Skip Nav
Dr. Don Collins
Don Collins
(979) 862-4401
(979) 862-4466
Eller O&M 1005B
Texas A&M University
O&M Building, Room 1204
Department of Atmospheric Sciences
MS 3150
College Station, Texas 77843-3150


Ph.D. Environmental Engineering Science, California Institute of Technology, 2000

B.S. Civil Engineering, Virginia Tech, 1994


Fall 2015 – ATMO 201

Don Collins

Director of the Center for Atmospheric Chemistry and the Environment

Research Interests

My research focuses on the properties and effects of atmospheric aerosols. On a regional to global scale, the efforts of our research group are concentrated on investigating radiative forcing by tropospheric aerosols, while on a local to regional scale, similar analytical tools are used to improve our understanding of air pollution.  Most of our work is done in the field with instruments that we design and build. 

Much of our recent and near-future research is centered on use of field-deployable environmental chambers in which gas phase composition and solar intensity mirror ambient conditions.  These Captive Aerosol Growth and Evolution (CAGE) chambers are roughly 1 cubic meter all-Teflon cylindrical enclosures into which generated and size-classified particles are injected.  Those captive particles are then repeatedly sampled over periods of several hours or even a day using various instruments.  Recent experiments have included measurement of the structural and optical changes of soot particles, of the fluorescence characteristics and viability of biological particles, and of the nighttime production of secondary organic aerosol through nitrate radical reactions. 

Selected Publications

Lowenthal, D., Zielinska, B., Samburova, V., Collins, D. R., Taylor, N. F., and Kumar, N., 2015, “Evaluation of assumptions for estimating chemical light extinction at U.S. national parks,” Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, 65, pp 249 - 260.

Xu, W., Guo, S., Gomez-Hernandez, M., Levy, M., Secrest, J., Marrero-Ortiz, W., Levy, M., Collins, D. R., and Zhang, R., 2014, “Cloud forming potential of polymers and oligomers relevant to secondary organic aerosols,” Geophysical Research Letters, 41, pp 6538 - 6545.

Hallar, A. G.,Lowenthal, D. H., Clegg, S. L., Samburova, V, Taylor, N. F., Mazzoleni, L. R., Zielinska, B. K., Kristensen, T. B., Chirokova1, G., McCubbin, I. B., Dodson, C., Collins, D. R., 2013.  “Chemical and hygroscopic properties of aerosol organics at Storm Peak Laboratory,” Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres, doi- 10.1002/jgrd.50373.

Khalizov, A., Lin, Y., Qiu, C., Guo, S., Collins, D. R., and Zhang, R., 2013.  “The role of OH-initiated oxidation of isoprene in aging of combustion soot,” Environmental Science and Technology, 47, pp 2254-2263.

Taylor, N. F., Collins, D. R., Spencer, C. W., Lowenthal, D. W., Zielinska, B., Samburova, V., and Kumar, N., 2011.  “Measurement of Ambient Aerosol Hydration State at Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the Southeastern United States,” Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 11, pp 12085-12107.

Santarpia, J. L., Collins, D. R., Hegg, D. A., Kaku, K. C., Covert, D. S., Jonsson, H. H., and Buzorius, G., 2011.  “Estimates of aqueous-phase sulfate production from tandem differential mobility analysis,” Atmospheric Environment, 45, pp 5484 – 5492.

Duplissy, J., DeCarlo, P. F., Dommem, J., Alfarra, M. R., Metzger, A., Barmpadimos, I., Prevot, A. S. H., Weingartner, E., Tritscher, T., Gysel, M., Aiken, A. C., Jimenez, J. L., Canagaratna, M. R., Worsnop, D. R., Collins, D. R., Tomlinson, J., and Baltensperger, U., 2011.  “Relating hygroscopicity and composition of organic aerosol particulate matter,” Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 11, pp 1155-1165.

Smith, J. N., Barsanti, K. C., Friedli, H. R., Ehn, M., Kulmala, M., Collins, D. R., Scheckman, J. H., Williams, B. J., and McMurry, P. H., 2010.  “Observations of aminium salts in atmospheric nanoparticles and possible climatic implications,” PNAS, doi: 10.1073.

Lowenthal, D. H., Zielinska, B., Mason, B., Samy, S., Samburova, V., Collins, D. R., Spencer, C.W., Taylor, N. F., Allen, J. O., and Kumar, N., 2009.  “Aerosol characterization studies at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Summer, 2006,” Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres, doi:10.1029/2008JD011274.

Osborn, R. J., Taylor N. F., Spencer, C., and Collins, D. R., 2008.  “Isolation of ambient particles of known critical supersaturation:  The Differential Activation Separator (DAS),” Aerosol Science and Technology, 42, pp 759-772. 

Geosciences TAMU Logo

Aggies can change the world. Geoscientists lead the way.