SNSF Ambizione BIOPSI
Title: Biological Particle Sources and Impact
Acronym: BioPSI (ˈbīˌäpsē')
PhD student open position: apply here
The goal of BIOPSI is to determine the chemical composition, quantities, types, and sources of biological aerosols in the air we breathe and understand their effects on our air quality and climate.
Within BIOPSI, the most state-of-the-art instrumentation will be used to determine the chemical composition, quantities, types and sources of bioaerosols in the air we breathe. Bioaerosols are atmospheric particles of biological origin and comprise plant debris, bacteria, pollen grain, spores...etc. We will develop a method to measure these particles, which we will then apply to air samples collected in multiple environments in Switzerland, Norway, Italy, and Greece. The aim is to know how many bioaerosols of each type exist in a certain location and whether human activities have any effect on their release into the atmosphere. After categorizing them, we will determine their role in cloud formation by measuring their ability to act as cloud seeds. The findings of BIOPSI will help us better understand the sources of bioaerosols, which can then be used to develop the best air quality regulations and improve climate models used for forecasting and backcasting our atmosphere. The methods developed within BIOPSI could be expanded to understand the effect of bioaerosols not only on our climate but also on human health anywhere in the world.
Pollen grains and spores under a microscope
Images reference here