Postdoctoral Research Program

"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.”

Joshua Fisher, Co-Director, Columbia Climate School Postdoctoral Research Program

Program and Application Details

Overview

Through the Climate School Postdoctoral Research program, Columbia University’s Climate School supports the scholarship needed to tackle climate change and its related global challenges. The Climate School works to offer solutions through transdisciplinary research, partnerships, education, innovative technology, building knowledge, and the sharing of ideas.

The Climate School Postdoctoral Research program is the premier program in the world for those dedicated to a better understanding of critical scientific and social issues in Climate as well as in global sustainable development. Climate School Postdoctoral Researchers will join multidisciplinary teams of outstanding, committed scientists to advance our scientific understanding of these challenges and develop practical responses to address them. 

Successful postdoctoral candidates are matched with Principal Investigators and mentors from across the Climate School, including the Earth Institute’s research centers and programs, the Lamont-Doherty’s Earth Observatory, Columbia University Medical Center, and other affiliated schools and departments. 

For a list of faculty and researchers who have expressed an interest in mentoring a postdoctoral researcher, please click here.

The program provides innovative postdoctoral scholars with the opportunity to build a foundation in one of the core disciplines represented within the Climate School (sustainability, the environment, social justice, and the geosciences), while at the same time acquiring the breadth of cross-disciplinary expertise needed to address critical issues related to sustainable development. Specific areas of research include carbon neutral economy, adapting to future climate, earth fundamentals, resilient ecosystems, climate, and social systems, and climate justice and equity. The program offers a unique intellectual surrounding that fosters cross-disciplinary interaction, research, and education.

Beach cave. Fieldwork on Long Island, Bahamas. Roger Creel, Blake Dyer, Billy D'Andrea, June 2019. Credit: Jacqueline Austerman

 

To apply, candidates must complete the online application and submit a proposal for research that would contribute to the goal of global sustainable development. Proposals may suggest participating in, contributing to, or extending existing multidisciplinary Climate School projects. Candidates are also encouraged to develop new, innovative projects that connect Climate School expertise. In addition to submitting the application and proposal, candidates are encouraged to identify and contact their desired multidisciplinary mentoring team, i.e., two or more senior faculty members or research scientists/scholars at Columbia University with whom they would like to work during their appointment.

We encourage research proposals for topics from all areas of sustainable development and climate research for the postdoc program. This year, we are particularly interested in the following thematic areas, which we see as priorities for addressing some of the global challenges that the Climate School is working to address:

The Food Transition
The globally intertwined food system both contributes to climate change and is highly vulnerable to changing weather patterns. This initiative develops and disseminates robust evidence on sustainable pathways for food system transition, working closely with stakeholders locally and globally.

Coastal Viability
Coastal regions around the world face significant risks due to sea level change, both rising and falling. This initiative leverages fundamental research in sea level and coastal science to develop solutions and partnerships with local communities and governments to create a path to a more resilient future.

Energy Storage
Columbia is working to increase capabilities in battery technology, including improvements in performance, finding new materials for batteries that do not depend on rare metals, and understanding the intersection with the grid. 

Carbon Management
Columbia pioneered the scientific research and technological innovation for carbon removal and its sequestration into rocks, and is working to find new technologies for removing, transporting, and storing carbon.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Climate
Columbia has world-leading teams of climate modelers who develop precise methods for predicting the future under specific scenarios. These methods allow us to understand and map the changing world, including the impact of climate solutions and interventions. 

Disaster Resilience
Catastrophic events amplified or triggered by climate change lead to mass casualties, trauma, economic damage, and political instability. This initiative develops techniques to improve disaster preparedness, prevention, prediction, response, and resilience across societies.

Climate Finance and Risk 
Columbia’s team of leading scholars is developing the field of climate finance to understand the levers and resources required to support pathways toward decarbonization.

Questions? Email [email protected].

The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) also awards postdoctoral fellowships in the earth, environmental, and ocean sciences. Please visit the LDEO Postdoctoral Fellowship page for more information.

Program Details

Start Date and Duration: Climate School Postdocs are appointed for twenty-four months and appointments typically begin on September 1. However, depending on individual circumstances, as well as the needs of a postdoc’s host research unit, appointments may begin as early as July 1.

