I have been recently been working with others to quantify the amount of biological materials in the atmosphere. This has included using a variety of different measurements and teaming up with experts in biology and aerosol measurements.
I have participated in field studies at the Storm Peak Laboratory (SPACCS 2008) and taken measurements in rural Ghana to begin to identify what types of biological materials are in airborne particles, an how much do these contribute to the mass of observed particulate matter.
I am currently working on an EPA STAR grant with University of Colorado-Boulder professors Mike Hannigan (Mechanical Engineering, ) and Noah Fierer (Biology) to better quantify and model the emissions of coarse particulate matter (PM with diameters between 2.5 and 10 microns), including the organic component.
Hallar, A.G., G. Chirokova, I. McCubbin, T. H. Painter, C. Wiedinmyer, and C. Dodson (2011), Atmospheric bioaerosols transported via dust storms in the western United States, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L17801, doi:10.1029/2011GL048166.
Hallar, A.G., D. Lowenthal, C. Wiedinmyer, R.D. Borys. Persistent Daily New Particle Formation at Mountain-Top Location. Atmos. Env., 45(24), 4111-4115, doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2011.04.044, 2011.
Wiedinmyer, C., R. Bowers, N. Fierer, E. Horayni, M. Hannigan, A.G. Hallar, I. McCubbin, K. Baustian. (2009) The contribution of biological particles to particulate organic carbon at a remote high altitude site. Atmospheric Environment, 43, pp. 4278-4282; doi 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2009.06.012.
Bowers, R.M., C.L. Lauber, C. Wiedinmyer, M. Hamady, A.G. Hallar, R. Fall, R. Knight, and N. Fierer. (2009) Characterization of airborne microbial communities at a high elevation site and their potential to act as atmospheric ice nuclei. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 75(15), 5121–5130, doi:10.1128/AEM.00447-09.