Research Programs


This program started in 2015 thanks to the generous funding by the Mariolopoulos-Kanaginis Foundation for the Environmental Sciences (hereafter MKF) and is continued with additional funding by the Empirikion Foundation and the Research Committee of the Academy of Athens. The program is carried out with the active participation of members of the MKF Board (Repapis, Tritakis), of the University of Ioannina (Kostarakis, Christofilakis, Tatsis), of the Astronomy and Applied Mathematics Research Center of the Academy of Athens (hereafter AAMRCAA) (Kontopoulos, Oikonomou) as well as members of the Polish University of Krakow (Janusz Mlynarczyk, Zenon Nieckarz). More info.

2. “Hellenistic Alexandria: Celebrating 24 Centuries”

The program “Hellenistic Alexandria: Celebrating 24 Centuries” included the organization of an International Conference at the Acropolis Museum in Athens, as well as meetings and research on the topics presented at the Conference, which continued after the end of the Conference. The program also included the publication of a special volume by the Publishing Company Archaeopress in Oxford, as well as the continuation of research on Optics and related environmental applications during the Hellenistic Period. The project was co-sponsored by the Marianna B. Vardinoyannis Foundation, the Acropolis Museum, the Mariolopoulos-Kanaginis Foundation, the Maria Tsakos Foundation and other institutions. (2017)
Scientific Coordinator: Christos Zerefos

3. “The Impact of European Volcanoes on Aviation”

The study included the use of satellite data from OMI satellite in 2005 and identifying through them the sources of volcanic eruptions as well as the estimate of the total sulfur dioxide load which is due to volcanic eruptions. Data from the ground monitoring system for atmospheric suspensions and sulfur dioxide were used, such as EMEP and the AirBase network. Finally, the estimates of the volcanic ash orbits either forward or backward of each volcanic eruption were compared with their intersection to the existing main airways of Europe. The results were published in the reputable scientific journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics and the study was co-funded by a competitive EU program.
Scientific Coordinator: Christos Zerefos

4. “Bioclimatic assessment of the urban heat island effect in the greater Athens area” (2013)

A protocol of the assessment of bioclimatic conditions in the wider Athens area has been designed, using human biometeorological indices, based on the energy balance of the human body, such as the Physiological Equivalent Temperature (PET) and the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI). The modeling of these indices is based on meteorological and other special parameters. The scientific equipment will be properly adjusted on a bike, in order to perform scheduled routes from downtown to the suburbs and vice versa, both during the cold and the warm periods. In this way, the routes will be mapped by means of human-biocometeorological conditions, highlighting the intensity of bioclimatic discomfort in the wider Athens area.
Collaboration with the Laboratory of Climatology and Atmospheric Environment, University of Athens and the Meteorological Institute, University of Freiburg.
Scientific Coordinator: Panagiotis Nastos

5. “Study of the East Mediterranean coasts vulnerability to tsunami events” (2012)

For this study expeditions will be realized to Alexandrian coasts where large coastal slide-submerge has been noticed. Underwater archaeological and geological surveys of great interest for our cultural heritage have already been carried out by the Hellenic Institute of Ancient and Mediaeval Alexandrian Studies jointly with the Laboratory of Marine Geology & Physical Oceanography, University of Patras. The combined archaeological and geological data will be used for modeling the consequences of tsunami events; it should be noted that the 365 A.D. tsunami overflow literally deluged Alexandria city, as reported by historical sources.
Collaboration with the Hellenic Institute of Ancient and Mediaeval Alexandrian Studies, Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California, Faculty of Geology and Geo-Environment of University of Athens, Laboratory of Marine Geology & Physical Oceanography, University of Patras.
Scientific Coordinators: Christos Zerefos and Christos Repapis

6. Examination of the Atmospheric Conditions Associated with High and Low Summer Ozone Levels in the Lower Troposphere and the Boundary Layer over the Eastern Mediterranean

