Matthew (Matt) Elrod

  • Robert and Eleanor Biggs Professor of Natural Science and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Areas of Study


  • BA, Grinnell College, 1989
  • PhD, University of California, Berkeley, 1994


Research Interests 
Atmospheric chemistry, computational chemistry, mass spectrometry
The atmospheric oxidation of volatile compounds (VOCs) plays a significant role in the air pollution problems of ground level ozone production and secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation, which are known to cause adverse health effects and to play a role in global climate change.

Current projects in the Elrod lab include the determination of mechanisms for the production of ground level ozone and SOA via the oxidation of the predominant biogenic VOC, isoprene.  We use various commercial spectroscopy techniques and a custom built turbulent flow chemical ionization mass spectrometer to identify the components of the chemical systems and to make the kinetics measurements that allow the atmospheric significance of the reaction systems to be determined.  We also use computational chemistry methods implemented on the Oberlin supercomputer to help elucidate the meaning of our experimental results and to help guide the planning of new experiments.

Physical Chemistry, General Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry


Curriculum Vitae

Fall 2021

Structure and Reactivity in Chemistry — CHEM 101
Environmental Chemistry — CHEM 208

Spring 2022

Quantum Chemistry and Kinetics — CHEM 339