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February 2020

Can Pest Insects Rescue Tea from Climate Change?

February 3 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am

Eric Scott Ph.D. Candidate in Biology  What to Expect It is well known that plants respond to stress through changes in secondary metabolites. However, less is known about how plants respond to a range of intensities of stressors or to combinations of stressors. Tea is produced from the young leaves of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis). The flavor, aroma, and health benefits of tea are determined by plant secondary metabolites such as caffeine, catechins, amino acids, and volatiles. As climate…

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Future Climate Emulations Using Quantile Regressions on Large Ensembles

February 3 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Matz Haugen, Stanford University What to Expect The study of climate change and its impacts depends on generating projections of future temperature and other climate variables. For detailed studies, these projections usually require some combination of numerical simulation and observations, given that simulations of even current climate do not perfectly reproduce local conditions. We present a methodology for generating future climate projections that takes advantage of the emergence of climate model ensembles, whose large amounts of data allow for detailed…

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Postdoc Presentation: Putting Data to Work for Water Systems

February 7 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Sara Troutman, Environmental Engineering Ph.D. candidate What to Expect In the age of abundant data, this resource will play an increasingly important role in the management and study of water systems. Like self-driving cars, we can imagine smart water systems that autonomously change their behavior based on real-time measurements to reduce flooding and improve water quality. However, reaching this vision poses a number of questions at the intersection of environmental and water resources engineering and data science, including (1) how…

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Postdoc Presentation: Disentangling Causal Signals in Climate using Observational Studies

February 10 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Savini Samarasinghe Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering What to Expect The Earth is a complex system with many physical processes interacting across space and time. Understanding these interactions in a causal perspective, i.e., as cause and effect, can help us get a deeper understanding of the mechanisms governing the Earth’s climate. This presentation focuses on the utility of observational studies, which do not rely on controlled experiments, to gain insights into these interactions. These approaches…

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Postdoc Presentation: Modeling Large Nonstationary Spatial Data Using Local Likelihood Estimation and Matern to SAR Translation

February 11 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Ashton Wiens What to Expect Modeling data with nonstationary covariance structure is important to represent heterogeneity in geophysical and other environmental spatial processes. In this work, we investigate a multistage approach to modeling nonstationary covariances that is efficient for large data sets. First, we use likelihood estimation in local, moving windows to infer spatially varying covariance parameters. These surfaces of covariance parameters can then be encoded into a global covariance model specifying the second order structure for the complete spatial…

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Postdoc Presentation: Hydrogeochemical Modeling of the Matanza-Riachuelo Aquifer System

February 14 @ 9:30 am - 10:30 pm

Sandra Armengol  Ph.D. candidate  What to Expect She will focus the talk on her current research based on the hydrogeochemical modelling of the Matanza-Riachuelo Aquifer System (MRAS). This aquifer system is localized on the Chaco-Pampean Plain (CPP), Argentina, one of the most extensive loess areas in the world and highly productive in terms of agriculture and livestock. The methodology consisted in: 1) isotopic and chemical identification and characterization of groundwater; 2) identification of the physical and chemical processes driving the…

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Postdoc Presentation: What Do We Measure and What Do We Miss: Meta-research in Invasion Biology and Agroecology

February 14 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Robert Crystal-Ornelas Ph.D. candidate  What to Expect Systematic review and meta-analysis are increasingly used in Ecology and Environmental Science to summarize data from hundreds or even thousands of studies. I use these evidence synthesis tools to identify points of consensus and research gaps within several disciplines: Invasion Biology, Agroecology, and Environmental Science.  During my Doctoral research, I created a database to summarize over 1,500 published articles on invasive species impacts to demonstrate that most research on invasive species happens at…

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Get to Know Your Postdocs Seminar

February 20 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Zhi Li Are Afternoon Deep Convection and Precipitation More Likely to Occur Over Dry or Wet Surface in Oklahoma?   Shaoyue Qiu Hydrodynamic Modeling of Shallow Coastal Marshes

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Pore Scale, Darcy Scale, Off-Diagonals: Reactive Transport at the Crossroads

February 25 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Dr. Carl I. Steefel Department Head of Geochemistry What to Expect Reactive transport in the Earth and Environmental Sciences is at a crossroads today. The discipline has reached a level of maturity well beyond what could be demonstrated even 15 years ago. This is shown now by the successes with which complex and in many cases coupled behavior have been described in a number of natural Earth environments, ranging from corroding storage tanks leaking radioactive Cs into the vadose zone…

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Geophysical Information Flow Networks: Causal Dependencies in Multivariate Dynamical Systems

February 28 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Praveen Kumar Speaker Bio Prof. Praveen Kumar holds a B.Tech. (Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India 1987), M.S. (Iowa State University 1989), and Ph.D. (University of Minnesota 1993), all in civil engineering, and has been on the Univ. of Illinois faculty since 1995.  He is also an Affiliate Faculty in the Department of Atmospheric Science; Institute of Sustainability, Energy, and Environment; National Center for Supercomputing Applications; Carle Woese Institute for Genomics Biology; and Center for Digital Agriculture.  His research focus…

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