College of Arts and Sciences

Auroral and Atmospheric Physics

Contact Information

Dr. Peter Erdman

Professor | MSEP Program Coordinator

Physical Sciences

Work: 386-226-6712


Mike Hickey:

Dr. Mike Hickey develops and runs numerical models to simulate the propagation and effects of acoustic-gravity waves in planetary atmospheres. Recent studies include the generation of acoustic-gravity waves by tsunamis and their subsequent propagation to the upper atmosphere where they perturb the ionosphere; the ducting of gravity waves in natural waveguides in the upper atmosphere; the upward transport of horizontal momentum by gravity waves and its impact on the atmospheric mean state; the effect of gravity waves on chemiluminescent airglow emissions emanating from the upper atmosphere; the effect of molecular diffusion on group velocity; and the propagation and dissipation of acoustic-gravity waves in a binary gas.

Space Physics Research Laboratory (SPRL):

Drs. Sivjee, Hughes and Zettergren

Earth's atmosphere is naturally divided into a number of different regions based on the temperatures and densities at different altitudes. Solar photons and particles interact with these various layers to produce a wide variety of effects which include, for example,  auroras, nightglow and atmospheric heating or cooling. Faculty and student researchers in SPRL investigate these effects primarily using a suite of ground-based spectrometers, interferometers and photometers. Detailed observations of the light emitted by the atmosphere combined with theoretical models provide insights into how the Sun and its activity impact Earth's atmosphere.

John Olivero:

Dr Olivero's interests are in the composition, chemistry, and transport within the neutral mesosphere and lower thermosphere.  He has engaged in remote sensing from the surface, from rockets, from satellites, and from the Space Shuttle using gamma-rays, UV, visible, IR, and microwave measurements.  His current research focuses primarily on "clouds at the edge of space" - Polar Mesospheric Clouds (also known as Noctilucent Clouds) - their origins, microphysics, and connection to Global Change.


Gulamabas Sivjee Dr. Gulamabas Sivjee


Physical Sciences

Dr. Gulamabas Sivjee is a Professor of Physical Sciences in the Physical Sciences Department of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach College of Arts & Sciences.

John Hughes Dr. John Hughes

Associate Professor of Engineering Physics, EP Program Coordinator

Physical Sciences

Dr Hughes is the Engineering Physics Program Coordinator, and faculty advisor to the Engineering Design Club (EnDeC).

Matthew Zettergren Dr. Matthew Zettergren

Assistant Professor

Physical Sciences

Dr. Matthew Zettergren is a physical sciences assistant professor in the Physical Sciences Department of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach College of Arts & Sciences.

John Olivero Dr. John Olivero


Physical Sciences

John Olivero studies the physics, chemistry, and dynamics of the upper atmosphere.

Michael Hickey Dr. Michael P. Hickey

Professor | Dean of Research and Graduate Studies

Physical Sciences

In the College of Arts & Sciences Michael Hickey has been the main leader in following up research opportunities and encouraging faculty participation. He has encouraged proposals in each of our academic disciplines and continues to do so.

John Mathis Dr. John Mathis

Associate Professor

Physical Sciences

Dr. John Mathis is an Associate Professor of Physical Sciences at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Mark Reynolds Dr. Mark Anthony Reynolds

Associate Professor, PS Curriculum Coordinator

Physical Sciences

Anthony Reynolds is the Curriculum Coordinator for Physical Sciences, coordinating the lower division physics and chemistry courses. He conducts research in space plasma physics, and focuses on nonlinear waves and electric propulsion. He is also the Faculty Advisor to the Society of Physics Students.

Edwin Mierkiewicz Dr. Edwin Mierkiewicz

Assistant Professor

Physical Sciences

Edwin Mierkiewicz’s research focuses on the development and application of optical instrumentation for the study of terrestrial aeronomy, solar system astronomy, and the physics of the interstellar medium.