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Principal Investigator

Kathleen Schiro

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Environmental Sciences

Education: Ph.D. and M.S., Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles; B.A., Earth and Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University


Full CV

Postdoctoral Scholars

Laura Paccini

Laura joined the department in Fall 2022 after completing her PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany. Laura has broad interests in tropical meteorology and climate dynamics, though her PhD explored Atlantic ITCZ dynamics and Amazonian convection in convection permitting simulations with the state-of-the-art ICON model. Her work at UVA will involve investigating environmental differences in MCS vs. isolated convection in ICON, compared to observations, as well as evaluating the role of land-atmosphere interactions and cloud-radiation interactions in the partitioning of MCS vs. isolated convection and its influences on the diurnal cycle of precipitation and precipitation extremes in Amazonia.


Swatah Borkotoky

Swatah joined the department in Fall 2023 after completing his PhD at Cornell University. Swatah’s PhD thesis involved reconstructing extreme precipitation based on tree-ring based moisture proxies across the Western US and studying associated projected changes in patterns of atmospheric circulation under climate change in the context of past variability suggested by the paleo record. Swatah is a UVA Environmental Institute Climate Fellow co-advised by Prof. Kevin Grise and will work on a project aimed at characterizing hydroclimatic variability in the southeastern US as it relates to water availability and storage.


Graduate Students

Sayali Kulkarni

Sayali joined the department in Fall 2021. Her work examines environmental controls on mesoscale convective system lifecycles, cold pools, and convective organization/aggregation.


Emma Dawson

Emma started her graduate work in Spring 2022 after graduating as a undergraduate from the department in December 2021 as an Echols Scholar. She is interested in cloud feedbacks and has been working on improving our understanding of how a model’s cloud climatology relates to the strength of its simulated cloud feedbacks and climate sensitivity using a variety of CMIP6 experiments.


Logan Longacre

Logan joined the department as an MS student in Fall 2022. Logan is a recent graduate of the University of Kansas and will be working on regional hydroclimatological changes in the tropics and examining cloud-circulation interactions in observations.


Rebecca Weinstein

Rebecca joined the department as a PhD student in Fall 2023. Rebecca is a recent graduate of Virginia Tech and will be working on process-level studies of tropical deep convection using DOE ARM data.


Jun-Jie Chang

Jun-Jie joined the department as a PhD student in Fall 2023. Jun-Jie is a recent graduate of the National Taiwan University and will be working on a project studying cloud-circulation interactions in GCMs, co-advised by Prof. Kevin Grise.


Group Alumni

Piyush Garg – former postdoc, now at Argonne National lab

Rebecca Hall – former undergraduate major in the Distinguished Major’s Program, now in graduate school in the Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Wisconsin Madison

Megan Doan – former undergraduate researcher, now pursuing undergraduate major in Statistics

Jennie Lee – former undergraduate summer intern, Virginia-North Carolina Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, now in a PhD program at UCSD for Chemistry

Everest Litchford – former undergraduate summer intern from Cornell University

Patrick Roney – former undergraduate researcher in the Distinguished Major’s Program, now in graduate school for Biostatistics at Georgetown University

Emma Sullivan – former undergraduate researcher

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