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Konstantis Alexopoulos, BSc

Konstantis Alexopoulos, BSc

PhD in Polar Studies student

Quantifying the snow hydrology of the Greek alpine zone

Biography

Career

  • 2022 - present: Project & expedition leader, LiMnADs Project (Limnological Monitoring & Alpine Datasets), Greece.
  • 2022 - present: Field research assistant, Balkan Chamois Society, Greece.
  • 2022 - 2023: Coordinator of environmental monitoring & mapping, Archipelagos Instutute of Marine Conservation, Greece.

Qualifications

  • 2023 - present: PhD in Polar Studies. Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge (Girton College), UK. Funded by the Cambridge Trust and the Bodossaki Foundation.
  • 2018 - 2022: BSc (First class Honours) in Ocean Science & Marine Conservation. School of Biological and Marine Sciences, University of Plymouth, UK. Thesis: "Identifying the accuracy drivers of artisanal fishers' local environmental knowledge-based seagrass habitat mapping"

Awards

  • 2024: B.B. Roberts Fund via Scott Polar Research Institute
  • 2023: Pilman Conference Fund via Girton College
  • 2023 - 2026: George & Marie Vergottis Scholarship via Cambrdige Trust
  • 2023 - 2026: Bodossaki Foundation Scholarship
  • 2022: Cambridge University Engineering Society Grant (team)
  • 2020: Erasmus+ Student Mobility for Traineeships Grant
  • 2019: Ocean Giants Trust Scholarship

Research

Despite the important role of mountains as a water source, the absence of monitoring in Greece's high altitudes has created knowledge gaps on snowmelt's contribution to downstream water flow, posing a risk to water resource management in a warming climate. To tackle this, I am reconstructing many decades worth of snowfall over the Greek mountains. In doing so, I intend to enhance the precision of projections regarding the future climate and its impact on the country's water resources, while creating a methodology transferable to other overlooked mountain regions across the warming Mediterranean. To accomplish this I am employing a combination of datasets & tools including (a) innovative hydrometeorological field techniques, (b) satellite remote sensing, (c) climate reanalyses, and (d) state-of-the-art snowpack, runoff, and mesoscale weather prediction models.

Prior to joining the Scott Polar Research Instiute, my main research focus was on marine conservation. Most of my work was on marine benthic habitat mapping, where I employed a variety of instrument-based techniques (i.e. multibeam & single-beam echosounders, sidescan sonar, ROVs, UAVs), as well as citizen science, and specifically participatory mapping through inteviews with artisanal fishers of the Eastern Aegean Sea.

Publications

Peer-reviewed articles

2022

  • Rambahiniarison, J., Agustines, A., Alexopoulos, K., Araujo, G., Armstrong, A., Arnold, S., Barruga, A., Cañete, T., Conales, S., Delijero, K., Enolva, N., Flam, A., Keane, E., Labaja, J., Legaspi, C., Murie, C., Murray, R., Oliver, S., Pierce, S., Ponzo, A., Rohner, C., Schifferer, R., Snow, S., Spakowski, M., Stevens, G., Tilgel, T., Wong, J., Yaptinchay, A. & Barr, Y. (2022). Distribution of manta rays (Mobula alfredi and Mobula birostris) in the Philippines: A collaborative effort for conservation. Journal of Fish Biology, 110, 492–503. https://doi.org/10.1111/jfb.15283.
  • Dereli, H., Ünal, V., Miliou, A., Tsimpidis, T., Trompouki, I., Tosunoğlu, Z., Alexopoulos, K. & Ulman, A. (2022). Comparison of technical measures in the Aegean Sea to support harmonization of fisheries management policies. Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria, 52, 111–113. https://doi.org/10.3897/aiep.52.80083.

Conference contributions

2023

  • Alexopoulos, K. & Papaioannou, H. (2023). Balkan chamois habitat preference in the dry Mediterranean alpine zone during the summer & early fall period. In International Rupicapra Symposium 2023 [oral], Online, 4 December 2023.
  • Papaioannou, H. & Alexopoulos, K. (2023). Alpine habitat use of the Mt Olympus Balkan chamois population (Rupicapra rupicapra balcanica). In 11th Hellenic Ecological Society Cconference [oral], Patra, Greece, 4-7 October 2023.
  • Alexopoulos, K., Komninellis, S. S., Vlassis, E., Kaspar, B., O'Brien-Møller, D., Kalyvas, A., Gkotsis, P., Salmas, C., Dafis, S., Vafeiadis, V., Lagouvardos, K. & Papaioannou, H. (2023). LiMnADs Project: Studying the precious but threatened alpine lakes of Vikos-Aoos UNESCO Global Geopark. In 4th Conference of the UNESCO Global Geoparks in Greece and Cyprus [oral], Sitia UNESCO Global Geopark, Crete, Greece, 25-27 May 2023.
  • Alexopoulos, K., Komninellis, S. S., Vlassis, E., Kaspar, B., O'Brien-Møller, D., Kalyvas, A., Gkotsis, P., Salmas, C., Dafis, S., Vafeiadis, V., Lagouvardos, K. & Papaioannou, H. (2023). LiMnADs Project: Holistic environmental monitoring of the Mediterranean alpine zone. In 36th International Conference on Alpine Meteorology [poster], St. Gallen, Switzerland, 19-23 & 27 June 2023.

