Profile picture - Ana Paula Mendes Emygdio

Dr Ana Paula Mendes Emygdio


About

Areas of specialism

Air pollution; Air quality; Aerobiology

University roles and responsibilities

  • Responsible to support the operation, development and management of the GCARE’s Air Quality Laboratory (AQL) and ensure its safe and efficient running.

    My qualifications

    2021
    Ph.D. in Meteorology. Funding: FAPESP. Thesis title: “Characterization of the primary biogenic aerosol in the atmosphere of the Metropolitan area of São Paulo”.
    Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences - University of São Paulo (USP)
    2016
    Master of Science (M.S.) in Sustainability. Funding: FAPESP. Dissertation: “Fungal origin bioaerosols identification in the city of São Paulo”
    University of São Paulo (USP)
    2014
    Licentiate in Biological Science (Teaching undergraduate). Undergraduate thesis: “Use of astrobiology as a tool for interdisciplinary teaching”.
    São Paulo State University “Júlio de Mesquita Filho” (UNESP)
    2013
    Bachelor in Biological Science. Undergraduate thesis: “Habitability in terrestrial exoplanets”.
    São Paulo State University “Júlio de Mesquita Filho” (UNESP)

    Previous roles

    2020 - 2021
    Scientific consultancy at Airfree (Remote): Responsible for the scientific content of materials related to Air Quality and General Health published on a website/blog catering to audiences in the USA, Spain, and Portugal.
    Airfree

    Publications

    Maurício C. Mantoani, Thaysla Beluco Quintino, Ana Paula Mendes Emygdio, Lara C. C. Guerra, Maria A. F. S. Dias, Pedro L. S. Dias, Fábio Rodrigues, Dulcilena M. C. Silva, Valter Batista Duo Filho, Anderson Paulo Rudke, Ronaldo Adriano Alves, Leila D. Martins, Jorge A. Martins, Alexandre Siqueira, Solana M. Boschilia, Federico Carotenuto, Tina Šantl-Temkiv, Vaughan Phillips, Fábio L. T. Gonçalves (2023)Biological Characterisation of Hailstones from Two Storms in South Brazil, In: Aerobiology1(2)pp. 98-108

    Although studies focusing on the physicochemical properties of aerosols/clouds have not been performed extensively, even less attention has been given to hailstones and their biological composition. Here, we present the results of the physical and microbiological characterisation of 20 hailstones collected in Southern Brazil originating from two storms. Nearly half of the hailstones (9 out of 20, or 45%) did not contain any cultivable bacteria or fungi. A total of 18 bacterial species were found in hailstones from both storms, and the genus Bacillus was found in 5 out of the 11 hailstones, with Bacillus cereus being the most frequent bacterial species. Fungi, on the other hand, were only present in four hailstones derived from a single storm, with three fungal species identified and Epicoccum nigrum being the most frequent fungal species. HYSPLIT modelling indicated the different flow of air masses from the Amazon and Pacific Ocean that contributed to the loading of microorganisms found in the clouds at the time of the two storms. Our findings suggest that ca. 50% of hailstones have cultivable bacterial or fungal species, which came mainly from the local landscape with intrusions of air masses derived from the Amazon and the Pacific Ocean.

    Laura M. Barge, Andre A. Pulschen, Ana Paula Mendes Emygdio, Curtis Congreve, Dario E. Kishimoto, Amanda G. Bendia, Antonio de Morais M. Teles, Julia DeMarines, Daniel Stoupin (2013)Life, the Universe, and Everything: An Education Outreach Proposal to Build a Traveling Astrobiology Exhibit, In: Astrobiology13(3)pp. 303-308 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc

    Astrobiology is a transdisciplinary field with extraordinary potential for the scientific community. As such, it is important to educate the community at large about the growing importance of this field to increase awareness and scientific content learning and expose potential future scientists. To this end, we propose the creation of a traveling museum exhibit that focuses exclusively on astrobiology and utilizes modern museum exhibit technology and design. This exhibit (the "Astrobiology Road Show"), organized and evaluated by an international group of astrobiology students and postdocs, is planned to tour throughout the Americas.

