About Ramón Alvarez

Ramon Alvarez

Associate Chief Scientist


Areas of expertise:

Air quality, oil and natural gas, methane emissions


Ramón Alvarez, Ph.D. works with the Chief Scientist to guide EDF’s scientific priorities and ensure its work is on the cutting edge of scientific thought. Ramón currently leads EDF's efforts to deploy novel air pollution monitoring technologies and analysis to inform air pollution mitigation.

He played a lead role in EDF's initiative to characterize and reduce air emissions from U.S. oil and natural gas operations. Previously, he promoted cleaner air in Texas cities, with an emphasis on reducing emissions from electric power plants and diesel vehicles. He led EDF's campaign to establish the Texas Clean School Bus Program and assisted US-Mexico border industries to find cost-effective methods to reduce waste.


Dr. Alvarez obtained a B.S. degree in chemistry from Duke University and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley, where he carried out research on atmospheric and combustion processes. At UC Berkeley he was a National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellow and a lecturer in Environmental Chemistry.


“Identifying Patterns and Sources of Fine and Ultrafine Particulate Matter in London Using Mobile Measurements of Lung-Deposited Surface Area.” R. U. Shah, L. E. Padilla, D. R. Peters, M. Dupuy-Todd, E. R. Fonseca, G. Q. Ma, O. A. M. Popoola, R. L. Jones, J. Mills, N. A. Martin, and R. A. Alvarez, Environ. Sci. Technol. 57, 96; DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.2c08096 (2023).

“Evaluating uncertainty in sensor networks for urban air pollution insights.” D. R. Peters, O. A. M. Popoola, R. L. Jones,, N. A. Martin, J. Mills, E. R. Fonseca, E. Forsyth, D. Carruthers, M. Dupuy-Todd, F. Douglas, K. Moore, R. U. Shah, L. E. Padilla, R. A. Alvarez, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 15, 321; DOI: 10.5194/amt-15-321-2022 (2022).

“New methods to derive street-scale spatial patterns of air pollution from mobile monitoring.” L. E. Padilla, G. Q. Ma, D. Peters, M. Dupuy-Todd, E. Forsyth, A. Stidworthy, J. Mills, S. Bell, I. Hayward, G. Coppin, K. Moore, E. Fonseca, O. A. M. Popoola, F. Douglas, G. Slater, K. Tuxen-Bettman, D. Carruthers, N. A. Martin, R. L. Jones, R. A. Alvarez, Atmos. Env., DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2021.118851 (2022).

“Comparison of Mobile and Fixed-Site Black Carbon Measurements for High-Resolution Urban Pollution Mapping.” S. Chambliss, C. V. Preble, J. J. Caubel, T. Cados, K. P. Messier, R. A. Alvarez, B. LaFranchi, M. M. Lunden, J. D. Marshall, A. A. Szpiro, T. W. Kirchstetter, and J. S. Apte, Environ. Sci. Technol. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.0c01409, (2020).

“Characterizing Elevated Urban Air Pollutant Spatial Patterns with Mobile Monitoring in Houston, Texas.” D. J. Miller, B. Actkinson, L. Padilla, R. J. Griffin, K. Moore, P. G. T. Lewis, R. Gardner-Frolick, E. Craft, C. J. Portier, S. P. Hamburg, R. A. Alvarez,. Environ. Sci. Technol. 54, 2133-2142 (2020).

“Quantifying methane emissions from the largest oil-producing basin in the United States from space.” Y. Zhang, R. Gautam, S. Pandey, M. Omara, J. D. Maasakkers, P. Sadavarte, D. Lyon, H. Nesser, M. P. Sulprizio, D. J. Varon, R. Zhang, S. Houweling, D. Zavala-Araiza, R. A. Alvarez, A. Lorente, S. P. Hamburg, I. Aben, D. J. Jacob, Science Advances 6, (2020).

