Agriculture and land use
Air pollution and
Cloud physics and
My long-term goal in research is to help create solutions that address global environmental challenges. Specifically, I aim to be a leading scientist and researcher in atmospheric sciences and generate findings that can positively influence policy. In my view, the most pressing challenges we face are in mitigating air pollution and climate change. I am especially interested in studying how these two fields interact. To achieve this ambition, I am trying to gain a broader understanding of the chemical and physical interactions within the atmosphere, which is why I started graduate school (September 2013) at Columbia University.
I currently work with Dr. Susanne Bauer and Dr. Kostas Tsigaridis on understanding the affects of biomass burning on the atmosphere and how it interacts with the climate system, through analyzing field measurements, satellite retrievals and the NASA GISS ModelE output. I'm also very fortunate to get feedback from two additional influential minds, Prof. Arlene Fiore and Dr. Gavin Schmidt, both are members on my Graduate Advisory Committee.
The motivation of my research stems from the important role that aerosols play in Earth's climate, and also their affect on human health as air pollutants. In contrast to anthropogenic aerosols, that are projected to decrease in the future as a result of emission controls, fire pollution, which is heavily related to land use practices and to population density, is expected to rise.
Lightning activity had always intrigued me, as reflected by my Master's thesis, which was advised by Prof. Colin Price. In that project I explored the spatial and temporal distribution of thunderstorms. To do so, lightning strokes detected by the World Wide Lightning Location Network were clustered into thunderstorm cells, in a cluster analysis method I developed. The results show that thunderstorms alone explain more than 90% in the variability of the global electric circuit. I also showed that from 00-09UT there are more thunderstorm cells over the oceans than over the continents, and that the mean number of thunderstorms at any given moment is about 1000.