    Ana Paula Mendes Emygdio, Cristiane Degobbi, Federico Carotenuto, Dulcilena M. C. Silva, Thaysla Beluco Quintino, Rafael Henrique de Souza Zanetti, Maurício C. Mantoani, Solana M. Boschilia, Lara Chaves Carvalho Guerra, Pedro Leite da Silva Dias, Cindy E. Morris, Fabio Luiz Teixeira Goncalves (2022)Bioaerosol vertical fungal spores profile in Minas Gerais State, Brazil, In: Aerobiologia38(1)pp. 85-101 Springer Nature

    Primary biological aerosol particles (PBAPs) are involved in multiple phenomena ranging from seasonal allergies to pandemic diseases. Furthermore, PBAPs that act as ice nuclei, might interact with cloud physics affecting the formation of hail and, potentially, causing damage to agriculture. These latter dynamics are still unclear, especially due to the lack of knowledge about PBAPs concentration and emission rates. Here we characterized the fungal aerobiology of Arceburgo, Minas Gerais State, Brazil, through ground level and airborne sampling of PBAPs via a hot-air balloon. Total and cultivable fungal spores were collected using personal portable Burkard and a MAS100 sampler respectively during the summer and winter of 2019. In the latter season, daily dynamics were resolved by repeating flights and sampling in the morning and in the afternoon. Both samplers identified a core fungal community (Penicillum/Aspergillus and Cladosporium spp.) that are coupled with local meteorological dynamics and are able to undergo atmospheric transport as indicated by their survival in the night-time residual boundary layer. These results are invaluable in identifying a core set of aerobiological indicators that can be used in future works to unravel PBAPs emission rates on the area of Arceburgo and form a basis to close the gap in knowledge in the interplay between PBAPs and hail formation.

    Julio Min Fei Zhang, Alyssa El Chihimi de Andrade, Felipe Augusto Moraes Machado, Larissa Bornia Ghilardi, Barbara Medeiros Almeida, Beatriz Vilas Boas Pugliese Falararo, Gustavo Alves Machado, Ana Paula Mendes Emygdio, Guilherme Martins Pereira, Daniel Varela Magalhães, Arturo Forner-Cordero, Pérola de Castro Vasconcellos (2022)Desenvolvimento de um purificador de ar com radiação UVC e filtro HEPA no contexto de COVID-19, In: Engenharia sanitária e ambiental27(6)pp. 1113-1122

    RESUMO A transmissão de infecções respiratórias tem importante impacto na saúde humana, sobretudo no atual contexto da pandemia de COVID-19. Neste trabalho, discute-se um purificador de ar que utiliza radiação ultravioleta-C (UVC) e filtro high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) como mecanismos para descontaminar ambientes internos com baixa circulação de ar. Para avaliar os parâmetros físico-químicos do equipamento e sua ação microbicida, foram determinados a irradiância produzida pela lâmpada, a vazão na entrada e saída do dispositivo, as alterações na concentração de ozônio e o potencial de descontaminação do equipamento para Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli e Candida albicans. A dose total de radiação UVC que o ar recebe ao passar pelo equipamento foi de 801,4 μJ cm-2, o que representaria a inativação de até 80% de Sars-CoV-2 no ar. Além disso, a eficiência de filtração foi reduzida para cerca de 60% com a diminuição do tamanho da partícula para partículas com menos de 1 μm e manteve-se acima de 90% para MP2,5 e MP10. Nos testes microbiológicos, observou-se redução de 99,4, 99,9 e 99,5% para S. aureus, E. coli e C. albicans, respectivamente, em 11 minutos. ABSTRACT The transmission of respiratory infections has an important role on human health, especially in the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this work, we present the assessment of an air purifier that uses ultraviolet-C (UVC) radiation and a “High Efficiency Particulate Air” (HEPA) filter as mechanisms to decontaminate indoor environments with low air circulation. To assess the physicochemical and microbicidal characteristics of the equipment, the irradiance produced by the lamp, the flow rate at the entrance and exit of the device, possible changes in the ozone concentration and the equipment's decontamination potential for Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Candida albicans. The total dose of UVC radiation that the air receives when passing through the equipment was 801.4 μJ cm-2, which would represent an inactivation of up to 80% of SARS-CoV-2 in the air. Furthermore, the filtration efficiency dropped with smaller particle diameter, and reduced to around 60% for particles with less than 1 μm and remained above 90% for PM2.5 and PM10. In microbiological tests, there was a reduction of 99.4%, 99.9% and 99.5% for S aureus, E. coli and C. albicans, respectively, in 11 minutes.

