Faculty Members‎ > ‎

Olga L. Mayol-Bracero




1989 University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras

B.Sc., Chemistry

1994 University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras

M.Sc., Chemistry

1998 University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras,

and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Ph.D., Chemistry

1998-2001 Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany

Postdoctoral Fellow





Atmospheric aerosols: Chemical, physical and optical properties of atmospheric aerosols and the impact of these aerosols on climate, size-resolved chemical composition and sources of aerosols in tropical regions (biomass burning, marine, urban, biogenic), carbonaceous aerosols, organic aerosols and their role in cloud condensation nuclei properties.

Other research areas:

Impact of atmospheric aerosols on:

The ecosystem

The degradation of structures


Our research group includes graduate and undergraduate students from chemistry, biology, physics, and environmental science with a deliberate intent of strengthening interdisciplinary research. Interested students may contact Dr. Mayol-Bracero at her office (Anexo FB-208) or by e-mail.

Current Projects

Size-Resolved Composition and Sources of Organic Carbon and its Water-Soluble Component in Tropical Marine and Urban Aerosol - For tropical aerosols, we are determining: 1) the contribution of organic carbon (OC) and its water-soluble component to the total aerosol burden, 2) the chemical composition of these species, and 3) their sources. This study will provide insight into OC's role, especially, of its water-soluble fraction, in anthropogenic aerosols' indirect effect on radiative forcing.

Smoke Aerosols, Clouds, Rainfall and Climate: Aerosols from Biomass Burning Perturb Global and Regional Climate (SMOCC*) - In collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (Dr. Andreae) in Germany and the University of São Paulo (Dr. Artaxo) in Brazil, graduate students in our group performed size-resolved chemical characterization on aerosol samples collected in the Brazilian Amazon from September to November 2002 during the burning season and the beginning of the wet season. The results will help to understand why smoke aerosols increase the number of cloud condensation nuclei, reducing cloud droplet size and, therefore, modifying rainfall location and intensity.

Rain in Cumulus over the Ocean Experiment and the Puerto Rico and Aerosol Clouds Study (RICO-PRACS) - The RICO (http://www.eol.ucar.edu/projects/rico/) core objective is to characterize and understand the properties of trade wind cumulus clouds, with particular emphasis on determining the importance of precipitation.  The project involved more than 15 different institutions in USA and Europe.  Our group was in charge of the aerosol ground-based measurements. Sampling was performed on the islands of Antigua and Barbuda and Puerto Rico from November 2004 to January 2005.  Because aerosols play a key role in the formation of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and in the development of precipitation, characterizing their physical and chemical properties is essential to understanding cloud formation processes.  Two fundamental RICO questions are:

(1) What is the spatial and temporal variability of aerosol chemical and physical properties in the trade wind environment? and (2) How do aerosols impact the microphysics of trade wind cumuli?  Our project is contributing to answering these questions by providing a better understanding of the role of tropical marine aerosols (focusing on organic carbon and its water-soluble fraction) as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN).  The Puerto Rico and Aerosol Clouds Study (PRACS) project also formed part of RICO.  This was only in Puerto Rico, during November and December 2004, with the collaboration of scientists from Germany, England, Mexico, and United States.




Rauber, Robert M., Bjorn Stevens, Jennifer Davison, Sabine Goeke, Olga L. Mayol-Bracero, David Rogers,Paquita Zuidema, Harry T. Ochs III, Charles Knight, Jorgen Jensen, Sarah Bereznicki, Simona Bordoni, Humberto Caro-Gautier, Marilé Colón-Robles, Maylissa Deliz, Shaunna Donaher, Amanda Edwards, Virendra Ghate, Ela Grzeszczak, Colleen Henry, Anne Hertel1, Ieng Jo, Michael Kruk, Jason Lowenstein, Judith Malley, Brian Medeiros, Yarilis Méndez, Subhashree Mishra, Flavia Morales, Aloisia A. Nuijens, Dennis O'Donnell, Diana Ortiz-Montalvo, Kristen Rasmussen, Erin Riepe, Sarah Scalia, Efthymios Serpetzoglou, Haiwei Shen, Michael Siedsma, Jennifer Small, Eric Snodgrass, Panu Trivej, Elizabeth Zarouy, Jon Zawislak, “In the Driver’s Seat – RICO and Education”, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, in press, 2007.

Robert M. Rauber, Bjorn Stevens, Harry T. Ochs III, Charles Knight, B. A. Albrecht, A.M. Blyth, C.W. Fairall J. B. Jensen, S. G. Lasher-Trapp, O. L. Mayol-Bracero, G. Vali, J. R. Anderson, B. A. Baker, A. R. Bandy, F. Burnet, J-L. Brenguier, W. A. Brewer, P. R. A. Brown, P. Chuang,W. R. Cotton, L. Di Girolamo, B. Geerts, H. Gerber, S. Göke1, L. Gomes, B. G. Heikes, J. G. Hudson, P. Kollias, R. P. Lawson, S. K. Krueger, D. H. Lenschow, L. Nuijens, D. W. O’Sullivan, R. A. Rilling, D. C. Rogers, A. P. Siebesma, E. Snodgrass, J. L. Stith, D. C. Thornton, S. Tucker, C. H. Twohy, P. Zuidema, “Rain in (Shallow) Cumulus over the Ocean—The RICO Campaign”, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, in press, 2007. 

