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Kimberly Strong, FRSC

Professor of Physics
Experimental Atmospheric Physics;
Spectroscopic Techniques;
Ground-Based, Balloon, and Satellite Remote Sounding of the Atmosphere

Telephone: (416) 946-3217
Fax: (416) 978-8905
Office: MP 710A
Labs: MP 038, 1202D, 1606A
Email: strong AT

Address: Department of Physics, University of Toronto
60 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1A7, Canada

Research Papers Post-Docs Students Courses Links

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Brief CV

B.Sc., Department of Physics, Memorial University of Newfoundland (1986)
D.Phil., Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Planetary Physics Group, University of Oxford (1992)
Summer Student / Staff, International Space University (1988 / 1990)
Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of Cambridge (1992-94)
Research Associate, Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry, York University (1994-95)
Assistant Professor, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science, York University (1995-96)
Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, University of Toronto (1996-2001)
group Associate Professor, Department of Physics, University of Toronto (2001-2006)
Professor, Department of Physics, University of Toronto (2006- )
Visiting Fellow, Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry, University of Wollongong (2010)
Member, Centre for Global Change Science, University of Toronto
Member, Graduate Faculty, School of the Environment, University of Toronto
Director, School of the Environment, University of Toronto (2013-2018)
Chair, Department of Physics, University of Toronto (2019-2024)
President (2019-2020) and Vice-President (2018-2019), Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society

Research Interests

In recent years, the study of the atmosphere has received increasing attention, with issues such as stratospheric ozone depletion, climate change, and tropospheric pollution all having potential implications for the biosphere. In order to understand the processes occurring in the atmosphere, measurements of its composition are essential. My research involves ground-based, balloon, and satellite remote sounding using spectroscopic techniques to measure the concentrations of trace gases. This is an exciting area of research, as it gives us insight into fundamental atmospheric physics and chemistry, and also has relevance to our interaction with the environment.


Previous Projects:

Near-infrared laboratory spectroscopy of methane in support of the Galileo mission to Jupiter
Ground-based ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy to measure the concentrations of stratospheric gases
Modelling the retrieval of vertical profiles of tropospheric gases using a ranging spectrometer
Intracavity laser spectroscopy using a Fourier transform spectrometer in step-scan mode for temporal resolution
Concept study for OH Measurements from Space (OHMS)
Middle Atmosphere Nitrogen TRend Assessment (MANTRA)

MANTRA I was the Principal Investigator for this project, which involved the launch of high-altitude balloons from Vanscoy, Saskatchewan in 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2004. Each carried a payload of instruments to measure vertical concentration profiles of stratospheric trace gases. The data have been used to investigate the changing chemical balance of the mid-latitude stratosphere, focussing on ozone, and nitrogen and chlorine compounds that play a role in ozone chemistry. This project was a large collaborative effort involving Co-Investigators from Environment Canada (formerly the Meteorological Service of Canada), the University of Toronto, York University, the University of Waterloo, the University of Denver, the Service d'Aeronomie, CNRS (France), and Scientific Instrumentation Limited. MANTRA was supported by the Canadian Space Agency, Environment Canada, NSERC, and CRESTech.

Current Projects:

Arctic Atmospheric Science: PEARL, CANDAC, and PAHA

Eureka I am one of the founding members of CANDAC – the Canadian Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Change, which has established the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) at Eureka, Nunavut (80°N) to comprehensively monitor the Arctic atmosphere from the ground to 100 km to study ozone depletion, climate change, and air quality. I was leader of one of our four original research themes: “Arctic Middle Atmosphere Chemistry” and am currently the Deputy PI for Probing the Atmosphere of the High Arctic (PAHA), funded for five years under NSERC’s CCAR program, as well as theme leader for “Composition Measurements” and lead scientist four of the instruments (Bruker Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer, two UV-visible grating spectrometers, Extended-range Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer). This builds on my previous work at Eureka, which is providing a long-term dataset for studying the evolution of Arctic atmospheric chemistry, with links to the NDACC, TCCON, and MUSICA networks. My group has deployed a UV-visible spectrometer in the Arctic every spring since 1999 to measure ozone, NO2, and BrO for studies of stratospheric ozone science, and we have played a key role in ensuring the continuity of the spring data record at Eureka. From 2010-2016, I was the Director for the NSERC CREATE Training Program in Arctic Atmospheric Science, which was closely affiliated with PEARL activities. In 2011, we contributed to the identification and quantification of severe stratospheric ozone loss in the Arctic using measurements by both the UV-visible and FTIR spectrometers at Eureka. Over the last several years, we have documented the transport of biomass burning products into the High Arctic, including the first long-term time series of ammonia in the high Arctic, measured greenhouse gases, investigated bromine explosion events and their impact on tropospheric ozone, and contributed to long-term trend studies.

Ground-Based UV-Visible Remote Sounding of the Stratosphere

Eureka Although the general mechanism for stratospheric ozone loss is now known, questions remain regarding the underlying chemical and dynamical processes, the potential for severe depletion in the Arctic, and the mechanisms for mid-latitude ozone loss. In order to address some of these questions, we have assembled a portable ground-based instrument to record UV-visible spectra of sunlight scattered from the zenith sky. A telescope can also be optically coupled to the spectrometer to allow night-time measurements using stars as sources of light. The resulting spectra are analyzed to retrieve vertical columns of ozone, NO2, OClO, and BrO using differential optical absorption spectroscopy, as well as vertical profiles of NO2. The instrument has been deployed on the ground during the four MANTRA campaigns and in springtime Arctic campaigns every year since 1999. All of the latter were at Environment Canada's former Arctic Stratospheric Observatory (now PEARL) at Eureka, Nunavut (80N), with one at Resolute Bay in 2002. This research is supported by NSERC, CFCAS, MSC, CSA, the Northern Scientific Training Program, and the Canadian Northern Studies Trust.

The University of Toronto Atmospheric Observatory (TAO)

At the University of Toronto Atmospheric Observatory (TAO), we are using solar infrared spectroscopy for long-term measurements of stratospheric and tropospheric trace gases, urban pollution and stratospheric chemistry studies, and satellite validation. We have been operating a Bomem DA8 high-resolution Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer at TAO since October 2001. TAO was approved as a Station of the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC) in March 2004, based on a refereed algorithm and data comparison exercise. TAO data have contributed to validation of ACE-FTS, SCIAMACHY, and OSIRIS, the first detection of NO in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere using ground-based FTIR spectroscopy, and studies of chlorine trends, polar intrusions, tropospheric transport of pollutants over Toronto, and recently attribution of enhanced ethane and methane to the development of oil and natural gas extraction in North America. TAO and PEARL have the only two NDACC FTIR instruments in Canada, and are key sites in the CAnadian FTir Observing Network (CAFTON), for which I was the PI. TAO has received support from the University of Toronto, CFI, ORDCF, CRESTech, NSERC, ABB Bomem, CFCAS, and PREA.

Lab Spec Ultraviolet-Visible-Infrared Laboratory Spectroscopy

We operate a Laboratory Spectroscopy Facility that has been established to measure absorption features of gases of atmospheric interest. Several gas absorption cells, along with transfer optics and a cooling system, have been designed and built, and are coupled to a lab-based Bomem DA8 FTIR spectrometer to acquire spectra at high spectral resolution and at temperatures relevant to the atmosphere. We have studied the temperature dependence of the pressure broadening and pressure-induced shift coefficients of CO. We have also measured the infrared cross sections of the fluorotelomer alcohols 1:2, 4:2 and 6:2 FTOH, in collaboration with colleagues at Ford Motor Company and Dupont Central Research and Development. We have derived absorption cross sections of several (hydro)chlorofluorocarbons and other infrared-active species such as peruorotributyalamine, motivated by the need for such data in order to retrieve accurate atmospheric measurements from ACE-FTS spectra and to improve calculations of global warming potentials. This work has been supported by NSERC and the Canadian Space Agency.

