I am a fifth year graduate student in the department of Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine, co-advised by Dr. Jim Randerson and Dr. Charlie Zender. I also work in close collaboration with Dr. Kathleen Treseder. Please feel free to ask me about the Randerson, Zender, or Treseder Labs.
My dissertation focus is how climate and climate change affect human health and more specifically, infectious diseases.
I study coccidioidomycosis, also known as valley fever, an infectious disease caused by the inhalation of airborne fungal spores. As our climate changes, the atmospheric transport patterns and habitable environment of this species is hypothesized to shift, causing new populations to be exposed to the disease. I am interested in relating past epidemiological trends of valley fever cases to climate and environmental factors which influence the life cycle of the fungi. I then use these relationships to forecast what new populations may be susceptible to contracting valley fever in response to future climate change.
I am also studying how climate shapes the spatial and temporal patterns of West Nile virus. West Nile virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in humans in the United States.
Apart from infectious diseases, I study particulate matter air quality (PMAQ) throughout the Borrego Springs, CA region. Borrego Springs (pop. ~3500) is located in the heart of Anza Borrego Desert State Park, a popular destination for tourism and recreation. The residents of Borrego Springs are concerned about deteriorating air quality in the region due to recent drought, increased off-road vehicle activity, changes in agricultural practices, and other factors, thus warranting an analysis of PMAQ through satellite data, in-situ measurements, and regional weather/dust modeling.
Other interests include aviation and transportation meteorology.
Please see the links above for more information on my current projects.