research areas

© University of Augsburg

Smart Air Quality Network


Description: The goal of the SmartAQnet project, was to develop an intelligent, reproducible measurement network in the Augsburg region. combination of low- and middle-cost air quality sensors were deployed in Augsburg to record aerosol, trace gases and meteorological data. This network is a valuable source of data for evaluation on microscale model. We provide continuing support to maintain the network and data analysis. The data is freely available and can be accessed by the general public.


Partners: TECO - Karlsruhe Institute of TechnologyInstitute of Epidemiology - Helmholtz-Zentrum MünchenInstitute of Geography - University of AugsburgKIT-Campus Alpin / IMK-IFUProfessor for Regional Climate Change and Health - University of AugsburgEnvironment Agency City of Augsburg

Contact person: Prof. Dr. Christoph Knote

Data silos – data driven health research using environmental data


Description: Many adverse health effects are associated with environmental exposure such as air pollution which poses a major risk to human health globally. Due to a lack of evidence from empirical studies, unexplored interactions among multiple factors, or unrecognized causal relationships the effect of environmental exposure on human health is not fully understood.  
The EnviroData project will use an exploratory data analysis to investigate the relationship between hospital admissions at the University Hospital of Augsburg and diverse environmental and socio-economic factors that the patients were exposed to.


Results: The project aims to create a data silo of environmental exposures using high spatial and temporal resolution data from a variety of sources. This will be implemented using an open-source geocoding service that follows data protection policies. Furthermore, a synthetic hospital admission dataset will be generated which can be used for teaching activities.


Funding: Intramural research funding, 09/2023–08/2025

Partners: Chair for Datamanagement and Clinical Decision Support - University of Augsburg, Institute for Digital Medicine (IDM) - University Hospital Augsburg

Contact person: Dr. Bin Zhou, Surendra Ranpal

Influences of weather conditions on stroke incidences - application statistical models to predict the short-term incidence of strokes in prospective cohort.


Description: It is well known that environmental factors influence human health. Strokes are an important health outcome and are a leading cause of deaths and long-term disabilities. Although the pathophysiology is not yet clearly understood, weather conditions play in role in the incidence of strokes, stroke subgroups (ischemic vs. haemorrhagic, macroangiopathic vs. cardiogenic-embolic, etc.) and stroke severity. 
The StrokeMod project aims to validate the results of a previous study which investigated the influence of large-scale weather conditions stroke incidence. This will be achieved using the prospective cohort of stroke patients from the Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology at the University Hospital of Augsburg (UKA). Detailed patient information such as stroke subgroups, stroke severity and other risk factors will be captured as well. 


Results: Using the existing associations between stroke incidences and weather conditions, we will develop a statistical forecast model to predict stroke incidences for 3-5 days in advance. This will assist the UKA in managing resources.


Funding: Intramurale research funding, 01/2024–12/2025

Partners: Clinic for Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology - University Hospital Augsburg

Contact person: Prof. Dr. Christoph Knote, Dr. David Jean du Preez

Elucidating mechanistic pathways of ambient particulate matter pollution on the cerebral vasculature


Description: Exposure to environmental conditions is related to many health effects, with increasing more evidence suggesting a relationship between stroke incidences and air pollution. Strokes are the second most common cause of deaths in the adult population and the main cause of long-term disabilities. Air pollution has a direct effect of the health of human lungs and can result in chronic inflammation with effects that often go unnoticed. 
In the AirPollBrainVasc project, we aim to better understand how airborne stressors may impair the cerebrovascular and subsequently lead to increases in strokes and stroke severity. To do this samples of airborne particles will be analysed using Monoculture experiments with neurovascular unit (NVU) components and immune cells and toxicokinetic calculations will be used to determine the realistic concentrations of airborne stressors for the in vitro models.


Results: The project aims to create an in vitro model system that matches the in vivo phenotype of cells that form the blood-brain barrier and the neurovascular unit. Furthermore, the molecular mechanisms and signalling pathways by which airborne stressors affect the cerebrovascular integrity and cell-cell communication will be investigated. Lastly, the collected airborne particles will be used to link model systems and pathophysiological signatures.


Funding: Intramurale research funding, 01/2024–12/2025

Partners: Chair of Physiology - University of Augsburg, Clinic for Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology - University Hospital AugsburgCentre for Healthy Indoor Environments -  University of Lund

Contact person:Dr. Katrin Gohlsch

Development of a personal exposure monitoring app and measurement device.


Description: Personal exposure to environmental factors varies significantly from one person to another. However, exactly how individual exposure changes is dependent on several factors and is not well understood. To gain insight and to validate our own models we are developing a smartphone application and small device to record environmental conditions.




  • Personal exposure monitor (PEM): Small portable cases with a microphone, light, particulate matter and environmental (temperature & humidity) sensor with Bluetooth connectivity. 

  • App: Android and iOS smartphone App that is connected to the PEM and transmits data to the server. 

  • Web client: An easy way for participants to view their own data. 

Contact person: Prof. Dr. Christoph Knote, Robin Kara

MBEES Agent-based modelling system


Description: MAMS is an agent-based model designed for exposure estimation in an environmental health context. The system is implemented in a distributed manner to allow for scaling on an HPC and uses a standardized messaging protocol for communication between the independent parts. Environmental conditions are obtained from WRF-Chem simulations which are performed operationally, and the routing of agents is done using an open-source routing engine. The demographics and mobility of the simulated population is based on census and network mobility data, respectively.

Results: An agent-based modelling system that integrates real-world environmental conditions and mobility patterns to simulate individual exposure of the inhabitants of Augsburg.

Contact person: Prof. Dr. Christoph Knote

Microscale modelling of air pollution for allergy sufferers in Augsburg - from exposome to Reactome.


Description: Around one in four people suffer from Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) in Germany. The most common trigger for this allergic reaction is pollen from trees such as Birch. Self-management is a common treatment strategy among the younger population in Augsburg and an effective strategy for managing allergies is to avoid exposure. However, allergy suffers need to able to access information on the current and future environmental conditions. 
The aim of this project is to model and forecast the spatial and temporal variability of pollen in Augsburg. Using the Graz Lagrangian Model (GRAL), the dispersion of pollen from sources such as Birch can be simulated in an urban environment. Furthermore, the model will be evaluated using fixed and portable measurements devices.

Results: An accurate spatial and temporal representation of pollen concentration in Augsburg that can be used to inform allergy suffers of current and future conditions in the city.

Partners: Chair of Environmental Medicine - University of Augsburg
Contact person:  Prof. Dr. Christoph Knote, Dr. David Jean du Preez

Evaluation of microscale models over Heidelberg, Germany


Description: Populations in urban areas have continued to increase worldwide. The ability to accurately simulate the dynamical and chemical atmospheric conditions in urban areas is essential when investigating the health impacts related to environmental conditions in urban areas. Urban environments are complex to simulate due to buildings, vegetation, mesoscale meteorology and local emitters. Numerical models use different approaches to simulate the urban environment and have different requirements. 
Over the city of Heidelberg, we compared a Eulerian (PALM) and a Lagrangian (GRAL) model. The models are initialised using observational and numerical data in order to provide a complete comparison.

Results: A statistical comparison of wind speed and direction along with the simulated wind data from two different numerical models.

Partners: Institute of Environmental Physics - Heidelberg University
Contact person: Prof. Dr. Christoph Knote, Dr. David Jean du Preez

Airborne and Satellite Investigation of Asian Air Quality


Description: The ASIA-AQ campaign aims to improve the understanding of factor controlling local air quality in Asia as well as other common challenges in satellite observations and numerical modelling. In collaboration with local and international partners, the campaign will conduct airborne sampling across five locations. Data and analysis from the campaign will be shared openly with local agencies and scientists.

Funding: NASA

Partners: ASIA-AQ Participants
Contact person: Prof. Dr. Christoph Knote


If you are interested in learning more about a particular project or exploring collaboration opportunities with us, please reach out to the contact person for that specific project. You can find all the relevant contact details here.


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