Photo of Sergej Zilitinkevich

Sergej Zilitinkevich

Prof., Dr.Sci.

  • PL 64 (Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2)




Research output per year

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Personal profile

Curriculum vitae

Sergej Zilitinkevich Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Short CV:

Extended CV:

Personal data: Date and place of birth: 13.04.1936, Leningrad, Soviet Union (St. Petersburg, Russia) & Citizenship: Russian and Swedish; residence: Helsinki (Finland)

Contact information: Phones: +358-505-732-203; +358-294-151-063; +358-504-489-310 & E-mails: &

Education and degrees

  • 1997 - Professor of Meteorology: Uppsala University, Sweden
  • 1972 - Professor of Geophysics: Presidium of Academy of Sciences of USSR
  • 1970 - Droctor of Science in Physics & Mathematics: P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Academy of Sciences USSR
  • 1962 - PhD Physics & Mathematics: Leningrad Hydrometeorological Institute, USSR
  • 1959 - graduated from the Faculty of Physics, Leningrad University, USSR

Employment record

  • 2018-present - Research Director: Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research, University of Helsinki (Finland)
  • 2011-present - Visiting Scientist/ Professor: Universities of Nizhny Novgorod, Moscow, Tyumen; Institute of Geography Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia)
  • 2008-2020 - Research Professor: Finnish Meteorological Institute; Research Director: Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Department of Physics, University of Helsinki (Finland)
  • 2004-2007 - Marie Curie Chair: Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Department of Physics, University of Helsinki (Finland)
  • 1998-2003 - Professor and Chair of Meteorology: Uppsala University (Sweden), (now Professor Emeritus)
  • 1991-1997 - Visiting Professor: Max Planck Institute of Meteorology; Hamburg University; Alfred Wegener Institute of Polar and Marine Research; GKSS Research Centre (Germany)
  • 1990-1990 - Visiting Professor: RISØ National Laboratory (Denmark)
  • 1959-1990 - Main Geophysical Observatory: Head of Lab, Institute of Lake Research: Senior Scientist, Institute of Oceanology Russian Academy of Sciences: Founding Head of the Leningrad Branch, Russian State Hydrometeorological University: Professor (Russia)

Major external funding (as project-leader since 2004)

  • 2020-2023 - EU Commission: Erasmus+ Grant 619285-EPP-1-2020-1-FI-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP "Multilevel Local, Nation- and Regionwide Education and Training in Climate Services, Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation", ClimEd, (834 kEUR), University of Helsinki, Finland
  • 2018-2020 - Academy of Finland (2nd bilateral RU-FI call / PI FMI team): Grant 314795 "Mechanisms, pathways and patchiness of the Arctic ecosystem responses and adaptation to changing climate", ClimEco, (250 kEUR), Finnish Meteorological Institute, Finland
  • 2015-2019 - EU Commission: Erasmus+ Grant 561975-EPP-1-2015-1-FI-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP "Adaptive learning environment for competence in economic and societal impacts of local weather, air quality and climate", ECOIMPACT, (~1 MEUR), University of Helsinki, Finland
  • 2014-2017 - Academy of Finland (1st bilateral RU-FI call): Grant 280700 "Atmosphere-hydrosphere interaction in Baltic Basin and Arctic Seas" (373 kEUR), Finnish Meteorological Institute, Finland
  • 2015-2018 - Russian Science Foundation: Grant 15-17-20009 "Physical Nature and Modelling of Atmospheric Boundary Layer" (~1.4 MEUR), Nizhny Novgorod University, Russia
  • 2014-2015 - EU Commission: ERC PoC Grant 632295 "Integrated monitoring and forecasting system for local weather and microclimate", (150 kEUR), Finnish Meteorological Institute, Finland
  • 2011-2015 - Russian Mega-Grant 11.G34.31.0048 "Air-sea/land interaction: physics and observation of PBLs" (~4.7 MEUR), Nizhny Novgorod University, Russia,
  • 2010-2013 - EU Commission: TEMPUS 159352-FI-JPHES "Development of qualification framework in meteorology" (~1 MEUR), University of Helsinki, Finland
  • 2009-2013 - EU Commission: ERC-Ideas Advanced Grant 227915 "Atmospheric PBLs: physics, modelling and role in Earth system", (2.4 MEUR), Finnish Meteorological Institute, Finland,
  • 2007-2010 - EU Commission: TEMPUS JEP 26005 "Development of competency-based two-level curricula in meteorology", (~500 kEUR), University of Helsinki, Finland
  • 2004-2007 - EU Commission: Marie Curie Chair "Planetary boundary layers (PBLs): theory, modelling and role in Earth System", (~500 kEUR), University of Helsinki, Finland

