Earth Scientist
Earth Scientist


Dr. Susannah Burrows is an atmospheric modeler whose research interests center on atmospheric aerosols, including their sources, chemistry, and interactions with clouds and climate. Beginning in 2022, she leads a newly formed aerosol working group within the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) project. Dr. Burrows is the author of 50 peer-reviewed publications spanning a broad range of research areas including aerosol modeling, Earth system model development and simulations, measurement analysis methods, and remote sensing.

A major focus of Dr. Burrows’ research has been the impact of biological and biogenic particles on populations of ice-nucleating particles, or INPs, in the atmosphere. Certain biological and biogenic particles, including bacteria, fungal spores, pollen, and organic components of sea spray and soils, are capable of initiating freezing in cloud droplets at warmer temperatures than other particles present in the atmosphere. This has potential implications for precipitation, cloud radiative forcing, and climate.

To advance scientific understanding of how these biological INPs contribute to freezing in clouds, Dr. Burrows developed the first parameterization for the emissions of bacteria-bearing particles to the global atmosphere (Burrows et al., 2009). This has been used by modeling groups worldwide aiming to study contributions of bacteria-bearing particles to atmospheric INPs.

Subsequently, Dr. Burrows developed the Organic Compounds from Ecosystems to Aerosols: Natural Films and Interfaces via Langmuir Molecular Surfactants (OCEANFILMS) parameterization to represent organic contributions to sea spray aerosols, in collaboration with ocean biogeochemist Scott Elliott and other colleagues (Burrows et al., 2014). She implemented this parameterization into the E3SM model, allowing researchers to simulate the effects of sea spray organic matter on cloud condensation nuclei and clouds (Burrows et al., 2022). The OCEANFILMS input dataset is publicly available (Elliott et al., 2015), and the parameterization has been implemented in other global models, such as the Community Earth System Model (CESM6; Xi et al., 2021).

From 2018 to 2023, Dr. Burrows is the principal investigator of the Department of Energy Early Career Project, “Building a Comprehensive Understanding of Ice Nuclei Sources from the Ground Up: Establishing the Impact of Sea Spray and Agricultural Soils.” In spring 2022, she led the Agricultural Ice Nuclei at the Southern Great Plains (AGINSGP) and AGINSGP-Supplemental Sampling field experiments to collect detailed measurements of aerosol and INP properties at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement user facility’s (ARM) Southern Great Plains site in Oklahoma.

From 2018 to 2022, Dr. Burrows served as the deputy group lead of the E3SM Biogeochemical Cycles group and the E3SMv1 carbon cycle simulation lead from 2017 to 2019 (Burrows et al., 2020, JAMES).

Additionally, Dr. Burrows has served as a mentor to a number of students and postdoctoral fellows at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Current and past mentees (with current positions if known) include:

  • 2020–present: Aishwarya Raman (PNNL postdoctoral research associate)
  • 2019–present: Gavin Cornwell (PNNL postdoctoral research associate)
  • 2019–2022: Isabelle Steinke (PNNL postdoctoral research associate; now at the University of Leipzig)
  • 2019–2021: Sam Silva (PNNL Linus Pauling Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow; now an assistant professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Southern California)
  • 20192021: Charlotte Beall (SCGSR graduate research fellow at PNNL; now a PNNL postdoctoral research associate)
  • 2017: Christina McCluskey (SCGSR graduate research fellow at PNNL; now a project scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research)
  • 2017: Jesus Vergara-Temprado (visiting researcher during PhD at the University of Leeds, now at ETH Zurich)
  • 2017–2019: Kaylee Brent (PNNL postbachelor's, now a climate risk specialist at Antea Group)
  • 2015–2016: Daniel Tompkins (PNNL technical student intern, now a PNNL staff software engineer)
  • 2015: Michael Depuy (PNNL technical student intern, now a security engineer at Oregon Health & Science University)

Research Interest

  • Primary biological aerosol particles
  • Ice-nucleating particles
  • Source estimation and attribution for global climate models
  • Aerosolcloud interactions


