Barbara ERVENS

Chercheur CNRS


ICCF-UMR6296 CNRS-UCA-Sigma Equipe Biometa (Groupe "Nuages"); Campus des Cézeaux; 24, Avenue Blaise Pascal; 63178 AUBIERE Cedex (FRANCE)

Chimie 4, Bureau 4204


Thèmes de recherche

Earth’ atmosphere undergoes continuous changes due to numerous chemical, physical and biological processes. In the current estimates of radiative forcing, clouds and in particular cloud/aerosol interactions represent one of the largest uncertainties. Aerosol particles act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) or ice nuclei (IN) that eventually lead to cloud droplets or ice particles, respectively. The aqueous p
hase of cloud droplets and wet particles represents a medium where efficient chemical reactions can occur that lead to the modification of the composition of aerosol particles, cloud/rain water and the surrounding gas phase. Less attention has been given to the role of biological processes that occur in clouds. Microorganisms, such as bacteria, cannot not only act as IN but they also utilize organic substrates in cloud droplets and transform them into CO2 and other products, in competition to chemical processes. Thus, in order to understand the formation, evolution and radiative impact of clouds interdisciplinary efforts are needed to improve upon the description of relevant processes on all scales.


My research focuses on the development and application of small-scale models that describe in detail chemical, microphysical and biological processes in clouds.

Find a complete publication list sorted by topics here.

Previous work includes

  • the development of detailed CHEMICAL mechanisms of reactions occurring in cloud droplets. My early work was the development of the chemical aqueous phase radical mechanism (CAPRAM). In addition, I was one of the first researchers who suggested that in addition to sulfate, also organic aerosol may be formed in cloud droplets and in aqueous aerosol (aqSOA).
  • the implementation and analysis of MICROPHYSICAL data and processes in cloud models. We showed that the representation of CCN properties can be largely simplified for most cases. In detailed model studies of ice microphysics, we explored the sensitivities and key parameters of ice nucleation in mixed-phase clouds.

Currently, my work is focused on BIOLOGICAL processes in clouds within the project MOBIDIC (Modeling Biologically-Driven Processes in Clouds) project. We explore by means of model studies on various scales, processes of biological particles (bacteria) in the atmosphere. These processes include emission, dospersion and transport but also bacterial cell growth/multiplication and the utilization of organics by bacteria in cloud water.



Activités / CV


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2018 – present

Research Scientist, Institute of Chemistry of Clermont-Ferrand, University Clermont Auvergne, france

2011 – 2018

Research Scientist III, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado, and NOAA, Earth System Research Laboratory, Chemical Sciences Division, Boulder, CO, USA

2008 - 2011

Research Scientist II, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado, and NOAA, Earth System Research Laboratory, Chemical Sciences Division, Boulder, CO, USA

2005 – 2008

Research Scientist I, Atmospheric Science Department, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, and NOAA, Earth System Research Laboratory, Chemical Sciences Division, Boulder, CO, USA

2002 – 2004

Postdoctoral Fellow, Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), Colorado State University, Fort Collins, and NOAA, Environmental Technology Laboratory, Boulder, CO, USA

2001 – 2002

Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig, Germany

1998 – 2001

Research Assistant, Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig, Germany

1997 – 1998

Research Assistant, Institute for Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, University Essen, Germany


Informations complémentaires


Link to full publication list (by research topic)

Ervens, B. and Amato, P.: The global impact of bacterial processes on carbon mass, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.,, in review, 2019.

Ervens, B., Sorooshian, A., Aldhaif, A. M., Shingler, T., Crosbie, E., Ziemba, L., Campuzano-Jost, P., Jimenez, J. L., and Wisthaler, A.: Is there an aerosol signature of chemical cloud processing?, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 16099–16119,, 2018.

McVay R.C. and B. Ervens, A microphysical parameterization of aqSOA and sulfate formation in clouds, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, 14, 7500-7509, doi: 10.1002/2017GL074233, 2017.

Ervens, B., Modeling the processing of aerosol and trace gases in clouds and fogs, Chem. Rev., 115(10), 4157-4198, doi: 10.1021/cr-2014-005887, 2015.

Ervens, B., A. Sorooshian, Y. B. Lim, and B. J. Turpin, Key parameters controlling the formation of secondary organic aerosol in the aqueous phase (aqSOA), J. Geophys. Res., doi: 10.1002/2013JD021021, 2014.

Niedermeier, D., B. Ervens, T. Clauss, S. Hartmann, J. Voigtländer, H. Wex, S. Hartmann, and. F. Stratmann, A computationally efficient description of heterogeneous freezing: A simplified version of the Soccer ball model, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi: 10.1002/2013GL058684, 2014.

Sorooshian, A., Z. Wang, M. M. Coggon, H. H. Jonsson, B. Ervens, Observations of Sharp Oxalate Reductions in Stratocumulus Clouds at Variable Altitudes: Organic Acid and Metal Measurements During the 2011 E-PEACE Campaign, Environ. Sci. Technol., 47, 7747-7756, doi: 10.1021/es4012383, 2013.

Bahreini, R., A. M. Middlebrook, C. A. Brock, J. A. de Gouw, S. A. McKeen, L. R. Williams, K. E. Daumit, A. T. Lambe, P. Massoli, M. R. Canagaratna, R. Ahmadov, A. J. Carrasquillo, E. S. Cross, B. Ervens, J. S. Holloway, J. F. Hunter, T. B. Onasch, I. B. Pollack, J. M. Roberts, T. B. Ryerson, C. Warneke, P. Davidovits, D. R. Worsnop, and J. H. Kroll: Mass Spectral Analysis of Organic Aerosol Formed Downwind of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Field Studies and Laboratory Confirmations, Environ. Sci. Technol., 46, 15,8025-8034, doi: 10.1021/es301691k, 2012.

Ervens, B., B. J. Turpin, and R. J. Weber, Secondary organic aerosol formation in cloud droplets and aqueous particles (aqSOA): a review of laboratory, field and model studies, Atmos. Chem. Phys, 11 11069-11102, doi: 10.5194/acp-11-11069-2011, 2011.

Ervens, B., G. Feingold, K. Sulia, J. Y Harrington, The impact of microphysical parameters, ice nucleation mode, and habit growth on the ice/liquid partitioning in mixed-phase Arctic clouds, J. Geophys. Res., 116, D17205, doi: 10.1029/2011JD015729, 2011.

Kanakidou, M., J. H. Seinfeld, S. N. Pandis, I. Barnes, F. J. Dentener, M. C. Facchini, R. van Dingenen, B. Ervens, A. Nenes, C. J. Nielsen, E. Swietlicki, J.P. Putaud, Y. Balkanski, C. E., S. Fuzzi, J. Hjorth, G. Moortgat, R. Winterhalter, C. E. L. Myhre, K. Tsigaridis, E. Vignati, E. Stephanou, and J. Wilson, Organic aerosol and global climate modelling: A review, Atmos. Chem. Phys. 5, 1053-1123,, 2005.

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