The Polar and Arctic atmospheric research (PANDA).

The Polar and Arctic atmospheric research (PANDA) is a sub-group of the Institute of Atmospheric and Earth System Research / Physics, at the University of Helsinki (

We are part of Finnish Flagship "Atmosphere and Climate Competence Center (ACCC)" Flagship (

Our research is and has been largely funded by European Research Council (ERC-StG: GASPARCON – 714621), Academy of Finland (projects: 251427, 296628, 306853, 335844, 328290, 310627, 334514) and TEKES (“APCI-teknologian kaupallistaminen” & “APCI-teknologia CBRNE markkinalle”) together with numerous smaller sources of funding.

The group is led by Prof. Mikko Sipilä (Värriö subarctic research station, Salla) and Dr. Nina Sarnela (Helsinki). Information on individual group members can be found below.

Mikko Sipilä

Prof. Mikko Sipilä is the co-leader of the Panda group and the head of Värriö sub-arctic research station and SMEAR I station located in Salla, eastern Lapland (/en/research-stations/varrio-subarctic-research-station). Mikko works with Arctic and Antarctic polar atmospheric research focusing on sea - ice - land ecosystem - atmosphere interactions mainly from aerosol formation point of view. He also investigates sub-arctic boreal forest - atmosphere interactions and the interference of anthropogenic air pollution. Furthermore, he collects data on north boreal flora and fauna, including birds, small mammals and apex predators.ä

Nina Sarnela

Nina Sarnela Ph.D., University researcher working for trace gases in situ measurements in CiGAS-UHEL topical center of ACTRIS, co-leader of the Panda group.

I’m experienced in in-situ gas and particle measurements, especially chemical ionization high resolution mass spectrometry, in field, chamber, and laboratory measurements. I’m interested in developing better instruments, operation procedures and methods of analysis for atmospheric in-situ measurements. I’m curious about Arctic particle formation and atmospheric oxidation products and their role in nucleation.

Kimmo Neitola

Kimmo Neitola, Ph.D., is station manager of the Värriö sub-arctic research station and SMEAR I station located in Salla, eastern Lapland. He works as a post-doctoral researcher.

Kimmo has been working mainly with nucleation studies in laboratory, as well as in the field. He has been working on Arctic and Antarctic atmospheric science. He is mostly running atmospheric measurements at the SMEAR I station, but also collects fenological data, including information of birds, berries, etc.

Roseline C. Thakur

Lead Investigator of the Project “Molecular Steps of New Particle Formation in the Arctic Atmosphere- Long Term Measurements (NPF ARCTIC-II). My research focus is on the New Particle formation (NPF) processes through biogenic precursors in Arctic region. I aim to increase the understanding of the sources of biogenic volatile organic compounds in High Arctic and their implications on new particle formation. The objectives of my research involves Field campaigns in the Svalbard region using CIMS, Neutral cluster Air Ion Spectrometer and VOC flux chambers. My first love is always the Polar regions, however, I am also interested in carrying out studies elsewhere with a focus on biogenic precursors influencing NPF.

Xu-Cheng He

Xu-Cheng He is mainly working on chemical reactions and new-particle formation processes introduced by iodine-containing species. His current research focus is the formation mechanisms of iodic acid (HIO3) and the significance of HIO3 in global new-particle formation processes compared to other nucleating species, such as sulfuric acid and oxidized organics.

Jiali Shen

I am a CLOUD-Train PhD student at INAR and my research topic is investigating marine aerosol formation from DMS oxidation with OH radicals. I conduct my research at the Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets (CLOUD) chamber at CERN, Switzerland and compare my results with ambient atmospheric observations.


Lauriane Quéléver

Doctoral Student at INAR for Investigating the chemistry of aerosol precursors in cold environments: From laboratory experiments to remote polar field observations.

Research on the chemical origin of nucleation in the antarctic peninsula and central arctic ocean. Expert on Mass Spectrometry measurements for chemical identification and quantification of gas-phase molecules and ions, precursor of aerosols.

Matthew Boyer

Matt Boyer is a PhD student studying aerosol processes in polar environments. He is interested in the link between newly formed particles and their growth to CCN relevant sizes, and he enjoys making measurements in the field.

Deniz Kemppainen

I’m a master’s student in aerosol physics. My interest is in the role of iodine species in new particle formation in the Arctic. I mostly use chemical ionization mass spectrometry in my work.