SCISAT-1 and the ACE-FTS and MAESTRO Satellite Instruments

ACE The Canadian Space Agency's Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) was launched in August 2003, carrying the ACE-FTS and MAESTRO instruments, to investigate the chemical and dynamical processes that control the distribution of ozone in the upper troposphere and stratosphere, with a focus on the decline of stratospheric ozone at northern mid-latitudes and in the Arctic. Students and PDFs from my group participated in the pre-launch testing and calibration of MAESTRO and ACE-FTS which took place at the University of Toronto's Space Instrument Characterization Facility. I have been a Co-I since 1998, as well as co-leader (with Kaley Walker) of the ACE validation effort, which resulted in an extensive series of papers in a 2008-09 special issue of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. My interests lie in the assessment and interpretation of the ACE measurements, particularly of the six NOy species, for which I was subgroup leader for a large international team, and which led to the creation of a global inventory of stratospheric NOy from ACE-FTS data. As part of the validation effort, I am Co-Leader of the ACE/OSIRIS Arctic Validation Campaigns which have taken place at Eureka, Nunavut from February to April every year since 2004. This has resulted in a valuable assessment of the data quality from this mission.

Stratospheric Science with the Odin Satellite

Odin Odin is a Swedish satellite, launched in February 2001, which carries a Canadian Optical Spectrograph and InfraRed Imager (OSIRIS) and a Sub-Millimetre Radiometer (SMR). One goal of the Odin mission is to resolve outstanding questions regarding polar and mid-latitude ozone depletion by making global measurements of the distributions of ozone and trace species. I became a Co-Investigator on the Canadian Aeronomy Science Team in 1997. I was involved in the development of algorithms for the inversion of OSIRIS spectra to retrieve vertical profiles of ozone and NO2. We have compared MANTRA, TAO, PEARL and ACE measurements with OSIRIS and SMR profiles. We also developed a new method to retrieve NO density profiles in the mesosphere-lower thermosphere region from OSIRIS nighttime NO2 continuum observations, along with temperature and atomic oxygen density profiles. These data have been compared to similar datasets from SMR and ACE-FTS, and with the CMAM, TIMED-GCM and WACCM models.

Studies of Planetary Atmospheres

Mars My group has been involved in several projects related to better understanding of planetary atmospheres. In one, we worked on the modelling and retrieval of O2 and NO airglow emissions in the atmospheres of Mars and Venus, incorporating results from the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique Mars Global Circulation Model and the University of Michigan Venus Thermospheric general circulation model, quantifying detectable emissions, and comparing with observations from the SPICAM and SPICAV (SPectroscopy for the Investigation of the Atmosphere of Mars / Venus) instruments. Motivated by the possibility of sending an infrared spectrometer to Mars, we have developed techniques to retrieve vertical profiles of temperature and trace gases in the dusty, and therefore challenging, Martian atmosphere. In addition, we participated in the Mars Methane Mission, involving two field campaigns held in Quebec in June 2011 and 2012, operating spectrometers to identify methane sources in Martian-like terrains, in collaboration with McGill and industrial partner MPBC. Related to this, we analyzed the expected behaviour of a methane source on Mars, developing a dispersion model, determining current estimates for Martian source strengths, and assessing the spatial limitations for methane detection.

Scientific Publications

Selected list, with copies available for download: Click here

Post-Doctoral Fellows and Research Staff - Enquiries welcome!

Lei Liu Sophie Tran Aubyn O'Grady Whitney Bader


Orfeo Colebatch (Research Officer)
Ellen Eckert (PDF)
Jinwoong Kim (PDF)
Lei Liu (PDF)
Yuan You (PDF)


Whitney Bader
Matthew Bassford
Rebecca Batchelor
Hongjiang Wu Tobias Kerzenmacher Rebecca Batchelor Stephanie Conway
Eric Dilligeard
Rowan Dundas
Elham Farahani
Tobias Kerzenmacher
Ashley Kilgour (CREATE Training Program Coordinator)
Karine Le Bris
Stella Melo
Yun-Seob Moon
Aubyn O'Grady (CREATE Training Program Coordinator)
Tarun Pant
PEARL FTS team Mareile Wolff Patrick Sheese Ashley Kilgour Diane Pendlebury (Senior Research Associate)
Patrick Sheese
Keeyoon Sung
Sophie Tran
Camille Viatte
Aldona Wiacek
Mareile Wolff
Hongjiang Wu
Dmitry Yashcov
Yongjing Zhao

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Graduate Students - Enquiries welcome!


