Herve Petetin

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With about 12 years of experience in academic research, I am a research scientist in atmospheric physics and chemistry who focuses on air pollution. Along my career, I have worked in three well-recognized research institutions in France (LISA and LAREO) and Spain (BSC) on this topic through complementary points of view, using a large variety of data and methods. This has allowed me to acquire a broad and refined knowledge of the processes involved along with a good understanding of the most important challenges to be addressed.

With a PhD (2010-2014) in atmospheric chemistry and environmental physics conducted at the Laboratoire Inter-universitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques (LISA; Créteil, France) under the supervision of Dr. Matthias Beekmann, I started my research career investigating multiple aspects of urban air pollution at the megacity scale by first focusing on Paris. My doctoral research was undertaken in collaboration with AIRPARIF, the local agency in charge of monitoring and forecasting air pollution in the Paris region. The main objectives were (1) to unravel the sources of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in Paris using a variety of in-situ observations collected along three complementary research campaigns (MEGAPOLI, PARTICULES, FRANCIPOL), and (2) to evaluate how well they are represented in the CHIMERE regional chemistry-transport model. In this frame, I investigated the chemical speciation, emissions, formation regime and regional transport of PM2.5 in Paris.

Following my interest in understanding air pollution at larger scales with alternative observational datasets, I joined the French branch of the In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System (IAGOS; formerly known as MOZAIC) European Research Infrastructure at Laboratoire d’Aérologie – Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées (LAERO-OMP; Toulouse, France) as a postdoctoral fellow (2014-2018) under the supervision of Dr. Valérie Thouret. IAGOS operates worldwide routine in-situ measurements of ozone (O3) and carbon monoxide (CO) on-board a fleet of commercial aircraft since 1994. My postdoctoral research focused on analysing the O3 and CO tropospheric vertical profiles obtained during take-off and landing phases above more than 300 worldwide metropolitan areas. From 2014 to 2018, I was involved in the first Tropospheric Ozone Assessment Report (TOAR-I) IGAC initiative that gathered about 240 international ozone experts, especially in the group in charge of providing an up-to-date scientific assessment of tropospheric O3’s global distribution and trends.

In parallel to my work at LAERO-OMP, I progressively developed an interest in learning about new avenues and methods to better explore the growing amount of data available from models and observations. In this sense, I followed several intensive training courses on machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence. This allowed me to obtain in 2018 a MSCA COFUND postdoctoral grant (STARS programme) at the BSC where I started a new research line in which I am exploring the use of statistical and machine learning approaches to improve our scientific knowledge and predictive capabilities in air quality. 

Interested in Earth Observation, I progressively start to work with satellite-based air quality products, first and foremost the high-resolution TROPOMI observations. Over the most recent years, a substantial part of my research is focusing on the tropospheric ozone and its NOx and VOC precursors over the Iberian Peninsula, combining the use of TROPOMI and in-situ surface observations with air quality modeling with our in-house MONARCH model. Since 2021, we are working in close colaboration with the Spanish ministry of environment (MITECO), within a consortium of several Spanish research institutions, on the design of the Spanish national ozone mitigation plan, in which we are responsible for the modeling part with MONARCH. In parallel, I am leading the MITIGATE RETOS Spanish national project focused on unraveling the ozone chemical regime over Spain using TROPOMI NO2 and HCHO observations. 

In 2022, I was granted the Ramon y Cajal (period 2023-2027) in the frame of which I am consolidating the aforementioned research line at BSC. 



  • 11/2010 – 02/2014: Ph.D. in Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry, University of Paris Diderot (Paris, France), Laboratoire Inter-universitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques (LISA, Créteil, France). Ph.D. dissertation title: Fine aerosol in a European megacity – Simulation of the sources (supervised by Dr. Matthias Beekmann).
  • 09/2009 – 06/2010: M.Sc. in Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry, University of Paris Est Creteil (Créteil, France) and University of Paris Diderot (Paris, France)
  • 09/2008 – 06/2009: M.Sc. in Mechanics and Fluid Dynamics, University of Science and Technology Lille 1 (Villeneuve d’Ascq, France)
  • 09/2005 – 08/2008: Engineer diploma from Ecole Centrale de Lille, Junior and senior years of engineering studies at one of France’s top 15 Grandes Ecoles in Engineering at master’s level. Advanced Mechanics option, with specialization in Fluid Mechanics
  • 09/2003 – 06/2005: Ecole Préparatoire aux Grandes Ecoles, Lycée Faidherbe (Lille, France). Advanced intensive two-year undergraduate studies preparing for the competitive entrance exam to the French Grandes Ecoles’s in engineering 


