Benjamin Bechtel, Ruhr-University Bochum (Germany)

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.

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 (ENLIGHT project). He is an IAUC board member since 2019, and with his company B-Kode (, he provides environmental analytics and services to organizations that strive for a better, more sustainable climate-proof future.

Daniel Fenner, University of Freiburg (Germany)

Daniel Fenner is a PostDoc researcher at the Chair of Environmental Meteorology at the University of Freiburg (Germany). His research currently focuses on the urban boundary layer, conducting an extensive measurement campaign in Berlin (Germany) and investigating various aspects of the impact of the city on the atmospheric boundary layer with ground-based (remote-sensing) instruments. Before that, he worked at the Ruhr University Bochum (Germany), further developing quality-control procedures for crowdsourced data from citizen weather stations and crowdsourcing of such data. He received his PhD at the Chair of Climatology at Technische Universität Berlin. His PhD research focused on urban thermal climate conditions and heatwaves. He is particularly interested in urban atmospheric conditions on various spatial and temporal scales, urban heat island studies, urban boundary layer, 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 is professor in 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. She is editorial board member in Geoscientific Model Development, and session convener at the European Conference for Applied Meteorology and Climatology.

Simone Kotthaus, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (France)

Simone is an urban climate researcher at Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL). Her work addresses the impact of the heterogeneous urban environment on the urban atmosphere via surface atmosphere exchanges and atmospheric boundary layer dynamics. Simone obtained her PhD in urban micrometeorology at King’s College London. Following a short-term scientific research fellowship at Tokyo Institute of Technology, she worked as a post-doctoral researcher at University of Reading before moving to IPSL, Paris. As an experimental meteorologist, Simone utilises a wide range of measurement techniques and advanced processing procedures to gather novel observations that portray the complex urban system. These measurements provide valuable insights for process studies and the support of model evaluation and parameterisation. Simone currently serves as elected board member of the International Association for Urban Climate.

Björn Maronga, Leibniz University Hannover (Germany)

Björn Maronga is Professor for urban climate modeling and boundary-layer meteorology at the Institute of Meteorology and Climatology at Leibniz University Hannover . He holds a secondary position as Adjunct Professor at the University of Bergen, affiliated with the Bergen Offshore Wind Centre in Norway. The research of his group focuses on turbulence-resolving modeling of the atmospheric boundary layer. He is supervisor and one of the main developers of the PALM model system, which has been extended for high-performance urban microscale simulations in the recent years. Prof. Maronga received a PhD in 2013 from Leibniz University Hannover. In 2016, his dissertation was awarded with the Young Talent Award of the German Meteorological Society (DMG). From 2016 to 2021 he led a junior research group within the BMBF framework "Urban Climate Under Change". In 2017 he was elected as one of the "top ten young talents" by DIE ZEIT/ Since 2022 he holds a full professorship at Leibniz University Hannover.

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) at Arizona State University (ASU). She is the president-elect of the International Association of Urban Climate (IAUC) and a Board member of 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 and Augmented Intelligence. 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 ( and a Scientia senior 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.

Panagiotis Sismanidis, Ruhr-University Bochum (Germany)

Panagiotis Sismanidis is a postdoctoral scientist at the Ruhr University Bochum working on thermal remote sensing. He holds a PhD in Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens (Greece) and has been involved in multidisciplinary research on heat-health applications and building energy demand while at the National Observatory of Athens (Greece). His research focuses on land surface temperature and surface urban heat islands.

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.

Andrea Zonato, University of Trento (Italy)

Dr. Andrea Zonato is currently a Post-Doc researcher at the University of Trento (Italy). After obtaining his MSc. Degree in Physics of the Earth System at the University of Bologna, he completed his Ph.D. at the University of Trento, dealing with the modeling of mountainous and urban boundary layers.

During these positions, he has been collaborating with international research institutions, such as the Research Center for Energy, Environment and Technology (Madrid, Spain), the National Center for Atmospheric Research (Boulder, Us), and the University College Dublin. His main research topics involve the modeling of the urban boundary layer, focusing on the improvements of the reproduction of the urban heat island effect, the development of new parameterization for the estimation of the effect of mitigation strategies within the urban environment, and advances in the reproduction of atmospheric flows in complex terrain, through novel turbulence parameterization schemes.