Ryan Knox conducts research in the earth systems disciplines of eco-hydrology and terrestrial vegetation dynamics. He joined Berkeley Lab’s Earth and Environmental Sciences in 2013 after completing his Ph.D in hydrology at MIT. During his thesis work he began active involvement in the development of the Ecosystem Demography Model 2 (ED2), which served him as a research tool to better understand how Amazonian deforestation interacts and co-evolves with natural vegetation and regional climate.
Dr. Knox currently participates in two broader research initiatives, the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment Tropics (NGEE-T) and the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM). His primary objectives in both projects revolve around the development and deployment of the Functionally Assembled Terrestrial Ecosystem Simulator (FATES). FATES simulates the processes of terrestrial vegetation, such as the growth, mortality, disturbance and recruitment. FATES is powerful in that it leverages an advanced approach to scaling (based on ED), where processes connected to individual plants are resolved in such a way that simulations can occur at a global scale, while still capturing the biodiversity and variability of the Earth’s terrestrial ecosystems.