  • Dr. rer. nat., PhD, Meteorology (summa cum laude), Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany (2011)
  • Diplom., MS, Meteorology, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany (2008)
  • B.A., Physics (with high honors) and German Studies, Oberlin College (2005)

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Associate Editor, Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics (2020–present)
  • User Executive Committee Member, ARM Program:
    • Chair, “Enhancing E3SM/modeling communication” subgroup (2021–present)
    • Member, “Enhancing diversity / undergraduate outreach” subgroup (2021–present)
  • Earth & Space Sciences Rules Committee Member, National Science Olympiad
  • Member: American Geophysical Union, American Meteorological Society, American Association for Aerosol Research, Sigma Xi, Phi Beta Kappa

Awards and Recognitions

  • Department of Energy Early Career Research Program Award (2018–2023)
  • American Geophysical Union Editors’ Citation for Excellence in Refereeing (2019)
  • PNNL Ronald L. Brodzinski Early Career Exceptional Achievement Award (2018)
  • U.S. Fulbright Program Semi-Finalist (2016)
  • PNNL Outstanding Performance Award (2015 and 2017)
  • Accelerated Climate Model for Energy Outstanding Contribution Award (2015)
  • Max Planck Graduate Center Scholarship (2009–2011)
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow (20062009)
  • U.S. Physics Olympiad National Team (2001)



  • Harrop, B. E., Burrows, S. M., Calvin, K., Kooperman, G., and Leung, L. R. Diurnal rainfall response to the physiological and radiative effects of CO2 in the Energy Exascale Earth System Model v1 biogeochemistry experiments. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 127, e2021JD036148. doi:10.1029/2021JD036148.
  • Burrows, S. M., McCluskey, C. S., Cornwell, G., Steinke, I., Zhang, K., Zhao, B., Zawadowicz, M., Raman, A., Kulkarni, G., China, S., Zelenyuk, A., DeMott, P. J. 2022. Ice-nucleating particles that impact clouds and climate: observational and modeling research needs, Reviews of Geophysics, 60, e2021RG000745. doi: 10.1029/2021RG000745.
  • S. M. Burrows, R. Easter, X. Liu, P.-L. Ma, H. Wang, S. M. Elliott, B. Singh, K. Zhang, P. J. Rasch. 2022. OCEANFILMS (Organic Compounds from Ecosystems to Aerosols: Natural Films and Interfaces via Langmuir Molecular Surfactants) sea spray organic aerosol emissions – implementation in a global climate model and impacts on clouds, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 22, 5223–5251, doi: 10.5194/acp-22-5223-2022.
  • Isabelle Steinke, Paul DeMott, Grant Deane, Thomas J. Hill, Mathew Maltrud, Aishwarya Raman, Susannah Burrows. 2022. A numerical framework for simulating episodic emissions of high-temperature marine INPs, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 22, 847–859, doi: 10.5194/acp-22-847-2022.


  • Cornwell G.C., H. Xiao, L.K. Berg, and S.M. Burrows. 2021. "Simulated dust transport in the convective boundary layer." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 126, no. 5:e2020JD033429. PNNL-SA-156006. doi:10.1029/2020JD033429
  • Keeble J.M., B. Hassler, A. Banerjee, R. Checa-Garcia, G. Chiodo, S.M. Davis, and V. Eyring, et al. 2021. "Evaluating stratospheric ozone and water vapour changes in CMIP6 models from 1850-2100." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 21, no. 6:5015-5061. PNNL-SA-158602. doi:10.5194/acp-21-5015-2021
  • Silva S.J., S.M. Burrows, M. Evans, and M. Halappanavar. 2021. "A Graph Theoretical Intercomparison of Atmospheric Chemical Mechanisms." Geophysical Research Letters 48, no. 1:Article No. e2020GL090481. PNNL-SA-155287. doi:10.1029/2020GL090481
  • Zhao X., X. Liu, S.M. Burrows, and Y. Shi. 2021. "Effects of Marine Organic Aerosols as Sources of Immersion-Mode Ice Nucleating Particles on High Latitude Mixed-Phase Clouds." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 21, no. 4:2305-2327. PNNL-SA-154775. doi:10.5194/acp-21-2305-2021


