Postdoctoral fellow focusing on Isotope-based source characterization of aerosols in Sub-Saharan Africa
The Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry (ACES) at Stockholm University hosts approximately 200 researchers, doctoral students and technical/administrative staff. The department focuses on research and teaching across five major areas: biogeochemical cycles of carbon and nutrients, chemical contaminants, atmospheric aerosols, ecotoxicology, and analytical chemistry. Our research-oriented department hosts about 30 post-doc fellows and 50 Ph.D. students, recruited from all over the World. We are also well immersed in the interdepartmental Bolin Centre for Climate Research, a national center of excellence.
Vast emissions of aerosols from Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) perturb the regional climate and cause more than half a million pre-mature deaths annually. A key source of the regional source loadings is the annual large-scale savanna burning activities – clearly visible from space. However, emissions associated with rapid urbanization also put an increasing pressure on local/regional air quality. Despite these severe environmental effects, the role of aerosols in SSA remains highly uncertain. A key reason is that the region is under-studied: the number of ground-based, in situ, observations are very limited compared to other continents – with equal or much lower aerosol loadings. The focus of this project is to increase the understanding of sources, atmospheric transformations and sinks of carbonaceous aerosols in the SSA region. Our research in this area is financed by the Swedish Research Council (VR) and Stockholm University.
In particular, carbonaceous aerosols (e.g., black carbon) will be investigated, using chemical and isotopic tools, but also analysis of atmospheric gases, e.g., carbon monoxide. The project will be embedded within ongoing research, with existing multi-year filter samples from both urban and regional receptor sites from the region. Our group has extensive experience with chemical and isotopic analysis of carbonaceous aerosol samples, and the project offers ample opportunities to influence direction and approach of research, including the possibility for future field sampling.
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