Rasa Zalakeviciute

Rasa Zalakeviciute
Universidad de Las Américas | UDLA · Environmental Engineering

Doctor of Philosophy

About

60
Publications
14,739
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
1,229
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2006 - September 2011
Washington State University
Position
  • Research Assistant

Publications

Publications (60)
Article
Full-text available
Araucaria heterophylla needles were collected in urban areas of the city of Quito, Ecuador, to analyze the relationship between the concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) with different emission sources and road characteristics. The PAHs were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and included naphthalene (Naph)...
Article
The unique characteristics of a city amplify the impacts of climate change; therefore, urban planning in the 21st century is challenged to apply mitigation and adaptation strategies that ensure the collective well-being. Despite advances in monitoring urban environmental change, research on the application of adaptation-oriented criteria remains a...
Article
Weather Normalized Models (WNMs) are modeling methods used for assessing air contaminants under a business-as-usual (BAU) assumption. Therefore, WNMs are used to assess the impact of many events on urban pollution. Recently, different approaches have been implemented to develop WNMs and quantify the lockdown effects of COVID-19 on air quality, incl...
Article
Full-text available
Political and economic protests build-up due to the financial uncertainty and inequality spreading throughout the world. In 2019, Latin America took the main stage in a wave of protests. While the social side of protests is widely explored, the focus of this study is the evolution of gaseous urban air pollutants during and after one of these events...
Article
Full-text available
This global study, which has been coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization Global Atmospheric Watch (WMO/GAW) programme, aims to understand the behaviour of key air pollutant species during the COVID-19 pandemic period of exceptionally low emissions across the globe. We investigated the effects of the differences in both emissions and r...
Article
Full-text available
Particulate matter (PM) accounts for millions of premature deaths in the human population every year. Due to social and economic inequality, growing human dissatisfaction manifests in waves of strikes and protests all over the world, causing paralysis of institutions, services and circulation of transport. In this study, we aim to investigate air q...
Article
Full-text available
The worldwide research initiatives on Corona Virus disease 2019 lockdown effect on air quality agree on pollution reduction, but the most reliable method to pollution reduction quantification is still in debate. In this paper, machine learning models based on a Gradient Boosting Machine algorithm are built to assess the outbreak impact on air quali...
Article
Confronting the dynamics of global urbanization is one of the challenges of sustainability in the 21st century. Latin America is expected to be one of the regions with the highest urban growth; however, research related to variations in urban land coverage and air quality is relatively new, despite its importance for urban planning and citizens wel...
Article
Full-text available
The reliability of Araucaria heterophylla needles as a biomonitor was evaluated by analyzing the concentration of metals in PM10 filters and in Araucaria heterophylla needles. The sampling campaign was carried out at two sites in the city of Quito, Ecuador, in 2017–2019. Concentrations of Cr, Cu, K, Mn, Pb, Zn, Ca, Fe, Al and Mg were determined in...
Article
Full-text available
Particulate matter (PM) is one of the key pollutants causing health risks worldwide. While the preoccupation for increased concentrations of these particles mainly depends on their sources and thus chemical composition, some regions are yet not well investigated. In this work the composition of chemical elements of atmospheric PM10 (particles with...
Article
Full-text available
For the first time, Araucaria heterophylla needles were used as a biomonitor to assess the concentration of metals in urban areas. The samples were collected in the Andean city Quito, in Ecuador, from sites with high, moderate and low vehicular traffic intensity. Then, the concentrations of Ca, K, Mg, Mn, Fe, Al, Ba, Zn, Cu, Cr, Pb and Co were meas...
Article
Full-text available
Analysis of air pollutants (CO, PM2.5, NO2 and O3), during the dry and rainy seasons of 2015, was conducted in a high-traffic area of Quito, Ecuador. Variations in the annual, diurnal, weekdays, weekends, daytime and nighttime concentration of these pollutants were examined using the data obtained from the public records of the monitoring network i...
Article
Full-text available
In the beginning of 2020, the global human population encountered the pandemic of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Despite social and economic concerns, this epidemiologic emergency has brought unexpected positive consequences for environmental quality as human activities were reduced. In this paper, the impact of restricted human activit...
Chapter
Full-text available
The quality of our everyday lives undoubtedly depends on our alertness for upcoming weather conditions, particularly, extreme meteorological parameters. Sudden heat or cold waves, floods, thunderstorms, among others, are crucial events affecting human health and safety, that can even cause substantial economic losses. At present day, the technologi...