  • Burrows S.M., M.E. Maltrud, X. Yang, Q. Zhu, N. Jeffery, X. Shi, and D.M. Ricciuto, et al. 2020. "The DOE E3SM v1.1 biogeochemistry configuration: Description and Simulated Ecosystem-Climate Responses to Historical Changes in Forcing." Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 12, no. 9:e2019MS001766. PNNL-SA-144279. doi:10.1029/2019MS001766
  • Dasgupta A., H.X. Wang, N.D. O'Brien, and S.M. Burrows. 2020. "Separating the wheat from the chaff: Comparative visual cues for transparent diagnostics of competing models." IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics 26, no. 1:1043-1053. PNNL-SA-129640. doi:10.1109/TVCG.2019.2934540
  • Jeffery N., M. Maltrud, E.C. Hunke, S. Wang, J. Wolfe, A.K. Turner, and S.M. Burrows, et al. 2020. "Investigating controls on sea ice algal production using E3SMv1.1-BGC." Annals of Glaciology 61, no. 82:51-72. PNNL-SA-151063. doi:10.1017/aog.2020.7
  • Mather J.H., S.M. Burrows, D. Chand, N.J. Hess, A. Laskin, A.C. Mccomiskey, and N. Sharma, et al. 2020. "An Atmospheric Aerosol Short Course for Early Career Scientists." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 101, no. 9:E1562-E1567. PNNL-SA-149235. doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-19-0326.1
  • Wang H., R.C. Easter, R. Zhang, P. Ma, B. Singh, K. Zhang, and D. Ganguly, et al. 2020. "Aerosols in the E3SM Version 1: New Developments and Their Impacts on Radiative Forcing." Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 12, no. 1:Article No. e2019MS001851. PNNL-SA-146124. doi:10.1029/2019MS001851


  • Golaz J., P.M. Caldwell, L. Van Roekel, M.R. Petersen, Q. Tang, J. Wolfe, and G.W. Abeshu, et al. 2019. "The DOE E3SM coupled model version 1: Overview and evaluation at standard resolution." Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 11, no. 7:2089-2129. PNNL-SA-141816. doi:10.1029/2018MS001603
  • Hecht M., M. Veneziani, W. Weijer, B.S. Kravitz, S.M. Burrows, D. Comeau, and E.C. Hunke, et al. 2019. "E3SMv0-HiLAT: A Modified Climate System Model Targeted for the Study of High=Latitude Processes." Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 11, no. 8:2814-2843. PNNL-SA-137621. doi:10.1029/2018MS001524
  • Mccluskey C.S., P.J. DeMott, P. Ma, and S.M. Burrows. 2019. "Numerical Representations of Marine Ice-Nucleating Particles in Remote Marine Environments Evaluated against Observations." Geophysical Research Letters 46, no. 13:7838-7847. PNNL-SA-140385. doi:10.1029/2018GL081861
  • Rasch P.J., S. Xie, P. Ma, W. Lin, H. Wang, Q. Tang, and S.M. Burrows, et al. 2019. "An Overview of the Atmospheric Component of the Energy Exascale Earth System Model." Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 11, no. 8:2377-2411. PNNL-SA-144927. doi:10.1029/2019MS001629