Most relevant on-going activities :

  • MOSAQ (Model Output Statistics for Air Quality; Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Postdoctoral grant; 10/2018-09/2020) : Nowadays, air quality forecast are typically based on the use of chemistry-transport models. Given the persistent uncertainty sources affecting these models and their input data, the use of statistical methods for correcting the raw air quality forecasts taking benefit from the in-situ surface observations available can considerably improve our foreacsting capabilities. In this context, I am investigating a variety of statistical approaches for improving the air quality forecasts, including some innovative machine-learning techniques. Opened in the frame of a MSCA grant that ended in 2020, I keep coordinating this research line in the group.
  • AQ-WATCH (Air Quality: Worldwide Analysis and forecasTing of Atmospheric Composition for Health; H2020 project; 01/2020-12/2023; https://www.aq-watch.eu/): The AQ-WATCH aims at designing Earth Observation downstream application in the field of air quality. In the frame of this project, I am developing an innovative machine-learning-based approach for estimating surface nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations based on satellite NO2 observations from the last-generation TROPOMI sensor, and in-situ NO2 surface observations, combined with a variety of ancillary data, including ERA5 meterological reanalysis from ECMWF, CAMSRA global air quality reanalysis from the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service (CAMS) and land-use data from the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service (CLMS). This product prototype is being currently tested in several regions, including Santiago de Chile region (Chile), Po valley (Italy), Mexico City (Mexico) and Catalonia (Spain). The long-term objective of this preliminary work is to develop our capabilities for continuous monitoring of surface air quality based on space-based observations.
  • EARLY-ADAPT (ERC Consolidator Grant; 02/2021-01/2026) : Led by Joan Ballester from ISGlobal, the EARLY-ADAPT project aims to jointly analyse the environmental, socioeconomic and demographic drivers of recent trends in human health. In the frame of this project, we are collaborating with ISGlobal to investigate how to bias-correct the long-term CAMSRA reanalysis of the atmospheric composition over Europe, using the extensive network of air quality monitoring stations available. Based of a very detailed health database, this will allow Joan Ballester's team to investigate the associated health impacts of air pollution.
  • MITIGATE (MonIToring and dIagnosinG ozone formATion from spacE; RETOS Spanish national project; 09/2021-08/2024): The chemical formation of tropospheric O3 intrinsically depends on the availability of its nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic carbon (VOCs) precursors. While NOx surface observations are available at a number of monitoring stations, VOCs observations remain extremely scarce, which limits our ability to understand the formation of O3. The MITIGATE project aims at taking advantage of the NO2 and formaldehyde (HCHO) TROPOMI observations to investigate the formation of O3 over Spain. We will make use of both NMMB-MONARCH simulations and machine-learning algorithms to better relate the information available through TROPOMI to the NOx-VOC sensitivity regimes prevailing at the surface. The long-term objective here is to strenghten our capacity of design observation-based effective emission control strategies over the country, which could bring large benefits for both human health and ecosystems.

Main research lines :

Publications :

