Song Gao, Ph.D. | Duke Kunshan University

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Song Gao, Ph.D.

Professor of Environmental Science/Chemistry, Duke Kunshan University

Areas of expertise: 
  • Atmospheric chemistry, in particular secondary organic aerosol formation and urban air pollution mechanisms
  • Analyze the temporal and spatial evolution of air pollution in megacities and inter-city regions in China, using big data and statistics tools
  • Remediation technologies for cleaning ground water and river sediments
  • Analytical chemistry methodologies for environmental applications
  • Science-based environmental policies, in particular climate mitigation strategies by managing short-lived climate pollutants and utilizing co-benefits approaches

Song Gao is a Professor of Environmental Science at Duke Kunshan University.  He received his B.S. in Materials Science (Chemistry track, with Honors) from the University of Science and Technology of China, his Ph.D. in Analytical/Environmental Chemistry from University of Washington, and then continued with postdoctoral studies on Atmospheric Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) with Professor John Seinfeld.  Prior to joining DKU, he served on the chemistry faculty in Hong Kong University of Science and Technology as well as Stetson University in the US.

Dr. Gao takes an interdisciplinary approach, combining field, laboratory and modeling studies, to understanding the scientific mechanisms behind complex environmental pollution issues and finding remediation solutions. In particular, his research and peer-reviewed publications have focused on the physicochemical mechanisms of smog pollution, chemical nature and transformation of secondary aerosols, remediation technologies in removing halogenated compounds in groundwater.  He has also taken on a keen interest in formulating science-based policies in solving environmental issues with a co-benefits approach, in particular, mitigating ozone depletion, air pollution and climate change issues by examining both long-lived greenhouse gases such as CO2 and short-lived pollutants such as HFCs and black carbon via modeling and policy analyses. He has received research funding from the United States National Science Foundation (US NSF) and Hong Kong Research Grants Council, and has served as a reviewer for US NSF grants and a variety of international journals. He is currently an Editor for Case Studies in the Environment (University of California Press) and an Associate Editor for Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences (Springer).   

He is also passionate about teaching, having taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in chemistry, energy and environmental science.  Two of his undergraduate students recently received Green Chemistry Scholarships awarded by US National Science Foundation for their research work under his supervision.  

  • “Fine-Grained Compositional Analysis of Port Everglades Inlet Microbiome using High Throughput DNA Sequencing”, L. O’Connell, S. Gao, D. McCorquodale, J. Fleisher , J. V. Lopez, PeerJ – the Journal of Life and Environmental Sciences (2018),PeerJ 6:e4671, DOI 10.7717/peerj.4671.
  • “Online Single Particle Analysis of Chemical Composition and Mixing State of Crop Straw Burning Particles: from Laboratory Study to Field Measurement”, J. Huo, X. Lu, X. Wang, H. Chen, X. Ye, S. Gao, D. S. Gross, J. Chen, X. Yang, Frontiers of Environmental Science and Engineering (2016) 10: 244. doi:10.1007/s11783-015-0768-z.
  • “Managing Short-Lived Climate Forcers in Curbing Climate Change: An Atmospheric Chemistry Synopsis”, S. Gao, J. Environ. Stu. Sci. (Springer) 2015. DOI: 10.1007/s13412-014-0207-7.
  • “Characterization aerosol optical properties, chemical composition and mixing states in the winter season in Shanghai, China”, Y. Tang, Y. Huang, L. Li, H. Chen, J. Chen, X. Yang, S. Gao, D. Gross, J. Environ. Sciences 2014.
  • “A review on the importance of metals and metalloids in atmospheric dust and aerosol from mining operations”, Csavina, J., J. Field, M. P. Taylor, S. Gao, A. Landazuri, E. Betterton, A. E. Saez, Science of the Total Environment, 433, 58-73, 2012.
  • “Evidence for High Molecular Weight Nitrogen-Containing Organic Salts in Urban Aerosols”, X. Wang, S. Gao, X. Yang, H. Chen, J. Chen, G. Zhuang, J. Surratt, J. H. Seinfeld, Environmental Science & Technology 44(12), 4441-4446, 2010. 
  • “Water-soluble SOA from Alkene ozonolysis: composition and droplet activation kinetics inferences from analysis of CCN activity”, A. Asa-Awuku, A. Nenes, S. Gao, R. C. Flagan, J. H. Seinfeld, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 10(4), 1585 – 1597, 2010.
  • “Thermocatalytic destruction of gas-phase perchloroethylene using propane as a hydrogen source”, Willinger, M., E. Rupp, B. Barbaris, S. Gao, R. Arnold, E. Betterton, and A. Eduardo Saez, J. Hazardous Materials, 167 (1-3), 770 – 776, 2009.
  • “Mixed Redox Catalytic Destruction of Chlorinated Solvents in Soils and Groundwater: From the Laboratory to the Field”, Gao, S., Erik Rupp, Suzanne Bell, Martin Willinger, Theresa Foley, Brian Barbaris, A Eduardo Sáez, Robert G Arnold, Eric Betterton et al., Annals of New York Academy of Sciences, 1140(1), 435 – 445, 2008.
  • “Catalytic dechlorination of gas-phase perchloroethylene under mixed redox conditions”, Ö. Orbay, S. Gao, B. Barbaris, E. Rupp, A. Sáez, R. Arnold, E. Betterton, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 79, doi:10.1016/j.apcatb.2007.09.034, 2008.
  • “Characterization of polar organic components in fine aerosols in the Southeastern United States”, Gao, S., J. Surratt, E. Knipping, E. Edgerton, M. Shahgholi and J. H. Seinfeld, J. Geophys. Res. , 111 (D14): Art. No. D14314, 2006.
  • “Measurements of secondary organic aerosol from oxidation of cycloalkenes, terpenes, and m-xylene using an Aerodyne Aerosol Mass Spectrometer”, Bahreini, R., M. D. Keywood, N. L. Ng, V. Varutbangkul, S. Gao, R.C. Flagan, J.H. Seinfeld, D. R. Worsnop and J. L. Jimenez, Environ. Sci. Technol., doi: 10.1021/es048061a, 2005.
  • “Particle phase acidity and oligomer formation in secondary organic aerosol”, Gao, S., Ng, N. L., Keywood, M., Varutbangkul, V., Bahreini, R., Nenes, A., He, J., Yoo, K. Y., Beauchamp, J. L., Hodyss, R. P., Flagan, R. C., Seinfeld, J. H., Environ. Sci. Technol., dio: 10.1021/es049125k, 2004 
  • “Low-molecular-weight and oligomeric components in secondary organic aerosol from the ozonolysis of cycloalkenes and α-pinene”, Gao, S., Keywood, M., Ng, N. L., Surratt, J., Varutbangkul, V., Bahreini, R., Flagan, R. C., Seinfeld, J. H., J. Phys. Chem. A,108 (46), 10147 – 10164, doi: 10.1021/jp047466e, 2004.
  • “Water-soluble organic components in aerosols associated with savanna fires in southern Africa: Identification, evolution, and distribution”, Gao, S., D. A. Hegg, P. V. Hobbs, T.W. Kirchstetter, B Magi, M. Sadilek, J. Geophys. Res. 108 (D13), art. no. 8491, 2003.
  • “Aerosol chemistry and light-scattering and hygroscopicity budgets during outflow from East Asia”, Gao, S., D. A. Hegg, and H. Jonsson, J. Atmos. Chem. 46, 55 – 88, 2003.