Ramina Alwarda (MSc)
Kristof Bognar (PhD; MSc September 2016)
Beatriz Herrera (PhD)
Sebastien Roche (PhD; Visiting MSc, Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University April-Sept 2014)
Tyler Wizenberg (PhD; MSc September 2019)
Sebastien Roche Kristof Bognar Erik Lutsch Shoma Yamanouchi (PhD)


Erik Lutsch (MSc September 2014, PhD September 2019, Thesis)
Dan Weaver (MSc September 2012, PhD December 2018,
Brendan Byrne (PhD September 2018,
Ilya Stanevich (PhD April 2018,
Paul Godin (PhD July 2017,
Xiaoyi Zhao (MSc September 2011, PhD April 2017,
Joseph Mendonca (MSc September 2011, PhD January 2017,
Rodrigue Sandrin (Visiting MSc, Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University April-Sept 2016)
Cyndi Whaley Dan Weaver Joseph Mendonca Kevin Olsen (PhD January 2016,
Zhao-Cheng Zeng (Visiting PhD, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Sept 2014 - Jan 2015)
Zen Mariani (MSc September 2010, PhD September 2014,
Anthony Pugliese (MSc September 2014)
Cynthia Whaley (MSc September 2009, PhD August 2014,
Marie-Eve Gagne (PhD December 2012,
Conan Liu (MSc June 2012)
Cristen Adams (PhD May 2012, Thesis)
Rodica Lindenmaier (MSc September 2007, PhD February 2012,
Daniel Abreu (MSc September 2009)
Marie-Eve Gagne Kevin Olsen Rodica Lindenmaier Roopa Pandharpurkar (MSc September 2009)
Matt Toohey (MSc September 2003, PhD June 2009, Thesis)
Jeff Taylor (MSc September 2003, PhD June 2008, Thesis)
Annemarie Fraser (MSc September 2003, PhD May 2008, Thesis)
Peifeng Yan (MSc September 2007)
Guoying Qin (MSc January 2007)
Aldona Wiacek (MSc September 2001, PhD June 2006, Thesis)
Elham Farahani (MSc October 2000, PhD April 2006,
Jennifer Walker (MSc January 2006)
Robert Dumoulin (MSc September 2005)
Zen Mariani Cristen Adams Xiaoyi Zhao Betsy Joseph (MSc October 2000)
Catherine Laurin (MSc September 1999)
Cyril Hnatovsky (MSc January 1999)
Ana Jofre (MSc January 1999)

Kanupria Seth Michael Maurice Boris Pavlovic

Undergraduate & Summer Research Students - Enquiries welcome!


Victoria Flood, University of Toronto (Research Trainee, Summer 2020; incoming PhD student)
Erin McGee, University of Toronto (Research Trainee, Summer 2020; incoming PhD student)
Joseph Hung, University of Toronto (TEPS Intern, Summer 2019, PHY479Y 2019-20, and Research Trainee, Summer 2020; incoming MSc student)


