Research Summary and Experiences

My research looks at the exchange of reactive carbon and its oxidation products between the biosphere and atmosphere (i.e., biosphere-atmosphere interactions) and its corresponding impact on atmospheric chemistry and climate. I am both an experimentalist and modeler having had experience with laser-based and mass spectrometric instrumentation (both in the laboratory and the field) as well as experience running chemical transport models (i.e., GEOS-Chem) and forest canopy models (i.e., FORCAsT). Below is a short summary of my research experiences going back to 2011.

Postdoctoral Associate / Research Affiliate
Department of Soil, Water and Climate
University of Minnesota, November 2021 – Present
Supervisor:  Professor Dylan B. Millet
Summary: Isoprene is the dominant biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emitted into the atmosphere and is a dominant source of reactive carbon in the atmosphere. My project focuses on using satellite-derived isoprene and formaldehyde (HCHO) measurements obtained from the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) and the Ozone Mapping Profiler Suite (OMPS), respectively, in order to understand how atmospheric oxidation is changing across time and seasons over biogenic source regions. Nested grid model simulations using GEOS-Chem are used to aid in the interpretation of intra- and interannual trends.

Graduate Researcher (Doctorate)
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Harvard University, 2015 – November 2021
Doctoral Advisor:  Professor Frank N. Keutsch
Funded on an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
Summary: To understand how forests in a changing climate will impact atmospheric composition and vice-versa, my doctoral research utilized (1) field studies, (2) laboratory measurements, and (3) forest canopy modeling to understand how volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are exchanged between the biosphere and the atmosphere. More specifically, I studied how oxidized VOCs such as formaldehyde (HCHO) and isoprene hydroxy hydroperoxide (ISOPOOH) interact with red oak (deciduous) and cypress (evergreen) leaves and input these laboratory results into FORCAsT (a forest canopy exchange model developed by Allison Steiner's group at the University of Michigan) in order to understand canopy gradient measurements of HCHO at the UMBS forest in July 2016.

Graduate Researcher (MPhil)
Centre for Atmospheric Science
University of Cambridge, 2014 – 2015
Advisor:  Professor Roderic L. Jones
Funded on a National Churchill Scholarship
Summary:  Responsible for characterizing the performance of highly portable infrared gas sensors that measured carbon dioxide and methane under a variety of temperatures and relative humidities that might be experienced in the field. I also analyzed data from these gas sensors after they were deployed in Indonesia to study emissions of greenhouse gases from geological features (such as mud volcanoes).

Undergraduate Researcher
Department of Chemistry
University of Wisconsin - Madison, 2011 – 2014
Advisors:  Professors Robert J. McMahon and R. Claude Woods
Summary:  Millimeter-wave rotational spectroscopy and DC glow discharge chemistry of pyridazine. In this role, I assigned and fit rovibrational spectral lines to vibrationally-excited states of pyriazine and modeled molecular properties and constants with the department's computing cluster.

Science Division Intern
Planetary Science Division
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Summer 2012
Advisors:  Dr.  Mark Allen and Dr.  Karen Willacy
Project:  Responsible for making photochemical updates to a chemical transport model (KINETICS) that simulates the atmospheres of Mars and Titan.