The aim of this project is the study of the physical and chemical mechanisms leading to high summertime surface ozone levels in the Mediterranean basin and especially in its Eastern part, which is a major issue regarding the environmental as well as climate change impacts in the region. For this purpose, the vertical summer (June to August) ozone profiles collected during the EU MOZAIC (Measurement of Ozone and Water Vapor by Airbus in Service Aircraft) Project (1994 – 2008) over the eastern Mediterranean airports of Cairo, Tel-Aviv, Heraklion, Rhodes and Antalya will be analysed together with the simultaneous vertical profiles of wind, temperature, relative humidity and carbon monoxide. The focus will be on the identification of the major factors determining the ozone variability in the lower troposphere and the boundary layer over this area, especially assessing the relative importance of meteorology and photochemistry on the highest and lowest observed ozone values.
Collaboration with the Research Center for Atmospheric Physics and Climatology of the Academy of Athens and the Institut Fuer Chemie and Dynamik der Geosphaere, Forschungszentrum Juelich, Germany and the Laboratoire d’Aerologie, UMR 5560, Universite Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France.
Scientific Coordinators: Pavlos Kalabokas and Christos Repapis

7. Development of a station recording Schumann Resonances

Strong electrical discharges in the atmosphere all over the globe create electromagnetic oscillations of 5 to 50 Hz with the fundamental one of 7.8 Hz, the so-called Schumann Resonances SR (Schumann 1952). It is of great interest that the main SR frequencies coincide with the human brain electromagnetic rhythm of 4 to 8 Hz which is associated with memory processes. Within the framework of this project, an antenna of very low frequencies was designed and constructed. From the provided data, the effect of the SR on climate and human neuro-physiological parameters will be investigated.
Collaboration with the Laboratory of Electronic Telecommunications and Applications, University of Ioannina and the Department Earth Physics, Comenius University of Bratislava.
Scientific Coordinators: Vasileios Tritakis and Panagiotis Kostarakis

8. The indoor Air Quality in coaches of the Athens Metro (2011)

The indoor air quality in the mass transportation means is not as good as expected and in many cases worse than that of the outdoor environment. The environmental and meteorological conditions which contribute to the formation of pollution episodes were studied, based on measurements for the determination of the basic pollutants, during different meteorological conditions. The data will be analyzed and processed and recommendations regarding the improvement of indoor conditions will be put forward.
Collaboration with the Faculty of Physics of the University of Athens.
Scientific Coordinator: Dimosthenis Asimakopoulos

9. «Chamber for the resuspension of PM from various air pollution sources» (2012)

The aim of the project was the reliable measurement of suspended particulate matter (PM) chemical footprint in order to quantify the contribution of PM sources in receptors. A special device for PM “dust” generation was designed and built from ordinary lab ware. The device was placed on a vibrating table and was connected with a PM10 sampling chamber. The apparatus was tested with samples corresponding exactly to emissions from specific sources around the city of Kozani. The resuspension of the PM10 was achieved by parallel operation of the vibrating table and the probe for various times depending on the sample.
Cooperation with TEI of Western Macedonia
Scientific Coordinators: Athanasios Triantafyllou and Vasileios Tritakis

10. A compilation of seismic data for the S-W Hellenic Trench (2012)

The objective of the Ulysse research program is the imaging of the subducted African plate below the SW Hellenic Trench and aims at exploring the seismogenic potential of this large mega thrust fault and it is an emergency response to the unexpected catastrophic Tohoku subduction gigantic earthquake and tsunami in the respective Japan Trench. Within the framework of ULYSSE, a compilation of seismic data for the S-W Hellenic Trench was created using a special appropriate method.
Collaboration with the Geodynamic Institute of the National Observatory of Athens and the French University of Nice-Sofia Antipolis in collaboration with an EU funded project.
Scientific Coordinator: Maria Sahpazi

11. “Aerosols and changes in ozone and temperature. Global Trends” (2012)

The project includes the Foundation’s contribution to modifying the mobile Lidar which is stationed at the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens. This mobile instrument has been used at Navarino Environmental Observatory (NEO).
Collaboration and co-funding with the University of Stockholm, the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens, the Technical University of Athens and the National Observatory of Athens.
Scientific Coordinator: Alex Papayannis