  • Q. J. Zhang, M. Beekmann, F. Drewnick, F. Freutel, J. Schneider, M. Crippa, A. S. H. Prevot, U. Baltensperger, L. Poulain, A. Wiedensohler, J. Sciare, V. Gros, A. Borbon, A. Colomb, V. Michoud, J.-F. Doussin, H. A. C. Denier van der Gon, M. Haeffelin, J.-C. Dupont, G. Siour, H. Petetin, B. Bessagnet, S. N. Pandis, A. Hodzic, O. Sanchez, C. Honoré, O. Perrussel: Formation of organic aerosol in the Paris region during the MEGAPOLI summer campaign: evaluation of the volatility-basis-set approach within the CHIMERE model, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 5767-5790, doi: 10.5194/acp-13-5767-2013, 2013.
  • A. Borbon, J. B. Gilman, W. C. Kuster, N. Grand, S. Chevaillier, A. Colomb, C. Dolgorouky, V. Gros, M. Lopez, R. Sarda-Esteve, J. Holloway, J. Stutz, H. Petetin, S. McKeen, M. Beekmann, C. Warneke, D. D. Parrish, J. A. de Gouw: Emission ratios of anthropogenic volatile organic compounds in northern mid-latitude megacities: Observations versus emission inventories in Los Angeles and Paris, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 118, 2041–2057, doi: 10.1002/jgrd.50059, 2013.
  • H. Petetin, M. Beekmann, J. Sciare, M. Bressi, A. Rosso, O. Sanchez, V. Ghersi: A novel model evaluation approach focussing on local and advected contributions to urban PM2.5 levels – Application to Paris, France, Geosci. Model Dev., 7, 1483-1505, doi: 10.5194/gmd-7-1483-2014, 2014.
  • R. Shaiganfar, S. Beirle, H. Petetin, Q. Zhang, M. Beekmann, T. Wagner: New concepts for the comparison of tropospheric NO2 column densities derived from car-MAX-DOAS observations, OMI satellite observations and the regional model CHIMERE during two MEGAPOLI campaigns in Paris 2009/10, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 8 ; 2827-2852, doi:10.5194/amt-8-2827-2015, 2015.
  • B. Konovalov, M. Beekmann, E. V. Berezin, H. Petetin, T. Mielonen, I. N. Kuznetsova, M. O. Andreae: The role of semi-volatile organic compounds in the mesoscale evolution of biomass burning aerosol: a modeling case study of the 2010 mega-fire event in Russia, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 13269-13297, doi: 10.5194/acp-15-13269-2015, 2015.
  • M. Beekmann, A. S. H. Prévôt, F. Drewnick, J. Sciare, S. N. Pandis, H. A. C. Denier van der Gon, M. Crippa, F. Freutel, L. Poulain, V. Ghersi, E. Rodriguez, S. Beirle, P. Zotter, S.-L. von der Weiden-Reinmüller, M. Bressi, C. Fountoukis, H. Petetin, S. Szidat, J. Schneider, A. Rosso, I. El Haddad, A. Megaritis, Q. J. Zhang, V. Michoud, J. G. Slowik, S. Moukhtar, P. Kolmonen, A. Stohl, S. Eckhardt, A. Borbon, V. Gros, N. Marchand, J. L. Jaffrezo, A. Schwarzenboeck, A. Colomb, A. Wiedensohler, S. Borrmann, M. Lawrence, A. Baklanov, U. Baltensperger: In situ, satellite measurement and model evidence on the dominant regional contribution to fine particulate matter levels in the Paris megacity, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 9577-9591, doi: 10.5194/acp-15-9577-2015, 2015.
  • H. Petetin, M. Beekmann, A. Colomb, S. Crumeyrolle, H. A. C. Denier van der Gon, J.-C. Dupont, C. Honoré, V. Michoud, Y. Morille, O. Perrussel, A. Schwarzenboeck, A. Wiedensohler, Q. Zhang: Evaluating BC and NOx emission inventories for the Paris region from MEGAPOLI aircraft measurements, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 9799-9818, doi: 10.5194/acp-15-9799-2015, 2015.
  • H. Petetin, J. Sciare, M. Bressi, V. Gros, A. Rosso, O. Sanchez, R. Sarda-Estève, J.-E. Petit, M. Beekmann: Assessing the ammonium nitrate formation regime in the Paris megacity and its representation in the CHIMERE model, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 10419-10440, doi: 10.5194/acp-16-10419-2016, 2016.
  • H. Petetin, V. Thouret, G. Athier, R. Blot, D. Boulanger, J.-M. Cousin, A. Gaudel, P. Nédélec, O. Cooper: Diurnal cycle of ozone throughout the troposphere over Frankfurt as measured by MOZAIC-IAGOS commercial aircraft, Elem. Sci. Anth., 4, 000129, doi: 10.12952/journal.elementa.000129, 2016.