    Maurício C. Mantoani, Ana Paula Mendes Emygdio, Cristiane Degobbi, Camila Ribeiro Sapucci, Lara C. C. Guerra, Maria A.F.S. Dias, Pedro L. S. Dias, Rafael H.S. Zanetti, Fábio Rodrigues, Gabriel G. Araujo, Dulcilena M. C. Silva, Valter Batista Duo Filho, Solana M. Boschilia, Jorge E. Martins, Federico Carotenuto, Tina Šantl-Temkiv, Cindy E. Morris, Fábio L. T. Gonçalves (2023)Rainfall effects on vertical profiles of airborne fungi over a mixed land-use context at the Brazilian Atlantic Forest biodiversity hotspot, In: Agricultural and forest meteorology331109352 Elsevier Masson

    Whilst fungi are a large fraction of primary biological aerosol particles (PBAPs) and their impact on global climate has been widely recognised, few studies have empirically assessed fungal vertical profiles and diversity relating those with rainfall. Here, we show the results of fungal PBAPs before and after a rainfall event during a fieldwork campaign using a hot-air balloon over a mixed land-use context at the Brazilian Atlantic Forest biodiversity hotspot. Four flights of c. 1 hour each were performed in the early morning from 8th until 11th of March 2022, and data were collected at three sampling heights (0, 150 and 300 m). Rainfall estimation using IMERG data indicated the precipitation event was of 15–20 mm and ERA5/ECMWF data highlighted that most of the airborne samples were taken above the boundary layer height. After the rainfall, the concentration of fungal spores at the ground level remained unchanged, whereas it was reduced to between 2- and 2.5-fold for the 150 and the 300 m heights, respectively. This was also accompanied by a reduction in the number of Pink-CFU, indicating a major drop in fungal PBAPs at higher altitudes associated with the rain. In addition, total spore concentration indicated Cladosporium sp. as dominant at all sampling heights, accounting for more than 80% of all spores, whereas Aspergillus/Penicillium-like represented less than 20%. Our results show the effects of rainfall and altitude on the concentration of fungal PBAPs, indicating how wet removal impacts fungi vertical profiles which has knock-on-effects on cloud and precipitation formation.

    Ana Paula Mendes Emygdio, Cristiane Degobbi, Fabio Luiz Teixeira Goncalves, Maria de Fatima Andrade (2018)One year of temporal characterization of fungal spore concentration in Sao Paulo metropolitan area, Brazil, In: Journal of aerosol science115pp. 121-132 Elsevier

    There are very few studies related to the characterization of biological components, especially fungal ones, present in the particulate matter (PM) of atmospheric aerosols in Brazil. The biogenic components of PM can have a direct relationship with respiratory diseases outbreaks and can also be linked to climate processes. Studies indicate that fungal spores constitute one of the major biological components present in the atmosphere and can be responsible for a significant amount of particulate mass concentration. This work aims to (i) identify the main fungal types in the atmosphere of Sao Paulo; (ii) estimate the fungal type concentrations and variations in the atmosphere; (iii) investigate the fungal spore seasonality; and (iv) estimate their diurnal behavior. In order to achieve that, a "Burkard 7-day Recording" air sampler operating at 10 L/min was used to collect spore samples on a 24/7 basis, from September 2013 to September 2014, at the main campus of the University of Sao Paulo, an area mostly impacted by vehicular emission and characterized by the presence of green areas. Fungal types were grouped considering their morphological similarity (i.e., cell number, coloration, shape and size) and predetermined taxonomic group (phylum, family and genus). After this initial classification, fungal types were grouped in three main groups, Ascomycota and Basidiomycota, which included only the teleomorph form of the fungi, and Deuteromycota, which includes the anamorph form of both phyla. Fungal types were characterized using an optical microscope, and 45 major fungal types were found, with Basidiomycota being the main phylum. The average concentration was 5736 (+/- 2459) spores/m(3) per day, with the highest concentration at 23780 spores/m(3) in autumn at night and the lowest concentration at 567 spores/m(3) in autumn in the morning. Higher concentrations of Ascospores (AS) and Basidiospores (BS) occurred in spring and summer, whereas Mitospores presented the highest concentration in winter and autumn. In addition, spore concentrations presented different profiles according to hourly variation, with the highest concentration of Total spores occurring at dawn. However, the concentration of Mitospores was higher during the afternoon, probably due to spore releasing mechanisms or to their transport. Ascomycota and Deuteromycota presented an antagonistic behavior in most situations.

