BUCSS » Lecturers

Benjamin Bechtel, Ruhr-University Bochum (Bochum)

Benjamin Bechtel holds a professorship in Urban Climatology at the Department of Geography, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany. Before he was Research Associate with the Cluster of Excellence CliSAP, University of Hamburg. His research interests include crowd sourcing and urban remote sensing, in particular the characterization of urban surfaces and thermal remote sensing for applications in urban climatology. Dr. Bechtel received the dissertation award 2013 for physical geography of the Verband der Geographen an Deutschen Hochschulen (VGDH) for his Ph.D. thesis on “Remote sensing of urban canopy parameters for enhanced modelling and climate related classification of urban structures”; his habilitation was on “Advancements in urban- and topoclimatic observations and modelling – Remote Sensing, Crowd-Sourcing and Data Fusion”. He serves as board member of the International Association for Urban Climate, as a steering committee member of the Belgian research project REACT and the GEO Global Human Settlement Working Group, and as a reviewer and guest editor for several international journals.


Sorin Cheval, University of Bucharest / National Meteorological Administration / “Henri Coandă” Air Force Academy (Romania)

Sorin Cheval is a senior climatologist, Full Professor at "Henri Coandă" Air Force Academy from Brașov (Romania), and Associate Research Scientist at the Research Institute of the University of Bucharest. He holds a Ph.D. in Geography and he is a Fulbright Alumnus at the University of South Carolina (USA). His habilitation thesis (2015) focused on urban climate and climate change. Dr. Sorin Cheval is a senior researcher at National Meteorological Administration. Since 2014, Sorin Cheval convenes the Urban Climate and Biometeorology section of the European Geophysical Union, and his main expertise related to urban climate refers to monitoring techniques, assessment of urban heat island, and climate change impacts. Some results of his research on the urban heat island may be found at http://uclimesa.meteoromania.ro/


Andreas Christen, University of Freiburg (Germany)

Andreas Christen is Full Professor in Environmental Meteorology at the University of Freiburg. Christen and his team measure and model the effect of cities on boundary layer weather and climates. They investigate and describe the coupling between urban surfaces and the atmosphere in the climate system, with emphasis on the near-surface wind field and turbulence, the exchange of greenhouse gases and energy. A core interest of Andreas Christen is the development of new micrometeorological measurement methods, analysis and the advancement of prediction techniques.



Matthias Demuzere, Ruhr-University Bochum (Germany)

Dr. Matthias Demuzere currently works as senior scientist at the Ruhr University Bochum (Germany), after obtaining his PhD in Science at Leuven University, followed by post-doctoral positions at Leuven and Ghent University. During these positions he’s been working abroad on various occasions, including research stays at the National University of Singapore, Monash University (Melbourne, Australia) and the MPI for biogeochemistry in Jena (Germany). Main research interests cover global and high-resolution regional climate modelling, urban canopy layer modelling, green and blue urban infrastructure, multi-source remote sensing, urban mapping and crowdsourcing. Ongoing projects deal with mapping Local Climate Zones (WUDAPT), their connection to surface and air temperatures (ENLIGHT), remote sensing for malaria epidemiology in African cities (REACT) and stochastic modelling of precipitation characteristics as a tool for water resources engineering. Since 2015 he is leading the bibliography committee of the International Association for Urban Climate, and as of 2019 he is also elected as a board member of the same association. With his company “Kode”, he acts as a freelance climatologist / environmentalist supporting organisations dealing with air quality, climate adaptation strategies, snow depth mapping and flood vulnerability.


Daniel Fenner, Technische Universität Berlin (Germany)

Daniel Fenner is currently a research assistant and PhD student at the Chair of Climatology at Technische Universität Berlin. His PhD research focuses on urban thermal climate conditions and heatwaves. Before, he worked in a project concerning development of climate adaptation measures for a neighbourhood in Berlin, with participation of local stakeholders such as citizens and local housing organisations. He is particularly interested in urban air temperature dynamics on various spatial and temporal scales, urban heat island studies, and urban climate characteristics during heatwaves. His expertise lies in using observational data from professional weather stations in combination with crowdsourced data from citizen weather stations.


