In memoriam: Professor Jón Egill Kristjánsson
Professor of meteorology Jón Egill Kristjánsson in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Oslo passed away in a tragic accident in Jotunheimen National Park on the 14th of August, 2016, at age 55.
Professor Jón Egill Kristjánsson in a conference presenting a final report in the research programme EuTRACE, summer 2015 at IASS in Berlin. Photo: (c) IASS/David Ausserhofer.
Jón Egill Kristjánsson was born in Iceland in 1960. He studied in Bergen, where he took his PhD studying clouds in numerical models. He was hired at the University of Oslo in 1993 and has been employed here since then. His main research interests were the role of clouds in climate and the effect of aerosols on cloud formation and precipitation. He was also interested in the storm development over the North Atlantic, leading a large project on polar low pressure systems under the International Polar Year (IPY) program.
Kristjánsson was an international expert in his field. He published widely and was frequently invited to give seminars and to participate in projects, both in Norway and internationally. In recognition of his work, he received an honorary doctorate at the University of Stockholm in 2013. He was an advocate for basic research, but was also keenly aware of the responsibility that research entails, in particular that the results be used for the public good. He frequently worked together with the Norwegian Meteorological Institute to achieve this goal.
Jón Egill was a natural leader, and used much time and energy in the development of the Department of Geosciences. He had strong convictions. He argued clearly, in a calm and factual way, and was firm and steady. He was always well-prepared and acted with great integrity. Jón Egill’s social consciousness translated into a firm commitment to limit anthropogenic climate change. This led him, in recent years, to study possible interventions to combat severe climate change, so-called “geo-engineering”. His study of clouds in this context has enriched the field. His great interest in history and politics were also important elements in this area.
In addition, he had a deep commitment to teaching, both in the classroom and in advising masters and PhD students. He was greatly respected among students for his knowledge, enthusiasm and ability to transform young, promising students into mature researchers. As colleagues, we will miss his broad and deep knowledge, his thoroughness, his academic leadership, and not the least his good commentary, humor and laughter.
By Brit Lisa Skjelkvåle – Head of Department, Joe Lacasce, Terje Berntsen, Øystein Hov, Trond Iversen, Kirstin Krüger, Frode Stordal, Professors at Department of Geosciences, Section for Meteorology and Oceanography (MetOs), University of Oslo
Colleagues at Department of Geosciences