    Hugo Savill Russell, Louise Boge Frederickson, Szymon Kwiatkowski, Ana Paula Mendes Emygdio, Prashant Kumar, Johan Albrecht Schmidt, Ole Hertel, Matthew Stanley Johnson (2022)Enhanced Ambient Sensing Environment-A New Method for Calibrating Low-Cost Gas Sensors, In: Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)22(19)7238 Mdpi

    Accurate calibration of low-cost gas sensors is, at present, a time consuming and difficult process. Laboratory calibration and field calibration methods are currently used, but laboratory calibration is generally discounted due to poor transferability, and field methods requiring several weeks are standard. The Enhanced Ambient Sensing Environment (EASE) method described in this article, is a hybrid of the two, combining the advantages of a laboratory calibration with the increased accuracy of a field calibration. It involves calibrating sensors inside a duct, drawing in ambient air with similar properties to the site where the sensors will operate, but with the added feature of being able to artificially increases or decrease pollutant levels, thus condensing the calibration period required. Calibration of both metal-oxide (MOx) and electrochemical (EC) gas sensors for the measurement of NO2 and O-3 (0-120 ppb) were conducted in EASE, laboratory and field environments, and validated in field environments. The EC sensors performed marginally better than MOx sensors for NO2 measurement and sensor performance was similar for O-3 measurement, but the EC sensor nodes had less node inter-node variability and were more robust. For both gasses and sensor types the EASE calibration outperformed the laboratory calibration, and performed similarly to or better than the field calibration, whilst requiring a fraction of the time.

    Hugo Savill Russell, Louise Boge Frederickson, Szymon Kwiatkowski, Ana Paula Mendes Emygdio, Prashant Kumar, Johan Albrecht Schmidt, Ole Hertel, Matthew Stanley Johnson (2022)Enhanced Ambient Sensing Environment-A New Method for Calibrating Low-Cost Gas Sensors, In: Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)22(19)7238 Mdpi

    Accurate calibration of low-cost gas sensors is, at present, a time consuming and difficult process. Laboratory calibration and field calibration methods are currently used, but laboratory calibration is generally discounted due to poor transferability, and field methods requiring several weeks are standard. The Enhanced Ambient Sensing Environment (EASE) method described in this article, is a hybrid of the two, combining the advantages of a laboratory calibration with the increased accuracy of a field calibration. It involves calibrating sensors inside a duct, drawing in ambient air with similar properties to the site where the sensors will operate, but with the added feature of being able to artificially increases or decrease pollutant levels, thus condensing the calibration period required. Calibration of both metal-oxide (MOx) and electrochemical (EC) gas sensors for the measurement of NO2 and O-3 (0-120 ppb) were conducted in EASE, laboratory and field environments, and validated in field environments. The EC sensors performed marginally better than MOx sensors for NO2 measurement and sensor performance was similar for O-3 measurement, but the EC sensor nodes had less node inter-node variability and were more robust. For both gasses and sensor types the EASE calibration outperformed the laboratory calibration, and performed similarly to or better than the field calibration, whilst requiring a fraction of the time.

    Prashant Kumar, Jeetendra Sahani, Nidhi Rawat, Sisay Eshetu Debele, Arvind Tiwari, Ana Paula Mendes Emygdio, K.V. Abhijith, Vina Kukadia, Kathryn Holmes, Sebastian Pfautsch (2023)Using empirical science education in schools to improve climate change literacy, In: Renewable & sustainable energy reviews [e-journal]178113232 Elsevier

    Providing children with a clear understanding of climate change drivers and their mitigation is crucial for their roles as future earth stewards. To achieve this, it will be necessary to reverse the declining interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education in schools in the UK and other countries, as STEM skills will be critical when designing effective mitigation solutions for climate change. The ‘Heat-Cool Initiative’ was co-designed and successfully implemented in five primary/secondary UK schools, as a playful learning tool to unleash student interest in STEM subjects. 103 students from two cohorts (years 5-6 and 7-9) participated in five Heat-Cool activity sessions where they used infrared cameras to explore the issue of urban heat. Their learning was evaluated using a multi-functional quantitative assessment, including pre- and post-session quizzes. Climate change literacy increased by 9.4% in primary school children and by 4.5% in secondary school children. Analyses of >2000 infrared images taken by students, categorised into 13 common themes, revealed age-related differences in children’s cognitive development. At primary school age, images of the ‘self dominated; secondary school children engaged more with their physical environment. This novel approach demonstrated the importance of developing tailored technology-enhanced STEM education programmes for different age cohorts, leading to a high capacity for improving learning outcomes regarding climate change. Such programmes, embedded in school curricula nationally and internationally, could become a much-needed positiv contribution to reaching the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goals 4 (Quality Education) and 13 (Climate Action).

