Colette Heald

Associate Professor

Email heald [at] mit [dot] edu

Phone 617.324.5666

Office 48-335 (Parsons Lab)


B.Sc. 2000, Engineering Physics, Queen's University,Ph.D 2005, Earth and Planetary Science, Harvard University


Colette Heald is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. Her research interests span the topics of global atmospheric composition and chemistry, and interactions of these with the biosphere and climate system, including the study of both particles and gases in the troposphere, their sources, sinks, transformations, long range transport and environmental impacts. Using observations of the atmosphere at all scales: from ground stations, aircraft campaigns and satellite sensors with global models of chemistry and climate, she works at the intersection of modeling and observational analysis, with a strong emphasis on the integration of the two. Colette Heald received her undergraduate degree in Engineering Physics from Queen’s University in Canada in 2000. She obtained her Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Harvard University in 2005, under the direction of Prof. Daniel J. Jacob. She was a recipient of both the Canadian NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship and the NASA Earth System Science Graduate Fellowship. Her thesis focused on transpacific transport of pollution and the use of inverse modeling to estimate emissions from aircraft and satellite observations. She was a recipient of the NOAA Global and Climate Change Postdoctoral Fellowship, which supported her research at the University of California Berkeley from 2006 through 2007, with Prof. Allen Goldstein and Prof. Inez Fung. She became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University in 2008 and moved to MIT in January of 2012.


Satellite observations cap the atmospheric organic aerosol budget.,A simplified description of the evolution of organic aerosol composition in the atmosphere,Response of isoprene emission to ambient CO2 changes and implications for global budgets,Predicted change in global secondary organic aerosol concentrations in response to future climate, emissions, and land-use change,A large organic aerosol source in the free troposphere missing from current models,Asian outflow and trans-Pacific transport of carbon monoxide and ozone pollution: An integrated satellite, aircraft, and model perspective

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