The 2016 Vilhelm Bjerknes Medal is awarded to Maria Kanakidou for outstanding scientific contributions and international leadership in advancing the understanding of interactions between atmospheric chemistry, biogeochemical cycles and climate.
Maria Kanakidou is a scientist of considerable ability, achievement and international renown. She has made major contributions to atmospheric science in the fields of atmospheric chemistry, biogeochemical cycles and climate, and has exercised substantial scientific leadership both nationally and internationally. This is confirmed by her curriculum vitae, her comprehensive publication list and the letters strongly and warmly supporting her nomination for the Vilhelm Bjerknes Medal. Kanakidou undertook experimental research in atmospheric chemistry for her doctoral studies in France, moving to Germany for post-doctoral research, which saw the beginning of her work in modelling that she has sustained throughout her subsequent career. Following a further spell working as a researcher in France, she returned to her native Greece in 1998. At the University of Crete, she has developed a productive teaching programme and established an internationally recognised research group. She has continued to be prolific in her personal contributions to research. Kanakidou has been a key figure in interpreting the data from both satellite missions and intensive field campaigns. Her publications are many, and marked by their originality, quality, breadth and impact. She has also led or contributed to a number of important review articles and has published seminal articles on volatile organic compounds and organic aerosol particles. Her recent studies on the biogeochemical cycles of the critical nutrients phosphorus, nitrogen and iron are also of particular importance. Her group has developed detailed chemical and transport models, as well as measurements of trace constituents in the atmosphere and ocean. She has studied the impact of oxidation chemistry on ozone in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere, and the pollution associated with the largest cities of the eastern Mediterranean. She has crossed disciplines in linking atmospheric pollution chemistry to biogeochemistry, has been innovative in developing modelling, and has coordinated international intercomparisons of models. In addition to much successful international collaboration on specific research topics, Kanakidou has been energetic and effective in supporting the European and wider scientific community. She is currently a member of several European advisory bodies and has served in an advisory capacity for numerous European projects. She is a past president and honorary life member of the International Commission on Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution, and a contributor to the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. She is active in the organisation of scientific conferences and workshops and as a reviewer for scientific journals. In conclusion, Maria Kanakidou is a highly deserving recipient of the Vilhelm Bjerknes Medal of the EGU.