Faculty : Prof. Mark Gordon  

The Air Quality Research Lab at PSE 433 researches new techniques to measure and quantify emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases.  Current areas of investigation include: emissions and mixing of pollutants from highway traffic; emissions from oil sands production facilities; and the interaction of pollutants with forest environments and mixing within the forest canopy.  The lab works in close collaboration with the Air Quality Research Division (AQRD) of Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) as well as the Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry (CAC) here at York.

We study micro-meteorology, atmospheric turbulence, mixing and dispersion, emissions and deposition.  Measurements are made with sonic anemometers, open and closed path gas analyzers, aerosol spectrometers, and optical methods.  Our instrumentation is used to measure meteorology (winds, temperature, pressure, and humidity), turbulence and fluxes, sub-micron aerosols, particulate matter, CO2, ozone, and solar radiation. Modeling work includes various plume simulations, diffusion models, and a 1-dimensional canopy mixing and chemistry model.  We also do work to further develop the top-down emission rate retrieval algorithm (TERRA), which is used to accurately determine area emission rates based on aircraft, UAV, or on-road vehicle measurements.

The Air Quality Research Lab is always interested in applications for graduate studies (subject to available funding).  Please send CVs to Prof. Mark Gordon.


Mark Gordon’s laboratory introduction video, 2016.

A sonic anemometer (ATI) and an open path CO2/H2O analyzer (Licor) are used to measure fluxes from a mobile platform near Highway 400.

“A 100ft instrumented tower collects turbulence and pollutant data in the oil sands region of northern Alberta at the York Athabasca Jack Pine (YAJP) field site.”

Current Students:

Sepehr Fathi (MSc, May 2015 to present) – Improving the topdown emission rate retrieval algorithm (TERRA) with the global environmental multiscale model for atmospheric chemistry (GEM-MACH).

Stefan Miller (PhD, Sept 2015 to present) – Turbulent fluxes and trace gas/aerosol distribution on highways.

Kaiti (Tim) Jiang (MSc, Sept 2017 to present) – Deposition of aerosols to forests in the Alberta oil sands.

Brandon Loy (Summer student, May to Sept 2016 and 2017) – Source determination of airborne pollutants from the Alberta; and Development of a Pibal Balloon tracking system to determine wind speeds.