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