Born in Sykiada, island of Chios, Greece, in 1969. He graduated from the Physics Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 1993. His Diploma Thesis, submitted to this Department’s Laboratory of Astronomy, Section of Astrophysics, Astronomy and Mechanics, was entitled “Galaxy Formation and Study of the Large-Scale Structure of the Universe”. He was selected for a PhD Thesis entitled “Spatiotemporal Evolution of Complex Active Regions – Mechanisms of Energy Release in the Solar Corona” in 1994. He earned his PhD in 2000, following a nearly two-year army service between March 1998 and February 2000.
Between December 2000 and March 2003 he was employed as a PostDoctoral Research Associate by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) in Laurel, Maryland, USA. In March 2003, he was promoted to a JHU/APL Senior Professional Staff Physicist, a position he maintained until July 2009. Between September 2009 and October 2012 he held an Assistant Researcher position at the RCAAM of the Academy of Athens. He was promoted to a Senior Researcher in October 2012, a position he maintains to this day.
As of 2011 he is the assigned Greek National Delegate in the Science Programme Committee of the European Space Agency (ESA). He has also served as Vice President (2011 – 2014), and then President (2014 – 2017), of the European Physical Society’s Solar Physics Division (ESPD/EPS), Vice President (2014 – 2016), and then Secretary (2016 – 2018), of the Hellenic Astronomical Society (Hel.A.S.), Member of the Greek National Committee for Astronomy, Member of the Committee for Space Sciences of the Academy of Athens and Member of the National Delegate Team of the international Committee for Space Research (COSPAR). As a Principal Investigator or Project Coordinator he has managed several research grants from NASA, the US National Science Foundation (NSF), the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), ESA, the European Commission, the Greek General Secretariat of Research and Technology and the Research Committee of the Academy of Athens.
Between 2007 and 2009 he served as Project Scientist of the Solar Climate Explorer mission, proposed to NASA in the framework of the Small Explorers (SMEX) Program, and as Deputy Project Scientist of the NASA’s Parker Solar Probe mission, currently under implementation at JHU/APL. He also served as member of the science team in other space missions in the USA and Europe. Currently he is a member of the Steering Committee for ESA’s JUICE mission, the first Large Mission (L1) of the Agency’s Cosmic Vision Roadmap.
He is also member of the Hel.A.S. (1995), the American Geophysical Union (AGU; 2001), the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society (AAS/SPD; 2003), the European Physical Society (EPS; 2008) and the International Astronomical Union (IAU; 2012), where he currently serves as a Board Member of Commission CE.2 on Solar Activity.
He is active in heliophysics research and in solar and space weather forecasting. Since the start of his PhD Thesis he has published extensively in topics of Self-Organized Criticality and its application to solar flare triggering, statistical properties of solar flare occurrence, coronal heating by direct-current mechanisms (nanoflares), small-scale energy release in the low solar atmosphere (i.e., Ellerman bombs), extraction of empirical and magnetohydrodynamical diagnostics (e.g., forces, flows) from solar magnetic field measurements, analysis and interpretation of solar observations, solar flare forecasting, propagation of coronal mass ejections in the heliosphere and in alien asterospheres, and the practical calculation of fundamental physical parameters, such as magnetic energy and helicity, in solar photospheric and coronal magnetic configurations.
He has been honored with a highly competitive PhD Thesis Scholarship by the Hellenic Foundation for Scholarshipcs (IKY; 1996 – 2000), an Erasmus Scholarship from the European Astrophysical Doctoral Network (EADN) of the European Commission (1996 – 1997), a Special Achievement Award (JHU/APL; 2007) for the conception and publication of innovative solar magnetogram analysis techniques, a JHU/APL Certificate of Appreciation for outstanding contributions to NASA mission proposals (2008) and a Marie-Curie Fellowship from the European Commission (2010 – 2014). For a number of years (2008 – 2012) he was a member of the AAS/SPD Popular Writing Awards Committee for the selection of the best educational and public outreach articles and essays in the US, while he has served twice (2015, 2017) in the International Jury of Odysseus Projects I and II of the European Commission for the selection of the best space-related student projects in Europe. As of 2013 he is an Honorary Member of the Chios Astronomy Club, a certified amateur astronomy society in his birthplace.