"Mapping Air Pollution with Google Street View Cars: Efficient Approaches with Mobile Monitoring and Land Use Regression." K. P. Messier, S. E. Chambliss, S. Gani, R. Alvarez, M. Brauer, J. J. Choi, S. P. Hamburg, J. Kerckhoffs, B. LaFranchi, M. M. Lunden, J. D. Marshall, C. J. Portier, A. Roy, A. A. Szpiro, R. C. H. Vermeulen, J. S. Apte, Environ. Sci. Technol. 52, 12563 (2018).

"Assessment of methane emissions from the US oil and gas supply chain." R. A. Alvarez, D. Zavala-Araiza, D. R. Lyon, D. T. Allen, Z. R. Barkley, A. R. Brandt, K. J. Davis, S. C. Herndon, D. J. Jacob, A. Karion, E. A. Kort, B. K. Lamb, T. Lauvaux, J. D. Maasakkers, A. J. Marchese, M. Omara, S. W. Pacala, J. Peischl, A. L. Robinson, P. B. Shepson, C. Sweeney, A. Townsend-Small, S. C. Wofsy, S. P. Hamburg, Science 361, 186 (2018).

“Super-emitters in natural gas infrastructure are caused by abnormal process conditions,” D. Zavala-Araiza, R. A. Alvarez, D. R. Lyon, D. T. Allen, A. J. Marchese, D. J. Zimmerle, S. P. Hamburg, Nat. Commun. 8, 14012 (2017).

“Possible malfunction in widely used methane sampler deserves attention but poses limited implications for supply chain emission estimates,” R. A. Alvarez, D. R. Lyon, A. J. Marchese, A. L. Robinson, S. P. Hamburg, Elementa Sci. Anth. 4, 137 (2016).

“Aerial Surveys of Elevated Hydrocarbon Emissions from Oil and Gas Production Sites,” D. R. Lyon, R. A. Alvarez, D. Zavala-Araiza, A. R. Brandt, R. B. Jackson, S. P. Hamburg, Environ. Sci. Technol. 50, 4877-4886 (2016).

"Reconciling divergent estimates of oil and gas methane emissions," D. Zavala-Araiza, D. R. Lyon, R. A. Alvarez et al., Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 112, 15597-15602 (2015).

"Toward a functional definition of methane super-emitters: Application to natural gas production sites," D. Zavala-Araiza, D. Lyon, R. A. Alvarez, V. Palacios, R. Harriss, X. Lan, R. Talbot, S. P. Hamburg, Environ. Sci. Technol. 49, 8167-8174 (2015).

"Constructing a spatially resolved methane emission inventory for the Barnett Shale region," D. R. Lyon, D. Zavala-Araiza, R. A. Alvarez, R. Harriss, V. Palacios, X. Lan, R. Talbot, T. Lavoie, P. Shepson, T. I. Yacovitch, S. C. Herndon, A. J. Marchese, D. Zimmerle, A. L. Robinson, S. P. Hamburg. Environ. Sci. Technol. 49, 8147-8157 (2015).

"Using multi-scale measurements to improve methane emission estimates from oil and gas operations in the Barnett Shale region, Texas," R. Harriss, R. A. Alvarez, D. Lyon, D. Zavala-Araiza, D. Nelson, S. P. Hamburg, Environ. Sci. Technol. 49, 7524–7526 (2015).

"Influence of Methane Emissions and Vehicle Efficiency on the Climate Implications of Heavy-Duty Natural Gas Trucks," J. R. Camuzeaux, R. A. Alvarez, S. A. Brooks, J. B. Browne, T. Sterner, Environ. Sci. Technol. 49, 6402–6410 (2015).

"Greater focus needed on methane leakage from natural gas infrastructure," R. A. Alvarez, S. W. Pacala, J. J. Winebrake, W. L. Chameides, S. P. Hamburg, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 109, 6435-6440 (2012).

"Quantum Yield for Production of CH3NC in the Photolysis of CH3NCS," R. A. Alvarez and C. B. Moore, Science 263, 205 (1994).

"Absolute Yields of CO, CO2, and H2CO from the Reaction CH2(X 3B1) + O2 by IR Diode Laser Flash Kinetic Spectroscopy," R. A. Alvarez and C. B. Moore, J. Phys. Chem. 98, 174 (1994).