Frank Keutsch
Stonington Professor of Engineering and Atmospheric Science; Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Atmospheric Chemistry Chemistry & Chemical Biology Engineering Physics
Salata Institute Sponsored Projects
Outside professional activities


Research in the Keutsch group is aimed at improving our understanding of photochemical oxidation processes of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that produce tropospheric ozone and are central to secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation. O3 and aerosol are important secondary pollutants that affect human health and climate, and uncertainties in the radiative effects of aerosol comprise the largest uncertainties in current estimates of anthropogenic forcing of climate. Our scientific approach builds on enabling new field observations of key VOC oxidation intermediates (OVOCs) via instrumentation and method development. Formaldehyde and a-dicarbonyls are examples of target species we have selected that are directly relevant to O3 and SOA formation, but can also act as powerful indicators for overall VOC oxidation processes. We combine these field observations, taken during collaborative field campaigns, with laboratory studies of kinetics that provide new detailed chemical information, in order to test and improve existing atmospheric chemistry models. Our field and laboratory observations and scientific analysis are then made available to the wider atmospheric sciences community. In addition, organic synthesis of oxidation intermediates is often central to unraveling complex oxidation mechanisms and also required to provide authentic standards needed for quantification of these compounds in the atmosphere. A central goal of research in the Keutsch group is the testing and improvement of the mechanistic understanding of secondary pollutant formation across all relevant spatial and temporal tropospheric regimes. To this end our field studies utilize both ground-based and airborne measurement platforms and we plan to extend these studies to the oceans. We are particularly interested in improving the detailed mechanistic understanding of anthropogenic influence on tropospheric chemistry at a global scale and study regions of interest span from urban areas to remote tropical forests, from tropical oceans to the polar regions, and our laboratory studies are aimed at reproducing this range of conditions.
Air Pollution

Salata Institute Sponsored Projects

The Salata Institute is committed to supporting research that promises to make a real-world impact on the climate crisis. The Climate Research Clusters Program and Seed Grant Program deliver on this commitment by funding new and interdisciplinary climate research that address the many dimensions of the climate challenge.

Seed Grant: Blending wildfire observations with numerical; modeling

Outside professional activities

Outside Professional Activities

In the spirit of transparency and integrity, Salata Institute Faculty Associates disclose publicly their key professional activities outside of Harvard University. The activities disclosed below are for the most recent reporting period, as defined by University policy. Some of the activities may be paid, some may be unpaid, and others may be in exchange for expense reimbursement only.

Outside Professional Activities For Frank Keutsch
Centre for Sustainability, Innovation & Good Governance
Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation
Copernicus Journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Editorial Services
Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation
Technical University of Munich, Germany
Prizes or Awards
Technische Universität Wien
Speaking engagement, invited lecture, or presentation

The Salata institute

The Salata Institute supports interdisciplinary research that leads to real-world action, including high-risk/high-reward projects by researchers already working in the climate area and new endeavors that make it easier for Harvard scholars, who have not worked on climate problems, to do so.