Associated Faculty

Below is an interdisciplinary list of UConn Faculty members who have expertise in fields related to climate.


Atmospheric Sciences Group

The Atmospheric Sciences Group is an interdisciplinary faculty group that is focused on promoting and facilitating research, education and outreach in the Atmospheric and Related Sciences.

Note: the * symbol below denotes ASG members.


Richard Anyah

Department of Natural Resources and the Environment

Dr. Anyah is an atmospheric scientist with expertise in dynamic modeling of regional climate variability and changes using coupled regional climate-hydrologic models.


Marina Astitha *

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Astitha is an Assistant Professor for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Her research is focused on aerosol-cloud-radiation interactions in regional and global scale, as well as anthropogenic influence to extreme weather events and cloud microphysics and precipitation uncertainties.


Carol Atkinson-Palombo

Department of Geography

Dr. Atkinson-Palombo specializes in the use of Geographic Information Systems to evaluate the impact of public policies intended to create places that are more sustainable. She is especially interested in the growing coordination in the United States of housing, energy and transportation policies with a view to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, criteria pollutants and structural dependency on fossil fuels.


Mark A. Boyer *

Department of Geography

Center for Environmental Studies & Engineering

Climate Change is one of the signal transnational issues of our time. It is truly global in nature and thus demands scientific policy solutions that are developed and implemented across multiple governmental settings and levels. Focusing on climate change policy-making, Dr. Boyer’s book-length project develops a conceptual approach to multi-level public good provision that accounts for spillovers across governmental levels, regulatory impacts that affect levels below and policy implementation that affects levels above and below. It leads to two primary assessments: 1). How coordinated is policy action across units and level? And 2). How efficient is multi-level provision for climate change policy? To understand these questions, data collection centers on elite interviewing of climate change policy-makers from global to local levels.


Heidi Dierssen

Departments of Marine Sciences & Geography

Dr. Dierssen uses optics and remote sensing to explore questions related to the marine carbon cycle. Her lab quantifies productivity of seagrass and algal beds, phytoplankton distributions in complex estuaries such as Long Island Sound, small bubble plumes and their role in gas exchange, and methods for assessing resuspension of carbonate sediment.


Michael Hren

Center for Integrative Geosciences

Dr. Michael Hren is an Assistant Professor for the Department of Chemistry. Dr. Michael Hren has just arrived in Storrs and is currently looking for new students to begin projects using stable isotopes of terrestrial biomarkers and geochemical proxies to reconstruct terrestrial environmental change. Please contact Dr. Michael Hren for more questions.


Christine J. Kirchhoff

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Kirchoff is an Assistant Professor for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Her research is focused on water resource management and policy. She also focuses in adaptation to climate variability and science-policy interactions and decision support.


Kelly Lombardo *

Department of Marine Sciences

Dr. Lombardo is an Assistant Professor for the Department of Marine Sciences. Her primary research focuses on atmospheric mesoscale processes associated with organized convective storms in a marine environment. Combining observations and high-resolution numerical simulations provides the opportunity to study the lifecycle of these storms, as well as the modification of their evolution due to the gradients in the thermodynamic and mass fields along the coastal zone. She is also interested in the impact of climate variability on coastal storms, including organized convective systems and coastal cyclones. Changes in the frequency, distribution, and intensity of these phenomena can have the potential to drastically impact coastal zone, through variations in severe weather, storm surge, and the characteristics of precipitation events.


David Lund

Department of Marine Sciences

Dr. Lund is an Associate Professor of Marine Sciences. His research focuses on the mechanisms that govern climate variability on centennial and longer time scales. In particular, he is interested in quantitative reconstruction of the ocean circulation and the role the ocean circulation plays in the global cycles of water and carbon. He uses the following analytical techniques: stable isotope geochemistry, trace and minor element geochemistry, and radiocarbon and U/Th geochronology.