  • H. Petetin, V. Thouret, A. Fontaine, B. Sauvage, G. Athier, R. Blot, D. Boulanger, J.-M. Cousin, P. Nedelec: Characterizing tropospheric O3 and CO around Frankfurt between 1994–2012 based on MOZAIC-IAGOS aircraft measurements, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 15147-15163, doi: 10.5194/acp-16-15147-2016, 2016.
  • R. Shaiganfar, S. Beirle, H. Denier van der Gon, S. Jonkers, J. Kuenen, H. Petetin, Q. Zhang, M. Beekmann, T. Wagner: Estimation of the Paris NOx Emissions from mobile MAX-DOAS observations and CHIMERE model simulations using the closed integral method, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 7853-7890, doi: 10.5194/acp-17-7853-2017, 2017.
  • B. Sauvage, A. Fontaine, S. Eckhardt, A. Auby, D. Boulanger, H. Petetin, R. Paugam, G. Athier, J.-M. Cousin, S. Darras, P. Nédélec, S. Turquety, J.-P. Cammas, V. Thouret: SOurce attribution using FLEXPART and carbon monoxide emission inventories for the IAGOS In-situ Observation database (SOFT-IO), Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 15271-15292, doi: 10.5194/acp-17-15271-2017, 2017.
  • H. Petetin, M., Jeoffrion, B. Sauvage, G. Athier, R. Blot, D. Boulanger, H. Clark, J.-M. Cousin, F. Gheusi, P. Nedelec, M., Steinbacher, V. Thouret: Representativeness of the IAGOS airborne measurements in the lower troposphere, Elem. Sci. Anth., 6(1), 23, doi: 10.1525/elementa.280, 2018.
  • Y. Cohen, H. Petetin, H. Clark, B. Sauvage, G. Athier, R. Blot, D. Boulanger, J.-M. Cousin, A. Fontaine, B. Josse, P. Nedelec, V. Marécal, V. Thouret: Climatology and long-term evolution of O3 and CO in the UTLS at northern mid-latitudes as seen by IAGOS from 1995 to 2013, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 5415-5453, doi: 10.5194/acp-18-5415-2018, 2018.
  • Gaudel, O. Cooper, G. Ancellet, J. Cuesta, G. Dufour, F. Ebojie, G. Foret, B. Franco, M. Granados Muñoz, B. Hassler, G. Huang, S. Kulawik, B. Latter, T. Leblanc, J. Liu, X. Liu, J. Neu, M. Osman, H. Petetin, I. Petropavlovskikh, H. Tanimoto, D. Tarasick, V. Thouret, A. Thompson, C. Wespes, H. Worden, C. Vigouroux, J. Ziemke: Tropospheric Ozone Assessment Report: Present-day distribution and trends of tropospheric ozone relevant to climate and global atmospheric chemistry model evaluation, Elem. Sci. Anth., 6(1), 39, doi: 10.1525/elementa.291, 2018.
  • H. Petetin, B. Sauvage, H. G. J. Smit, F. Gheusi, F. Lohou, R. Blot, H. Clark, G. Athier, D. Boulanger, J.-M. Cousin, P. Nedelec, P. Neis, S., Rohs, V. Thouret: A climatological view of the vertical stratification of RH, O3 and CO within the PBL and at the interface with free troposphere as seen by IAGOS aircraft and ozonesondes at northern mid-latitudes over 1994-2016, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 9561-9581, doi: 10.5194/acp-18-9561-2018, 2018.
  • H. Petetin, B. Sauvage, M. Parrington, H. Clark, A. Fontaine, G. Athier, R. Blot, D. Boulanger, J.-M. Cousin, P. Nedelec, V. Thouret: The role of biomass burning as derived from the tropospheric CO vertical profiles measured by IAGOS aircraft in 2002-2017, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 17277-17306, doi: 10.5194/acp-18-17277, 2018.
  • H. Achebak, H. Petetin, M. Quijal-Zamorano, D. Bowdalo, C. Pérez García-Pando, J. Ballester: Reduction in air pollution and attributable mortality due to the COVID-19 lockdown in Spain, The Lancet Planetary Health, 4, e268, doi:10.1016/S2542-5196(20)30148-0, 2020.
  • H. Petetin, D. Bowdalo, A. Soret, M. Guevara, O. Jorba, K. Serradell, C. Pérez García-Pando: Meteorology-normalized impact of the COVID-19 lockdown upon NO2 pollution in Spain, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 11119-11141, doi: 10.5194/acp-20-11119-2020, 2020.
  • M. Guevara, O. Jorba, A. Soret, H. Petetin, D. Bowdalo, K. Serradell, C. Tena, H. Denier van der Gon, J. Kuenen, V.-H. Peuch, and C. Pérez García-Pando: Time-resolved emission reductions for atmospheric chemistry modelling in Europe during the COVID-19 lockdowns, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 773–797, doi:10.5194/acp-21-773-2021, 2021
