Parisa Ariya

Parisa AriyaProfessor
Chemistry and Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences

James McGill Professor of Chemistry and Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (McGill Canada Research Chair Tier I equivalent)
B.Sc. (York University, 1992)
Ph.D. (Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry, York University, 1996)
MPI Postdoctoral Fellow (Max-Planck Institute for Chemistry-Atmospheric Chemistry Division, 1996-1998)

Awards and Recognition

FCAR Strategic Professor-Scientist
William Dawson Scholar (McGill equivalent to CRC II) 2001-2006, and 2006-2011
ACS Progress Award 2005
Clara Benson Award (2010). Canadian society for Chemistry

Contact Information

Office: Otto Maass 421
Phone: (514)398-6931 or (514)398-3615
Email: parisa.ariya [at]
Lab: Otto Maass 240 & Burnside Hall 820
Lab Phone: (514) 398-6931
Web Page: Ariya Group Website

Research Themes

  • Analytical/Environmental 
  • Chemical
  • Physics

Research Description

Our laboratory mission is to explore major fundamental and applied research questions on chemical and physical processes involving aerosols, as well as gaseous organic and trace metal pollutants of relevance to the Earth's atmosphere and to human health.  Our direct research contributions are to the fields of climate change, green and sustainable chemistry and technology, air pollution, nano-science, as well as environmental health and medicine.

Our research is in the field of physical chemistry and analytical chemistry of relevance to the atmosphere and atmospheric interfaces (air/water/ice/snow). It focuses on the understanding of selected chemical transformations of organic compounds, as well as the understanding of trace metal pollutants in the atmosphere and at atmosphere/water/snow interfaces. Identifying such atmospheric processes can also be significant in understanding the complexity of air pollution and health hazards including airborne particulate matter (aerosols). The interaction between aerosols and clouds is a significant factor affecting the magnitude of the climate change and is a major research topic recognized by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC; 2013), and the Word Health Organisation (WHO; 2013) regarding the role of aerosols in cloud nucleation microphysics and health studies. Aerosol-cloud interactions are identified as the most uncertain area in climate science, and one of the highest research priorities in all domains of climate change. Moreover, according to WHO, aerosols cause diseases of respiratory, cardiac and cancerous nature, and nanoparticles (aerosols with diameters of less than 100 nm) are a key factor in the premature death of children around the globe. The research required to narrow the knowledge gap in aerosol-cloud interactions is related to physicochemical investigation of processes such as size, contact angle, surface properties, and photochemistry, play major roles. Interestingly, similar physical and chemical properties play significant roles in the toxicological evaluation of adverse health impact of particles.  In our laboratories, the chemical reactions are studied through state-of-the-art kinetic and photochemical laboratory investigations. We perform highly sensitivity measurements of trace compounds to characterize chains of chemical reactions and nucleation processes, both in the atmosphere and at air/water/snow interfaces. Further research activities include complementary computational and atmospheric chemical modelling of the reaction intermediates in the atmosphere to simulate the complex physical-bio-chemical interactions. During the last seven years, we also focus on development of novel green chemistry methods and techniques for removal of pollutants and recycling, as well as development of novel sensors for ultra-trace pollutants, required in environmental and health sciences.

Our current research domains include:

(I) Trace metal photochemistry and heterogeneous chemistry

(II) Bioaerosol chemistry, microphysics and genomics

(III) Natural nanoparticles chemistry and physics: Impacts on climate and health

(IV) Development of novel techniques for trace metal and organic analysis

(V) Development of novel technology for pollution remediation and recycling using natural nanotechnology

Currently Teaching:

ATOC 181 Intro to Atmospheric Science 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

ATOC 519 Advances in Chem of Atmosphere 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

CHEM 519 Advances in Chem of Atmosphere 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer



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