  • Burrows S.M., A. Dasgupta, S.M. Reehl, L.M. Bramer, P. Ma, P.J. Rasch, and Y. Qian. 2018. "Characterizing the relative importance assigned to physical variables by climate scientists when assessing atmospheric climate model fidelity." Advances in Atmospheric Sciences 35, no. 9:1101-1113. PNNL-SA-129346. doi:10.1007/s00376-018-7300-x
  • Elliott S., S.M. Burrows, P. Cameron-Smith, F.M. Hoffman, E.C. Hunke, N. Jeffery, and Y. Liu, et al. 2018. "Does Marine Surface Tension have Global Biogeography? Addition for the OCEANFILMS Package." Atmosphere 9, no. 6:Article No. 216. PNNL-SA-134654. doi:10.3390/atmos9060216
  • Schill S.R., S.M. Burrows, E.S. Hasenecz, E. Stone, and T.H. Bertram. 2018. "The Impact of Divalent Cations on the Enrichment of Soluble Saccharides in Primary Sea Spray Aerosol." Atmosphere 9, no. 12:476. PNNL-SA-140085. doi:10.3390/atmos9120476
  • Schuerger A.C., D. Smith, D.W. Griffin, D. Jaffe, B. Wawrik, S.M. Burrows, and B.C. Christner, et al. 2018. "Science questions and knowledge gaps to study microbial transport and survival in Asian and African dust plumes reaching North America." Aerobiologia 34, no. 4:425-435. PNNL-SA-133720. doi:10.1007/s10453-018-9541-7
  • Wang S., M. Maltrud, S.M. Burrows, S. Elliott, and P. Cameron-Smith. 2018. "Impacts of shifts in phytoplankton community on clouds and climate via the sulfur cycle." Global Biogeochemical Cycles 32, no. 6:1005-1026. PNNL-SA-131065. doi:10.1029/2017GB005862
  • Zhang K., P.J. Rasch, M. Taylor, H. Wan, L. Leung, P. Ma, and J. Golaz, et al. 2018. "Impact of numerical choices on water conservation in the E3SM Atmosphere Model Version 1 (EAM V1)." Geoscientific Model Development 11, no. 5:1971-1988. PNNL-SA-129738. doi:10.5194/gmd-11-1971-2018


  • Dasgupta A., S.M. Burrows, K. Han, and P.J. Rasch. 2017. "Empirical Analysis of the Subjective Impressions and Objective Measures of Domain Scientists’ Analytical Judgment Using Visualizations." In Proceedings of the CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2017), May 6-11, 2017, Denver, Colorado, 1193-1204. New York, New York:ACM. PNNL-SA-121199. doi:10.1145/3025453.3025882
  • Dasgupta A., S.M. Burrows, K. Han, and P.J. Rasch. 2017. "Empirical Analysis of the Subjective Impressions and Objective Measures of Domain Scientists’ Visual Analytic Judgments." In Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2017), May 6-11, 2017, Denver, Colorado, 1193-1204. New York, New York:ACM. PNNL-SA-123318. doi:10.1145/3025453.3025882
  • Vergara Temprado J., B.J. Murray, T.W. Wilson, D. O'Sullivan, J. Browse, K.J. Pringle, and K. Ardon-Dryer, et al. 2017. "Contribution of feldspar and marine organic aerosols to global ice nucleating particle concentrations." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 17, no. 5:3637-3658. PNNL-SA-120290. doi:10.5194/acp-17-3637-2017


  • Burrows S.M., E.A. Gobrogge, L. Fu, K.A. Link, S. Elliott, H. Wang, and R.A. Walker. 2016. "OCEANFILMS-2: Representing Coadsorption of Saccharides in Marine Films and Potential Impacts on Modeled Marine Aerosol Chemistry." Geophysical Research Letters 43, no. 15:8306-8313. PNNL-SA-115449. doi:10.1002/2016GL069070
  • Frohlich-Nowoisky J., C. Kampf, B. Weber, A. Huffman, C. Pohlker, M.O. Andreae, and N. Lang-Yona, et al. 2016. "Bioaerosols in the Earth System: Climate, Health, and Ecosystem Interactions." Atmospheric Research 182. PNNL-SA-118665. doi:10.1016/j.atmosres.2016.07.018
  • Twohy C.H., G.R. McMeeking, P.J. DeMott, C. McCluskey, T.J. Hill, S.M. Burrows, and G.R. Kulkarni, et al. 2016. "Abundance of fluorescent biological aerosol particles at temperatures conducive to the formation of mixed-phase and cirrus clouds." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 16, no. 13:8205-8225. PNNL-SA-115217. doi:10.5194/acp-16-8205-2016
  • Wood R., M. Jensen, J. Wang, C.S. Bretherton, S.M. Burrows, A.D. Del Genio, and A.M. Fridlind, et al. 2016. "Planning the next decade of coordinated research to better understand and simulate marine low clouds." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 97, no. 9:1699-1702. PNNL-SA-118876. doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0160.1
  • Xu L., L.M. Russell, and S.M. Burrows. 2016. "Potential sea salt aerosol sources from frost flower in the pan-Arctic region." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 121, no. 18:10,840-10,856. PNNL-SA-115198. doi:10.1002/2015JD024713


