I am interested in taking 1-2 new students this year in UCI’s Earth System Science Ph.D. program. A few science questions that I am interested in pursuing over the next several years are listed below. This list is meant to be illustrative and not comprehensive. Please email me if you would like to learn more about research in my lab: email@example.com.
- How is climate change influencing the behavior of wildfires in the western U.S. and boreal North America?
- What are the long-term consequences of climate change for global vegetation dynamics and sustainability of the Earth system?
- How is the contemporary carbon cycle changing, and how can we use new satellite observations to improve our understanding of annual and decadal-scale variability?
- How can we use atmospheric CO2 and isotope measurements with atmosphere and ocean models to better understand carbon sources and sinks?
- What are the human health and economic impacts of changing global wildfires?
- What are the limits to wildfire predictability on daily to seasonal timescales?
- What is the influence of fire on the global earth system, and how can we better represent fire within the Community Earth System and Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy models?
- What are the mechanisms driving large-scale changes in the hydrological cycle across different continents?
- How can we identify previously unexplored tipping points in the Earth system on time scales of centuries to millennia?
- How can we combine contemporary observations and earth system model simulations to reduce uncertainties in future projections of climate change?
Many of the research themes in my laboratory target ecosystem and biogeochemical processes and how they are changing at regional to global scales. Experience with the analysis of satellite data or the use and modification of global models is helpful for addressing some of these questions. Ph.D. and postdoctoral scholars in my research group often use some combination of Python, IDL, Matlab, ArcGIS, NCL, or FORTRAN programming languages in their research. Other students and postdocs have collected new aerosol, trace gas, or flux measurements. We also work with the Community Earth System Model (CESM), the Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy (ACME) earth system model, and the GEOS-Chem atmospheric model. Over the next several years, we plan to evaluate the representation of carbon cycle and ecosystem processes in earth system models that contribute simulations to the 6th Phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6).
I collaborate closely with colleagues working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Goddard Space Flight Center, DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley and Oak Ridge National Laboratories, and UCAR’s National Center for Atmospheric Research. Many of my students visit these labs over a period of a week to several months to learn new modeling or analysis skills. In California, I am interested in co-advising students with Professors Goulden and Huxman to better understand how climate change is influencing wildfire dynamics and ecosystem impacts. With Professor Padhraic Smyth in Computer Science, it would be exciting to co-advise students interested in predicting the behavior of wildfires on daily and seasonal time scales. With Professors Primeau and Moore, I would like work with students to explore new ways of using carbon isotopes to explore the changing anthropogenic carbon inventory of ocean and land reservoirs.