Foto: Ulla Li Zweifel & Camilla Fahlgren, Kalmar University

Aeromicrobiology is the study of occurrence and spread of airborne microorganisms, including vira and bacteria and the spores of bacteria and fungi. This is one of the research areas of the Section for Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology (EMBI). Bacteria suspended in air, in precipitation and in clouds are collected, quantified and characterised. This forms part of the investigation into the effect of naturally occurring airborne bacteria on climate and environment, with particular focus on the formation of ice crystals and oxidation of greenhouse gases and air pollution. There are furthermore studies into the importance of microorganisms and microbially produced organic volatiles for the formation of airborne particles. Such results will, e.g., be used as inputs into the institute's air dispersion models to assess the atmospheric dispersion of disease- and allergy-causing microorganisms relevant for humans.

The research topic is a new international topic and the section contributes, among other things, to the development of collection and detection methods of airborne microorganisms. Collection and measurement is with the aid of new instrumentation fixed to towers and aeroplanes.