Kim Prather

Kim Prather
University of California, San Diego | UCSD · Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO)

Ph.D.

About

404
Publications
59,630
Reads
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25,704
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2001 - present
University of California, San Diego
Position
  • Distinguished Chair in Atmospheric Chemistry
July 1992 - June 2001
University of California, Riverside
September 1990 - July 1992
University of California, Berkeley
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (404)
Article
Sea spray is a significant global aerosol source with impacts on marine cloud formation and climate. The physical properties and atmospheric fate of the sea spray aerosol (SSA) depend on its chemical composition, but the current understanding of the sources and composition of the marine aerosol or SSA remains limited particularly for the smallest a...
Article
Full-text available
The question of whether SARS‐CoV‐2 is mainly transmitted by droplets or aerosols has been highly controversial. We sought to explain this controversy through a historical analysis of transmission research in other diseases. For most of human history, the dominant paradigm was that many diseases were carried by the air, often over long distances and...
Article
To elucidate the seawater biological and physicochemical factors driving differences in organic composition between supermicron and submicron sea spray aerosol (SSAsuper and SSAsub), carbon isotopic composition (δ13C) measurements were performed on size-segregated, nascent SSA collected during a phytoplankton bloom mesocosm experiment. The δ13C mea...
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The discovery of atmospheric micro(nano)plastic transport and ocean–atmosphere exchange points to a highly complex marine plastic cycle, with negative implications for human and ecosystem health. Yet, observations are currently limited. In this Perspective, we quantify the processes and fluxes of the marine-atmospheric micro(nano)plastic cycle, wit...
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Ocean waves transfer sea spray aerosol (SSA) to the atmosphere, and these SSA particles can be enriched in organic matter relative to salts compared to seawater ratios. A fundamental understanding of the factors controlling the transfer of biogenic organic matter from the ocean to the atmosphere remains elusive. Field studies that focus on understa...
Preprint
Full-text available
Mineral dust and sea spray aerosol represent important sources of ice nucleating particles (INPs), the minor fraction of aerosol particles able to trigger cloud ice crystal formation and, consequently, influence multiple climate-relevant cloud properties including lifetime, reflectivity, and precipitation efficiency. Mineral dust is considered the...
Article
The oxidation of dimethyl sulfide (DMS; CH3SCH3), emitted from the surface ocean, contributes to the formation of Aitken mode particles and their growth to cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) sizes in remote marine environments. It is not clear whether other less commonly measured marine-derived, sulfur-containing gases share similar dynamics to DMS an...
Preprint
A consensus statement from physicians and scientists with a range of expertise in the areas of respiratory infection and aerosols, to clarify the discussion surrounding a recent preprint (https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.01.08.22268944v1) describing the aerosol dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) which generated cont...
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Plain Language Summary Research has shown that particulates can be transferred from the ocean into sea spray aerosol (SSA) when bubbles burst at the ocean surface. This transfer is important because incorporation of seawater particulates into SSA can impact its ability to seed water and ice clouds. During the Sea Spray Chemistry and Particulate Evo...
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The SeaSCAPE campaign replicated the marine atmosphere in the laboratory to investigate the links between biological activity in the ocean and the properties of primary sea spray aerosols, volatile organic compounds, and secondary marine aerosols.
Article
Algal biomass production is an emerging renewable source of fuels, nutrients, manufacturing materials, and pharmaceuticals. Industrial-scale production is predominantly performed in open raceway ponds that are inexpensive to build, operate, and maintain compared to closed bioreactors. However, these open pond systems suffer from increased opportuni...
Article
Anthropogenic imprints have become a fundamental part of most ecosystems. Our chemical footprint is often detected using targeted approaches, whereas xenobiotics are embedded within the large pool of dissolved metabolites, altered by biotic and abiotic mechanisms. Thus, it is necessary to simultaneously study anthropogenic signals entwined with the...
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Ice nucleating particles (INPs) are a rare subset of particles that can have an outsized impact relative to their prevalence. To simulate INP variability, models require parameterizations for the most important sources of INPs. Most parameterizations in the literature were developed from laboratory experiments that used proxies for ambient particle...
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Full-text available
The impact of sea spray aerosols (SSAs) on Earth’s climate remains uncertain in part due to size-dependent particle-to-particle variability in SSA physicochemical properties such as morphology, composition, phase state, and water uptake that can be further modulated by the environment relative humidity (RH). The current study investigates these pro...
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Full-text available
Significance Wide adoption of algae cultivation to produce environmentally sustainable biofuels and fine chemicals is currently hampered by large losses (10 to 30%) incurred by grazer infections. We show the usage of real-time chemical ionization mass spectrometry to rapidly identify gaseous indicators of grazer infections in cyanobacteria cultures...
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Mechanisms of airborne transmission The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted controversies and unknowns about how respiratory pathogens spread between hosts. Traditionally, it was thought that respiratory pathogens spread between people through large droplets produced in coughs and through contact with contaminated surfaces (fomites). However, several...
