Dr. Trevor Carey


Born in Cork, Trevor graduated with a BSc. Chemistry degree in University College Cork (UCC) in 2004. He carried out his Ph.D. research under the supervision of Professor John Wenger at The Centre for Research into Atmospheric Chemistry in UCC. Trevor's research focused on the Atmospheric Simulation Chamber Studies of the Ozonolysis of Green Leaf Volatiles. He completed his Ph.D. studies in 2010 and was appointed Technical Officer for the School of Chemistry in 2011. He is responsible for the management and development of undergraduate Physical Chemistry practicals and many aspects of continuous assessment associated with undergraduate Physical Chemistry modules.

Trevor is joint-chair for the Outreach, Public Relations and Admissions (OPRA) committee in the School of Chemistry. He is coordinator of the highly successful RSC and SFI funded outreach activity, Spectroscopy in a Suitcase (SIAS), where he has visited over 150 schools in the past 4 years. Trevor is also administrator and content creator of the School of Chemistry Website, the popular School of Chemistry App for iOS and Android and all social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube) for the school. He is also editor of the School of Chemistry online newsletter. Trevor has played a significant role in the recent Athena Swan Bronze Award application from the school, where he is part of the school's Self-Assessment Team and working group leader for the student data section of the Athena Swan application.

  • 2011 - Present, Senior Technical Officer in Chemistry, University College Cork.
  • 2009 - 2011, Research Assistant / Senior Demonstrator, University College Cork.
  • 2004 - 2009, PhD Chemistry, University College Cork.
  • 2000 - 2004, BSc. Chemistry, University College Cork.
  • 1995 - 2000, North Monastery CBS, Cork.

Research Interests

Thesis title: Atmospheric Simulation Chamber Studies of the Ozonolysis of Green Leaf Volatiles.

Supervisor: Prof. John Wenger


Green leaf volatiles (GLVs) are a family of oxygenated hydrocarbons produced from the biochemical conversion of linoleic and linolenic acid within plants. The compounds (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, (Z)-3-hexenol and (Z)-3-hexenal form an important subset of GLVs that are emitted into the atmosphere in large quantities. In order to understand their impact on the atmosphere, information on their atmospheric degradation processes is required.

A series of laboratory studies has been performed on the gas-phase ozonolysis of (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, (Z)-3-hexenol, (Z)-3-hexenal and the structurally related compound, (Z)-3-hexene. Rate coefficients for the reactions were measured at 295 ± 2 K and atmospheric pressure. The kinetic data allows conclusions to be made on the effect of various functional groups on the reactivity of the GLVs towards ozone. Yields for the primary carbonyl, propanal, and the OH radical were also measured and the contribution of each Criegee intermediate towards the overall OH radical yield was determined. The molecular composition of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) produced from the ozonolysis of the GLVs was investigated by off-line analysis of filter samples. Many low molecular weight products were identified using two dimensional gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry, while liquid chromatography mass spectrometry proved effective in characterization of short and longer chain oligomers.

The extent of oligomer formation showed a large dependence on the functional group within the GLV molecule; although dimer formation was observed for all of the compounds, higher order oligomers were only produced to a significant extent in the SOA from (Z)-3-hexenol. This is attributed to the high reactivity of its first generation oxidation product, 3-hydroxypropanal, which can hydrate and readily undergo further reactions in the particle phase. The yields of SOA produced from the ozonolysis of (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate and (Z)-3-hexenol were determined under a variety of reaction conditions. The results indicate that the SOA yield increases for higher starting concentrations of GLV, lower relative humidity and in the presence of seed aerosol. SOA formation yields from (Z)-3-hexenol are higher than those from (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate. The results suggest that GLVs are a potentially important global source of SOA.

