Air pollution in Eastern Europe: The Balkan smog

In this episode we discuss air pollution in Eastern Europe with a focus on the Balkan region.

  • Which parts of Europe experience poor air quality?
  • What are the physical and chemical characteristics of aerosols and why do scientists study them?
  • What are the major sources of air pollution in the Balkan region?
  • What is the public awareness like around air pollution issues in the Balkan region?

Our guest Dr Katja Džepina is an Atmospheric Chemist who studies atmospheric particles in urban and remote areas. She recently finished a scientific visiting position at the Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland, and is currently a guest scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Germany. She started her chemistry study at the Department of Chemistry at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. She then received her PhD from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Colorado Boulder, US, where she was a fellow at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. She pursued postdoctoral research at the Max Planck Chemistry Institute in Mainz, Germany, and at the Michigan Technological University, US, after which she joined the University of Rijeka, Croatia as an Assistant Professor. Over the last decade, she has worked on air quality projects in the US, Mexico, Germany, Portugal, and Italy. She is now using her expertise to tackle air pollution in Eastern European countries.

Our interviewer for this episode is Dr Anna Tobler. Tobler is a PhD student at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen, Switzerland. She uses advanced aerosol instrumentation and source apportionment tools for identifying and understanding sources of air pollution based on chemical characteristics of the measured aerosols. She has worked on measuring and understanding sources of air pollution in polluted cities such as Krakow, Poland and Delhi, India.

Episode references:

Music by Ritesh Prasanna.

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