Yafang Cheng receives prestigious AGU Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award

Researcher at the MPI for Chemistry honored for excellent research and leadership in atmospheric aerosol science

December 08, 2020

For her outstanding contributions to the understanding of atmospheric aerosols and their impact on air quality and climate, Yafang Cheng will receive the Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) on December 9th at the AGU Fall Meeting 2020. The Award aims to reward exceptional mid-career scientists in the fields of the atmospheric and climate sciences.

Earlier this year, Yafang Cheng had already been honored with the Schmauss Award of the German Association for Aerosol Research. Ulrich Pöschl, Director of the Multiphase Chemistry Department at the MPI for Chemistry, says: “Yafang Cheng is an outstanding scholar and internationally leading expert in atmospheric research who has achieved transformative advances and continues to make groundbreaking contributions to progress in the Earth and environmental sciences. Her scientific research comprises several breakthroughs in the mechanistic understanding of atmospheric chemical and physical processes, especially on aerosol interactions and effects on human health and climate change.”

Minerva Research Group Leader at the MPI for Chemistry

Yafang Cheng leads the independent Minerva Research Group “Aerosol, Air Quality and Climate” at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz since 2014. She and her group are developing and combining innovative experimental methods and multi-scale modeling tools to understand key processes that drive the formation and transformation of aerosols, and to elucidate and quantify the effects of atmospheric aerosols on air quality and climate.
Among Dr. Cheng's most widely recognized and highly cited studies are her discovery of new pathways and theories of reactive nitrogen chemistry, atmospheric aerosol acidity, and their influence on haze formation (Science 2011; Science 2020; Science Advances 2016). Her work is also central to the fundamental understanding of the thermodynamics and molecular dynamics of phase transitions in highly supersaturated nanoparticles and their regional and global effects in the Earth system (Nature Communications 2015; Science Advances 2018). Furthermore, Dr. Cheng’s studies have a profound impact on science-oriented policymaking in air pollution control and climate change mitigation. She has demonstrated how a better physico-chemical understanding can help to develop cost-effective control strategies (Science Advances 2016; PNAS 2018; PNAS 2020).

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