PhD in Energy, Environment and Atmospheric Sciences (Project: Observations of Mineral Dust and...

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 27 Aug 2021

The Cyprus Institute (CyI) is a non-profit research and educational institution with a strong scientific and technological orientation, emphasizing international collaborations, cross-disciplinary research, innovation, and post graduate education. CyI, through its established research centres, addresses challenging issues that are important at both the regional and international levels. Many of its research activities are being carried out in partnership with leading institutions in the respective thematic areas.

The position offers excellent possibilities for professional development of highly motivated individuals in the framework of the EU-H2020  “EMME-CARE” (Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East Climate and Atmosphere Research Centre; http://emme-care.cyi.ac.cy/ ; TEAMING Grant no. 856612), within which the Cyprus Institute established a “Centre of Excellence” in Climate and Atmosphere research for the EMME region in cooperation with EU Advanced Partners (Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany; University of Helsinki in Finland; and CEA in France).

The successful applicant will be based at the Graduate School of The Cyprus Institute and at the Climate and Atmosphere Research Centre. He/she will be enrolled in the PhD program: Energy, Environment and Atmospheric Sciences.

Description of the position and project

This project focuses on the properties of atmospheric particulate matter (also known as atmospheric aerosols). Aerosols belong to a number of classes, depending on how they are generated (desert dust, volcanic ash, sea salt, smoke from forest fires, anthropogenic pollution, etc.), and they are a major unknown of the climate system. Aerosols are transported over long distances by the wind, crossing the borders of nations and continents, and ultimately their atmospheric properties at a given location change continuously.

The successful candidate will advance scientific knowledge on the characterisation of aerosol particles in terms of optical and microphysical properties, using the synergy between in-situ and remote sensing observation methods with a regional focus on the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East (EMME) region. The candidate will moreover advance the observation methods themselves and the best ways to use several sources of observations in synergy. Remote sensing will be carried out using ground-based lidar systems, able to continuously report on the atmospheric profile of aerosols. In situ aerosol observations will be pursued installed at ground level and/or on-board Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The emphasis will be on atmospheric aerosols generated locally on the island of Cyprus and/or transported from remote locations such as e.g. the Saharan and Arabian deserts and industries in Eastern Europe and Asia.

The candidate will carry out experiments and field campaigns in Cyprus and overseas (mostly in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East). There will be an opportunity to take part in an international experiment in Cape Verde in summer 2022 (ASKOS field campaign), dedicated to the calibration and validation of one of the most advanced satellites launched by the European Space Agency, the Aeolus spaceborne lidar.

This project will be done in close contact with the Unmanned Systems Research Laboratory (USRL, https://usrl.cyi.ac.cy/ ), which offers unique facilities and related infrastructure for research, development, and testing of technologies related to UAVs. It will also leverage the long-term measurements performed at the Cyprus Atmospheric Observatory (CAO, https://cao.cyi.ac.cy/ ), a strategic component of international networks such as the EU Research Infrastructure “ACTRIS”, the World Meteorological Organization (Global Atmospheric Wath), the NASA Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET), and the European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme' (EMEP).

The selected candidate will be working at the Climate and Atmosphere Research Center (CARE-C) of the Cyprus Institute (next to the Athalassa Forestry park, Nicosia), within a highly international environment (100 research staff from 15 different countries) where English is the exclusive working language.

Responsibilities and activities to be involved in:

  • Take responsibility for remote sensing instrumentation and ensure its continuous operation.
  • Develop tailor-made aerosol data processing and inversion methods.
  • Combine the remote sensing observations with in situ observations to generate a full picture of the aerosol properties.
  • Participate in intensive field campaigns and contribute to the planning of experiments using UAVs and lightweight atmospheric sensors.
  • Advance the fields of research in atmospheric aerosols and/or their related measurement techniques.
  • Publish the results of the research in scientific peer reviewed journals, and present at conferences and workshops.

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