"The Climate School postdoc program was one of the most important steps in building my career in climate-related science, providing exactly the foundation I needed for future success. I had incredible opportunities to pursue research grants and collaborate with world-class scientists in hydrology, geochemistry, social science, and law. The program also gave me flexibility to publish independent and collaborative research with exceptional co-authors.”
Here’s What We Know About How Climate Change Fuels Hurricanes
When Hurricane Ian hit Florida, it was one of the United States’ most powerful hurricanes on record, and it followed a two-week string of massive, devastating storms around the world.
Preparing for Volcanic Eruptions at Okmok Volcano, Alaska
Researchers are working at a remote ranch in the Aleutians, commuting by helicopter to the brim of a volcano to perform maintenance on their monitoring equipment.
Come Visit Us at Lamont Open House
Our favorite family-friendly event of the year is back in person. Come out to Palisades, NY, on October 8 for some fun, hands-on science education.
Thalia Balkaran (2021-2023 Cohort)
Thalia Balkaran has conducted research in many of the small islands of the Caribbean region focused on vulnerability, sustainable livelihoods and disaster risk reduction. She received her PhD in Environmental Management from The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. Her research focused on the vulnerability of Micro, Small and Medium Tourism Enterprises to tropical cyclones in Jamaica and Tobago. She was a double scholarship recipient from The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF-SPC) and The Enhancing Knowledge and Application of Comprehensive Disaster Management (EKACDM) Initiative, funded by Global Affairs Canada. She also received an undergraduate degree in Geology and Geography from The University of the West Indies. She will work with Jeffrey Schlegelmilch at The National Center for Disaster Preparedness at The Earth Institute on the Resilient Children/Resilient Communities Initiative. Her research will place emphasis on building child-focused resilience in post-disaster settings in The United States and the Caribbean. The main goal of this research is to advance the knowledge of material related to children, their resilience and disasters.
She can be found on Twitter: @balkaran_t.
Amanda Baxter (2020-2022 Cohort)
Amanda Baxter is an electrochemist broadly interested in sustainable energy research. She completed her Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Southern California. There, her most recent work focused on improving catalyst performance in fuel cells. At the Earth Institute, Amanda is working toward fuel production from seawater and renewable energy with integrated carbon capture and storage. Overall, this process enables clean fuel production and negative carbon emissions while consuming only abundant natural resources: renewable energy, seawater, air and silicate minerals. Therefore, such an approach could be implemented on a large scale to help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and combat climate change.
Festival Godwin Boateng (2020-2022 Cohort)
Festival Godwin Boateng is a critical postcolonial institutional political economist, specializing in sustainable development in Africa. He approaches questions about Africa’s development by linking dots discursively and systematically from the past to the present and from the local to the global to provide a critical account of the inherited/historical, internal, and external factors which intersecting interplays and resulting transformations are determining socio-legal-cultural and political-economic outcomes in the continent. Some of his works have appeared in prestigious journals like World Development; International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction and Nature: Humanities and Social Sciences Communications. His current research at Columbia University’s Earth Institute focuses on cleaner, safer, and affordable mobility in Africa.
Isatis M. Cintron-Rodriguez (2022-2024 Cohort)
Isatis M. Cintron-Rodriguez is a Puertorrican climate scientist studying the chemistry, transport and impacts of air pollutants on the cryosphere and Small Island Developing States. She has a long track record of community organizing and capacity building in Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Region focusing on climate governance and ethics to expand the civic space at the UNFCCC and national levels. She works at the intersection of science, governance and civic diplomacy building bridges between citizens, policymakers and scientists. She has won the National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow Award and her work has been supported by the Union of Concerned Scientists to make citizens’ assemblies to build a community-led NDC for Puerto Rico, a blueprint that has served to coordinate and deploy citizens assemblies globally for broadening spaces for civic engagement at the local and international levels.
Dylan S. Davis (2022-2024 Cohort)
Dylan is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow funded by the National Science Foundation and hosted in the Climate School at Columbia University. He is an archaeologist specializing in remote sensing applications and human-environmental interaction. Dylan's work focuses primarily on settlement distributional patterns and their connections to environmental factors in island and coastal regions. Ultimately, his work seeks to further our understanding of how people interact with and are affected by their environment. Dylan's ongoing research seeks to understand the role that socioeconomic strategies play in long-term ecological change across landscapes. Specifically, his postdoctoral research focuses on how soil and vegetation are impacted by foraging, pastoralism, and agricultural activities and how sustainability is impacted by these differing socioeconomic systems. Dylan earned his Ph.D. in Anthropology in 2022 from Penn State. He also has an MA (2018) and BS (2017) in Anthropology and a BA (2017) in Geography from Binghamton University.
