Blog: Voices from the Amazon

My name is Sebastian and I am a biologist participating in the ATTO project since 2017. At the moment I am working on my master thesis on "Bioaerosol emission patterns of tropical fungi in the Amazon”Bioaerosols are particles in the atmosphere originating from a biological source, for example fungal spores, bacteria and viruses. The fungal spores are what interests our research team. Together with multiple colleagues, in particular Nina Löbs and Cybelli Barbosa, I developed a measurement setup, with which we can quantify and analyze fungal particle emissions in the field and in the lab.
© Iris Moebius / MPI-BGC
The news reaching us from Brazil, and in particular from Manaus, these days are very grim. On behalf of the ATTO partners from Germany and elsewhere, I would like to express our concern and support for our colleagues in Brazil.
Pedro climbing in the Amazonian trees to collect data
Hello everyone, my name is Pedro. I am a biologist and a lover of the world of plants. I first realized this during my undergrad. As an intern at the Institute of Botany of São Paulo, I participated in an ozone bio-monitoring project. Basically, it was all about exposing sensitive plants to this pollutant, ozone, in several locations around an oil refinery. After a few days of exposure, I looked at the leaves and checked if and to what degree they have injured due to the ozone.
Olaf Kolle is responsible for field installations at ATTO.
My name is Olaf Kolle and I am the scientific head of the Central Service Group ‘Field Experiments and Instrumentation’ at the MPI-BGC in Jena. Currently, we are 13 people in this Service Group. I myself am a meteorologist. But our group members have a wide range of backgrounds, from scientists over gardeners to engineers. This means that we have accumulated a large amount of technical and scientific expertise to plan, set up and maintain field installations.
PostDoc Hella on the ATTO tall tower
Hello everybody, my name is Hella van Asperen. I am a PostDoc at the Institute of Environmental Physics in Bremen (Germany), in the group of Prof. Notholt, but currently live and work in Manaus. I started my studies at Wageningen University in the Netherlands with the Bachelor program ‘Soil, Water, Atmosphere’. That I followed with a Masters in ‘Soil Science’ and ‘Earth System Science’.
Hello everybody, I am Milena Ponczek. I am a post-doc at the Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics at the University of Sao Paulo. About one year ago, I joined Prof. Artaxo’s group there. For my current project that includes ATTO, we focus on aerosols life cycle in the Amazon. I investigate secondary organic aerosol formation from the oxidation of Biogenic VOCs and their subsequent photochemical processing.
Denis with him sampling filter
Hello together. My Name is Denis Leppla and I am working at ATTO since 2017 with rather simple instruments for filtering aerosol particles from the air. There we analyze them with a mass spectrometer at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz. With this analysis, we can get insights into the chemical composition of aerosol particles and identify hundreds of different compounds.
Sue Trumbore is the German coordinator for ATTO
On today's International Women in Science Day, we want to shine the spotlight on the incredible women in our project. Sue, Samara and Mira tell their inspiring stories of why they wanted to becomes scientists. They share memories of teachers, parents, book and childlike curiosity. They also talk about how they got to where they are today, and what it took to have successful careers as women in science.
Ana Caroline collects soil water samples
Hi, my name is Ana Caroline, and I currently work at the ATTO Project for the INPA and the MPI-BGC. At ATTO I work as a scientific assistant for the Gerd Gleixner group.
PhD student Sebastian Donner works with the MAX-DOAS method to measure atmospheric trace gases
My name is Sebastian Donner and I am a PhD student working in the satellite remote sensing group at the Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie in Mainz. I studied Meteorology in Mainz and then stayed here to obtain my Bachelor's and Master's degrees. Already back then, I was really fascinated by the atmosphere’s composition.
Sam Jones wants to track the carbon cycle
Hey, this is Sam Jones! Earlier in 2019 I finally moved to Manaus and took a job at INPA. I say finally because I had flirted with the idea for quite some time.  Now I often get asked the enduringly difficult question “What are you doing here?”. The short answer is that I’m working as a soil ‘biogeochemist’ on the ATTO project.
Flavia Durgante is analyzing water at ATTO.
My name is Flavia Durgante and I am a Postdoc in the Wetland Ecology Group of Dr. Florian Wittmann at the Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT), Germany. At ATTO, our project focuses on water. We're analyzing water isotopes from different sources such as rain, soil deeps, rivers and xylem water from trees in different habitats. Additionally, we want to recognize climatic signals as oxygen isotopes in the tree rings.
Rodrigo Alves is analyzing cryptogamic communities at ATTO.
Hey everyone, my name is Rodrigo Alves. I started my Post Master position in the ATTO project in May of 2019. I’m a biologist and graduated from the Federal University of Pampa (Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil). During my studies, I worked with the effect of climate change on plant communities in Antarctica and participated in three Antarctic expeditions. Now, I have the chance to learn more about those effects in the Amazon rainforest.
Leslie Kremper is analyzing single aerosol particles from the Amazon
Hello everyone, my name is Leslie Kremper and I started my Ph.D. in November of 2018. I’m a biologist and I will analyze the morphology, composition and hygroscopicity of single aerosol particles from the Amazon with different techniques.
Teachers from near-by communities within the Uatumã Sustainable Development Reserve and representatives of the Secretary of Education of Presidente Figueiredo, the municipality to which these communities belong, visited ATTO.
We want to share with you some news about an
Debora Pinheiro studies VOC emissions in the Amazon
Hello everyone, my name is Debora Pinheiro. I am a newcomer of the ATTO project and started my Ph.D. at INPA earlier this year. I’m a biologist and I love working with plants! In my Ph.D. project I get to look into the interaction of physical, chemical and biological factors and how they regulate how VOCs are released into the atmosphere.
Michelle Robin studies VOC emissons and plant traits
I'm Michelle Robin and I am in the first year of a Master’s in Ecology program at the INPA. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences and during my undergraduate, I had the opportunity to explore many different fields in biology, from microbiology to herpetology. But I was always mostly interested in plant sciences.