Application Opens: Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Application Deadline: Monday, October 31, 2022, by 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time

Reference Letter Deadline: Monday, November 7, 2022, by 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time

Funding: Climate School Postdocs will receive an annual salary of $71,640. They are also awarded a research stipend of $12,000 over the two-year term for reimbursable expenses related to the appointment. These funds can be used for relocation and moving expenses, as well as for computers, travel, conference, journal, book, software, equipment, and other research costs.

External Funding: CCS Postdocs are encouraged to participate in the development and submission of research proposals in cooperation with their mentors, host research units, or other researchers. When doing so, they must follow all Columbia University rules applicable to postdoctoral scholars.

Visas: Columbia University only grants limited-term J1 visas for non-US citizens. Read more information on Columbia’s visa eligibility policies online.

Benefits: CCS Postdocs are considered Officers of Research and are eligible for benefits provided by Columbia University for full-time employees. For more information, please visit Columbia's Office of Human Resources online. The rules, regulations, and policies that govern employment at Columbia are also listed on the website.

Program Activities: The program hosts a series of activities that explore interdisciplinary issues in sustainable development, bring the postdocs together as a community, and introduce the postdocs to a diverse array of Columbia faculty and researchers.

Orientation: A weeklong series of information sessions and visits to Earth Institute research units.

Spring and Fall Symposia: Two public symposia per year in which both first-year and second-year postdocs present their research and participate in discussions with the audience. The symposia provided a great opportunity for postdocs to engage the Columbia research community as well as the larger public in innovative research in sustainable development.

Postdoctoral Seminars: A seminar series in which each postdoc presents her or his ongoing research. Visiting speakers also participate in the seminars. Postdocs may also coordinate group projects that are designed, discussed, and implemented during these times. The meetings are informal and designed to foster interdisciplinary and problem-solving discussions among CCS Postdocs, faculty, and researchers. Lunch is provided. 

Other Climate School Seminar Series: Climate School Postdocs receive invitations to other events and speaker series at Columbia, including those sponsored by the Earth Institute's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC), Earth Engineering Center (EEC), and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN).

Questions? Email [email protected]

Application Guidelines

Eligibility

To be eligible for the program, candidates must have received their doctoral degrees (Ph.D., M.D. or J.D.) within five years prior to the start of the appointment. All doctoral requirements must be fulfilled and the degree awarded before the start of the appointment. People holding current positions with rank above post-doctoral scientist are not eligible for appointment under university rules. Those holding current post-doc positions should contact our office to determine eligibility. The program is open to U.S. and non-U.S. citizens. Columbia University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. Minorities and women are encouraged to apply.

Application

Deadline: Monday, October 31, 2022 by 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time

To apply to the program candidates must submit the following documents:

  • Online Application
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Brief Personal History
  • Research Proposal
  • 3 Recommendation Letters

In addition to submitting the application and proposal, applicants are encouraged, but not required, to contact their desired multidisciplinary mentoring team, i.e. two or more senior faculty members or research scientists/scholars at Columbia University with whom they would like to work during their appointment. Please note that an endorsement from a faculty member or researcher does not guarantee acceptance into the program.

Brief Personal History Format

Two (2) page maximum, double-spaced; one-inch margins, minimum 11 point standard font. The personal statement should include the following elements based on their relevance to your situation

  • Brief personal introduction and research statement
  • Summary of any discussions you have had with potential mentors. Note: endorsement from a faculty member or researcher does not guarantee acceptance into the program.
  • Explanation of gaps in employment or studies (these will be considered on a case-by-case basis).
  • Prior postdoctoral positions - Columbia University policy only allows a cumulative maximum of 3 years in a postdoctoral position, whether held at or outside of the university. If you have prior postdoc experience, please contact David Morales-Miranda to discuss your application.

Recommendation Letters

Three (3) recommendation letters are required by November 7, 2021, 5 p.m. EST. Once an application is successfully submitted, the references listed will receive an email with the Applicant ID and the link to upload their letter.

Note: We strongly recommend informing your references of the request for a letter in advance of submitting your application. We also recommend following up with your references after you have applied to ensure that they have received the information to upload their letter. 