Supervision and teaching: Supervised 25 PhD and Dr. Sci. dissertations in meteorology, physical oceanography and space research: created and taught 7 original university courses in the above areas, and also in geophysics and science management in Russia, Germany, Sweden and Finland; created and taught worldwide short courses on turbulence and boundary layers, particularly at the Von Karman Institute of Fluid Dynamics, Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture (Erice), International Centre for Theoretical Physics (Trieste).

Publications: 10 books, over 200 peer-reviewed papers and 3 literary works. Number of citations over 7000, h-index 45; first or single author in the vast majority of papers making h-index (

International conferences, workshops and seminars: During last 10 years took part in organisation of over 30 international events and gave over 80 keynote / invited talks

Membership in editorial boards of scientific journals: Currently, member of the board in: International Geography, Environment, Sustainability (since 2008), Advances in Applied Physics (since 2012); Russian Ice & Snow (since 2014), Proceedings of Moscow University (Series Geography, since 2014), Marine Hydrophys. J. (since 2014); Ukrainian Ukrainian Hydromet. J. (since 2014)

Research biography

Sergey Zilitinkevich (SZ) graduated from Leningrad University in 1959 as theoretical physicist and made the research career in theory of geophysical/astrophysical turbulence, physics of the Earth and planetary atmospheres and hydrosphere: 1962 PhD; 1964 appointed as head of Lab of Air Pollution at Main Geophysical Observatory, Leningrad; 1966 founded Leningrad Branch (focused on turbulence, PBLs and air-sea interaction) of the Moscow Institute of Oceanology Acad. Sci. USSR; 1968 degree of Dr. Sci., initiated inter-institutional cooperation in physics of the atmosphere and ocean through the annual all-USSR workshops, appointed as leader of the sub-programme on planetary atmospheres of the USSR National Space Research Programme “Venera” (Venus); 1970 appointed as Chair of the USSR National Commission on Air-Sea Interaction; 1972 academic title of Professor of Geophysics assigned by the Presidium of Acad. Sci. USSR. In USSR, SZ has published a hundred peer reviewed papers and 6 books on planetary boundary layers, air-sea interaction, environmental turbulence, general circulations of Earth’s and planetary atmospheres, theory of climate and physical aspects of modelling water ecosystems. In 1990 SZ moved to Western Europe. 1990 Denmark: Visiting Professor at Wind Energy Department of RISOE National Laboratory. 1991-1997 Germany: Visiting Professor and leader of projects at Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI), University of Hamburg, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), and Institute for Hydrophysics at GKSS Research Centre in Gessthacht. 1998-2003 Sweden: Professor and Chair of Meteorology at Uppsala University. Since 2004 Finland: Research Professor at FMI; Marie Curie Chair and later Research Director – coordinator of a series of EU projects at the Institute of Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR), University of Helsinki; since 2012 Chief Scientist of the international program Pan-Eurasian Experiment (PEEX, established and led by Markku Kulmala:, involving groups from Western Europe, Russia, China and Japan and focused on Climate Change and Global Pollution.

Research profile and main results

The main expertise of Sergej Zilitinkevich is in physics of environmental turbulence and planetary boundary layers (PBLs). Over half a century his works pioneered the following basic research responding to major challenges from weather and air-quality prediction and climate modelling: (i) turbulence-closure – tool for modelling turbulent transport and dispersion; (ii) drag and heat/mass transfer at the Earth surface – tool for modelling turbulent fluxes linking the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere  and biosphere into climate and Earth systems; and (iii) physical nature of PBLs – tool for modelling microclimates, fine features of weather, and extreme weather events.
See more details on the profile and results:

Honours and awards

2015 - Alfred Wegener Medal-2015 of European Geoscience Union
2000 - Vilhelm Bjerknes Medal-2000 of European Geophysical Society
since 2016 - Doctor honoris causa, Odessa State Ecological University (Ukraine)
since 2015 - Doctor honoris causa, University of Pretoria (South Africa)
since 2015 - Doctor honoris causa, University of Nizhny Novgorod (Russia)
since 2015 - Honorary member of European Geoscience Union
since 2012 - Member of Societas Scientiarum Fennica (Mathematical & Physical Sciences)
since 2012 - Member of International Eurasian Academy of Sciences (Geosciences)
since 2009 - Member of Finnish Academy of Science and Letters (Geosciences)
since 2004 - Fellow of Royal Meteorological Society (UK)
since 2003 - Professor Emeritus, Uppsala University (Sweden)
since 2002 - Member of Academia Europaea (Earth and Cosmic Sciences)

Personal web-pages

University of Heksinki:

Selected publications (Papers in journals and Books)

Full list of publications:

Papers in journals
Zilitinkevich, S., et al., 1967: Dynamics of the boundary layer in the atmosphere. Izvestija, AN SSSR, FAO, 3, No. 3, 297-333.
Zilitinkevich, S.S., 1971: On turbulence and diffusion in free convection. Izvestija AN SSSR, FAO, 7, No. 12, 1263-1269.
Chalikov, D.V., Monin, A.S., Turikov, V.G., Zilitinkevich, S.S., 1971: Numerical experiments on the general circulation of the Venus atmosphere. Tellus, 23, No. 6, 483-488.
Zilitinkevich, S.S., 1972: On determination of height of Ekman boundary layer. Boundary-Layer Meteorol. (BLM), 3, 141-145.
Zilitinkevich, S.S., 1973: Shear convection. BLM., 3, 416-423
Zilitinkevich, S.S., Deardorff, J.W., 1974: Similarity theory for the planetary boundary layer of time-dependent height. J. Atmos. Sci. (JAS), 31, 1449-1452.
Zilitinkevich, S.S., 1975: Resistance laws and prediction equations for depth of planetary boundary layer. JAS, 32, 741-752.
Zilitinkevich, S.S., 1975: Comments on model of dynamics of inversion above convective boundary layer. JAS, 32, 991-992.
Monin, A.S., Zilitinkevich, S.S., 1977: Scale relations for global air-sea interaction. JAS, 34, 1214-1223.
Shakura, N.I., Sunyaev, R.A., Zilitinkevich, S.S., 1978: On the turbulent energy transport in accretion discs. Astron. Astrophys., 62, 179-187.
Zilitinkevich, S.S., et al., 1992: The thermal bar. J. Fluid Mech., 236, 27-42.
Zilitinkevich, S., Mironov, D., 1992: Theoretical model of thermocline. J. Phys. Oceanogr (JPO), 22, 988-996.
Zilitinkevich, S., et al., 1999: Third-order transport and turbulence in convective layers. JAS 56, 3463-3477.
Zilitinkevich, S., Calanca, P., 2000: An extended similarity-theory for the stably stratified atmospheric surface layer. Quart. J. Roy. Meteorol. Soc. (QJRMS), 126, 1913-1923.
Zilitinkevich, S.S., Grachev, A.A., Fairall, C.W., 2001: Scaling reasoning and field data on the sea-surface roughness lengths for scalars. JAS, 58, 320-325.
Zilitinkevich, S., 2002: Third-order transport and non-local turbulence in stably stratified surface layer. QJRMS 128, 913-925.
Zilitinkevich S.S., Esau, I.N., 2002: On integral measures of the neutral planetary boundary layers. BLM 104, 371-379.
Zilitinkevich S., Esau I., 2003: The effect of baroclinicity on depth of planetary boundary layers. QJRMSoc 129, 3339-3356.
Zilitinkevich S.S., Esau I.N., 2005: Resistance and heat/mass transfer laws for neutral and stable planetary boundary layers: old theory advanced and re-evaluated. QJRMS 131, 1863-1892.
Zilitinkevich, S.S., et al., 2006: The influence of convective eddies on the surface layer turbulence. QJRMS 132, 1423-1456.
Zilitinkevich, S.S., et al., 2007: Energy- and flux-budget turbulence closure for stably stratified flows. BLM 125, 167-192.
Zilitinkevich, S., et al., 2007: On the equilibrium height of neutral and stable planetary boundary layers. QJRMS 133, 265-271.
Zilitinkevich, S.S., et al., 2008: Turbulence energetics in stably stratified geophysical flows. QJRMS 134, 793-799.
Zilitinkevich, S.S., et al,, 2008: The effect of stratification on roughness length. BLM 129, 179-190.
Zilitinkevich, S.S., et al., 2009:  Energy- and flux-budget (EFB) turbulence closure model for stably stratified flows. Part II: The role of internal gravity waves. BLM 133, 139-164.  
Zilitinkevich, S.S., 2010: Self-organisation and non-local nature of geophysical turbulence. Geophysical J., No. 6, 168-174.
Zilitinkevich, S.S., et all., 2013: A hierarchy of energy- and flux-budget (EFB) turbulence closure models. BLM 146, 341-373.
Zilitinkevich S., Kulmala M., Esau I., Baklanov A., 2015: Megacities – refining models to personal environment. WMO Bulletin 64 (1), 20-22.
Ding A.J., Huang X., Nie W., Sun J.N., Kerminen V.-M., Petäjä T., Su H., Cheng Y.F., Yang X.-Q., Wang M.H., Chi X.G., Wang J.P., Virkkula A., Guo W.D., Yuan J., Wang S.Y., Zhang R.J., Wu Y.F., Song Y., Zhu T., Zilitinkevich S., Kulmala M., Fu C.B., 2016: Enhanced haze pollution by black carbon in megacities in China. Geophysical Research Letters. 43, 6, 2873-2879
Petäjä T., Järvi L., Kerminen V.-M., Ding A., Sun J., Nie W., Kujansuu J., Virkkula A., Yang X., Fu C., Zilitinkevich S., Kulmala M., 2016: Enhanced air pollution via aerosol-boundary layer feedback in China. Scientific Reports 6, 18998
Zilitinkevich S., et al., 2019: Dissipation rate of turbulent energy in stably stratified flows, Atmos. Chem. and Phys. 19, 1-7.
Kleeorin N., Rogachevskii I., Soustova I.A., Troitskaya Yu. I., Ermakova O. S., Zilitinkevich S, 2019: Internal waves in the energy and flux budget turbulence-closure theory for shear-free stably stratified flows Physical Review E 99, 063106
Zilitinkevich S.S., Repina I., Kadantsev E. 2020: Order out of chaos: Shifting paradigm of convective turbulence, JAS.