Sarah Garland (2020-2022 Cohort)
Sarah received her Ph.D. in Plant Sciences from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, as a recipient of the Cambridge International Scholarship. Her doctoral work focused on generating new methods of plant gene editing for both basic research and agricultural applications. Outside of the lab, she was a leader of the Cambridge Food Security Forum and a member of the Cambridge Global Food Security Interdisciplinary Research Centre steering committee. At the Earth Institute, Sarah will work with Glenn Denning to explore the role of emerging biotechnology in developing sustainable agriculture systems and construct recommendations for research, policy, and investment. Sarah holds a B.S. in Biology from Duke University. Sarah was an intern at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy during the Obama Administration where she first became interested in biotechnology regulation and global food security.
Daniel Green (2021-2023 Cohort)
Daniel received his Ph.D. in Human Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University, where he investigated methods of reconstructing seasonal climate using the chemistry and anatomy of mammalian dentition. At Columbia’s Earth Institute Daniel is mentored by Dr. Kevin Uno, and is contributing to reconstructions of seasonal environments in east Africa over the last the 30 million years that shaped the evolution of African fauna, including African great apes, and human ancestors. In particular, Daniel is examining the magnitude of fluctuations in seasonal climate, hydrology, animal physiology, and animal behavior across natural and ongoing oscillations in the earth’s orbit around the sun, known as Milankovitch cycles. He also works closely with the Turkana Miocene Project, a collaboration of international scientists to partner with Kenyan colleagues and better understand long-term climate-evolution dynamics in Africa. Daniel’s research relies upon stable light isotope geochemistry, trace metal analyses, microscopy, and physiological modeling.
Yue Huang (2021-2023 Cohort)
Yue is a climate scientist specializing in atmospheric aerosols and aerosol-radiation interactions. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California Los Angeles in 2021, as a recipient of the prestigious NASA FINESST graduate fellowship. Her doctoral research focused on observational constraints on key microphysical and optical properties of dust aerosols, which are being implemented into several global aerosol models and NASA remote sensing products. At the Earth Institute, Yue will work with Dr. Ron L. Miller of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies to investigate the loss of solar power generation due to aerosols in the present and later 21st-century climates. This novel project seeks to answer: (i) will this reduced power generation stay constant with time on a global scale? (ii) how do future changes in the spatial distributions of aerosols affect regional solar power generation? and (iii) to what degree will climate geoengineering diminish solar power generation? Visit Yue’s webpage.
Leah Jones-Crank (2021-2023 Cohort)
Leah Jones-Crank is an interdisciplinary sustainability scholar, focusing on the intersection between water resource management, collaborative governance, and sustainable development. She received her Ph.D. in Sustainability from Arizona State University. Her doctoral research focused on understanding and analyzing collaborative governance within the food-energy-water nexus for improved management, governance, and decision-making of integrated resource systems. Using social network analysis, qualitative data analysis, and stakeholder engagement, she examined the case studies of Cape Town, South Africa and Phoenix, Arizona, USA. At the Earth Institute, she is working with Drs. Ben Orlove and Upmanu Lall to examine a new case study of food-energy-water nexus governance. She explores the role of informal governance of integrated resource systems and examines the causal relationship between collaborative governance and environmental outcomes for increased resource security.
Kai Kornhuber (2018-2020 Cohort)
Kai Kornhuber received his Ph.D. in Climate Physics from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the University of Potsdam, Germany. His research is dedicated to internal mechanisms of the large-scale atmospheric circulation and their relation to extreme weather in the mid-latitudes. With a focus on atmosphere dynamics he investigates drivers, impacts, and future risks of extreme climatic events such as heatwaves, droughts, heavy rainfall, and floods. Currently, as part of the research group of Radley Horton he investigates future risks of simultaneous extreme weather events over breadbasket regions under different warming scenarios. Before joining Columbia University, Kai worked as a Postdoc at the Atmospheric Oceanic and Planetary Physics Department at the University of Oxford, as a Climate Scientist in the Science Team of Climate Analytics, and was a guest researcher at the Climate & Energy College/University of Melbourne. Kai sees public outreach about climate issues an important and inspiring element of his work. Find him @kkornhuber.
