The Capes Thesis Award was created in 2005 by the Brazilian Federal Government and its Ministry of Education to promote high standards for post-graduate courses in Brazil. The Awards reward the best PhD theses and its respective scientific papers across each of the 48 areas of knowledge recognized by CAPES in postgraduate courses.

The candidates are registered by the postgraduate programs where the scientific research work was performed. The winners are selected by committees formed by members of the scientific community in each area. The evaluation process considers aspects of originality and relevance for scientific, technological, cultural, social, innovation and value-added development to the educational system.

For this year’s awards 1,421 PhD theses were entered, a record figure, with 94 receiving an honourable mention. Amongst those awarded an honourable mention was Brazilian PhD student Igor Oliveira Ribeiro for his project “Air pollution in the urban area of Manaus: modelling and observational aspects of biomass burning tracers”. Igor was supervised by Prof. Sergio Duvoisin Jnr and Prof. Rodrigo Augusto Ferreira de Souza of the Amazonas State University (UEA) and Prof. Scot Turnbull Martin of Harvard University.

For Igor Oliveira Ribeiro, the honourable mention distinction is a recognition of relevance of his research to contemporary crucial issues affecting his country. “It is an acknowledgement” he points out “of the high quality of scientific research that is developed in the Graduate Program in Climate and Environment at the State University of Amazonas in association with the National Institute for Research in the Amazon (INPA). This award will inspire me to continue scientific research and invest in the education of young people.” Igor commenced his research project in 2015 when Biomass burning had a significant effect on air pollution in Manaus during the 2015 El Nino. Igor sought to evaluate how the increased intensity and frequency of severe droughts in the Amazon region in recent decades and the increase in biomass burning events has had several negative socio-economic and environmental impacts in the city of Manaus.

“Now, it is necessary”, he says “to continue the research, while monitoring impacts of burning and air pollution in urban areas. We can also investigate on how to apply new technologies and concepts such as Internet of Things (IoT) and smart and sustainable cities to resolve problems. These are, he concludes, priority areas of concern for the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications”. For the final phase of this project, Igor received funding from the Cuomo Foundation within the framework of the IPCC Scholarship Program on climate change research.

International - Climate Change Research Program

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