Leena Järvi, University of Helsinki (Finland)

Leena Järvi works as an associate professor in applied urban meteorology at the University of Helsinki (Finland). She got her PhD in Meteorology from the same university, followed by postdoctoral position at King’s College London (UK). Her area of expertise is urban meteorology and climate research using a wide range of theoretical and experimental methods. She has particularly worked with urban eddy covariance measurements in quantifying energy, greenhouse gas and air pollutant surface exchanges over different urban land  covers and is one of the main developers of the Surface Urban Energy and Water balance Scheme (SUEWS). Her current projects focus utilizing Large Eddy Simulation (LES) model to examine the impact of urban planning on local air quality and climate, and to improve the modelling capability of carbon storage and understand how carbon sinks can be maximized to urban green infrastructure. Since 2016 she has been board member of the International Association for Urban Climate. She is editorial board member in Geoscientific Model Development and Scientific Reports, and session convener at the European Conference for Applied Meteorology and Climatology.


Alberto Martilli, CIEMAT (Spain)

Alberto Martilli is a scientist at the Research Center for Energy, Environment and Technology (Madrid, Spain). He received his Physics degree from the University of Milan (Italy), and a Ph.D. from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne. His research includes mesoscale meteorology, boundary layer turbulence, and, in particular, urban atmosphere that he investigates with micro and mesoscale models to improve our understanding of the interactions between urban forms, citizen activities and the atmosphere. Alberto is the recipient of the 2020 Helmut Landsberg award of the American Meteorological Society.


Andreas Matzarakis, German Meteorological Service, Freiburg (Germany)

Prof. Dr. Andreas Matzarakis is appointed as an extraordinary Professor at the University of Freiburg since October 2006 and leads the Research Center Human Biometeorology of the German Meteorological Service in Freiburg since August 2015. He was born at Pentalofos/Evros, Greece in 1960. He received a degree in Meteorology in 1989 from the Physics Department, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich in 1989 and a Ph.D. degree in Meteorology and Climatology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. From 1995 to 2001 he was a scientific assistant at meteorological Institute of the Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg and earned his habilitation about the "thermal component of the urban climate” in 2001. His research is mainly focused on urban climatology, human-biometeorology, tourism climatology, regional climatology, forest meteorology and climate impact research. He is founder and editor of the urban climate website. Since 1996 he chairs the commission on climate, tourism and recreation of the International Society of Biometeorology. He was vice-president of the International Society of Biometeorology (2008-2011). He is the developer of several models and tools in applied climatology and biometeorology i.e. RayMan Model, SkyHelios Model, Climate Mapping Tool and CTIS (Climate-Tourism/Transfer-Information-Scheme).


Fred Meier, Technische Universität Berlin (Germany)

Dr. Fred Meier is senior scientist at the Chair of Climatology at Technische Universität Berlin. He studied landscape planning in Berlin and obtained a PhD in natural science in 2011. His doctoral thesis dealt with thermal remote sensing of urban microclimates. Since 2016, he is leading the climate laboratory at the Institute of Ecology at TU Berlin, which takes care of the operation and expansion of the Urban Climate Observatory in Berlin. His research interests are in the field of atmospheric observations in urban environments, micro-meteorology, the role of vegetation for urban climates and vice versa, the application of micro- and mesoscale models for urban climate studies and crowdsourcing of atmospheric data from citizen weather station including data quality assessment and spatio-temporal analysis.


Ariane Middel, Arizona State University (USA)

Ariane Middel’s research interests focus on climate-sensitive urban form, design, landscapes, and infrastructure in the face of extreme heat and climatic uncertainty. She has advanced the field of urban climate through applied and solutions-oriented research employing quantitative and qualitative field observations, local and microscale climate modeling, and geovisualization to investigate sustainability challenges related to heat, thermal comfort, water use, and human-climate interactions in cities. Her ongoing research aims at developing better models and metrics to quantify urban heatscapes as they are experienced by pedestrians using innovative big data approaches and novel environmental sensing techniques. Ariane is an active member of the Urban Climate Research Center (UCRC) and the Central Arizona–Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research (CAP LTER) program at Arizona State University (ASU). She is an elected Board member of the International Association of Urban Climate (IAUC) and the AMS Built Environment (BUE). Ariane joined the School of Arts, Media and Engineering at ASU as Assistant Professor in 2018 and has a joint appointment with the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering. She received her PhD in Computer Science/Dr. Ing. from University of Kaiserslautern, Germany and holds a MS in Engineering from University of Bonn, Germany.