Preprint
Full-text available
The oxidation of dimethyl sulfide (DMS; CH3SCH3), emitted from the surface ocean, contributes to the formation of Aitken mode particles and their growth to cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) sizes in remote marine environments. It is not clear whether other, less commonly measured marine-derived, sulfur-containing gases share similar dynamics to DMS a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Marine aerosols strongly influence climate through their interactions with solar radiation and clouds. However, significant questions remain regarding the influences of biological activity and seawater chemistry on the flux, chemical composition, and climate-relevant properties of marine aerosols and gases. Wave channels, a traditional tool of phys...
Preprint
Marine aerosols strongly influence climate through their interactions with solar radiation and clouds. However, significant questions remain regarding the influences of biological activity and seawater chemistry on the flux, chemical composition, and climate-relevant properties of marine aerosols and gases. Wave channels, a traditional tool of phys...
Article
Full-text available
Molecular networking connects mass spectra of molecules based on the similarity of their fragmentation patterns. However, during ionization, molecules commonly form multiple ion species with different fragmentation behavior. As a result, the fragmentation spectra of these ion species often remain unconnected in tandem mass spectrometry-based molecu...
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Full-text available
Ice-nucleating particles (INPs) represent a rare subset of aerosol particles that initiate cloud droplet freezing at temperatures above the homogenous freezing point of water (−38 ∘C). Considering that the ocean covers 71 % of the Earth's surface and represents a large potential source of INPs, it is imperative that the identities, properties and r...
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Full-text available
Each year, over one hundred million people become ill and tens of thousands die from exposure to viruses and bacteria from sewage transported to the ocean by rivers, estuaries, stormwater, and other coastal discharges. Water activities and seafood consumption have been emphasized as the major exposure pathways to coastal water pollution. In contras...
Article
Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) in sea spray aerosol (SSA) particles have recently been shown to undergo heterogeneous reactions with HNO3 in the atmosphere. Here, we integrate theory and experiment to further investigate how the most abundant sea salt cations, Na⁺, Mg²⁺, and Ca²⁺, impact HNO3 reactions with LPS-containing SSA particles. Aerosol reaction...
Article
Looking further than COVID-19, some of the key messages: 1. We from now on should include the risk of indoor respiratory infections in our design of buildings and its ventilation. 2. Treat the air quality in a similar way as we are used to for water and food quality. 3. ‘Visualize’ the air quality by displaying monitoring values (e.g. CO2 concentra...
Article
Significance Microplastic particles and fibers generated from the breakdown of mismanaged waste are now so prevalent that they cycle through the earth in a manner akin to global biogeochemical cycles. In modeling the atmospheric limb of the plastic cycle, we show that most atmospheric plastics are derived from the legacy production of plastics from...
Article
Biological aerosols, typically identified through their fluorescence properties, strongly influence clouds and climate. Sea spray aerosol (SSA) particles are a major source of biological aerosols, but detection in the atmosphere is challenging due to potential interference from other sources. Here, the fluorescence signature of isolated SSA, produc...
Article
Multi-layered mitigations can substantially reduce the risk of transmission within schools and into households. We summarise a set of recommendations that are in line with guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and practised in many countries to reduce the risk of transmission in schools and mitigate the impact of C...
Preprint
On 22nd February, the UK government announced schools in England would fully reopen on the 8th March 2021. While returning to school as soon as possible is imperative for the education, social development, and mental and physical welfare of children, not enough has been done to make schools safer for students and staff. Multi-layered mitigations ca...
Article
We examine airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 potential using a source-to-dose framework beginning with generation of virus-containing droplets and aerosols and ending with virus deposition in the respiratory tract of susceptible individuals. By addressing four critical questions, we identify both gaps in addressing four critical questions with an...
Article
Full-text available
Significance Sea spray aerosol, produced through breaking waves, is one of the largest sources of environmental particles. Once in the atmosphere, sea spray aerosol influences cloud formation, serves as microenvironments for multiphase atmospheric chemical reactions, and impacts human health. All of these impacts are affected by aerosol acidity. He...
Preprint
Full-text available
Ice nucleating particles (INPs) are a rare subset of aerosol particles that initiate cloud droplet freezing at temperatures above the homogenous freezing point of water (−38 °C). Considering that the ocean covers 70 % of the earth's surface and represent a large potential source of INPs, it is imperative that the uncertainties in the identities and...
Article
Urbanization along coastlines alters marine ecosystems including contributing molecules of anthropogenic origin to the coastal dissolved organic matter (DOM) pool. A broad assessment of the nature and extent of anthropogenic impacts on coastal ecosystems is urgently needed to inform regulatory guidelines and ecosystem management. Recently, non-targ...
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Full-text available
Oceans are, generally, relatively weak sources of ice nucleating particles (INPs). Thus, dust transported from terrestrial regions can dominate atmospheric INP concentrations even in remote marine regions. Studies of ocean‐emitted INPs have focused upon sea spray aerosols containing biogenic species. Even though large concentrations of dust are tra...