  • X. Querol, J. Massagué, A. Alastuey, T. Moreno, G. Gangoiti, E. Mantilla, J. Jaime Duéguez, M. Escudero, E. Monfort, C. Pérez García-Pando, H. Petetin, O. Jorba, V. Vázquez, J. de la Rosa, A. Campos, M. Muñóz, S. Monge, M. Hervás, M. J. Cornide: Lessons from the COVID-19 air pollution decrease in Spain: Now what?, Sci. Total Environ., 779, 146380, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146380, 2021.
  • J. Barré, H. Petetin, A. Colette, M. Guevara, V.-H. Peuch, L. Rouil, R. Engelen, A. Inness, J. Flemming, C. Pérez García-Pando, D. Bowdalo, F. Meleux, C. Geels, M. Gauss, E. Friese, J. W. Kaminski, J. Douros, R. Timmermans, L. Robertson, M. Adani, O. Jorba, M. Joly, and R. Kouznetsov: Satellite, surface and multi-model estimates of lockdown-induced NO2 changes in Europe, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 7373-7394, doi:10.5194/acp-21-7373-2021, 2021
  • R. Blot, P. Nedelec, D. Boulanger, P. Wolff, B. Sauvage, J.-M. Cousin, G. Athier, A. Zahn, F. Obersteiner, D. Scharffe, H. Petetin, Y. Bennouna, H. Clark, and V. Thouret: Internal consistency of the IAGOS ozone and carbon monoxide measurements for the last 25 years, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14, 3935-3951, doi:10.5194/amt-14-3935-2021, 2021
  • H. Achebak, H. Petetin, M. Quijal-Zamorano, D. Bowdalo, C. Pérez García-Pando, and J. Ballester: Trade-offs between short-term mortality attributable to NO2 and O3 changes during the COVID-19 lockdown across major Spanish cities, Environment Pollution, , 286, 117220, doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2021.117220, 2021.
  • V. Lannuque, B. Sauvage, B. Barret, H. Clark, G. Athier, D. Boulanger, J.-P. Cammas, J.-M. Cousin, A. Fontaine, E. Le Flochmoën, P. Nédélec, H. Petetin, I. Pfaffenzeller, S. Rohs, H. G. J. Smit, P. Wolff, V. Thouret: Origins and characterization of CO and O3 in the African upper troposphere, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 14535-14555, doi :10.5194/acp-21-14535-2021, 2021.
  • H. Petetin, D. Bowdalo, P.-A. Bretonnière, M. Guevara, O. Jorba, J. Mateu Armengol, M. Samso Cabre, K. Serradell, A. Soret, and C. Pérez Garcia-Pando: Model Output Statistics (MOS) applied to CAMS O3 forecasts: trade-offs between continuous and categorical skill scores, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 22, 11603–11630, doi:10.5194/acp-22-11603-2022, 2022.
  • D. Bowdalo, H. Petetin, O. Jorba, M. Guevara, A. Soret, D. Bojovic, M. Terrado, X. Querol, and C. Pérez Garcia-Pando: Compliance with 2021 WHO Air Quality Guidelines across Europe will require radical measures, Environmental Research Letter17, 2, 021002, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ac44c7, 2022.
  • M. Guevara, H. Petetin, O. Jorba, H. A. C. Denier van der Gon, J. Kuenen, I. Super, J.-P. Jalkanen, E. Majamäki, L. Johansson, V.-H. Peuch, and C. Pérez García-Pando: European primary emissions of criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases in 2020 modulated by the COVID-19 pandemic disruptions, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 14, 2521-2552, doi:10.5194/essd-14-2521-2022, 2022.
  • A. Lacima, H. Petetin, A. Soret, D. Bowdalo, O. Jorba, Z. Chen, R. F. Méndez Turrubiates, H. Achebak, J. Ballester, and C. Pérez García-Pand.: Long-term evaluation of surface air pollution in CAMSRA and MERRA-2 global reanalyses over Europe (2003–2020), Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss. [preprint], doi:10.5194/gmd-2022-197, in review, 2022.
  • H. Petetin, M. Guevara, S., Compernolle, D. Bowdalo, P.-A. Bretonnière, S. Enciso, O. Jorba, F. Lopez, A. Soret, and C. Pérez García-Pando: Potential of TROPOMI for understanding spatio-temporal variations in surface NO2 and their dependencies upon land use over the Iberian Peninsula, submitted to Atmos. Chem. Phys. [preprint], doi:10.5194/egusphere-2022-1056, in review, 2022.

Main Research Lines