Yuying (Alice) Wang, University of Toronto (CGSC Intern, Summer 2019)
Alistair Duff, Queen's University (NSERC USRA, Summer 2018)
Hayden Johnson, University of Toronto (Part-time Research Assistant, 2016-17; CGSC Intern, Summer 2017)
Romina Piunno, University of Toronto (CGSC Intern, Summer 2017)
Natalie Gervasi, McMaster University (Co-op Research Assistant, Fall 2016)
Jenny Kliever Kanupria Seth, University of Toronto (CGSC Intern, Summer 2016)
Jerry Zhai, University of Toronto (Galbraith Society Research Experience Program, Fall 2015 - Winter 2016)
Tailong He, University of Toronto (CGSC Intern, Summer 2015; P/T Research Assistant, Fall 2015 - Winter 2016)
Alex Cabaj, University of Toronto (Research Assistant, Summer 2015)
Tobias Oberholzer (Visiting student from ETH Zurich, Spring 2015)
Bernard Yang, McGill University (NSERC USRA, Summer 2014)
Helen Droz-Georget (Visiting student from ETH Zurich, Spring 2014)
Anna Phillips (Env. Canada Science Horizons Intern, 2013-14)
Gaetan Wuilloud (Visiting student from Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Summer 2013)
Kostya Golovan, University of Toronto (NSERC CREATE Intern, Summer 2013)
Anthony Pugliese, University of Toronto (CSA CAFTON Intern, Summer 2013)
Maryam Akrami John Hartley, University of Toronto (PHY479Y, 2012-13)
Marlyn McIntosh (Env. Canada Science Horizons Intern, 2012-13)
Philippa Krahn, Queen's University (CGSC Intern, Summer 2012)
Mark Semelhago, University of Toronto (NSERC CREATE Intern, Summer 2012)
Jenny Kliever (Env. Canada Science Horizons Intern, 2011-12)
Michael Maurice, Georgian College (CREATE Co-op Technical Assistant, Summer 2011)
Boris Pavlovic, University of Guelph (CGSC Intern, Summer 2011)
Melanie Bieli (Visiting student from ETH Zurich, Spring 2011)
Dan Weaver (Env. Canada Science Horizons Intern, 2010-11)
Joseph Mendonca (Env. Canada Science Horizons Intern, 2009-10)
Joo-Hyung (David) Park, University of Toronto (NSERC USRA, Summer 2009; PHY478F, Fall 2009)
Maryam Akrami (Env. Canada Science Horizons Intern, 2008-09)
Deepak Chandan, University of Toronto (PHY478F, Fall 2008)
Zen Mariani, UWO (CGSC Intern, Summer 2008)
UofT Team Suri Like (Environment Canada Science Horizons Intern, 2007-08)
Felicia Kolonjari, University of Toronto (CGSC Intern, Summer 2007)
Nir Friedman, University of Toronto (Research Assistant, Summer 2007)
Jason Ng, University of Toronto (ESC499Y, 2006-07 and NSERC USRA, Summer 2006)
Kevin Hurley, University of Toronto (ESC499Y, 2006-07)
Rodica Lindenmaier (Research Assistant, Summer 2006)
Hristina Popova, University of Toronto (CGSC Intern, Summer 2006)
Golnoush Hassanpour, University of Guelph (Co-op RA, Spring 2006)
Darren Prater, University of Guelph (Co-op Research Assistant, Spring 2006)
Dale Edwards, University of Guelph (Co-op Research Assistant, Fall 2005)
Michael Jensen, University of Guelph (NSERC USRA, Summer 2005)
Eric Paradis, University of Waterloo (NSERC USRA, Summer 2005)
Christopher Avis, University of Victoria (NSERC USRA, Summer 2004)
Matt and Martin UofT Team Laurent Castera, Ecole Polytechnique (Exchange Student, Summer 2004)
Olivia Chiu, Queen's University (NSERC USRA, Summer 2004)
Chuan Li, University of Toronto (NSERC USRA, Summer 2004)
Rebecca Saari, University of Toronto (ESC499Y, 2004-05, and Research Assistant, Summer 2003 & 2004)
Jennifer Walker, University of Toronto (NSERC USRA, Summer 2003 and and Summer 2004)
Eufrasio Alfonso Leon (Research Assistant, Fall 2003 - Winter 2004)
Gerald Chang, McGill University (NSERC USRA, Summer 2003)
Brige Chugh, University of Toronto (Research Assistant, Summer 2003)
David Barclay, McGill University (NSERC USRA, Summer 2002)
Nazlie Faridi, University of Victoria (NSERC USRA, Summer 2002)
Rodney Sullivan, University of Toronto (Research Assistant, Summer 2002 - Spring 2003)
Martin Tingley, University of Toronto (NSERC USRA, Summer 2002 - Spring 2003)
Matt Toohey, UBC (Research Assistant, Summer 2002)
MAESTRO October 2002 Team ACE Arctic team Helen Czerski (Graduate Research Assistant, Fall 2001)
Annemarie Fraser, University of Toronto (PHY 479Y, 2001-02, and NSERC USRA, Summer 2001)
Patrick Rourke, University of Toronto (PHY 299Y, 2000-01 and NSERC USRA, Summer 2001)
Koruger Adcock, Simon Fraser University (Research Assistant, Summer 2000)
James Anstey, Simon Fraser University (NSERC USRA, Summer 2000)
Andrew Bennett, UBC(NSERC USRA, Summer 2000)
Colette Heald (PHY 455Y, Queen's University, 1999-2000)
Stella Kim, University of Toronto (PHY 299Y, 1999-2000)
Ryan Sullivan, University of Toronto (PHY 299Y, 1999-2000)
John Halpine, Mount Allison University (NSERC USRA, Summer 1999)
Colette Heald, Queen's University (NSERC USRA, Summer 1999)
Neilank Jha, University of Toronto (PHY 299Y, 1998-99)
MANTRA2000 Team Ranpal Dosanjh, Trent University (Research Assistant, Summer 1998)
Debra Wunch, University of Toronto (Research Assistant, Summer 1998)
Leah Kamyabee, University of Toronto (PHY 478S, Spring 1998)
Erik Forsberg, University of Toronto (PHY 299Y, 1997-98 & Research Assistant, Summer 1998 - Spring 1999)
Keir Menzies, University of Toronto (PHY 299Y, 1997-98 & Research Assistant, Summer 1998 - Spring 1999)
Stacey Crane, University of Toronto (ESC 499Y, Fall 1997)
Cyril Hnatovsky (Research Assistant, Fall 1997)
Rupinder Brar, University of Toronto (PHY 478H & Research Assistant, Summer 1997)
Joanna Fromstein, University of Toronto (Research Assistant, Summer 1997)


