Athanasios Nenes awarded Copernicus Medal 2022

The Copernicus Medal 2022 has been awarded to Athanasios Nenes for transformative contributions and fundamental advances at the interface of aerosol science with cloud formation, air quality, biogeochemical cycles and climate through a combination of theory, instrument development, measurements, and modelling.

Athanasios Nenes is a Professor of Atmospheric Processes and heads the Laboratory of Atmospheric Processes and their Impacts (LAPI) at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland. He is an affiliate researcher of the Institute of Chemical Engineering Science at the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas in Patras, Greece and a founding member and codirector of the Center of Studies on Air quality and Climate Change at the institute. His research focuses on the impact of atmospheric processes (especially aerosol) on clouds, climate, air quality and ecosystems. A WoS Highly Cited Researcher in Geosciences, Nenes carries a patent on CCN instrumentation, which has seen commercialization and wide adoption. His theoretical & modelling work has produced open source codes routinely used worldwide for regulatory purposes and climate modelling. Measurement techniques and analysis of field data developed by his group led to simple relationships that accurately describe cloud droplet formation in climate models. His participation in over 40 campaigns has produced a rich dataset which is used to constrain global models worldwide. He served as editor of the EGU/Copernicus journal Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics for 15 years, and assumed leaderships for more than a decade in the American Association for Aerosol Research, the American Geophysical Union, and the European Geosciences Union. Nenes is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the American Associated for Aerosol Research, a member of the Academia Europaea, and has received numerous distinctions which include an ERC Consolidator Grant, the Ascent Award from AGU Atmospheric Sciences, the Whitby Award and Friedlander Award from the American Association for Aerosol Research, the Houghton Award from the American Meteorological Society, a NASA New Investigator Award and a US National Science Foundation CAREER Award. More information can be found at

The Copernicus Medal recognizes individuals with outstanding and innovative scientific achievements in geo-, planetary, or space sciences who have also accomplished fruitful work for the promotion of international collaboration in the sciences. It is dedicated to scientists in the midst of their career.

The Copernicus Gesellschaft e.V. is a non-profit society, registered in Germany, and aims to promote international collaboration in the geo- and space sciences. The society was founded in 1988 by directors, scientists, and administrative staff of the Max Planck Institute for Aeronomy (today Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research – MPS). The Copernicus Gesellschaft e.V. is the exclusive partner of the Copernicus GmbH, Meetings & Open Access Publications.

More information on the Copernicus Medal.
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