Aaron Socha, Ph.D.

Aaron Socha

Assistant Professor, Environmental Science & Chemistry Department


As an undergraduate, Dr. Aaron Socha 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, California to determine pesticide concentrations in water, soil and plant samples.

In graduate school, Dr. Socha 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 Chemistry Department at Brown University, he 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, Dr. Socha 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.


Ph.D., Biomedical Science, University of Rhode Island
B.S., General Science, Fordham University

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