Song Gao
Professor of Environmental Science at Duke Kunshan University

Welcome to my Duke Scholar page. I received my B.S. in Materials Science (Chemistry Track, with Honors) at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), Ph.D. in Analytical/Environmental chemistry at the University of Washington - Seattle, and then received postdoctoral training in Atmospheric Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

I take an interdisciplinary approach, combining field, laboratory and modeling studies, to understanding the scientific mechanisms behind complex environmental pollution issues and finding remediation solutions. In particular, my research and peer-reviewed publications have focused on the physicochemical mechanisms of smog pollution, the chemical nature and transformation of secondary aerosols, remediation technologies in removing halogenated compounds in groundwater.  I have also taken on a keen interest to formulate science-based policies in solving environmental issues with a co-benefits approach, in particular mitigating ozone depletion, air pollution and climate change issues by examining both long-lived greenhouse gases such as CO2 and short-lived pollutants such as HFCs and black carbon via modeling and policy analyses. I have received research funding from the United States National Science Foundation (US NSF) and Hong Kong Research Grants Council, and have served as a reviewer for US NSF grants and a variety of international journals. I am currently a Section Editor for Case Studies in the Environment (University of California Press) and an Associate Editor for Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences (Springer).   

I am also passionate about teaching, having taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in chemistry, energy and environmental science.  Two of my undergraduate students recently received Green Chemistry Scholarships awarded by US National Science Foundation for their research work under my supervision.  Disseminating knowledge on chemical and earth sciences, in an intriguing and articulate manner while always ensuring the highest rigor of student learning, has never ceased to gratify me as one the greatest things in life and career, and I intend to continue this educational mission and adventure with my students at DKU, in traditional classes, field trips, thesis and research work, and other opportunities, here in Kunshan, there in Durham, or elsewhere in a global spot.   

In my spare time, I enjoy attending a variety of concerts and occasional sporting events, and playing the piano when time allows.  Without elaborating, I can simply say that Bach and Brahms (and all other greats), with their music so profoundly enriching and enjoyable whilst deeply resonating with laws, symmetries and architectures in the sciences, are perfect reminders why many fields and disciplines are perhaps fundamentally interwoven yet it is a lifelong journey to decipher the embedded interconnections, complexities and implications.

Current Research Interests

Atmospheric Chemistry (Secondary Aerosol Formation, Gas-Phase Chemistry);
Air Pollution Mechanisms and Control Measures;
Water Pollution and Remediation Technologies;
Science-Based Climate Mitigation Strategies

Office Hours

To be announced

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

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