UCC Library Thesis Link


  • McGillen, M. R.; Archibald, A. T.; Carey, T. J.; Leather, K. E.; Shallcross, D. E.; Wenger, J. C.; Percival, C. J. Structure-activity relationship (SAR) for the prediction of gas-phase ozonolysis rate coefficients: an extension towards heteroatomic unsaturated species. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics,2011, 13 (7), 2842-2849. DOI

  • O'Dwyer, M. A.; Carey, T. J.; Healy, R. M.; Wenger, J. C.; Picquet-Varrault, B.; Doussin, J-F. The gas-phase ozonolysis of 1-penten-3-ol, (Z)-2-penten-1-ol and 1-penten-3-one: kinetics, products and secondary organic aerosol formation. Zeitschrift Fur Physikalische Chemie, 2010, 224 (7-8), 1059-1080. DOI

  • Hamilton, J. F.; Lewis, A. C.; Carey, T. J.; Wenger, J. C.; Borrás, E.; Muñoz, A. Reactive oxidation products promote secondary organic aerosol formation from green leaf volatiles. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 2009, 9 (11), 3815-3823. DOI

  • Hamilton, J. F; Lewis, A. C.; Carey, T. J.; Wenger, J. C. Characterization of polar compounds and oligomers in secondary organic aerosol using chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. Analytical Chemistry, 2008, 80 (2), 474-480. DOI

  • McGillen, M. R.; Carey, T. J.; Archibald, A. T.; Wenger, J. C.; Shallcross, D. E.; Percival, C. J. Structure-activity relationship (SAR) for the gas-phase ozonolysis of aliphatic alkenes and dialkenes. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2008, 10 (13), 1757-1768. DOI

Professional Activity

  • Technical representative on the following School of Chemistry committees;
    - Joint chair of OPRA (Outreach, PR and Admissions) Committee.
    - School Board (September 2017 to present)
    - Executive Advisory Team (September 2017 to present)
    - Teaching & Examinations (2015 to 2017)
    - Technical, Administrative & Support Committee (2012 to present)
    - Athena Swan (2016 to present)
  • Fully qualified Occupational First Aider.

Teaching Activity

  • Undergraduate Physical Chemistry Practicals for 2nd Years (CM2003, CM2004, CM2007)
  • Undergraduate Physical Chemistry Practicals for 3rd Years (CM3016, CM3017)
  • Online Assessment (Moodle) for Physical Chemistry modules (CM2003, CM2004, CM4020, CM4025)
  • Coordinator of 3rd Year Physical Chemistry Small Group Tutorials (CM3016, CM3017)
  • Coordinator of Environmental Chemistry section for EV2001


T. Carey, A. Kenna, S. Zhou, J. Wenger, M. McGillen, C. Percival. Effect of Functional Group on the Reactivity of Ozone with a Series of Oxygenated Hexene Derivatives. 21st International Symposium on Gas Kinetics, Leuven, Belgium, July 2010.

T. CareyJ. Wenger, J. Hamilton, A. Lewis, E. Borrais i Garcia, A. Munoz. Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation from Green Leaf Volatiles. INTROP Meeting, Portoroz 2009. 

T. CareyS. Zhou, J. Wenger, M.R. McGillen, C.J. Percival. Absolute Rate Coefficients and OH Radical Yields for the Reaction of Ozone with a Series of Oxygenated Hexene Derivatives. International Symposium on Gas Kinetics, Manchester, July 2008.

T. CareyJ. Wenger, J.F. Hamilton, A.C. Lewis. Chemical characterisation of SOA formed from the ozonolysis of (3Z)-hexenyl acetate. International Conference on Biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds: Sources and Fates in a Changing World, Montpellier, France, September 2007.

T. CareyJ. Wenger, J.F. Hamilton, A.C. Lewis. Chemical characterisation of SOA formed from the ozonolysis of (3Z)-hexenyl acetate. Surface Emissions and Prediction of Atmospheric Composition Changes, Ile d’Oléron, France, September 2007

T. Carey, M. O’Connor, J. Wenger. Simulation Chamber Studies of the Reaction of Ozone with C6 Biogenic Oxygenated VOCs. European Geosciences Union – General Assembly, Vienna, April 2006.



Dr. Trevor Carey

Contact Details:


Senior Technical Officer


2010: PhD Chemistry
2004: BSc Chemistry

Work Area:

Physical Chemistry



School of Chemistry


University College Cork, College Rd, Cork, Ireland