Michael H. Bergin

Michael Howard Bergin

Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

My general research focus is on the influence of air pollution on both climate and human health. My specific interest is particulate matter (PM), and I have done a wide range of studies on the emission, formation, deposition and impacts of PM. I am particularly interested in how PM impacts climate by modifying the radiation balance of the atmosphere and I have done studies in both pristine regions of the world (Greenland and the Himalaya), as well as hazy regions (the Southeastern US, China, and India). More recently I have been studying the influence of PM on human health with emphasis on determining the relative contributions of sources (such as biomass burning and vehicular emissions) to acute health impacts. I am also involved in developing and deploying the next generation of air quality sensors to inform citizens on the quality of the air they are breathing so that they can make informed decisions to improve their air. My vision involves combining a multidisciplinary, multicultural approach to research and education that brings together researchers from around the world to collectively work together to make the air cleaner.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Duke Kunshan University
  • Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative
  • Affiliate, Duke Global Health Institute

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 127B Hudson Hall, Box 90287, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: (919) 660-5209
  • Email Address: michael.bergin@duke.edu
  • Websites:


  • Ph.D. Carnegie Mellon University, 1995

Research Interests

Aerosols are generated by a variety of natural and anthropogenic sources. I am interested in the processes that emit, transform and deposit particulate matter. A current focus of my research is how particles in the atmosphere directly modify the surface radiation balance of the Earth. This is of importance to the climate of the Earth, as well as plant growth and visibility. We have conducted studies at a variety of polluted urban sites as well as pristine remote sites to understand the contrast between clean and dirty locations. Another interest is the past impacts of aerosols on climate through interpretation of paleorecords archived in ice cores. My work involves a combination of lab and field studies as well as the development of relatively simple mathematical models.

Courses Taught

  • CEE 292: Independent Study in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • CEE 492: Independent Study in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • CEE 493: Research Independent Study in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • CEE 494: Research Independent Study in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • CEE 690: Advanced Topics in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • ECE 391: Projects in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • ECE 392: Projects in Electrical and Computer Engineering

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Backman, J; Schmeisser, L; Virkkula, A; Ogren, JA; Asmi, E; Starkweather, S; Sharma, S; Eleftheriadis, K; Uttal, T; Jefferson, A; Bergin, M; Makshtas, A; Tunved, P; Fiebig, M, On Aethalometer measurement uncertainties and an instrument correction factor for the Arctic, Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, vol 10 no. 12 (2017), pp. 5039-5062 [10.5194/amt-10-5039-2017] [abs].
  • Vreeland, H; Weber, R; Bergin, M; Greenwald, R; Golan, R; Russell, AG; Verma, V; Sarnat, JA, Oxidative potential of PM 2.5 during Atlanta rush hour: Measurements of in-vehicle dithiothreitol (DTT) activity, Atmospheric Environment, vol 165 (2017), pp. 169-178 [10.1016/j.atmosenv.2017.06.044] [abs].
  • Bergin, MH; Ghoroi, C; Dixit, D; Schauer, JJ; Shindell, DT, Large Reductions in Solar Energy Production Due to Dust and Particulate Air Pollution, Environmental Science and Technology Letters, vol 4 no. 8 (2017), pp. 339-344 [10.1021/acs.estlett.7b00197] [abs].
  • Xie, YS; Li, ZQ; Zhang, YX; Zhang, Y; Li, DH; Li, KT; Xu, H; Zhang, Y; Wang, YQ; Chen, XF; Schauer, JJ; Bergin, M, Estimation of atmospheric aerosol composition from ground-based remote sensing measurements of Sun-sky radiometer, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, vol 122 no. 1 (2017), pp. 498-518 [10.1002/2016JD025839] [abs].
  • Schmeisser, L; Andrews, E; Ogren, JA; Sheridan, P; Jefferson, A; Sharma, S; Kim, JE; Sherman, JP; Sorribas, M; Kalapov, I; Arsov, T; Angelov, C; Mayol-Bracero, OL; Labuschagne, C; Kim, S-W; Hoffer, A; Lin, N-H; Chia, H-P; Bergin, M; Sun, J; Liu, P; Wu, H, Classifying aerosol type using in situ surface spectral aerosol optical properties, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol 17 no. 19 (2017), pp. 12097-12120 [10.5194/acp-17-12097-2017] [abs].