Dr. Franz Conen
Research associate

Franz Conen

Philosophisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät

Departement Umweltwissenschaften

FG Alewell

Research associate

Bernoullistrasse 30/32
4056 Basel

Tel. +41 61 207 04 81

Research Interests

Life changes chemical and physical properties of Earth since its emergence. Understanding involved processes and interactions to quantify or predict their effects, is what I, and many others, are interested in. My focus is on land-atmosphere interactions. Past work includes studies on soil organic matter, greenhouse gases, and radon as a tracer of atmospheric motions. More recently, I also became interested in the exchange of microorganisms between land and atmosphere. When lofted from leaf surfaces and transported by atmospheric motions, microorganisms can catalyse freezing of supercooled clouds and trigger precipitation events, re-depositing these organisms on new grounds. This kind of land-atmosphere interaction has implications on meteorology, but also on the distribution of ice-nucleating microorganisms, some of which are economically relevant plant pathogens.

Professional Positions

Since Oct. 2003Research Fellow, Environmental Geosciences, University of Basel, Switzerland.
Mar. 2000 - Sept. 2003Research Fellow (Darwin Fellowship), School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, UK.
Oct. 1996 - Feb. 2000Research Associate, University of Edinburgh, Division of Biological Sciences, Institute of Ecology and Resource Management, UK
Mar. 1995 - Sept. 1996United Nations Volunteer Specialist, UNDP; Kazalinsk, Kazakstan.
Nov. 1992 - Sept. 1993Consultant, DG Agroprogress International, Bonn, Germany; Brest, Belorussia.


2000, PhD in Biogeochemistry, University of Edinburgh, UK.
1994, MSc in Resource Management, University of Edinburgh, UK.
1992, Diploma in Agriculture, Gesamthochschule Kassel, Germany.

Editorial Work

Associate Editor, European Journal of Soil Science
Editorial Advisory Board, Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment


British Society of Soil Science

Hiranuma, N. A., Bell, D. M. and [et al.] (2019) ‘A comprehensive characterization of ice nucleation by three different types of cellulose particles immersed in water’, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 19, pp. 4823-4849. Available at: https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-19-4823-2019.   
Creamean, J. M., Mignani, C., Bukowiecki, N. and Conen, F. (2019) ‘Using freezing spectra characteristics to identify ice-nucleating particle populations during the winter in the Alps’, Atmospheric chemistry and physics, 19, pp. 8123-8140. Available at: https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-19-8123-2019.   
Hill, T. C. J., DeMott, P., Conen, F. and Möhler, O. (2018) ‘Impacts of Bioaerosols on Atmospheric Ice Nucleation Processes’, in Delort, A.-M. and Amato, P. (eds) Microbiology of Aerosols. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, pp. 197-220. Available at: https://www.wiley.com/en-us/Microbiology+of+Aerosols-p-9781119132288.   edoc