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Aaron Socha , Ph.D

  • Associate Professor , Chemistry and Environmental Science Department
  • College of Arts and Sciences

As an undergraduate, Aaron began his research career by investigating the ethnobotany of cactus at the New York Botanical Garden.  He then worked as an environmental chemist at Toxscan, Inc. in Watsonville, CA to determine pesticide concentrations in water, soil and plant samples.  In graduate school, Aaron focused on drug discovery from marine microbes by performing purification, structure elucidation and synthetic optimization of bisanthraquinones and cyclic peptide antibiotics.  As an NSF postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemistry at Brown University, Aaron researched microbial lignin catabolism and lipid biosynthesis where he developed a fascination with biodiesel production and green chemistry.  He began his professional teaching career at the Bronx Community College - City University of New York (CUNY) in 2011.  In 2012 Aaron joined the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab's Joint BioEnergy Institute to pursue his interests in biofuels, and began researching bio-based ionic liquids.  At CUNY, he became an Associate Professor of Chemistry in 2015 and served as the Director of the Center for Sustainable Energy from 2013-2016.  He currently manages an NSF Advanced Technical Education grant to develop curriculum in Bioenergy and Bioproduct chemistry and teaches CHM 430 "Biofuels and Bioproducts".  


  • B.S.  - General Science; Fordham University
  • Ph.D.  - Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences; University of Rhode Island


  • 2020 Award - Transportation Technology, Sustainable Fuel and Product Development 2014 City University of New York
  • Conversion of Lignin to Ionic Liquids 2015 US Department of Energy - Bioenergy Technology Office
  • Innovation Corps Award - Bionic Liquids 2014 National Science Foundation
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