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PhD in Energy, Environment and Atmospheric Sciences (Research Project: Spatial and Temporal Variability of Atmospheric PM Pollution Sources in Cyprus)

Scientific Context

Cyprus is centrally located in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East (EMME), a region with a population of about 400 million, affected by dust storms, dryness, heat extremes and unparalleled air pollution. The EMME has been identified as one of the few climate change “hot spots”, with adverse impacts by extreme weather events and poor air quality, which are expected to exacerbate in the coming decades. Air pollution, especially particulate matter (PM), plays a crucial role in regional climate and has major adverse health effects and major economic consequences, e.g. increased medical costs and reduced productivity through the loss of working days. Still little is known on the spatial and temporal variability of the main sources of PM in Cyprus cities and their geographical origin, preventing the definition and implementation of efficient mitigation plans.

Scientific Objectives

The overall scientific objective of the PhD research project is to address the Spatial and Temporal distribution of the chemical composition of PM pollution in Cyprus, evaluate the main sources responsible this pollution, identify their geographical origin (local versus trans-boundary), and interpret possible temporal (multi-year) trends. This study will cover both EU regulated PM2.5 and PM10 fractions and will be performed at various representative locations in Cyprus (Urban Traffic, Urban Background, Regional Background) and for long periods (>10 years). This unique experimental dataset will allow an accurate apportionment of the major sources responsible for PM pollution in Cyprus and further estimate the contribution of local versus regional emissions.

Experimental Strategy

In close collaboration with the Department of Labour Inspection and in the framework of the AQ-SERVE and EMME-CARE research projects, the Cyprus Institute is currently building a unique chemical database of atmospheric PM collected over Cyprus for the past decade. The successful PhD candidate will further contribute to the development of this database through the chemical analysis of an extended range of PM filter samples using a comprehensive suite of state-of-the-art Analytical Techniques currently available at the Environmental Chemistry Laboratory of the Climate and Atmosphere Research Centre (CARE-C) of the Cyprus Institute. Scientific interpretation of this database will be based on various computer-based tools (e.g. back-trajectory analysis) and statistical models (e.g. Positive Matrix Factorization) to apportion PM sources and their geographical origin.

Qualifications and Application Process

The successful candidate will hold a Master of Science in Environmental Sciences/Chemistry/Analytical chemistry (preferably a Master in atmospheric sciences) with excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Previous experience in the lab analysis of the chemical composition of aerosols will be an asset for this position. Good proficiency in English is a prerequisite.

Applicants should also refer to additional information about admission requirements which can be found on our website under the PhD in Energy, Environment and Atmospheric Sciences Admissions section.  When applying through the online application students should state in their statement of intent that they are applying for the PhD position with reference code: GS-EAS-EMME-20-2 otherwise their application for this position may not be considered.

The regular application deadline for admission for September 2020 is April 15 (for all applicants).  Applications will be received until places are filled (For EU applicants only due to Migration deadlines) . Please refer to our website for important details on the application deadlines.

Financial Support

Financial aid will be available for this project based on merit.

Contact Information

Prof. Jean Sciare (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Prof. N. Mihalopoulos (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)    

For general information about the application process please contact the Office of Graduate Studies at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or tel: +357 22208614.