I study the role of aerosols and clouds in the weather and in past and present climates of planetary bodies in our Solar System (particularly Mars). To do so, I synthesize atmospheric modeling, a suite of remote sensing techniques, and analyses of rock strata in outcrop and drill core. Please consult my curriculum vitae for the most current information. I currently tweet (as @WeatherOnMars ) on climate and space sciences. This page contains a short account of the kinds of research I do and have done in the past.
From 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2017, I am on the Board of Directors of STEPPE (Sedimentary Geology, Time, Environment, Paleontology, Paleoclimate, and Energy), an NSF -funded research and education coordination and communications office representing deep-sedimentary crust research.
Student and Postdoctoral Opportunities
I often receive inquiries about opportunities for graduate study or postdoctoral research under my supervision.
I am not able to support postdoctoral scholars at this time.
As part of the Living Breathing Planet project (see bottom of the page), students may have the opportunity to work with me on understanding the early evolution of the atmospheres of terrestrial planets.
I always encourage early career scientists to study at institutions where there are multiple faculty members with complementary research interests. The good news is that the Department of Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences has a variety of opportunities for research and education at all levels. Please check out the Department’s page for more information. I may be able to create undergraduate research projects for the CREST Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) at Hampton University. I strongly encourage any undergraduate interested in atmospheric or planetary science to investigate this program and apply.
I also am asked about what kind of graduate students we are seeking in our department. I am hesitant to answer, because my views may not represent the faculty as a whole. However, I have enough experience with our admissions process to say: we are a department that mainly solves complex physics problems with complex mathematics. We are looking for students interested in the atmospheric and planetary sciences with a strong background in physics and mathematics. Ideally, prospective students should be familiar and comfortable with mathematics to the level of linear algebra, multivariable calculus, and ordinary differential equations. Ideally, they also should be familiar and comfortable with physics to the level of Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics, Maxwell’s equations, and the solutions to Schrodinger’s equation. Some tradeoff between atmospheric and planetary science-specific knowledge and physics background is possible, for example, high grades in a good meteorology program with equally good grades in introductory physics and chemistry. If such as these can write concisely, precisely, and succinctly about their research interests and the imperfections of their academic records, we will be overjoyed.