12. “European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites” (EUMETSAT-O3 MK SAF) (2011)

The project aims at assessing satellite data both from ground observations and by comparing them to known atmospheric oscillations in the satellite data.
This is a sub-contract with the Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki through the EUMETSAT O3-SAF, a long term ongoing EU project.
Scientific Coordinators: Dimitris Balis and Christos Zerefos

13. European Facility for Airborne Research (ΕUFAR) Transnational Access project “ACEMED” (2011)

A project aimed at ranking the atmospheric aerosols in the Eastern Mediterranean from satellite data (CALYPSO evaluation scheme).
Collaboration and co-funding with the National Observatory of Athens in the framework of the EU EUFAR project.
Scientific Coordinator: Vassilis Amiridis

14. “Presentation and dissemination of environmental issues to young students and citizens” (2011)

The project includes

  • Presentations on environmental issues in high schools in various cities around Greece
  • Automatic Meteorological Station with internet connection for online public access to the data
  • Awards to schools and students in organized competitions on environmental issues
  • Other events in order to raise awareness of climate change and to develop adaptation behaviors.

Collaboration with the Laboratory of Climatology and Atmospheric Environment, University of Athens.
Scientific coordinators: Vasilios Tritakis and Christos Repapis

15. “Cultural building complex refurbishment in the historical community of Souli, Thesprotia” (2010)

The research programme requested by the President of the Historical Community of Souli is composed of the following two projects:
i) The first project focuses on updating an existing proposal (conducted by the 8th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities in Ioannina, in September 2006), upon the request of the Community of Souli to use the building of “Panos Bousis” as a museum. According to the results, new uses are proposed for the interior spaces of the residence, such as a museum shop and a kitchen and two exhibition spaces on the first floor, where the main entrance is situated. The small stone construction opposite the residence is renovated to serve as bathroom facilities. In the landscape surrounding the museum paved trails are added, uncontrolled vegetation is cleaned, dense planting is proposed and a paved courtyard to host an outdoor café is designed.

ii) This project aims at researching sustainable ways to restore a traditional watermill. The proposal respects the existing building and the elements of the local traditional architecture, while renovating the building in compliance with the current standards of comfort and safety. The interior of the watermill is converted into a museum where visitors can see the millstones in use, they can be informed about the mill’s mechanisms and its outdoor complementary constructions, get familiar with the miller’s tools and his working procedures, and learn about the use and the importance of hydropower in pre-industrial Greece.
Collaboration with S. Zerefos – C. Tessas’ Architectural Practice.

16. “A review of trends in stratospheric ozone and temperature” (2010)

The project was the result of suggestions and decisions in previous activities of workshops and an international conference. The aim of the program was to clarify the beginning of the Anthropocene in the upper atmosphere already from the decade of the 50s. This was achieved by using all available data from earth balloons and satellites as well as model results.
Collaboration with the Universities of Chicago, Giessen, Oslo, Thessaloniki and the National Observatory of Athens. Funding from the MK Foundation
Scientific Coordinator: Christos Zerefos

17. “International Conference and Workshops on Stratospheric Ozone Trends and Climate Change Assessment” (2010)

The project covers expenses of Conferences and Workshops which included the participation of scientists from Greece and abroad to study natural and anthropogenic natural variations from the surface up to 30 km. The meetings and workshops took place in Geneva, Nafplion and Athens.
Collaboration with the Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, University of Cambridge, University of Oslo and State University of New York at Albany. These activities have been funded by Mytilinaios Group.
Scientific Coordinator: Christos Zerefos

18. “Study of Extreme Climatic Phenomena in Greece and Estimation of Foreseen Climatic Variability in the Future Based on Downscaling Methods” (2005)

In the framework of the program, the change due to the anthropogenic climate change in key climatic parameters, such as temperature, precipitation height, pressure and wind, in the area of Greece and the Mediterranean region was examined. Estimates on the future evolution of the climate change were based on the results of the global climate models (General Circulation Models, GCMs) which, in turn, were based on the SRES scenarios of emissions and concentrations of greenhouse gases. Due to the complex orography and coastline use of dynamic downscaling methods was deemed necessary, i.e. the downscaling of the coarse grid GCM results to a higher resolution regional grid using meso-scale regional climate models (RCMs). The dynamic downscaling led to better representation of the mean climatic parameters as well as of the extreme climatic events.
Two PhDs have been awarded within the framework of the project.
Collaboration with the Academy of Athens, the University of Athens and the University of Thessaloniki.
Scientific Coordinator: Prodromos Zanis.

