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Lee Murray

  • Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy

PhD in Atmospheric Chemistry, Harvard, 2013

479 Hutchison
(585) 275-2077



Dr. Murray leads the Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Modeling Group at the University of Rochester where is also Assistant Professor of Physics. The group maintains high-performance computing resources dedicated to the development and application of cutting-edge models of atmospheric composition and climate. Group members develop and use a variety of global chemistry and climate models, employing both forward and inverse methods. Simulations are compared to satellite and other big data for interpretation and validation. Key tools include the GEOS-Chem chemistry-transport model and the NASA GISS ModelE coupled chemistry-climate model. Our research examines the various interplays between atmospheric chemistry, climate, and biogeochemical cycles. We are motivated by a desire to mitigate future environmental problems, but also a curiosity driven fascination with understanding past changes in Earth’s atmospheric composition.

 Particular focus to date has been to understand the factors that control the atmosphere’s ability to self-cleanse itself of the various air pollutants and reactive greenhouse gases injected into it by human activity and nature. Recent example topics include: (1) Exploring the potential for chemical feedbacks on major historical climate transitions such as Ice Age cycles; (2) Quantifying the impact of fugitive emissions from the recent rise in hydraulic fracturing on downwind air quality; and (3) Examining whether lightning will amplify or mitigate the impact of anthropogenic global warming in the coming century through its production of reactive nitrogen oxides and their subsequent impacts on Earth’s radiative balance.

Research Overview

Research Interests

  • climate science; physics and chemistry of Earth's atmosphere