Barbara Finlayson-Pitts and her group study chemical reactions in the air that affect human health. Daniel A. Anderson / UCI

Britain’s Royal Society of Chemistry has awarded its Environment Prize to Barbara Finlayson-Pitts, UCI professor of chemistry and co-director of AirUCI, “for outstanding contributions to the chemical sciences in the area of environment, sustainability and energy.” Specifically, she was recognized for her pioneering research revealing new processes in the formation of photochemical air pollution and establishing the molecular basis of reactions occurring at environmental interfaces. “I’m both very surprised and most delighted to hear of this great honor, especially given the outstanding scientists who have set the bar for this award in the past,” Finlayson-Pitts said. “However, the prize really goes to the wonderful researchers in my group, past and present, who have worked tirelessly and carefully to carry out what are often very difficult experiments, moving the field forward while supporting each other, and me, with grace and humor. And to the wonderful collaborators I have had the privilege of working with for so many years.”