19. “Creation of the Archive Bank for the documents of Petros Kanaginis and writing of his Biography” (2009)

Petros Kanaginis, father to the founder of the Mariolopoulos-Kanaginis Foundation for the Environmental Sciences, was an agriculturist. He served as General Director in the Ministry of Agriculture carrying out significant administrative tasks, mainly regarding the settlement of landless peasants and rehabilitation of refugees, during the extremely hard for Greece first half of the 20th century. The discovery of letters, unpublished documents, photographs and writings of his thoughts and experiences in the residence of Mariolopoulos’ family has been the incentive for this project. The above mentioned material will be cleaned, classified and filed according to archival standards. Subsequently, a biography of P. Kanaginis based on this archival material will be written and published. The archive will be digitized and will be made accessible to researchers. Collaboration with the archivist Flora Anastasiou.
Scientific Coordinators: Dimitrios Panagiotopoulos and Christos Repapis

20. “Energy Performance of Prismatic Buildings” (2009)

This research examines the behaviour in energy consumption of buildings with polygonal and prismatic envelopes in Mediterranean climates. Specifically, it aims at reaching clear conclusions, pertaining to the differences in energy consumption that these kinds of buildings have, compared to orthogonal building envelopes. This research envelops the simulation of annual energy consumption between a prismatic building and its orthogonal simulated counterpart. For these simulations, a contemporary building was chosen and modelled in two different versions, one being the original prismatic form and the other a model of the same building with right angles, yet retaining all area and volume data of the original. Calculation results show that while the prismatic formed building has lower solar gains compared to its orthogonal counterpart, in an annual cycle it performs much better concerning its energy consumption. The models show a mean annual energy consumption difference of 7.88% in favour of the prismatic building envelope, while, depending on the orientation, the same difference in annual energy needs has a range between 2.51% and 16.01%.
Collaboration with the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
Scientific Coordinator: Anastasios Kotsiopoulos

21. “Knowledge Based Economy – Engine for Environment Protection and Sustainable Development of South-East Mediterranean Area” (2009)

The project is mainly aimed towards building the suitable environment for sustainable socio-economic changes of developing community and citizen’s lifestyle. It will examine the important phase of innovation development in South-East Mediterranean, the role of non-governmental and private initiatives in it, as well as the main ways of integrating local small and medium size economy using modern information-communication technologies, human resources and creative knowledge. One of the important targets of the project is the exchange of up-to-date information on current achievements of technological development in European countries, particularly in promoting environmentally friendly technologies.
Collaboration with the University of Indianapolis, Athens.
Scientific Coordinator: Susana Michailidis

22. “Study on the Seismic Behavior of the New Building of the Institute of Geodynamics of the National Observatory of Athens at Penteli” (2008)

The purpose of this project is the investigation of the seismic behavior of the new building of the Institute of Geodynamics of the National Athens Observatory, with respect to high-intensity earthquakes. The building is designed according to current design standards, using elastic static analysis and it is also checked using accelerograms (primarily artificial) which are in agreement with the seismic data in the region of Kofou Hill at Penteli. Pushover analyses are performed (inelastic static analyses imposing forced displacements) as well as inelastic time-history analyses using the above strong motion records. Analyses are carried out by means of specialized software for inelastic analysis.
Collaboration with the University of Patras.
Scientific Coordinator: Emmanouel Sfakianakis

23. “Preliminary study of Socio-Economic Consequences of Climate Change in Greece and Eastern Mediterranean” (2008)

