Distinguished Professor and Distinguished Chair in Atmospheric Chemistry
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

UC San Diego

Kimberly Prather is a Distinguished Professor and the Distinguished Chair in Atmospheric Chemistry at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC San Diego.

Prather’s research focuses on understanding the impact of atmospheric aerosols on clouds, human health, and climate. Early in her career, she developed a technique known as aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometry that is widely used in atmospheric field studies around the world to determine the origin and chemistry of aerosols.  A major focus of her research involves understanding how aerosols modify cloud properties and precipitation processes. 

Born in Santa Rosa, CA, Prather received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis. She was a postdoctoral fellow at University of California, Berkeley working with Nobel Laureate, Yuan T. Lee.  She became an Assistant Professor at University of California, Riverside and then moved to University of California, San Diego as a professor in 2001.

Prather has authored over 200 articles in peer reviewed scientific journals. She is the recipient of the Haagen-Smit Clean Air Award, American Chemical Society Analytical Chemistry Arthur F. Findeis Award, the Kenneth Whitby Award, the GAeF Smoluchowski Award, the National Science Foundation Special Creativity Award, the American Society for Mass Spectrometry Award, and the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, and the Distinguished Scientist Award from the San Diego section of the American Chemical Society. Prather is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering and fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and American Geophysical Union.

Last updated December 2017