Research Proposal Format

Five (5) page maximum; double-spaced; one-inch margins; minimum 11 point standard font.

Bibliographic references are required but not counted toward the 5-page maximum. They should be included in the same document.

The research proposal should address how the proposed work will contribute to the goal of global sustainable development. Proposals may suggest participating in, contributing to, or extending existing multidisciplinary Earth Institute projects. Candidates are also encouraged to develop new, innovative projects that connect Earth Institute expertise.

Research Foci and Mentors

Research foci are determined by the postdocs themselves. Thus, Climate School Postdocs play an active, independent role in developing their own areas of expertise and research agendas. Candidates are encouraged to review the list of the Climate School's research units and relevant Columbia University and Barnard College departments to see the breadth of potential mentors and collaborators actively engaged in research at the university.

Candidates are strongly encouraged to identify and contact a mentor prior to applying. Candidates are also encouraged to scope additional members of the Columbia Climate School who hold the rank of Assistant Professor / Research Scientist or higher. For a list of faculty and researchers who have expressed an interest in mentoring a postdoctoral researcher, please click here.

Selection Procedure

Applications are reviewed by the Earth Institute Postdoctoral Selection Committee, which is composed of senior Earth Institute faculty from across the Institute. Care is taken to ensure that all of the Earth Institute's core disciplines are represented in the Committee.

An initial, rigorous review of the applications examines several factors, including the following:

  • Strength of the research proposal
  • Relevance to the Climate School's mission and research themes
  • Interdisciplinary and collaborative potential
  • Practice/policy/community engagement relevance
  • Previous academic experience
  • Strength of academic/professional references

Applications that merit further consideration are moved forward to the directors of one or more relevant Earth Institute research units. Based on feedback received from the research units, the Selection Committee reevaluates the applications in great detail before reaching a final decision.

Decisions

Appointments will be announced in March 2023.

Diversity Fellowships

The Diversity Fellowships seek to promote the recruitment of outstanding postdoctoral scholars from underrepresented groups to more closely reflect the composition of the national pool of qualified candidates.

The program is specifically to encourage applications from promising scholars from historically underrepresented groups, namely: Blacks/African-Americans; Hispanics; Latinx; Native Americans/Alaska Natives; Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders.

The principal selection criteria are: educational and professional merit; relevance and strength of research proposal; quality of recommendations; relevance of proposed research to the Climate School’s  mission; and current needs and priorities of the Climate School.

Candidates must indicate their interest in the Diversity Fellowships on their application to the Columbia Climate School Postdoctoral Research program.

Kelley A. Hill Fellowship

Created through a generous bequest in 2019, the Kelley A. Hill Fellowship will fully fund appointments for one (1) incoming scholar for a two year position, over the course of 3 years (2020-2022, 2021-2023 and 2022-2024).

Columbia Climate School Postdoctoral Diversity Fellowship

The Columbia Climate School Postdoctoral Diversity Fellowship was made possible through institutional funding, in recognition of the vital contribution of scholars and scientists from underrepresented groups in advancing science and action on our most urgent social and environmental challenges. in the Columbia community. The Columbia Climate School  Postdoctoral

Diversity Fellowship will fully fund appointments for two (2) incoming scholars, each for two-year positions (2021-2023 and 2022-2024).

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People

Ana Navas-Acien, M.D., Ph.D.
Ana Navas-Acien, M.D., Ph.D.

Co-Director, Columbia Climate School Postdoctoral Research Program; Professor, Environmental Health Sciences

 

Joshua D. Fisher, Ph.D.
Joshua D. Fisher, Ph.D.

Co-Director, Columbia Climate School Postdoctoral Research Program; Director, Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity

 

 

Gabriella Cohen
Gabriella Cohen

Assistant Director, Faculty Affairs 

 

David Morales-Miranda
David Morales-Miranda

Program Manager, Faculty Affairs

 

Our Postdocs

Thalia Balkaran

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

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

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

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.  

Twitter: @isa_bori
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/isatiscr

Dylan S. Davis

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. 

Twitter: @DDavis_Arch
Website: d-davis.github.io

Sarah Garland

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Personal website: mlinsenmeier.com
Twitter: @manulinsenmeier

Farideh Hosseini Narouei

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."

