AS Atmospheric Sciences
The 2018 Division Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award is awarded to Claudia Mohr for her seminal contributions in instrument development and aerosol-source characterisation.
Claudia Mohr started her research career as an undergraduate student with an internship at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Switzerland, contributing to the discovery of residential wood burning as a major source of particulate matter in Switzerland. The findings from these measurements sparked further research efforts, political discussions, and eventually a change in Swiss air quality policies. Continuing with a master thesis at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Mohr determined mass spectrometric fingerprints of cooking organic aerosol, now regarded as a reference for this type of emissions in the scientific community. Returning to Switzerland for PhD studies at the PSI, she was a key contributor to the characterisation of European aerosol phenomenology and the quantification of submicron aerosol sources. She also developed a method to detect cooking organic aerosols in ambient air. During her postdoc at the University of Washington, Seattle, Mohr co-developed an innovative inlet for chemical ionisation mass spectrometry now commercially available and pivotal in the identification of organic compounds contributing to e.g. the growth of newly formed particles in the atmosphere. She also identified and quantified a class of light-absorbing organic compounds, nitrated aromatics, a result of importance for the assessment of the climate effect of aerosols via light absorption, and detected and resolved formation mechanisms and fate of highly functionalised organic nitrates. Despite her young age and relatively short research career, she already acted as a group leader at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, where she started a new laboratory for mass spectrometry. Presently, Mohr is continuing to develop her own research group working as an Assistant Professor at Stockholm University.