Gerald Mills, University College Dublin (Ireland)

Gerald Mills received his primary BA degree in Geography and History at UCD, Dublin. He returned to complete a MA in the area of climatology, specifically on the synoptic climatology of precipitation. In 1884 he moved to The Ohio State University in 1984 to pursue a PhD, where he received training in numerical cartography (GIS) and in climatology. The latter provided a very good theoretical and methodological foundation for his research on urban climates. Upon completion he spent seven years as an academic in the US, mostly based at UCLA in California. In 1997 he returned to UCD where he is based in the School of Geography.

His primary area of interest and research is in the field of climatology, specifically the climates of urban areas, work that began at Ohio State University with his supervisor John Arnfield. He initially focused on energy exchanges within a city street, the fundamental urban unit. Subsequently, he built upon this research to consider more generalised urban forms, with a particular interest in the interactions between buildings that create indoor and outdoor climates. This interest deepened over time, evolving into the question on how urban climate knowledge is transformed into planning and design practice at different scales. Most recently, he started work with others on the creation of a global database of cities. The World Urban Database and Portal Tools (WUDAPT) project has been designed to gather data on cities world-wide that is suited to urban climate studies including, comparisons among cities, managing urban observations and running atmospheric modelling.  

Gerald has a strong interest in developing the study of urban climates and has been an active member of the International Association for Urban Climates (IAUC). He organised the first WMO Inter-regional CLIPs training workshop on Urban Climatology from 6-10 September 2010 in Pune, India. In 2010, he was appointed President of the IAUC in 2010, and in 2012 he organised the International Conference on Urban Climates in Dublin (ICUC8).


Negin Nazarian, University of New South Wales, Sydney (Australia)

Dr. Negin Nazarian is the leader of the Climate-Resilient Cities lab (Climate-resilientcities.com) and a Scientia Lecturer in the Faculty of Built Environment at the University of New South Wales (UNSW, Sydney).

Negin is an urban climatologist and is interested in the ways the built environment interacts with the climate, and in return, how urban dwellers are affected by this interaction. Her research projects mainly focus on urban (over)heating and ventilation, and follow two main tracks: First, enabling ‘climate-conscious’ or ‘climate-smart’ cities – How can we have a human-centric urban design that is in harmony with the local climate? Her group aim to address this question using a range of established and emerging methodologies including IoT technologies, wearables, and crowdsourcing. 

The second research focus is on multiscale urban climate modeling. Her overall research goal is to develop modeling techniques that impact not only the climate analyses in the scientific community but also enable architects, planners, and policymakers to incorporate comprehensive, accurate, yet efficient assessments of urban design.


Natalie Theeuwes, University of Reading (UK)

Natalie is a postdoctoral researcher at the meteorology department of the University of Reading. She received her PhD from Wageningen University, the Netherlands, studying the physical processes leading to the urban heat island. After a postdoc in Wageningen, she moved to the University of Reading on an international fellowship. Natalie’s research is focused on boundary layer and urban meteorology, in particular urban boundary layer turbulence and cloud formation. The goal is to improve the understanding of the urban boundary layer in order to improve weather forecasts at city-scale. She uses a variety of tools including Large Eddy Simulation, mesoscale models and remote sensing observations. 


Helen Claire Ward, University of Innsbruck (Austria)

Helen is a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences, University of Innsbruck. Her research on the urban environment focuses on understanding surface-atmosphere exchange processes using a combination of observations and modelling. Helen obtained her PhD in urban micrometeorology at King’s College London and has subsequently worked at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Reading University and Yonsei University before moving to Innsbruck in 2017. At Reading, she worked on the development and evaluation of the Surface Urban Energy and Water balance Scheme (SUEWS). Her current research focuses on evaluation of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model against turbulence observations in highly complex urban settings (i.e. a city located in mountainous terrain). For the past three years Helen has served as editor for the ‘Projects’ section of Urban Climate News and she is an elected board member of the International Association for Urban Climate.