Fuzzi, S., S. Decesari, M. C. Facchini, F. Cavalli, L. Emblico, M. Mircea, M.O. Andreae, I. Trebs, A. Hoffer, P. Guyon, P. Artaxo, L.V. Rizzo, L.L. Lara, T. Pauliquevis, W. Maenhaut, N. Raes, X. Chi, O.L. Mayol-Bracero, L.L. Soto-García, M. Claeys, I. Kourtchev, J. Rissler, E. Swietlicki, E. Tagliavini, G. Schkolnik, A.H. Falkovich, Y. Rudich, G. Fisch, L.V. Gatti, Overview of the inorganic and organic composition of size-segregated aerosol in Rondônia, Brazil, from the biomass burning period to the onset of the wet season, Journal of Geophysical Research- Atmospheres, D01201, doi:10.1029/2005JD006741, 2007.

Mayol-Bracero, O.L. Capítulo 9: “Aire”, In Atlas Ambiental de Puerto Rico, Eds. T. del Mar López-Marrero & N. Villanueva-Colón, La Editorial, Universidad de Puerto Rico, 2006, pp 89-98.

Chand, D.; P. Guyon; P. Artaxo; O. Schmid; O. L. Mayol-Bracero; G. Frank; L. V. Gatti; F.X. Meixner; M. A. L. Moura, and M. O. Andreae, Optical and physical properties of aerosols in the boundary layer and free troposphere over the Amazon Basin during the biomass burning season, Atmos. Chem. Phys. 6, 2911-2925, 2006

Ortiz-Zayas, J., E. Cuevas, O.L. Mayol-Bracero, L. Danoso, I. Trebs, D. Figueroa-Nieves, and W. McDowell, Running Head: Nitrogen cycling in urban Puerto Rico, Biogeochemistry, DOI 10.1007/s10533-006-9005-y, 2006.

See more publications of ITES Faculty



Undergraduate level:


Quim 3001: General Chemistry I: Introduction to the basic principles of general chemistry with emphasis on atomic and molecular structure, matter status and thermochemistry.


Quim 3002: General Chemistry II: Introduction to the basic principles of general chemistry with emphasis on solutions, kinetics, chemical equilibrium, acids and bases, ionic equilibrium, thermodynamics, electrochemistry and nuclear chemistry.

Cina 4127: Techniques for Environmental Management and Protection:  Sampling and analysis methods and techniques for the determination of physical and chemical parameters in water, air, and soil. Point and non-point sources of pollution, mechanisms of transport and diffusion, and the chemical fate of diverse parameters are analyzed. The impact of a series of human activities on the environment is also discussed.

Quim 5995: Special Topics in Chemistry: Environmental Chemistry: Basic principles and concepts of environmental chemistry focusing on atmospheric and water pollution.  Special emphasis is given to the situation of air and water pollution in Puerto Rico.


Graduate level:


Quim 8992: Special Topics in Analytical Chemistry: Chemistry and Physics of Atmospheric Aerosols

This is a graduate course that presents an introduction to the chemistry and physics of atmospheric aerosols. The topics discussed include aerosol fundamentals; sources and sinks; formation; physical, chemical and optical properties; sampling methods; analytical techniques; and aerosols' impact on the environment, focusing on climatic effects.

Quim 8206: Seminar in Analytical Chemistry

Research Group

Graduate Students:

Lydia L. Soto




Size-resolved chemical characterization of aerosols during the dry and wet seasons in the Amazon Basin



Flavia Morales




Tropical Marine Aerosols during the RICO-PRACS Experiment: towards a better understanding of the role of organic aerosols in CCN


Pamela Vallejo




Impact of aged mineral dust on cloud formation and precipitation

Hector Rivera




Climatological aspects of aerosol optical properties in Northeastern Puerto Rico

Undergraduate Students:


Gilmarie Santos




Size-resolved chemical composition of African dust particles over the Caribbean: Carbonaceous aerosols


Arelys Rivera



Irevis Nieves



Lauren Colon



Wilmarie Marrero



Reynaldo Rivera








Facundo Bueso Annex-208 (16)

UPR extension numbers:
Office Tel. 787-764-0000 X- 3430
Dept. Tel. 787-664-0000 X- 2866, 2867

Other telephone numbers:
Laboratory Tel. 787-764-0000 X- 3430/2526

Fax number:

Institute for Tropical Ecosystem Studies (ITES) 
University of Puerto Rico 
PO Box 21910 
San Juan PR 00931-1910 USA

Address for packages: 
Institute for Tropical Ecosystem Studies 
University of Puerto Rico 
Anexo Facundo Bueso 
Office # 208 
Río Piedras, PR 00931-1910 USA