A prestigious EU grant for solving the mysteries of climate

Associate professor Nønne Prisle from the University of Oulu has received a very prestigious 1.5 million Euro research grant from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme. The highly recognized and competitive funding is for five years and starts in the beginning of 2017.

Nønne Prisle is an atmospheric chemist and physicist with a keen focus on climate research and especially on atmospheric nanoscale aerosol particles. Prisle’s specialty is in the studies of the chemical composition and atmospheric effects of nanoaerosol particles. Their critical importance for cloud formation has been proven, but the mechanisms and effects in the atmosphere and directly on human health are yet to be revealed. Prisle’s ERC project aims to identify aerosol properties that have the largest impact on their cloud forming abilities and other climate effects.

“Current predictions of future global climate change include large uncertainties, resulting in great variations. My research aims to produce fundamental information that would help to narrow the variation down. That way predictions become more accurate and reliable for the use of future policy making”, Nønne Prisle explains.

Prisle expects the five year project to produce results that will have an effect in fighting climate change. The findings of the physical chemistry of the aerosol particles may also have crucial impacts in industry, material engineering and health research.

Prisle has conducted research on aerosols for eleven years. She has been a researcher in the Finnish Meteorological Institute and has had a Finnish Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Helsinki. This year she has started in the University of Oulu. The Danish researcher is working at the Nano and Molecular Systems research unit (NANOMO) at the Faculty of Science in the University of Oulu. The ERC funding will enable the hiring of a project team of six researchers, and allow the group access for experiments at international research facilities.

The ERC project will be taking the full benefits of the world’s brightest synchrotron light source MAX IV in Lund, Sweden, inaugurated in June 2016. The University of Oulu is the national coordination site for the MAX IV facility and a notable asset to Prisle’s research.

Nønne Prisle and Prof. Marko Huttula’s research group have already established collaboration providing perfect synergy in this nationally unique research of atmospheric aerosols in molecular materials scale. The ERC project will also utilise other infrastructures in Finland and abroad, among them the global climate models available at the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

More about the research on Nønne Prisle’s blog post The world´s brightest source puts the spotlight on the hidden mysteries of climate change

Last updated: 26.9.2016