Projet Feux | UMR SPE 6134
Research  | Research team

Lara Leonelli

          Position: PhD student 

          Section: 62 / 31


         UMR SPE CNRS 6134 Fire Project



Univ-corse logoThesis underway on Combustion

Characterisation of smoke released by controlled burn wildland fires: source terms, emission phases and impact on firefighters

University of Corsica, October 2014 - end 2017

Research fields

  • Forest fires
  • Calorimetry
  • Analytical chemistry


  • Experimental study on the flammability and combustion dynamics of plant fuels
  • Chemical characterisation of gasses and aerosols present in the smoke of plant fuels
  • Determination of source terms for emission models
  • Determination of firefighters’ level of exposure to smoke under working conditions


Author of three publications in international reviews, and has participated in two international conferences.

Significant publications

Barboni T., Leonelli L., Santoni P.A., Tihay-Felicelli V., "Influence of particle size on the heat release rate and smoke opacity during the burning of dead cistus leaves and twigs", Journal of Fire Sciences, 2017, in press

Leonelli L., Barboni, T., Santoni P.A., Quilichini Y., Coppalle A., "Characterization of aerosols emissions from the combustion of dead shrub twigs and leaves using a cone calorimeter", Fire Safety Journal, 2017, in press

Tihay-Felicelli V., Santoni P.A., Barboni T., Leonelli L., "Autoignition of dead shrub twigs: influence of diameter on ignition", Fire Technology, 2016, 52(3):897-929

Tihay V., Santoni P.A., Barboni T., Leonelli L., "Experimental and theoretical study of diameter effect on the ignition of cistus twigs", VII International Conference on Forest Fire Research, Nov 2014, Coimbra, Portugal. Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra, pp.179-189, 2014, Advances in Forest Fire Research


I’m 27 years old and I’m currently in my third doctoral year at the University of Corsica, under the guidance of Paul Antoine Santoni and Toussaint Barboni. I work with the fire team managed by Lucile Rossi. I work on the toxicity of smoke emitted by wildland fires Specifically, I analyse the smoke produced by the burning of plants and shrubs characteristic of island vegetation cover with the aim of determining their chemical composition as precisely as possible. I have gained experience both in the laboratory and on the field during controlled burns, working together with firefighters and foresters. This allows me to compare real conditions and laboratory conditions. The aim of my work is to provide data for fire simulation models to the scientific community, enabling it to predict the quantities of toxic compounds that could be released into the atmosphere during a fire, and the impact of this on health. The study that I’m conducting in the field will also allow me to gain insight into the impact of smoke on the health of firefighters in the short and medium term, depending on their exposure to the toxic compounds present therein.

I chose to study at the University of Corsica, and began with a degree in biology and environment in 2009 before specialising in chemistry. Thereafter I became interested in the management of natural risks, and I completed my studies for a Masters in major risks. I initially started working at the research laboratory for the development of farming for the INRA of Corte, focusing on the issue of fire on the farming process during the first year of my Masters. Then I began my work on the burning of plants at the University Forest Fire Laboratory, where I was an intern in the second year of my Master's degree. Once I had graduated, I wanted to continue my studies on natural hazards and specifically fire risks, so this was the starting point for my PhD.

Page mise à jour le 04/12/2017 par VAREILLE MATTHIEU