I am a climate scientist studying the interactions between the atmosphere and the biosphere with models, observations, and data analysis. A goal of my research is to quantify a variety of feedbacks that can amplify or dampen the effects of climate change. In particular, I am interested in the influence of land use and land cover change on the climate and how climate change can affect the biosphere. My research is centered on three large regions of the Earth - the Arctic boreal forest and tundra ecosystems, the tropical forests of South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia, and the agro-ecosystems of North America. I use a variety of global and regional climate models as well as dynamic global vegetation models in my research. You can learn more about my research using the links below.
I also love to teach! The courses I offer (or have offered in the past) are listed below:
ESPM-1425 : The Atmosphere (Spring 2008)
Ecological Climatology (planned, Spring 2009)
Climate and Ecological Modeling (planned, Fall 2009)
ATMS-597N : Ecological Climatology (@ U. of Illinois, Fall 2005)
ATMS-300 : Weather Processes (@ U. of Illinois, Fall 2006, 2007)
ATMS-100 : Introduction to Meteorology (@ U. of Illinois, Spring 2005, 2006, 2007)
My Research Areas
The Arctic Climate System
One of the most pressing environmental crises we are experiencing is the large-scale changes to the Arctic environment from high-latitude warming and global climate change. The Arctic landscape is undergoing rapid changes that have important consequences not only for the polar region, but throughout the Northern Hemisphere by way of atmospheric teleconnections. Read more about the causes and effects of high-latitude warming on Arctic terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere.
The climatic effects of tropical deforestation have been studied in great detail, however, it is only recently that climate models have become sophisticated enough to explore the potential effects of deforestation and other tropical land use and land cover changes on the regional and global climate. Learn how Amazonian deforestation can affect the climate in Siberia and how the atmosphere can dynamically respond to pan-tropical land cover changes.
North American Agro-Ecosystems
Ever wonder why it is so humid here in the Midwest in summer? Learn about the effect that agriculture has on the regional and global climate. Find out about precipitation recycling and how drought and pluvial events are influenced by agricultural land use practices. Learn how biosphere and climate models can be used to explore issues such as crop suitability, water resources, and food security under a changing climate.
Want to know more about my work with coupled atmosphere-ocean-biosphere models? Want to learn about the IBIS dynamic global vegetation model? Are you interested in the numerical tools and computing resources that I use in my research? Click here to learn more about the interesting atmosphere and biosphere modeling work we are doing at the University of Minnesota.