Article
Visionary environmental chemist
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Ice-nucleating particles (INPs) are efficiently removed from clouds through precipitation, a convenience of nature for the study of these very rare particles that influence multiple climate-relevant cloud properties including ice crystal concentrations, size distributions and phase-partitioning processes. INPs suspended in precipitation can be used...
Article
Marine aerosols play a critical role in impacting our climate by seeding clouds over the oceans. Despite decades of research, key questions remain regarding how ocean biological activity changes the composition and cloud-forming ability of marine aerosols. This uncertainty largely stems from an inability to independently determine the cloud-forming...
Article
ConspectusOcean-atmosphere interactions control the composition of the atmosphere, hydrological cycle, and temperature of our planet and affect human and ecosystem health. Our understanding of the impact of ocean emissions on atmospheric chemistry and climate is limited relative to terrestrial systems, despite the fact that oceans cover the majorit...
Article
Saccharides are a large class of organic matter in sea spray aerosol (SSA) that can impact its climate-relevant properties. In seawater, saccharides are produced, exuded, and consumed by phytoplankton and heterotrophic bacteria. Herein, we add the heterotrophic bacteria (HB) strains Alteromonas sp. (AltSIO), Psuedoalteromonas (ATW7), and Flavobacte...
Article
Elucidating the influence of oceanic biological activity on the organic composition of sea spray aerosol (SSA) is crucial to understanding marine cloud properties relevant to climate. Numerous marine field studies designed to address this topic have yielded conflicting results mainly due to an inability to distinguish primary SSA composition from t...
Article
Sea spray aerosols (SSA) play an important role in radiative forcing by directly scattering solar radiation and indirectly by acting as cloud condensation or ice nuclei. These climate-relevant aerosol processes strongly depend on the mixing state and morphology of the individual aerosol. In this work, the distribution of different morphologies with...
Preprint
Full-text available
Ice nucleating particles (INPs) are efficiently removed from clouds through precipitation, a convenience of nature for the study of these very rare particles that influence multiple climate-relevant cloud properties including ice crystal concentrations, size distributions, and phase-partitioning processes. INPs suspended in precipitation can be use...
Article
Full-text available
Masks and testing are necessary to combat asymptomatic spread in aerosols and droplets
Article
Typical ionization techniques used for mass spectrometry (MS) analysis face challenges when trying to analyze organic species in a high salt environment. Here, we present results using a recently developed ionization source, liquid sampling-atmospheric pressure glow discharge (LS-APGD), for marine-relevant salt-containing organic samples. Using two...
Preprint
Full-text available
Molecular networking connects tandem mass spectra of molecules based on the similarity of their fragmentation patterns. However, during ionization, molecules commonly form multiple ion species with different fragmentation behavior. To connect ion species of the same molecule, we developed Ion Identity Molecular Networking. These new relationships i...
Article
Sea spray aerosols (SSA) affect the Earth’s climate directly by scattering solar radiation and indirectly by acting as ice and cloud condensation nuclei. The relative magnitude of these effects remains uncertain, in part, from substantial compositional and morphological variability between individual particles. Here, the evolving heterogeneity with...
Article
Full-text available
The formation of ice in clouds can strongly impact cloud properties and precipitation processes during storms, including atmospheric rivers. Sea spray aerosol (SSA) particles are relatively inefficient as ice nucleating particles (INPs) compared to mineral dust. However, due to the vast coverage of the Earth's surface by the oceans, a number of rec...
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Full-text available
A major component of California’s yearly precipitation comes from wintertime atmospheric river (AR) events which bring large amounts of moisture from the tropics up to the midlatitudes. Understanding these systems, specifically the effects of aerosol particles on precipitation associated with these storms, was a major focus of the 2015 Atmospheric...
Article
In this study, we have investigated the effect of hydroxyl radical (OH) oxidation reactions on the formation and chemical composition of marine-derived aerosols. Broadly speaking, marine aerosols can be classified into two categories: primary sea spray aerosols (SSA) produced upon the breaking of waves, and secondary marine aerosol (SMA) produced u...
Article
Oceanic sea spray is one of the largest contributors of atmospheric aerosol particles worldwide. The phase of aerosol particles is known to impact radiative forcing and cloud nucleation. However, as chemically complex aqueous systems that include mixtures of biological, organic, and salt constituents, it is a challenge to predict the phase of sea s...
Article
Photochemical processes drive much of the daytime gas–phase chemistry in the atmosphere. Within condensed phases such as aerosol particles and thin films enriched in organics, much less is understood about these processes. An investigation aimed at better understanding photosensitized reactions that can occur within marine-relevant condensed phase...
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Full-text available
Ice-nucleating particles (INPs) have been found to influence the amount, phase and efficiency of precipitation from winter storms, including atmospheric rivers. Warm INPs, those that initiate freezing at temperatures warmer than −10 ∘C, are thought to be particularly impactful because they can create primary ice in mixed-phase clouds, enhancing pre...