Dr Aquilina received his PhD at the University of Birmingham, UK through a Health Effects Institute funding. He realized his post-doctorate at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the Energy Technologies Area-Indoor Environment, USA and was a visiting researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, USA.
He is a senior lecturer in atmospheric chemistry and exposure science at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Malta and an Affiliate Researcher within the Thirdhand Smoke Consortium of the University of California.
Dr Aquilina made a substantial contribution to research in exposure science, in particular on particle-phase polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) obtained from low-volume samples. He was involved in initial studies linking parent airborne PAHs to their metabolites.
With so many pollutants in different environments, matrices and their health implications, the research interests and activities cover: (1) modelling the exposure by applying machine learning algorithms; (2) developing analytical methods to extract pollutants from different matrices; (3) carrying out measurements of pollutants in indoor/outdoor environments; (4) optimize analytical methods to advance knowledge of composition of particulate matter and (5) use of human biomonitoring to evaluate exposure to pollutants.
Earlier in his career Dr Aquilina carried out research in mesoscale meteorology within the European Research Training Network called ATREUS and was involved in the improvement of the chemistry module of the regional climate model RegCM4, operated by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics.