The INSA project secondments have resumed after a 6-month hiatus due to the Covid-19 epidemic. At the beginning of September, the project coordination team at the Aerology Laboratory (a joint research unit under the University Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier and the CNRS) made the decision to pick up activity, however at a much slower pace given the continuing global health crisis. As the Covid-19 pandemic is far from over, the project will go forward and continue to adapt, as we learn to live and function with Covid-19.
With international travel possible again, two colleagues from the Laboratory of Material Science, the Environment and Solar Energy (LAMES) at the University of Felix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan arrived in Toulouse at the end of September.
Véronique Yoboué, a university professor and researcher, will be working closely with staff at the Aerology Laboratory. She will spend one month working on supervising data analysis of dry and wet deposition fluxes in rural and urban sites in Côte d’Ivoire. She will also lead discussions on networking between local organizations in Côte d’Ivoire and the INSA project, to enhance the project’s role in the existing projects led by LAMES. Her mission will contribute to INSA’s task of carrying out a literature review and synthesis of current knowledge on the amount of nitrogen in the atmosphere and interaction with the biosphere for the specific case of Côte d’Ivoire.
Mohamed Diaby, a 3rd-year PhD student will be working with a number of researchers and technicians from the Aerology Laboratory, with a first mission of analyzing the chemical composition of precipitation collected in Côte d’Ivoire. Over the next 6 months, Mohamed’s work will contribute directly to the INSA project’s objective to examine rain nitrogen content in Africa as well as be integrated in his thesis. Under the joint supervision of Véronique Yoboué and Corinne Galy-Lacaux, a CNRS researcher at the Aerology Laboratory, Mohamed’s thesis will investigate chemical characterization of atmospheric fallout (rain, aerosol, gas) and study the acid and nitrogen deposits in the cities of Abidjan and Korhogo in Côte d’Ivoire.
Over the course of the 4-year project, 10 researchers from the University of Felix Houphouët-Boigny will be seconded to the University Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier (with an estimated 79 months of missions), bringing in their invaluable expertise and contributing to the processing and interpretation of atmospheric nitrogen data in the project. This collaboration the INSA project builds on from the partnership between the two universities in 1995 with the creation of the INDAAF network which aims to document atmospheric composition and deposition fluxes of nitrogen and other species in Africa.