Chapter
Full-text available
The World Health Organization indicates that more than one billion people worldwide live with some form of disability; almost 200 million people experience considerable difficulties in their physical functioning. In the future, disability will be a significant concern, as it tends to increase because the population is aging, and the risk of disabil...
Article
Coronaviruses are an extensive family of viruses that can cause disease in both animals and humans. The current classification of coronaviruses recognizes 39 species in 27 subgenera that belong to the family Coronaviridae. From those, at least seven coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections in humans. Four of these viruses can cause c...
Preprint
Full-text available
Coronaviruses are an extensive family of viruses that can cause disease in both animals and humans. The current classification of coronaviruses recognizes 39 species in 27 subgenera that belong to the family Coronaviridae. From those, at least seven coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections in humans. Four of these viruses can cause c...
Article
Full-text available
As global urbanization, industrialization, and motorization keep worsening air quality, a continuous rise in health problems is projected. Limited spatial resolution of the information on air quality inhibits full comprehension of urban population exposure. Therefore, we propose a method to predict urban air pollution from traffic by extracting dat...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, robust confidence intervals for PM2.5 (particles with size less than or equal to 2.5 μm) concentration measurements performed in La Carolina Park, Quito, Ecuador, have been built. Different techniques have been applied for the construction of the confidence intervals, and routes around the park and through the middle of it have bee...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, parametric and nonparametric statistical inference analysis of a set measurements of air pollution because of PM2.5 concentrations was performed. The research work was carried out in an urban park in Quito, Ecuador. Specifically, the park that was chosen to perform the analysis was La Carolina Park. The analysis carried out here was...
Chapter
Global industrialization, urbanization and technological development have been rapidly changing the atmospheric composition. Air pollution is one of the most critical concerns to human and environmental health, causing respiratory, cardiovascular diseases and incidents of cancer, responsible for seven million premature deaths every year. While most...
Chapter
This contribution summarizes the results achieved from a summative usability study considering the efficiency, effectiveness, and subjective satisfaction of final users when using Air Quality, a new mobile software for Public Air Quality information. Fifty-one participants tested the user interfaces of a prototype of the application. We use the IBM...
Chapter
Full-text available
At present, advances in technology, the use of smartphones and access to the Internet pose significant challenges in the area of accessibility of mobile applications. This study identified the lack of clear policies and methods for assessing accessibility in apps as a significant challenge for web accessibility experts. On the other hand, the heuri...
Article
Full-text available
Complex inhalable particles have become one of the main causes to trigger health problems worldwide. While the level of concern depends on the chemical composition of these particles, some regions are poorly studied, particularly, the Andes. In this work, the chemical characterization of atmospheric PM10 filter samples, collected between January an...
Article
Full-text available
This work consists of the detection and quantification of the concentration levels of radioactive gas radon-222 (222Rn) of natural origin, as well as the determination of the critical points and the estimation of the effective dose absorbed by the tourists and guides inside the Jumandy cavern in Napo, Ecuador. According to the feasibility map of ur...
Article
Full-text available
Rapid population growth, urbanization and motorization have brought about secondary effects that have gradually damaged the atmosphere, whose importance is vital for both the survival of all living beings and the climate balance. In this sense, air pollution is a problem that affects current society and is much more critical in developing countries...
Chapter
This work describes the architecture details of a remote- controlled mobile robot prototype that allows to monitor the real-time concentrations of Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Carbon Monoxide (CO), tropospheric Ozone (O3), carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) that could seriously affect human’s health after a violent natural or h...
Chapter
Full-text available
This research evaluates the accessibility of mobile applications with the Accessibility Scanner tool. The evaluated applications are related to the quality of the air we breathe. As a matter of fact, nowadays there exists a high number of free applications for mobile devices that provide information about the level of contamination that is affectin...
Article
Full-text available
Current studies show that traditional deterministic models tend to struggle to capture the non-linear relationship between the concentration of air pollutants and their sources of emission and dispersion. To tackle such a limitation, the most promising approach is to use statistical models based on machine learning techniques. Nevertheless, it is p...
Article
Full-text available
Levels of urban pollution can be influenced largely by meteorological conditions and the topography of the area. The impact of the relative humidity (RH) on the daily average PM 2.5 concentrations was studied at several sites in a mid-size South American city at a high elevation over the period of nine years. In this work, we show that there is a p...