2021

  • Alexopoulos, K. (2021). Linstening to the locals: using coastal fishers' Local Environmental Knowledge for habitat mapping. In PlyMSEF 2021 [oral], Plymouth, UK, 27 October 2021.

External activities

  • Royal Geographical Society, Associate Fellow - Postgraduate
  • Cambridge Philosophical Society, Member
  • Association of Polar Early Career Scientists, Member

Mountain-based fieldwork/expeditions

  • Mt. Tymfi, Drakolimni (2050m asl.), Greece. SPRI & LiMnADs Project, December 2023. [Role: Team lead]
    Deploying a pressure sensor at the bottom of Mt. Tymfi's "Dragonlake" alpine lake, to measure snow water equivalent avobe its frozen surface over winter.
    Deploying a pressure sensor at the bottom of Mt. Tymfi's "Dragonlake" alpine lake, to measure snow water equivalent above the lake's frozen surface over winter.
  • Mt. Tymfi, Drakolimni (2050m asl.), Greece. LiMnADs Project, September 2023. [Role: Team lead]
    Tasks included (a) maintenance on automatic weather station (AWS), (b) deployment of prototype arduino-based underwater hydrological station, and (c) water sampling for microplastic (i.e. 150μm mesh net towed horizontally across lake's surface) and microbiological analyses (i.e. samples from different levels across the water column).
  • Arachthos gorge, Greece. Balkan Chamois Society, July 2023. [Role: Field assistant]
    Crossing remote parts of Arachthos gorge to install motion-activated cameras and conduct visual surveys, in an effort to map the distribution of the gorge's elusive Balkan chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra balcanica) population.
    Arachthos gorge, Greece. Balkan Chamois Society, August 2023.
  • Mt. Grammos, Gistova Lake (2350m asl.), Greece. LiMnADs Project, May 2023. [Role: Team lead]
    Marking water samples that were collected to monitor the bacterial flora of the lake. Samples analyzed at the University of Ioannina, Greece.
  • Mt. Tymfi, Drakolimni (2050m asl.), Greece. LiMnADs Project, May 2023. [Role: Team lead]
    Traversing across Mt. Tymfi's "Lakes Plateau", on our way back to camp after completing data collection.
    Mt. Tymfi, Dracolimni (2050m asl.), Greece. LiMnADs Project, May 2022.
  • Mt. Smolikas, Drakolimni (2200m asl.), Greece. LiMnADs Project & Palaeolus Project, May 2023. [Role: Team co-lead]
    Collected lake sediment cores from Smolika's alpine lake.
  • Mt. Tymfi, Drakolimni (2050m asl.), Greece. LiMnADs Project, December 2022. [Role: Team lead]
    Approaching the weather station installed on site a few months earlier - in collaboration with the National Observatory of Athens - to retrieve data & check its condition. At the time, the station had recorded the highest wind gust ever recorded in Greece, of 174km/h.
    Mt. Tymfi, Dracolimni (2050m asl.), Greece. LiMnADs Project, December 2022.
  • Mt. Tymfi, Drakolimni (2050m asl.), Greece. LiMnADs Project, October 2022. [Role: Team lead]
    Setting up an autonomous underwater station for hydrological monitoring in an alpine lake. This was the first attempt for continuous hydrological monitoring in a Greek alpine lake.
    Mt. Tymfi, Dracolimni (2050m asl.), Greece. LiMnADs Project, October 2022.
  • Mt. Olympus (2918m asl.), Greece. Balkan Chamois Society, July 2022. [Role: Field assistant]
    Collecting data on Balkan chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra balcanica) distribution, demographics, and ethology. Field data paired with satellite remote sensing, allowed us to understand habitat preferences of the species.
    Mt. Olympus (2918m asl.), Greece. Balkan Chamois Society July 2022.