Undergraduate Lecture and Laboratory Courses:

PHY 492F, Advanced Atmospheric Physics (and calendar description) - same as PHY1498
PHY 392S, Physics of Climate (and calendar description)
JPH 441S, Physical Science in Contemporary Society (and calendar description)
PHY 100F, The Magic of Physics (and calendar description)
PHY 132S, Introduction to Physics II - Electromagnetism Section (co-taught) (and calendar description)
PHY 138Y, Physics for the Life Sciences - Electromagnetism Section (co-taught)
PHY 315S, Radiation in Planetary Atmospheres
PHY 305F, Electronics Laboratory I
PHY 325/326/425/426, Modern Physics Laboratory
PHY 140Y, Foundations of Physics
PHY 499S/1499S, Earth Observations from Space

Undergraduate Research and Reading Courses: - Enquiries welcome!

PHY 372H, Supervised Reading Course
PHY 472H, Directed Studies - Earth Observations from Space
PHY 299Y, Research Opportunity Program
ESC 499Y, Engineering Science Thesis Project
PHY 478H/479Y, Physics Undergraduate Research Project

Graduate Courses:

PHY 1498F, Introduction to Atmospheric Physics (and calendar description) - same as PHY492
PHY 1830F, Foundation Course in Atmospheric Physics (co-taught)
PHY 499S/1499S, Earth Observations from Space
PHY 2107F, Experimental Methods in Physics (co-taught)
PHY 2501F, Atmospheric Physics - Radiation
PHY 2505S, Atmospheric Radiative Transfer and Remote Sounding

Physics building

Related WWW Links

Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Physics Group
Department of Physics
Centre for Global Change Science
School of the Environment
University of Toronto
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This site is maintained by: Kimberly Strong
Last updated: May 2020