Manuel P. Linsenmeier (2022-2024 Cohort)
Manuel's main research interests are climate change and sustainable development. In his research, he uses economic theory and applies econometric methods to a variety of data, including national accounts, results from climate models, and satellite derived datasets.
He is particularly interested in the costs of climate variability, the benefits of weather forecasts, and the effects of weather and climate change on ecosystem services. He also works on the political economy of climate change mitigation.
Some of his recent works show that temperature variability significantly affects the seasonality of GDP, pointing out additional needs for adaptation in a warming world.
Prior to joining Columbia, Manuel received his PhD in Environmental Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he was affiliated with the Department of Geography and Environment and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
Farideh Hosseini Narouei (2021-2023 Cohort)
Farideh received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY. Her research primarily focuses in the field of analytical chemistry including electrochemical detection, characterization of nanoparticles and dissolved ions, and the development of sensors/biosensors for environmental and clinical applications. Outside the lab, she was the founder of Clarkson University Electrochemical Society Student chapter (CU-ECS), she is a recipient of President’s challenge 2020 best research award at Clarkson University for her novel sensor development, and she was recognized and awarded for her leadership skills several times. During her one-year postdoc, she worked on the electrochemical treatment of landfill leachate and industrial wastewater samples for the removal of PFAS, heterocyclic compounds containing nitrogen and heavy metals. Based on her research experience, Farideh calls herself an electrochemist and analytical chemist interested in developing sensors and treatment methods for environmental applications.
At the Climate School, she will work with Dr. Ben Bostick and Dr. Ana Navas-Acien on, “Developing portable and cost-effective customized smartphone-based electrochemical sensors and devices for water qualification in household applications.” Her research will focus on developing portable sensing devices for the electrochemical detection of arsenic and other analytes in drinking water."
Enquye Negash (2022-2024 Cohort)
Enquye Negash is a paleoecologist interested in understanding the paleoenvironmental context of human evolution. Her current research focuses on studying vegetation structure in modern African ecosystems using geochemical, paleobotanical and quantitative methods. The aim of her research is to apply the knowledge garnered from modern ecosystem to the fossil record to make accurate paleoenvironmental reconstructions. She conducts fieldwork in national parks and fossil bearing sites in eastern Africa.
Arturo Pacheco (2020-2022 Cohort)
Arturo Pacheco is a dendroclimatologist studying the climatic drivers of tree ring growth and its effects on wood anatomy. His PhD research in Forest Ecology from the University of Padua (Italy) focused on the formation of intra annual density fluctuations of Mediterranean tree species under drought conditions. Although most of his research focuses on Mediterranean species, alpine and artic species also form part of his expertise. At the Earth Institute he will be working with Dr. Laia Andreu-Hayles of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) Tree-Ring Lab, integrating within the ‘Collaborative Research: Reconstructing South American monsoon sensitivity to internal and external forcing: reconciling models and tree-ring proxies in the Central Andes’ and also participating of the NSF project ‘Climate Research Education in the Americas using Tree-Ring Speleothem Examples’ (PIRECREATE). Before joining Columbia University, Arturo worked as a Postdoc at the University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli (Italy) starting the Italian Tree Talker Network (ITT-Net) a state-of-the-art continuous large-scale monitoring of tree functional traits and vulnerabilities to climate change. He also holds degrees from the University of Bangor, United Kingdom (M.Sc.) and University of Costa Rica (B.Sc.).
Robbie Parks (2019-2021 Cohort)
I am an environmental epidemiologist. I am currently a post-doctoral research fellow at the Earth Institute, Columbia University, mentored by Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou at the Mailman School of Public Health. I am primarily interested in understanding the impact that climate, weather, and air pollution has on mortality, nutrition and disease outcomes, and how these impacts may be different in sub-groups of a population. I am also interested in developing new (particularly Bayesian) statistical methods, relevant to these concerns.
I also aim to use my research capacity to pursue linked goals of social and climate justice.
In 2019, I earned my Ph.D from Imperial College London, where I was supervised by Majid Ezzati and Ralf Toumi. I also hold an undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Oxford. In summer 2017, during my studies, I interned at the World Meteorological Organisation, a constituent part of the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland. While interning, I became a founding member of the Global Heat Health Information Network.
