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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Kristi Closser, Ph.D. 


Assistant Professor
Office Location: Science 1, room 254
Office Phone: (559) 278-2383
Research Website: 

Kristi Closser is an assistant professor at California State University, Fresno since 2017. She earned her B.A. in both chemistry and mathematics from Smith College and her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley in theoretical chemistry. As an undergraduate at Smith college she participated in research in both organic and experimental physical chemistry, but switched to theoretical chemistry in graduate school, where she focused on developing a novel method for computing excited states of large helium clusters. Before coming to Fresno, Dr. Closser also did post-doctoral research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and crossed over into the realm of theoretical condensed matter physics.

Areas of Specialty

Dr. Closser's research focuses on computing the electronically excited states of atoms and molecules and their degradation mechanisms.  The methods employed are primarily ab initio, and do not depend on experimental results.  By computing observables such as UV/vis or X-ray absorption spectra direct comparisons can be made and a better understanding of experimental data can be obtained.  One part of the research focuses on developing better approaches for modeling electronic excitations and critical points along the degradation pathways, and the other part of the research focuses on applying the currently available methods to systems ranging from a single molecule to nanoparticles.