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EGU Award Ceremony (Credit: EGU/Foto Pfluegl)

Division Outstanding Early Career Scientist Awards 2024 Eliane Gomes Alves

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European Geosciences Union

Eliane Gomes Alves

Eliane Gomes Alves
Eliane Gomes Alves

BG Biogeosciences

The 2024 Division Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award is awarded to Eliane Gomes Alves for her exceptional scientific contribution to the understanding of biogenic volatile organic compound emissions from tropical rainforests, and their interplay with atmospheric chemistry and climate.

Eliane Gomes Alves is a researcher in the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, where she is a Principal Investigator in the joint Brazilian-German Amazon Tall Tower Observatory (ATTO) and mentors a lively team of MSc students, doctoral candidates and postdoctoral fellows.

Since obtaining a Doctorate in Climate and the Environment from the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA) /Universidade do Estado do Amazonas (UEA) in Brazil and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 2016, Gomes Alves has focused her early scientific career on measuring the exchange of biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOC) between the Amazon rainforest and the atmosphere. These extremely rare field datasets from soil, litter and plants are vital for the Earth System Modelling community and help improve the model representation of rainforest-atmosphere interactions mediated by plant stress and biogenic volatile organic compound synthesis and predictions of how rainforests will respond to and feedback on atmospheric chemistry and climate. This important work has been established by Gomes Alves through international collaborations she has nurtured between Brazil, Europe and the USA. Gomes Alves has established her interdisciplinary research bridging tropical rainforest ecology with atmospheric chemistry in Europe since 2018, based at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, where she is establishing herself as a world-leading expert in the field of tropical rainforest ecology and atmospheric chemistry.

Her work and ongoing collaborations have led to important scientific findings and 26 peer-reviewed publications to date, including many first author papers describing the importance of abiotic and biotic drivers of biogenic volatile organic compound emissions in tropical ecosystems and how they respond to variations in canopy phenology, herbivory and drought stress.

This important research has resulted in Gomes Alves leading a collaborative project with the international research community, at the Amazon Tall Tower Observatory. In Brazil, Gomes Alves leads graduate programs, supervises students and helps organise an international summer school in central Amazonia: Amazon Forests and Global Change where up to 15 Masters and PhD candidates (50% of the participants coming from Latin America countries) are provided hands on training in biogeoscience research from world experts in the middle of the Amazon rainforest! Gomes Alves also shares this international research with the European community co-convening the successful EGU Biogeosciences session on the latest research findings from the Amazon Forest. Gomes Alves also shares her knowledge openly by providing scientific advice and outreach on tropical rainforest function for the general public as part of the Amazon Tall Tower Observatory Project highlighting her achievements as a passionate science communicator.

Gomes Alves also provides important support and mentoring to the Latin American Early Career Earth System Scientist (LAECESS) community through the building of networks that can help empower Latin Americans in the international scientific community. Gomes Alves also serves as the Gender Equal Opportunities Officer of the Max Planck Insitute of Biogeochemistry and aims to improve inclusivity within the geosciences. Eliane Gomes Alves is a brilliant international biogeoscientist exemplifying the talents and achievements that are deserving of recognition by the EGU as the Biogeosciences Division Outstanding Early Career Scientist.