Nicoll receives 2020 Early Career Award in Atmospheric and Space Electricity


Keri Nicoll

Keri Nicoll is internationally known for her expertise in fair weather atmospheric electricity measurements and instrument development. His pioneering research in instrument development has resulted in the creation of many new sensors (including spatial charge, conductivity, and energetic particle sensors) for balloons and small airplanes, some of which are now commercially available. This has enabled Keri to become a world leader in the study of fundamental questions related to the effects of atmospheric charge and electricity on the microphysics of clouds and aerosols, which are important for climate projections.

Keri is well recognized for her research accomplishments (54 journal articles in 10 years, which have been cited over 1000 times) and her scientific leadership, leading (or co-leading) 11 different projects. His work on the Global Coordination of Atmospheric Electricity Measurements (GloCAEM; project is particularly valuable, bringing together for the first time global atmospheric electricity researchers to create a new network and archive of publicly available data. for atmospheric electricity measurements. The legacy of this project is likely to continue for many decades to come and since its completion has inspired many more to contribute data to the new archive. Another proof of his high reputation within the international community is his invitation to join three distinct actions of the European Union in terms of costs (including the management as head of the working group), the teams of the Institute International Space Science Institute (ISSI) and its current role as training manager for the EU Marie Curie Training Network, SAINT.

Keri’s research activities have literally covered the globe. She has led balloon and aircraft campaigns in Antarctica, the Arctic, the Middle East and Europe, and the instrumentation developed by her research group is highly sought after by researchers around the world.

—Colin Price, Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel


I am very honored to receive this year’s AGU Early Career Award in Atmospheric and Space Electricity, and I thank Colin Price for his nomination and the Atmospheric and Space Electricity committee for their review of all nominations. I am also particularly grateful to colleagues such as Giles Harrison, Yoav Yair, Michael Rycroft, Martin Fullekrug, Karen Aplin and Alec Bennett for their advice and stimulating scientific discussions over the past 10 years or so.

Atmospheric electricity has been a topic that has fascinated me for a long time, and I feel very fortunate to be working in an area that has provided me with many exciting opportunities to do new and interesting research in unique places. At the heart of my research is the development of small disposable atmospheric electricity sensors (especially for airborne use), and I am especially grateful to Giles Harrison for being such a fantastic mentor in this area. Among his many other useful ideas, Giles helped me realize early in my career the satisfaction of transforming a theoretical concept of a sensor into a physical device, which we toss into the air, take measurements and discover something new on. the atmosphere. . The sensors we have developed have allowed me to work with many different research groups around the world and get involved in multidisciplinary projects that have taken me from the tops of volcanoes to frozen Antarctica.

With its range of different scientific subjects, AGU emphasizes the importance of multidisciplinary science and the new discoveries that can be made when we merge knowledge and techniques from different fields, and I look forward to working with many other colleagues at the future to better understand the atmospheric electrical environment of the Earth.

—Keri Nicoll, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, UK

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