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Loughborough University Library (Credit: Vijetha Vijayan, distributed via Flickr)

Profile Peter Fabian

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European Geosciences Union

Peter Fabian

Peter Fabian
Peter Fabian
  • President of the European Geosciences Union
    April 2002 – April 2005
  • Vice-President of the European Geosciences Union
    April 2005 – April 2006

Peter Fabian, an expert in atmospheric sciences, has been focusing on photochemistry and dynamics of ozone, ozone depletion, air pollution and photo smog. He earned international recognition for his pioneering measurements of the vertical distribution of halocarbons in the middle atmosphere, by means of balloon and rocket borne cryogenic whole air samplers and subsequent trace gas analyses. He also studied surface ozone and PAN during photo smog episodes in Munich, Berlin, Athens, and Santiago de Chile, and has been instrumental in interdisciplinary research investigating the impact of ozone on vegetation, by developing and operating the first and only free-air ozone fumigation system for mature trees.

In addition, he contributed to research on the impact of aviation upon the atmosphere and established research on phenology, a powerful tool for investigating the effect of global warming on vegetation. He is presently investigating the atmospheric input of nutrients into the mountainous rain forest of Ecuador, by rain and fog, finding that this ecosystem is largely “fertilized” by nitrate and sulphate resulting from biomass burning in the Amazon. Author or coauthor of 225 scientific articles, numerous reviews, and 2 textbooks, he holds the degree Doctor Honoris Causa of the Universidad de Mendoza “for merits on behalf of sustaining the atmospheric ozone layer” (1988).

Peter Fabian obtained his PhD from Göttingen University (1966). Following a Postdoc stay at UCLA (1967–68) he became Director of the research group “Minor Constituents” at the Max-Planck-Institute for Aeronomy 1969–1988. During this time he held additional research and teaching positions at UCLA, UCI, the ETH Zürich, and the Universities of Göttingen and Oxford. 1988 he became Full Professor at Munich University (LMU), and was incorporated 1999 with his Faculty into the Technical University (TUM) as part of the TUM Life Science Center Weihenstephan, where he continues research as Professor Emeritus (since 2003).

Fabian, member of numerous scientific societies, has served Geosciences through various positions. As President of the European Geophysical Society (EGS) he succeeded in merging EGS with the European Union of Geosciences (EUG), thereby creating the European Geosciences Union (EGU), 07 September 2002, in Munich. He was the first President of EGU 2002–2005.