Article
Full-text available
Levels of urban pollution can be influenced largely by meteorological conditions and the topography of the area. The impact of the relative humidity (RH) on the daily average PM2.5 concentrations was studied at several sites in a mid-size South American city at a high elevation over the period of nine years. In this work, we show that there is a po...
Article
Most of urban air quality studies focus on the megacities of North America, Europe and, recently, Asia. Meanwhile, the most polluted urban areas in the world are rapidly growing large, mid-size and small cities of Asia, Middle East, Africa and South America. This raises a question: why relatively smaller cities are more polluted than the megacities...
Article
Full-text available
Outdoor air pollution costs millions of premature deaths annually, mostly due to anthropogenic fine particulate matter (or PM 2.5 ). Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, is no exception in exceeding the healthy levels of pollution. In addition to the impact of urbanization, motorization, and rapid population growth, particulate pollution is modulate...
Conference Paper
This work addresses the question of how to predict fine particulate matter given a combination of weather conditions. A compilation of several years of meteorological data in the city of Quito, Ecuador, are used to build models using a machine learning approach. The study presents a decision tree algorithm that learns to classify the concentrations...
Article
Full-text available
Wintertime chemical composition of water-soluble particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 mu m (PM2.5) was monitored in the Treasure Valley region near Boise, Idaho. Aerosol was sampled using a Particle Into Liquid Sampler (PILS) and subsequently analyzed using ion exchange chromatography and a total organic carbon analyzer. Durin...
Article
Full-text available
As part of the MILAGRO 2006 field campaign, the exchange of atmospheric aerosols with the urban landscape was measured from a tall tower erected in a heavily populated neighborhood of Mexico City. Urban submicron aerosol fluxes were measured using an eddy covariance method with a quadrupole aerosol mass spectrometer during a two week period in Marc...
Article
Full-text available
As part of the MILAGRO 2006 field campaign, the exchange of atmospheric aerosols with the urban landscape was measured from a tall tower erected in a heavily populated neighborhood of Mexico City. Urban submicron aerosol fluxes were measured using an eddy covariance method with a quadrupole aerosol mass spectrometer during a two week period in Marc...
Article
Full-text available
The parameterization of the energy balance from a residential and commercial neighborhood of Mexico City was investigated using direct measurements of radiative and heat fluxes carried out during the MILAGRO/MCMA-2006 field campaign as a reference. The measured fluxes were used to evaluate different models of the energy balance based on parameteriz...
Article
Atmospheric aerosols play a major role in regional atmospheric chemistry and air quality, while on a global scale, aerosol processes continue to represent the largest source of uncertainty related to climate change. An important aspect of understanding the role of aerosols in these areas is to document the vertical exchange of aerosols with the sur...
Article
As part of the MILAGRO-2006 study a flux tower was deployed at urban Mexico City to measure turbulent fluxes of trace gases. Fluxes of individual volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were measured using a disjunct eddy accumulation (DEA) sampler with ionization detector/gas chromatography (GC-FID) analysis. The DEA method partitions the air into two r...
Article
Full-text available
Eddy covariance (EC) flux measurements of the atmosphere/surface exchange of gases over an urban area are a direct way to improve and evaluate emissions inventories, and, in turn, to better understand urban atmospheric chemistry and the role that cities play in regional and global chemical cycles. As part of the MCMA-2003 study, we demonstrated the...
Article
Full-text available
Eddy covariance (EC) flux measurements of the atmosphere/surface exchange of gases over an urban area are a direct way to improve and evaluate emissions inventories, and, in turn, to better understand urban atmospheric chemistry and the role that cities play in regional and global chemical cycles. As part of the MCMA-2003 study, we demonstrated the...
Conference Paper
Aerosol mass spectrometric measurements yield spectra of ambient aerosols that are a mix of various primary and secondary sources. Organic aerosol (OA) datasets acquired using Aerodyne aerosol mass spectrometers (Q-AMS, C-ToF-AMS, and HR-ToF-AMS) deployed in 2002, 2003, and 2006 in the Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) at multiple ground locatio...
Article
Anthropogenic and natural aerosols exert substantial effects on the earth's carbon and water cycles, through direct and indirect effects on radiation, and as a loss pathway for low volatility products of volatile organic compounds' photo-oxidation. It is essential, therefore, to improve our understanding of surface fluxes of aerosols, and their lin...