  • Chang D., Y. Cheng, P. Reutter, J. Trentmann, S.M. Burrows, P. Spichtinger, and S. Nordmann, et al. 2015. "Comprehensive Mapping and Characteristic Regimes of Aerosol Effects on the Formation and Evolution of Pyro-Convective Clouds." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 15, no. 18:10325-10348. PNNL-SA-100498. doi:10.5194/acp-15-10325-2015
  • McCoy D., S.M. Burrows, R. Wood, D.P. Grosvenor, S. Elliott, P. Ma, and P.J. Rasch, et al. 2015. "Natural Aerosols Explain Seasonal and Spatial Patterns of Southern Ocean Cloud Albedo." Science Advances 1, no. 6:Art. No. e1500157. PNNL-SA-106456. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1500157
  • Ogunro O., S.M. Burrows, S. Elliott, A. Frossard, F.M. Hoffman, R. Letscher, and J.K. Moore, et al. 2015. "Global Distribution and Surface Activity of Macromolecules in Offline Simulations of Marine Organic Chemistry." Biogeochemistry 126, no. 1:25-56. PNNL-SA-106391. doi:10.1007/s10533-015-0136-x
  • Wilson T.W., L.A. Ladino, P.A. Alpert, M.N. Breckels, I.M. Brooks, J. Browse, and S.M. Burrows, et al. 2015. "A marine biogenic source of atmospheric ice-nucleating particles." Nature 525, no. 7568:234-238. PNNL-SA-109270. doi:10.1038/nature14986


  • Burrows S.M., O. Ogunro, A. Frossard, L.M. Russell, P.J. Rasch, and S. Elliott. 2014. "A Physically Based Framework for Modelling the Organic Fractionation of Sea Spray Aerosol from Bubble Film Langmuir Equilibria." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 14, no. 24:13601-13629. PNNL-SA-100411. doi:10.5194/acp-14-13601-2014
  • Elliott S., S.M. Burrows, C. Deal, X. Liu, M. Long, O. Ogunro, and L.M. Russell, et al. 2014. "Prospects for Simulating Macromolecular Surfactant Chemistry at the Ocean-Atmosphere Boundary." Environmental Research Letters 9, no. 6:064012. PNNL-SA-92243. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/9/6/064012
  • Frossard A., L. Russell, S.M. Burrows, S. Elliott, T.S. Bates, P.K. Quinn, and P.K. Quinn. 2014. "Sources and Composition of Submicron Organic Mass in Marine Aerosol Particles." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 119, no. 22:12,977-13,003. PNNL-SA-101597. doi:10.1002/2014JD021913
  • Haga D.I., S.M. Burrows, R. Iannone, M.J. Wheeler, R. Mason, J. Chen, and E.A. Polishchuk, et al. 2014. "Ice Nucleation of Fungal Spores from the Classes Agaricomycetes, Ustilaginomycetes, and Eurotiomycetes, and the effect on the Atmospheric Transport of these Spores." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 14, no. 16:8611-8630. PNNL-SA-99695. doi:10.5194/acp-14-8611-2014


  • Burrows S.M., C. Hoose, U. Poschl, and M. Lawrence. 2013. "Ice Nuclei in Marine Air: Biogenic Particles or Dust?." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 13, no. 1:245-267. PNNL-SA-92061. doi:10.5194/acp-13-245-2013
  • Burrows S.M., P. Rayner, T. Butler, and M. Lawrence. 2013. "Estimating Bacteria Emissions from Inversion of Atmospheric Transport: Sensitivity to Modelled Particle Characteristics." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 13, no. 11:5473-5488. PNNL-SA-91651. doi:10.5194/acp-13-5473-2013