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 21, 20613-20627, (2019).

(27) Marshall, F. H., Berkemeier, T., Shiraiwa, M., Nandy, L., Ohm, P. B., Dutcher, C. S., Reid, J. P..: Influence of particle viscosity on mass transfer and heterogeneous ozonolysis kinetics in aqueous–sucrose–maleic acid aerosol, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 20, 15560-15573, (2018).

(26) Boyd, C. M., Nah, T., Xu, L., Berkemeier, T., Ng, N. L.: Secondary Organic Aerosol (SOA) from Nitrate Radical Oxidation of Monoterpenes: Effects of Temperature, Dilution, and Humidity on Aerosol Formation, Mixing, and Evaporation, Environ Sci. Technol.51(14), 7831-7841, (2017).

(25) Socorro, J., Lakey, P. S. J., Han, L., Berkemeier, T., Lammel, G., Zetzsch, C., Pöschl, U., Shiraiwa, M.: Heterogeneous OH oxidation, shielding effects and implications for the atmospheric fate of terbuthylazine and other pesticides, Environ. Sci. Technol. 51(23), 13749-13754, (2017).

(24) Chim, M. M., Cheng, C. T., Davies, J. F., Berkemeier, T., Shiraiwa, M., Zuend, A., Chan, M. N.: Compositional evolution of particle-phase reaction products and water in the heterogeneous OH oxidation of model aqueous organic aerosols,  Atmos. Chem. Phys. 17, 14415-14431, (2017).

(23) Shiraiwa, M., Li, Y., Tsimpidi, A. P., Karydis, V. A., Berkemeier, T., Pandis, S. N., Lelieveld, J., Koop, T., Pöschl, U.: Global distribution of particle phase state in atmospheric secondary organic aerosols, Nat Commun. 8, 15002, (2017).

(22) Berkemeier, T., Ammann, M., Krieger, U. K., Peter, T., Spichtinger, P., Pöschl, U., Shiraiwa, M., and Huisman, A. J.: Technical Note: Monte-Carlo genetic algorithm (MCGA) for model analysis of multiphase chemical kinetics to determine transport and reaction rate coefficients using multiple experimental data sets, Atmos. Chem. Phys. 17, 8021-8029, (2017).

(21) Liu, F., Lakey, P. S. J., Berkemeier, T., Tong, H., Kunert, A. T., Meusel, H., Su, H., Cheng , Y., Fröhlich-Nowoisky, J., Lai, S., Weller, M. G., Shiraiwa, M., Pöschl, U., and Kampf, C. J.: Atmospheric protein chemistry influenced by anthropogenic air pollutants: nitration and oligomerization upon exposure to ozone and nitrogen dioxide, Faraday Discuss. 200, 413-427, (2017).

(20) Tong, H., Lakey, P. S. J., Arangio, A. M., Socorro, J., Kampf, C. J., Berkemeier, T., Brune, W. H., Pöschl, U., and Shiraiwa, M.: Reactive oxygen species formed in aqueous mixtures of secondary organic aerosols and mineral dust influencing cloud chemistry and public health in the Anthropocene, Faraday Discuss. 200, 251-270, (2017).

(19) Charnawskas, J. C., Alpert, P. A., Lambe, A., Berkemeier, T., O’Brien, R. E., Massoli, P., Onasch, T. B., Shiraiwa, M., Moffet, R. C., Gilles, M. K., Davidovits, P., Worsnop, D., and Knopf, D. A.: Condensed-phase biogenic-anthropogenic interactions with implications for cold cloud formation, Faraday Discuss. 200, 165-194, (2017).

(18) Lakey, P. S. J., Wisthaler, A., Berkemeier, T., Mikoviny, T., Pöschl, U., and Shiraiwa, M.: Chemical kinetics of multiphase reactions between ozone and human skin lipids: implications for indoor air quality and health effects, Indoor Air 27, 816-828, (2017).

(17) Lakey, P. S. J., Berkemeier, T., Tong, H., Arangio, A. M., Lucas, K., Pöschl, U., and Shiraiwa, M.: Chemical exposure-response relationship between air pollutants and reactive oxygen species in the human respiratory tract, Sci. Rep. 6, 32916, (2016). 

(16) Berkemeier, T., Ammann, M., Mentel, T. F., Pöschl, U., and Shiraiwa, M.: Organic nitrate contribution to new particle formation and growth in secondary organic aerosols from α-pinene ozonolysis, Environ. Sci. Technol. 50, 6334-6342, (2016).

(15) Lakey, P. S. J., Berkemeier, T., Krapf, M., Dommen, J., Steimer, S. S., Whalley, L. K., Ingham, T., Baeza-Romero, M. T., Pöschl, U., Shiraiwa, M., Ammann, M., and Heard, D. E.: The effect of viscosity on the HO2 uptake by sucrose and secondary organic aerosol particles, Atmos. Chem. Phys. 16, 13035-13047, (2016).