    K.V. Abhijith, Prashant Kumar, Hamid Omidvarborna, Ana Paula Mendes Emygdio, Ben McCallan, David Carpenter-Lomax (2023)Improving air pollution awareness of the general public through citizen 1 science approach, In: Sustainable Horizons Elsevier

    The citizen science approach engages the public to co-design effective solutions for air pollution challenges. Guildford Living Lab (GLL) and Zero Carbon Guildford (ZCG) initiated a collaborative air quality study to synergistically employ low-cost sensors within a public building. The aims were to develop a real-time Live Air Pollution Data (LAPD) tool for the public and raise awareness and citizen engagement through interactive quiz system. Whilst doing so, we monitored indoor and outdoor (I/O) concentrations of particulate matter (PM) and carbon dioxide (CO2) and assessed horizontal and vertical variation of CO2. We found that short indoor public events can raise CO2 up to 1000 ppm; people's movements during these events can elevate PM10 concentration. The PM10 and CO2 concentrations increased with the number of occupants and their distribution inside the ZCG building. Dust resuspension due to occupant activities was the main driver for high PM10 concentrations, while the smaller particles (PM2.5 and PM1) were linked to the ingress from outside. In addition, the change in the number of occupants showed no effect on PM2.5 and PM1 concentrations. We found significant stratification in CO2 in the vertical direction, accumulating CO2 close to the ceiling inside the building. Concurrently, CO2 in the horizontal direction was uniform without any significant variation. The analysis of data from the Interactive Quiz System revealed that 16% of the participants had the highest air pollution exposure in their day-to-day activities. The collaborative development of LAPD and the live presentation of air pollution data to the public effectively disseminated air quality information, leading to improved awareness among individuals. This work demonstrated the citizen science approach's effectiveness in understanding and mitigating air pollution issues through a collaborative, inclusive, knowledge-sharing environment. This study inspires further citizen science initiatives between scientists, the public, research funding institutes, authorities and agencies.

    Ana Paula Mendes Emygdio, Maria de Fátima Andrade, Fabio Luiz Teixeira Gonçalves, Guenter Engling, Rafael Henrique de Souza Zanetti, Prashant Kumar (2017)Biomarkers as indicators of fungal biomass in the atmosphere of São Paulo, Brazil, In: Science of the Total Environment612pp. 809-821 Elsevier

    The biogenic aerosol contribution to atmospheric particulate matter (PM) mass concentration is usually neglected due to the difficulty in identifying its components, although it can be significant. In the Metropolitan Area of São Paulo (MASP)-Brazil, several studies have been performed to identify sources for PM, revealing vehicular emissions and soil re-suspension as the main identified sources. The organic fraction has been related primarily to biomass burning (BB) and fuel combustion, although there is significant presence of green areas in the city which render biogenic emissions as an additional source of organic carbon (OC). The objectives of this work are to (i) estimate the relative mass contribution of fungal spores to PM concentrations with sizes smaller than 10μm (PM10) in MASP, (ii) assess the main sources of PM10, and (iii) characterise the composition of the PM10. To achieve these objectives, we measured markers of biogenic sources and BB, during the fall-winter transition, which along with other constituents, such as ions, organic/elemental carbon, elemental composition and fungal spore concentrations, help assess the PM10 sources. We used receptor models to identify distinct source-related PM10 fractions and conversion factors to convert biomarker concentrations to fungal mass. Our results show the mean contributions of fungal aerosol to PM10 and OC mass were 2% and 8%, respectively, indicating the importance of fungal spores to the aerosol burden in the urban atmosphere. Using specific rotation factor analysis, we identified the following factors contributing to PM: soil re-suspension, biogenic aerosol, secondary inorganic aerosol, vehicular emissions and BB/isoprene-related secondary organic aerosol (I-SOA) markers. BB/I-SOA markers are the main source representing 28% of the PM10 mass, while biogenic aerosol explained a significant (11%) fraction of the PM10 mass as well. Our findings suggest that primary biogenic aerosol is an important fraction of PM10 mass, yet not considered in most studies.

    Additional publications