I am a postdoctoral associate working with Prof. Bob Kopp in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University. At Rutgers I explore sea-level projections, structural and parametric uncertainties in glaciological and atmospheric processes, and paleoclimate//observational constraints on future sea level change.
Future Antarctic contributions to sea-level rise have deep uncertainty (meaning that because of poorly known physics, experts cannot agree on a single probability distribution for future outcomes). The physical drivers of Antarctic ice-sheet mass loss are not well understood, and there is disagreement between experts on how Antarctica will respond to climate warming (e.g. Bamber et al. 2019). As the climate system warms and ice-sheets continue to melt, it is imperative to better understand their physics, particularly ice-sheet instabilities, to reduce uncertainty in projections. This requires a synthesis of observed ice-sheet changes and ice-sheet modeling, but we only have ~30 years of modern ice-sheet observations, and the instabilities that could drive rapid ice-sheet disintegration have not yet been observed at scale.
I have turned to the geological record to bridge this gap between observations and models. I use machine learning techniques to explore paleoclimate evidence can be combined with ice-sheet models to inform future sea-level rise projections. I also synthesize these calibrated projections with a probabilistic projection framework (e.g. Kopp et al. 2017) to assess regional sea-level rise, and partnering with Climate Central to visualize and communicate these changes. I am also a research partner with the Climate Impact Lab.
My first interests in weather and climate developed when I experienced first-hand the intensity and damaging impacts of Hurricane Jeanne in 2004 (listen to my interview about this experience, feature in the AMS Oral History Project). I received my Bachelor’s degree in Meteorology from the Florida State University in 2012. At FSU as an undergraduate research assistant at the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies, I worked directly with Assistant State Climatologist, performed quality control on shipboard data, and researched the climatic impacts of the El Niño Southern Oscillation on Southeastern US temperatures.
I attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 2012-2018. Advised by Prof. Susan Solomon, I successfully defended my doctoral thesis entitled “The Tropopause Region Thermal Structure and Tropical Cyclones” in December 2017 and graduated with my PhD in February 2018.
During my doctoral studies, I investigated the variability of water vapor and ozone in the tropical tropopause layer, and its radiative impacts. I considered how these radiative effects alter the temperatures of the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere, and the interplay between these temperatures and aspects of the climate system such as atmospheric stability and the strength of tropical cyclones. I am generally interested in how long-term changes in lower stratospheric water vapor affect the climate system through radiative feedbacks. It is fascinating to explore how lower stratospheric ozone and water vapor have changed in the past and will evolve in the future.
Other research interests include the impacts of climate change–such as increases in human heat stress and coastal risks–as well as the role that the policy process plays in addressing the challenges posed by climate change.
A 1-page version of my academic CV can be found below (updated Feb. 2021); a full length CV is available upon request.
Beyond science, I enjoy reading, drinking coffee, being involved in my community, and playing/watching online games and board games.