I very much enjoy communicating my work to the public, and have been involved in several recent outreach projects, including in summer 2019 with GREEN SPACE.
I have also received seed funding as PI from the highly competitive Earth Frontiers 2019 call, where I submitted a grant application along with world-renowned scientists at Columbia for projects covering 2020-2021.
I can be found on Twitter via @rmiparks.
Muye Ru (2020-2022 Cohort)
Muye Ru's work lies at the intersection of atmospheric science, human health, and economic impacts. Her postdoctoral fellowship at the Earth Institute focuses on quantifying uncertainty in the air -pollution-health-economy system, and its interaction with climate change impacts. She performs this research with Professor Wolfram Schlenker and Professor Arlene Fiore. Muye received her PhD in Earth and Ocean Science from Duke University on a related topic. Prior to her PhD, she received a B.S. in Resource management and a B.A. in Economics from Peking University in China, and a Master in Environmental Management from Duke University, focused on Energy and Environment. During her pre-doctoral study, she published several papers on the transition in residential energy and emissions in China. Muye was awarded the Scholarship for Sustainable Energy Development, supported by the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership in 2015. She attended the Young Scientist Summer Program in the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in 2019.
Nadia Seeteram (2022-2024 Cohort)
Nadia Seeteram recently completed her Ph.D. at Florida International University, where she researched the dynamic, long-term impacts of sea-level rise on coastal communities and their implications for future climate-related mobility. She previously held research positions at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New York State Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery. Nadia has a M.S. in Environmental Studies from Florida International University and a B.S. in Psychology and Environmental Policy from Fordham University. Nadia also recently completed a fellowship with the Aspen Institute’s Tech Policy Hub, where she focused on improving long-term disaster recovery grant administration at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Cascade Tuholske (2020-2022 Cohort)
I am a human-environment geographer studying the nexus of climate change and urbanization. As an Earth Institute Postdoctoral Fellow, I am working with Robert Chen and Alex de Sherbinin at the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) to construct a globally extensive, longitudinal, and fine-scale synthesis of the intersection of extreme heat events, urban population growth, and the urban heat island effect. Our goal is to inform adaptation strategies that reduce the harmful and inequitable impacts of urban exposure to extreme heat. I also contribute to NASA's Human Planet Project, analyzing the use of gridded population datasets to measure and map progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
I received my PhD in Geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara. My dissertation focused on the intersection of urbanization, climate change, and food security in Africa. I published research assessing continental-scale urban population dynamics, as well as case-studies on household-level urban food security dynamics in large African cities. Other research projects included leveraging machine learning algorithms to classify satellite imagery to measure mangrove deforestation in Roatán, Honduras, designing a global-scale assessment of wastewater impacts on coastal ecosystems, and working with medical researchers to track the 2015 Zika outbreak.
To learn more, I am on Twitter @tuholske.
Liv Yoon (2019-2021 Cohort)
Liv Yoon obtained her Ph.D. at The University of British Columbia in Canada where she studied intersections of environmental politics, communication, and social inequality surrounding an Olympic-related development project. As an attempt to do public sociology, she produced a short documentary about the controversial development of a ski hill in South Korea for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic & Paralympic Games. As a postdoctoral research scholar at the Earth Institute, Liv plans to explore the socio-political dimensions and lived experiences of Just Transition. Using a participatory documentary process, she hopes to produce a documentary with community members to make these successful cases of communities in transition more visible, and mobilize knowledge gained from them. The broader aim is to grapple with questions of power and inequities, and to envision alternative political and environmental futures.
The Earth Institute (now Columbia Climate School) Postdoctoral Research program has provided postdoctoral scholars with the opportunity to engage in cross-disciplinary sustainable development research. Over 120 alumni have completed the postdoctoral program, coming from diverse backgrounds that include law, theology, medicine, science, economics, engineering, ethnomusicology, and anthropology.
Most alumni go on to pursue careers in higher education and have accepted academic positions at universities such as Columbia University, Indiana University, Oberlin College, and University College London. Others have joined NGOs, government, and the private sector, or started their own companies.
J. Nicolas Hernandez-Aguilera
W. Victoria Lee
Jilian A Sacks
Tien Ming Lee
Erin Lothes Biviano
Yanis Ben Amor
Fabrice De Clerck
Jane Carter Ingram
Cristina Maria Rumbaitis-del Rio