Twitter: @fnarui

Enquye Negash

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

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

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

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

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. 

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/nadia-seeteram-491349b5
Website: nadiaseeteram.com

Cascade Tuholske

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

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.

Where Our Alumni Are Employed: 69% Higher Education, 15% Private Sector, 10% NGOs, 3% Government, 3% Unknown/Other

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.

2019-2021 Cohort
Ben Bales
Spencer Hill
Beth Tellman


2018-2020 Cohort
J. Nicolas Hernandez-Aguilera
Weston Anderson
James Jones
Winslow Hansen
Megan Maurer
Elisabeth Nebie
Sha Zhou


2017-2019 Cohort
Allison Bridges
Pilar Fernández
Maron Greenleaf
Anand Osuri
Andy Stock


2016-2018 Cohort
Ruthie Birger
Kyle Davis
Alexandra Karambelas
Milad Kharratzadeh
Ding Ma
Nandini Velho


2015-2017 Cohort
Madison Condon
Robert Elliott
Xiaohui Feng
Justin Mankin
Hannah Nissan
Jeffrey Paller


2014-2016 Cohort
Graeme Blair
Booyuel Kim
Shauna Downs
Martina Kirchberger
W. Victoria Lee
Shira Mitchell


2013-2015 Cohort
Katherine Alfredo
Elliot Cohen
Tanya O’Garra
Aurelie Harou
David Kanter
Ezra Markowitz
Jilian A Sacks
Katya Vasilaky


2012-2014 Cohort
Astrid Dannenberg
Joshua Fisher
Jesse Lasky
Emilie Perge
Tess Russo
Gary Watmough
Leigh Whittinghill


2011-2013 Cohort
Tien Ming Lee
Ying Li
Jaime Madrigano
Nada Petrovic
James Tamerius
Katherine Tully
Shelley Welton
Meng Xu


2010-2012 Cohort
Ana Arjona
Andrew Bell
Sarah Kaschula
Hope Michelson
Alexandra Morel
Daniel Soto
Annika Sweetland
Tara Troy
Derek Willis


2009-2011 Cohort
Shahzeen Attari
Ilana Brito
Chao Chen
Gillian Galford
Jonathan Hickman
Carlos Pérez


2008-2010 Cohort
Stergios Athanassoglou
Sandra Baptista
Liza Comita
Elisabeth King
Chie Sakakibara
Sean Smukler
Leigh Winowiecki


2007-2009 Cohort
Haimanti Bhattacharya
Daven Henze
Cassidy Johnson
Melissa Keeley
Erin Lothes Biviano
Mary Nyasimi
Gretchen Peltier
Kenneth Shirley


2006-2008 Cohort
Alex Awiti
Matthew Bonds
Darby Jack
Florence Kondylis
Brenda Lin
Valerie Mueller
Deborah Salon
Tobias Siegfried
Ulrich Wagner


2005-2007 Cohort
Susan Doll
Vladimir Gil
Rebekah Green
Franco Montalto
Murugi Ndirangu
Michael Reilly
Roland Russell
Christian Webersik


2004-2006 Cohort
Lee Addams
Yanis Ben Amor
Kristina Czuchlewski
Fabrice De Clerck
Christopher Doll
Jane Carter Ingram
Harounan Kazianga
Bijan Khazai
Caroline Korves
Nikhil Krishnan
Cristina Maria Rumbaitis-del Rio
Nori Tarui


2003-2005 Cohort
Susanne Bauer
Mary Booth
Jennifer Cole
Jonathan Donner
Ben Evans
Guillermo Franco
Nobuyuki Hanaki
Kate Jones
Martin Sandbu
Anton Seimon
Yesim Tozan
Jessika Trancik


2002-2004 Cohort
Angela Bednarek
Brian Mailloux
Nicky Sheates


2001-2003 Cohort
Liliana Botcheva-Andonova
Saugata Datta
Tracy Holloway
Lensyl Urbano


2000-2002 Cohort
Peter Dodds
Joe Thornton


1999-2001 Cohort
Zoltan Takacs
Xianzhong Wang