Article
Direct measurements of emissions of pollutant gases that include all major and minor emissions sources in urban areas are a missing requirement to improve and evaluate emissions inventories. The quality of an urban emissions inventory relies on the accuracy of the information of anthropogenic activities, which in many cases is not available, in par...
Article
Expansive urban development in the fast growing number of megacities around the world raises concerns regarding the pollution levels in such sites. The Mexico City MILAGRO 2006 (Megacity Initiative: Local and Global Research Observations) field campaign was a worldwide initiative aiming to understand sources, chemical nature and evolution of pollut...
Article
As part of the MILAGRO field campaign in March 2006 we deployed a flux system in a busy district of Mexico City surrounded by congested avenues. The flux system consisted of a tall tower instrumented with fast-response sensors coupled with eddy covariance (EC) techniques to measure fluxes of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), CO2, CO, aerosols and...
Article
Full-text available
This article compares two systems of nature protected areas and evaluates their management and state regarding threat impact on the biodiversity of the two Baltic countries: Sweden and Lithuania. The similarities, differences, advantages and drawbacks of operations are revealed. The peculiarities of the management and state of nature protected area...
Article
The aim of this paper is to demonstrate the effect of climate change on different migratory processes: Spring arrival, migratory take-off, spring and autumnal en route migration. The analysis of arrival dates of 128 bird species registered in Zuvintas and 48 species registered in Vilnius showed that, under the effect of global warming, spring arriv...
Article
Full-text available
Eddy covariance (EC) flux measurements of the atmosphere/surface exchange of gases over an urban area are a direct way to improve and evaluate emissions inventories, and, in turn, to better understand urban atmospheric chem- istry and the role that cities play in regional and global chem- ical cycles. As part of the MCMA-2003 study, we demon- strat...
Article
Full-text available
Eddy covariance (EC) flux measurements of the atmosphere/surface exchange of gases, aerosols and energy over an urban area are a direct way to improve and evaluate emission inventories, and, in turn, to better understand the chemical and physical processes occurring in urban atmospheres and the role that cities play at regional and global scales. A...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (7)
Project
Global urbanization and rapid urban population growth are two dominant demographic trends in this century. Both are the products of socio-ecological relationships posing as true challenges to sustainability, due to environmental justice and the well-being of citizens in urban environments. Environmental monitoring methods, including spatial approach, use of sensors and remote sensing, integrate the understanding of environmental variations from a socio-ecological perspective. However, they are scarcely used in developing countries. The application of these methods, their results, analysis and decision-making could play a decisive role in urban planning. Therefore, this project proposes to broaden the knowledge on environmental quality in urban areas of Ecuador, considering a framework of complex adaptive systems integrating different socio- ecological dimensions from a space-time approach and establishing a sustainability criterion for urban planning of neo-tropical cities. For this we propose the spatial-temporal analysis of some environmental indicators in the Andean and coastal cities. In the spatial field, to understand the environmental and land cover variations we resort to the use of remote sensors (SPOT, SENTINEL). We also use databases resulting from the monitoring of more than ten years of pollution and meteorological indicators. In the temporal sphere we analyze the before and after two random events, states of exception due to: Global Sanitary Emergency due to COVID-19 and the National Protests of October 2019. This information will be analyzed through statistical, geo-statistical and artificial intelligence. Our results will provide information on the specific socio- ecological relationships that caused environmental variations, allowing us to identify limits in the resilience capacity of urban environmental systems. This information is decisive for city planning decisions in the framework of environmental justice and well-being. Finally, this information is integrated into a mobile application that allows citizens to interact with the results of this project. This innovative project promotes a scientific community dedicated to environmental monitoring focused on the delivery of information both for decision-making and for the generation of early warnings of the environmental variations that compromise the system, in addition to the well-being and environmental justice of the citizens.
Project
This project aims to study air quality changes during extraordinary anthropogenic events, primarily focusing on the tropical Andes. We focus on the air pollution evolution during the COVID-19 pandemic and national protests.
Project
Es una iniciativa que, a través de ejercicios de investigación semestrales, evalúa el potencial de los y las estudiantes de pre-grado para desarrollar y/o contribuir en investigaciones académicas pluridisciplinares, definidas por el Grupo de Investigación en Dinámicas+ Lugar, medio y Sociedad (D+LMS).