150717 UNIKA T aktuelles Termine1 1280x400px IS

Back to overview

The Aerobiology Group at UNIKA-T – European excellence and leading research!

Research: Projects and Publications


During 15-20 July 2019, the Basic Course on Aerobiology took place in Lyon, France. This Course is organised and implemented by the European Aerobiological Society every 2 years, together with the Local Organising Committee (RNSA, Le Réseau National de Surveillance Aérobiologique). The main aims are to provide:

  • an understanding of the science and applications of Aerobiology
  • an introduction into sampling techniques used in Aerobiology
  • knowledge of laboratory techniques used in sample preparation and analysis
  • expertise in identifying the most important pollen and fungal spore types by light microscopy
  • an overview of the relationships between Aerobiology and human health

Click here for information and pictures on the Course in Lyon.

During this Course in 2019, two Group members participated, Mrs. Franziska Kolek and Mrs. Vivien Leier-Wirtz. GEWISA kindly supported them so that, after completing the training, they can be even more competent in fulfilling their tasks on Aerobiology. Mrs. Kolek, particularly, won an award as the best performing participant in pollen and spore identification out of a total of 20 people across Europe (14 countries) by scoring ‘A’ in all tests. Mrs. Leier-Wirtz also scored ‘excellent’ in all tests.

During the same Course, but in 2017, also another Group member participated, Dr. María P. Plaza and she also got a distinction as the 2nd best performing participant across Europe.

The Aerobiology Group is constantly growing and right now consists of 6 employees (excluding undergraduate students regularly working in the Group):

  • Mrs. Daniela Bayr, an expert in environmental sciences since 2011. Her research focus is on climatic interactions and climate change and with a high competence in biostatistics and environmental modelling.
  • Mrs. Sigrid Kaschuba, an expert in environmental sciences since 1999. Her research focus is on airborne fungal spores, multi-disciplinary novel biomonitoring technologies and ecological interactions.
  • Mrs. Franziska Kolek, an expert in environmental sciences since 2013. Her research focus is on pollen and flowering phenology, novel biomonitoring technologies and climate change effects on plants.
  • Mrs. Vivien Leier-Wirtz, an expert in biological sciences since 2000. Her research focus is on airborne fungal spores, laboratory techniques and microscopy, and operation of biomonitoring units.
  • Dr. María P. Plaza, an expert in environmental and biological sciences since 2012. Her research focus is on pollen and novel biomonitoring technologies. Her PhD has received international recognition by the Palynological Society of Spanish Language (APLE) and awarded in a special ceremony in the Palynological Symposium in Bordeaux, in July 2019.
  • Dr. Athanasios Damialis, the Leader of the Group and an expert in Aerobiology, environmental and biological sciences, since 1996. His research focus is on the multi-disciplinary field of environmental health, with a special emphasis on environment-environment interactions and climate change effects on plants, microbes and human health.

The aim of the Aerobiology Group is to conduct sound science and lead scientific developments in a rapidly changing Aerobiological era. To do so, a multi- and inter-disciplinary scientific team has been brought together from all over Europe so as to be able to stand up for ongoing research challenges. The ultimate aim is to promote human health against allergies and other environmental-oriented diseases but at the same time ensuring the sustainable environmental protection, especially under the current climate change conditions.


Follow Aerobiology/ Environmental Medicine at UNIKA-T on Twitter:





AlternariaThe photo depicts a Alternaria sporum under the microscope (photo: A. Damialis)

Birkenpollen Quelle UNIKA T A. Damialis 6The photo depicts birch pollen under the microscope (photo: A. Damialis)

Dr. Athanasios DamialisDr. Athanasios Damialis, Head of Aerobiology Group (photo: UNIKA-T)