Michaela Flegrova is a PhD student in the Space and Atmospheric Physics Group in the Department of Physics, Imperial College London, joining in October 2021. Her project is focusing on quantifying the radiative impact of African landscape fires across multiple temporal and spatial scales, supervised by Professor Helen Brindley at Imperial College and co-supervised by Professor Martin Wooster at King's College London. The project is funded by the Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society and the National Centre for Earth Observation.
Wildfires play a fundamental role in the Earth system. Globally, an area of the order 350 Mha is burned on an annual basis, with substantial associated carbon emissions. The disturbance to the atmospheric and surface state caused by fire events can be sensed remotely from space using a variety of techniques, including identification of ‘hot-spots’, burnt area and fire radiative power as well as atmospheric impacts such as concentrations of certain gases and aerosols. African landscape fires are responsible for over half of both the area burned and fire-caused carbon emissions worldwide. In this project, Michaela will be using satellite observations to evaluate the overall impact of fire activity on top-of-atmosphere, atmospheric and surface radiative energy budgets at different scales on the African continent.
Prior to starting her PhD, Michaela completed a Masters' degree in Physics at Imperial College London. For her Masters' project she investigated atmospheric blocking and heatwaves over Europe during summers 1979-2018 under the supervision of Dr Arnaud Czaja and Dr Peer Nowack.
Michaela is a trustee of Imperial College Union and the chair of Imperial College Union Council.