He has participated in numerous education and public outreach (EPO) activities including, but not limited to, invited lectures for wide audiences, authorship of opinion and informational / educational articles to digital media and radio, newspaper and TV interviews. In addition, he is the author of the wide-audiences book “Solar Flares – Space Weather” of the Series “Short Introductions” of Papadopoulos Publishing (to appear in 2018 – in Greek).
He has authored or co-authored tens of peer-reviewed papers and articles for conference proceedings and special volumes, with the total number exceeding 100. He has also served as Guest Editor in four fully peer-reviewed special volumes and issues. His third-party citations are also numerous, reflected on a current h-index of 26 (NASA/ADS) or 28 (Google Scholar). He is ranked within the top 5% of the scientists of all fields comprising the ResearchGate database.
More information about the research projects he currently manages or coordinates can be found in the following links:
A selected list of important publications spanning over more than two decades is the following:
- Vlahos, L., Georgoulis, M., Kluving, R. & Paschos, P.: “The Statistical Flare”, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 299, 897 (1995). Bibliographic code: 1995A&A...299..897V
- Georgoulis, M. K., Einaudi, G. & Velli, M.: “Statistical Properties of Magnetic Activity in the Solar Corona”, Astrophysical Journal, 497, 957 (1998). DOI: 10.1086/305486
- Georgoulis, M. K., Rust, D. M., Bernasconi, P. N. & Schmieder, B.: “Statistics, Morphology and Energetics of Ellerman Bombs”, Astrophysical Journal, 575, 506 (2002). DOI: 10.1086/341195
- Georgoulis, M. K.: “A New Technique for a Routine Azimuth Disambiguation of Solar Vector Magnetograms”, Astrophysical Journal Letters, 629, L69 (2005). DOI: 10.1086/444376
- LaBonte, B. J., Georgoulis, M. K. & Rust, D. M.: “Survey of Magnetic Helicity Injection in Regions Producing X-class flares”, Astrophysical Journal, 671, 955 (2007). DOI: 10.1086/522682
- Georgoulis, M. K. & Rust, D. M.: “Quantitative Forecasting of Major Solar Flares”, Astrophysical Journal Letters, 661, L109 (2007). DOI: 10.1086/518718
- Georgoulis, M. K., Rust, D. M., Pevtsov, A. A., Bernasconi, P. N. & Kuzanyan, K.: “Solar Magnetic Helicity Injected into the Heliosphere: Magnitude, Balance and Periodicities over Solar Cycle 23”, Astrophysical Journal Letters, 705, L48 (2009). DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/705/1/L48
- Georgoulis, M. K.: “Are Solar Active Region with Major Flares More Fractal, Multifractal, or Turbulent than Others?”, Solar Physics, 276, 161 (2012). DOI: 10.1007/s11207-010-9705-2
- Aschwanden, M. J., Crosby, N. B., Dimitropoulou, M., Georgoulis, M. K., et al.: “25 Years of Self-Organized Criticality: Solar and Astrophysics”, Space Science Reviews, 198, 47 (2016). DOI: 10.1007/s11214-014-0054-6
- Patsourakos, S., Georgoulis, M. K., Vourlidas, A., et al.: “The Major Geoeffective Solar Eruptions of 2012 March 7: Comprehensive Sun-to-Earth Analysis”, Astrophysical Journal, 817, article id. 14 (2016). DOI: 10.3847/0004-637X/817/1/14
- Patsourakos, S. & Georgoulis, M. K.: “A Helicity-Based Method to Infer the CME Magnetic Field Magnitude in Sun and Geospace: Generalization and Extension to Sun-Like and M-Dwarf Stars and Implications for Exoplanet Habitability”, Solar Physics, 292, 89 (2017). DOI: 10.1007/s11207-017-1124-1
- Georgoulis, M. K.: “The Ambivalent Role of Field-Aligned Electric Currents in the Solar Atmosphere”, Invited AGU Monograph in Electric Currents in Geospace and Beyond (Eds., A. Keiling, O. Marghitu and M. Wheatland), J. Wiley & Sons (2018), in press