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Astrophysicist Natalie Christopher had been missing since Monday in Aegean island of Ikaria.

ATHENS: Greek police have launched a large-scale search for a 35-year-old British scientist who went missing on the Aegean island of Ikaria, officials said on Wednesday.

Nicosia-based astrophysicist Natalie Christopher, who had been on holiday with her partner, reportedly failed to return from a run on Monday.

“A police helicopter carrying officers and special equipment to locate missing persons left Athens on Tuesday night,” a spokeswoman for the Greek police told AFP.

They joined Ikaria port patrols, firefighters and volunteers already combing areas for the scientist, Northern Aegean police said in a statement.

According to Greek and Cypriot media, Christopher and her 38-year-old partner had arrived on Ikaria on Saturday and stayed near the port of Agios Kirykos. She left their hotel for a jog on Monday morning but never returned, her partner told media.

Police have opened a preliminary investigation into the circumstances of her disappearance.

The incident comes three weeks after the murder of US molecular biologist Suzanne Eaton on the Greek island of Crete.

The 59-year-old had been attending a conference near the city of Chania and gone out on July 2 without taking her mobile phone, the police said.

Her body was only found six days later in an abandoned World War II bunker near the town of Hania.

A 27-year-old farmer confessed to raping and killing Eaton, who had worked for the Max Planck Institute at Dresden University.--AFP

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