The investigation of the Climate Change consequences on economy and society in Greece, is of great interest. The aim of the present study is to compile an inventory of the various fields of the economy and society in Greece which are affected by Climate Change as well as the various sectors of administration which are occupied with that issue. The results of studies on that issue will be synthesized and final preliminary suggestions for mitigation and adaptation of climate change consequences will be presented.
Collaboration with the International Geosphere Biosphere Project Committee of Greece and the Research Center for Atmospheric Physics and Climatology of the Academy of Athens.
Scientific Coordinators: Christos Zerefos and Christos Repapis

24. “Design of a near zero energy consuming building. Study of the building thermal behavior and energy consumption performance.” (2007)

This program targets towards the first low energy design consumption building in Greece which will indicate positive energy balance. That is a building where the energy produced by its active systems will be larger than the consumed one. In particular, the energy behavior and the maximization of the energy performance of the new building of the Mariolopoulos-Kanaginis Foundation is studied. Specifically, the introduced novelties will lead towards zero CO2 emissions and at the same time to larger energy production than that currently consumed for all operations in the building which will maintain thermal comfort and good air quality for its users. To achieve this objective, it is necessary to obtain energy saving by protecting the envelop of the building and through the introduction of passive and hybrid systems, the incorporation of active systems for the production of energy, using renewable energy sources and conventional energy production units with high COP.
Collaboration with the laboratory of Atmospheric Physics of the University of Athens.
Scientific Coordinator: Matheos Santamouris.

25. “Study of the Extreme Climate Phenomena in Greece and Assessment of the Foreseen Climate Change in Greece Using Model Simulation and Downscaling Methods”

The aim of the project was to improve the level of understanding of natural climate variability and extreme climatic phenomena in terms of their occurrence and intensity in Greece and to assess the contribution of anthropogenic impact to projected future climate change and extreme climatic events in our region with higher spatial resolution. The study was based on climatic models in Greece and downscaling methods. The assessment of future climate change in our region with a higher resolution than that of global climatic models was based on the application of dynamical downscaling methods concerning data extracted from GCMs for specific climatic scenarios with projected future changes in greenhouse gas concentrations. In this way, it was possible to describe the diversity and peculiarities that exist on a smaller scale, for example in land morphology in the region of Greece.
Scientific Coordinator: George Tselioudis

26. “Natural and anthropogenic variation of cirrus cloud cover and their effects on the atmospheric environment” (2005)

In this thesis we examine the climatology of cirrus clouds on a global scale based on the ISCCP satellite cloud dataset for the period 1984-2004, as well as the seasonal variability and the interannual variability of cirrus clouds explained by the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and the Quasi Biennial Oscillation (QBO). After removing the variability related to the seasonal cycle together with all other natural fluctuations, we calculate long-term trends in cirrus clouds over adjacent locations experiencing similar trends in their climatological characteristics but with high and low air traffic respectively, in order to investigate the possible impact of aviation i.e. the anthropogenic factor on cirrus cloud formation.
Collaboration with the Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics of the University of Thessaloniki (PENED 2003).
Scientific Coordinator: Christos Zerefos

27. “Study of the Levels and Composition of Particulate Pollutants at the Municipality of Chalkis”(2001)

Measurements of the particulate air pollutions in the atmosphere of the Chalkida town were conducted. Also, chemical analyses were carried out in order to assess the concentration levels and the composition of the particulate pollutants in the atmosphere of Clalkida town.
Collaboration with the Labs of Atmospheric Physics and Air Pollution of the University of Thessaloniki.
Scientific Coordinator: K. Kourtidis

28. Partner in the EC funded Project “The development of a EUMETSAT Satellite Applications Facility on Ozone Monitoring”, since 1997.

The EUMETSAT Ozone SAF project started in 1997 and is still in progress. Its aim is to rate the credibility of satellite measurements from various networks of ground ozone monitoring in collaboration with the AUTH (100% EUMETSAT funding).
Scientific Coordinators: Taalas, S. Hassinen