Zilitinkevich, S.S., 1970: Dynamics of the Atmospheric Boundary Layer, Gidrometeoizdat, Leningrad, 292 pp. (in Russian)
Druet, C., Kitaigorodskii, S.A., Ozmidov, R.V., and Zilitinkevich, S.S., 1972: Random Processes in Mechanics of Natural Water Reservoirs, Wydawnictwo Polskiej Akademii Nauk, Wroclaw, 176 pp. (in Polish)
Zilitinkevich, S.S., Monin, A.S., (Eds.) 1974: Dynamics of the Atmosphere of Venus, Nauka, Leningrad, 184 pp. (in Russian)
Zilitinkevich, S.S., Monin, A.S., and Chalikov, D.V., 1978: Air-Sea Interaction, Wydawnictwo Polskiej Akademii Nauk, Wroclaw, 282 pp. (in Polish)
Zilitinkevich, S.S., 1989: Turbulent Penetrative Convection, Valgus, Tallinn, 208 pp. (in Russian)
Treshnikov, A.F., Zilitinkevich, S.S., 1990: Lakes-Atmosphere Interaction, Nauka, Leningrad, 140 pp. (in Russian)
Zilitinkevich, S.S., (Ed.) 1991: Modeling Air-Lake Interaction. Physical Background, Springer Verlag, Berlin, 130 pp.
Zilitinkevich, S.S., 1991: Turbulent Penetrative Convection, Avebury Technical, Aldershot, 180 pp.  
Zilitinkevich S.S., 2013: Atmospheric Turbulence and Planetary Boundary Layers. Fizmatlit, Moscow, 248 pp.
WMO Training Book on Chemical Weather/Air Quality Forecasting (S. Zilitinkevich – one of lead authors, co-author of chapter 3.4: “Atmospheric Planetary Boundary Layer and Parameterizations of Boundary-Layer Processes”) WMO, 2020

Fields of Science

  • 114 Physical sciences
  • 1171 Geosciences
  • 119 Other natural sciences
  • Astrophysics

International and National Collaboration

Publications and projects within past five years.
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