I currently have several projects underway or about to begin. If you are a potential graduate student or postdoctoral researcher interested in any of these topics, please feel free to contact me! Or for more details on our projects, see below.
Interested undergraduate students, please contact me directly.
Interested graduate students may apply to work with me at UCSB in two ways (deadlines in mid-December):
Through the Bren School PhD program
Or through the Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Marine Sciences
Variability in the Walker Circulation over the Last Millennium
(Ph.D. Student Opportunity)
The Walker circulation is one of the dominant features of the atmospheric general circulation, setting the strength of the equatorial trade winds and playing a strong role in the El Nino/Southern Oscillation cycle. However, there is still much debate about the sign and magnitude of 20th century trends in the Walker circulation relative to pre-industrial variability, as well as the mechanisms driving those trends. On this NSF-funded project, I am collaborating with my colleagues Bronwen Konecky at Washington University in St. Louis and Sloan Coats at the University of Hawaii; we will be combining isotope-enabled climate model simulations of the past millennium with global syntheses of isotope-based paleoclimate proxies to create new estimates of Walker Circulation strength.
PhD Student Funding Available! I am recruiting a Ph.D. student to work on this project - the details are open to discussion of course, but will involve analyzing climate model experiments (and maybe running your own!), along with working with observational and paleoclimate data. This is a great opportunity for a thesis project that will give you a solid grounding in both model- and observation-based techniques, and there are opportunities for travel to the University of Hawaii, Wash. U., and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
21st Century Changes to Interannual/Decadal Climate Variability
(Ph.D. Student Opportunity)
The El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) drives climate variability around the world, but climate models completely disagree on how its properties will change in the future. This likely relates to physical differences between models; part of the story probably has to do with interactions between ENSO and midlatitude decadal variability (the so-called ‘meridional modes’). This DOE-funded project aims to use state-of-the-art climate model ensembles of future projections, combined with simplified statistical models, to decompose the mechanisms for differences across models and relate this to changes in the 21st century strength of climate variability. Additionally, we are creating a brand-new ‘large ensemble’ of simulations with the DOE’s new climate model, the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM).
PhD Student Funding Available! I am recruiting a Ph.D. student to work on this project - the details are open to discussion here as well, but you will have the opportunity to work closely with our team on analyzing new output from the E3SM and other climate simulations (and possibly running some experiments), and understanding the reasons for inter-model differences in their 21st century behavior. This project will be mainly model-based, but you will have the opportunity to learn about both coupled climate models and statistical methods, and to visit our colleagues at the NOAA Earth System Research Lab, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Los Alamos National Lab.