(14) Hodas, N., Zuend, A., Schilling, K., Berkemeier, T., Shiraiwa, M., Flagan, R. C., and Seinfeld, J. H.: Discontinuities in hygroscopic growth below and above water saturation for laboratory surrogates of oligomers in organic atmospheric aerosols, Atmos. Chem. Phys. 16, 12767-12792, (2016).

(13) Berkemeier, T., Steimer, S. S., Krieger, U. K., Peter, T., Pöschl, U., Ammann, M., and Shiraiwa, M.: Ozone uptake on glassy, semi-solid and liquid organic matter and the role of reactive oxygen intermediates in atmospheric aerosol chemistry, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 18, 12662-12674, (2016). 

(12) Tong, H., Arangio, A. M., Lakey, P. S. J., Berkemeier, T., Liu, F., Kampf, C. J., Pöschl, U., and Shiraiwa, M.: Hydroxyl radicals from secondary organic aerosol decomposition in water, Atmos. Chem. Phys. 16, 1761-1771, (2016).

(11) Hosny, N. A., Fitzgerald, C., Vysniauskas, A., Athanasiadis, T., Berkemeier, T., Uygur, N., Pöschl, U., Shiraiwa, M., Kalberer M., Pope, F. D., Kuimova, M. K.: Direct imaging of changes in aerosol particle viscosity upon hydration and chemical aging, Chem. Sci. 7, 1357-1367, (2016).

(10) Weber, B., Berkemeier, T., Ruckteschler, N., Caesar, J., Heintz, H., Ritter, H., and Braß, H.: Development and calibration of a novel sensor to analyze the water content of biological soil crusts and surface soils, Methods Ecol. Evol. 7, 14-22, (2016).

(9) Steimer, S. S., Berkemeier, T., Gilgen, A., Krieger, U. K., Peter, T., Shiraiwa, M., and Ammann, M.: Shikimic acid ozonolysis kinetics in the transition from liquid aqueous solution to highly viscous glass, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 17, 31101-31109, (2015).

(8) Kampf, C. J., Liu, F., Reinmuth-Selzle, K., Berkemeier, T., Meusel, H., Shiraiwa, M., and Pöschl, U.: Proteine Cross-Linking ad Oligomerization through Dityrosine Formation upon Exposure to Ozone, Environ. Sci. Technol. 49, 10859-10866, (2015).

(7) Gržinić, G., Bartels-Rausch, T., Berkemeier, T., Türler, A., and Ammann, M.: Viscosity controls humidity dependence of N2O5 uptake to citric acid aerosol, Atmos. Chem. Phys. 15, 13615-13625, (2015).

(6) Arangio, A., Slade, J. H., Berkemeier, T., Pöschl, U., Knopf, D. A., and Shiraiwa M.: Multiphase chemical kinetics of OH radical uptake by molecular organic markers of biomass burning aerosols: humidity and temperature dependence, surface reaction and bulk diffusion, J. Phys. Chem. A 119, 4533-4544, (2015).

(5) Berkemeier, T., Shiraiwa, M., Pöschl, U., and Koop, T.: Competition between water uptake and ice nucleation by glassy organic aerosol particles. Atmos. Chem. Phys. 14, 12513-12531, (2014).

(4) Budke, C., Dreyer, A., Jaeger, J., Gimpel, K., BerkemeierT., Bonin, A. S., Nagel, L., Plattner, C., DeVries, A. L., Sewald, N., Koop, T.: Quantitative Efficacy Classification of Ice Recrystallization Inhibition Agents. Cryst. Growth Des. 14, 4285-4294 (2014).

(3) Shiraiwa, M., Berkemeier, T., Schilling-Fahnestock, K. A., Seinfeld, J. H., Pöschl, U.: Molecular corridors and kinetic regimes in the multiphase chemical evolution of secondary organic aerosol. Atmos. Chem. Phys. 14, 8323-8341 (2014).

(2) Berkemeier, T., Huisman A. J., Ammann, M., Shiraiwa, M., Koop, T. and Pöschl, U. Kinetic regimes and limiting cases of gas uptake and heterogeneous reactions in atmospheric aerosols and clouds: a general classification scheme. Atmos. Chem. Phys. 13, 6663–6686 (2013).

(1) Nagel, L., Plattner, C., Budke, C., Majer, Z., Devries, A. L., Berkemeier, T., Koop, T. and Sewald, N. Synthesis and characterization of natural and modified antifreeze glycopeptides: glycosylated foldamers. Amino Acids 41, 719–732 (2011).

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