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Environmental Transformations and Interactions

EMSL Scientist Recognized for Contributions to Royal Society of Chemistry

Zezhen (Jay) Cheng named a 2023 Environmental Science: Atmospheres Outstanding Peer Reviewer

Zezhen (Jay) Cheng sits by a computer at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory

EMSL chemist Zezhen (Jay) Cheng was recently named a “2023 Environmental Science: Atmospheres Outstanding Peer Reviewer” by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

(Andrea Starr | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

Zezhen (Jay) Cheng, a chemist with the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), is being recognized for his contributions as a peer reviewer by the Royal Society of Chemistry. 

He was recently named a “2023 Environmental Science: Atmospheres Outstanding Peer Reviewer.” The award recognizes peer reviewers who have gone above and beyond. He is one of eight reviewers being recognized for the category. 

Cheng was invited to become a peer reviewer for the Royal Society of Chemistry in January 2023. He was selected for the role based on his expertise in atmospheric research. 

Cheng specializes in using online instruments and offline high-resolution microscopy techniques to understand aerosols’ physical, chemical, and optical properties and their climate impacts. He began his career in atmospheric research at EMSL in 2020, first as a postdoctoral researcher before transitioning into his role as a research scientist in 2023. 

Air quality in his hometown is ultimately what led him to his interest in atmospheric science. 

“When I was a kid, I saw the air quality in my hometown get worse and worse,” he said. “At first, there was no haze, but then there was more and more haze. This motivated me to study air pollution, especially those tiny particles that cause great issues for the environment.” 

Cheng said he is honored to receive the award from the Royal Society of Chemistry, especially for an area of science that has interested him since he was a child. A good reviewer, he said, helps maintain the high quality of manuscripts and journals. Additionally, he said they can help authors improve their manuscripts and provide direction or guidance for future studies. 

“I enjoy reading different studies and helping authors improve their work so that it has a higher impact,” he said. “This is the first time I have had such a high-level award. I look forward to continuously maintaining such high-level standards when I review other papers.” 

Cheng said EMSL has provided him with a variety of opportunities to collaborate with different scientists, including as a peer reviewer for high-impact scientific journals. In addition to his role as a research scientist, he also contributes to the EMSL user program, helping scientists from other institutions access expertise and scientific instruments at EMSL for their own research. He looks forward to many more collaborative experiences in his field. 

“I have learned about many different ideas and have met lots of different people,” he said. “I am always proud to be part of EMSL and want to support EMSL in my career as well.”