Robert Mason *

Departments of Marine Sciences & Chemistry

Dr. Mason has interests in the fate, transport and transformation of trace metals, especially mercury, but also cadmium, lead, and metalloids (arsenic and selenium) in aquatic systems and the atmosphere, and the factors that influence the rate of exchange across the air-sea and sediment-water interfaces. His research includes studies of photochemistry, mercury methylation and demethylation and the accumulation of metals into organisms. The biogeochemical cycling of metals is strongly impacted by the environment and changes due to climate change, anthropogenic inputs and other factors.


Melissa McKinney

Department of Natural Resources and the Environment

Center for Environmental Studies & Engineering

Dr. Melissa McKinney is an Assistant Professor for the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment. She is interested in how anthropogenic stressors, particularly bioaccumulative contaminants and climate change, act and interact to affect the health of aquatic species and ecosystems. Her research program has used field- and lab-based approaches to successfully identify climate-linked ecological changes, and their ecotoxicological consequences with respect to persistent contaminant exposures in wildlife and their food webs.


Letitia Naigles

Department of Psychology

Dr. Naigles has interests in community activism, advocacy and education related to climate.


James O’Donnell

Departments of Marine Science & Physics

Long Island Sound Coastal Observatory

Dr. O’Donnell is interested in circulation and mixing in the ocean and its effects on coastal ecosystems. Separating the consequences of global-scale decadal cycles and long term trends from local anthropogenic impacts is an important theme of his recent work.


Will Ouimet *

Department of Geography

Center for Environmental Studies & Engineering

Center for Integrative Geosciences

Dr. Ouimet is an Assistant Professor for the Geography Department and Center for Integrative Geosciences. He specializes in Geomorphology and Earth Surface Processes.


Paula Schenck *

Occupational and Environmental Health Center at the UConn Health Center

Ms. Schenck’s interests are broadly in the nexus among environment, health and public health policy. Climate Change presents threats to health but also opportunities for illness prevention in how we choose to address and adapt to global warming. The opportunities take on more urgency when examining under served populations at increased health risk from environmental exposures.

Kathleen Segerson

Department of Economics

Dr. Segerson has interests in the economic impacts of climate change and policy approaches to mitigating climate change.


Anji Seth *

Department of Geography

Dr. Seth is a climate scientist with expertise in numerical climate modeling and interest in understanding changes in regional climates associated with both natural and human drivers in the past, present and future.


John Silander

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Dr. Silander is an ecologist with an interest in the effects of climate and climate change on the distribution and abundance patterns of species (especially plants) and communities over space and time. He is also interested in the effects of extreme weather events on species life-history, demography and evolution, and in capturing the spatio-temporal uncertainty in weather and climate patterns.


Alexia Smith

Department of Anthropology

Dr. Smith is an archaeobotanist examining the impact of ancient climate change on food production and societal organization. Her work focuses on Bronze and Iron Age archaeological sites in Syria, Turkey and Armenia.


Scott Stephenson

Department of Geography

Dr. Stephenson’s research interests lie at the intersection of environmental change and human political and economic systems. Within this broad theme, his work focuses on projects relating to human causes of and responses to climate change in the Arctic, and international negotiations on climate mitigation, adaptation, and vulnerability.


Guiling Wang *

Department of Civil and Environment Engineering

Dr. Wang conducts research in the general field of land-atmosphere interactions at seasonal to centennial time scales. At the seasonal and inter-annual time scales, her work focuses on the role of soil moisture and vegetation in seasonal climate predictions. Her work at decadal or longer time scales focuses on the feedback between terrestrial ecosystem dynamics and regional climate, how this feedback may influence climate variability and climate changes, and the impact of climate changes on water resources and public health.


Michael M. Whitney *

Department of Marine Sciences

Michael M. Whitney is an Associate Professor of Marine Sciences. His research focuses on the physical dynamics of estuarine and coastal systems. He studies how currents and density fields respond to winds, surface heat flux, tides, and buoyant river inputs. Much of his research involves adapting hydrodynamic models to construct simulations and idealized process models. The realistic simulations are powerful tools for describing flow fields, diagnosing physical dynamics, and predicting circulation in coastal and estuarine waters. The idealized process models are well-suited to isolating forcing-response relationships and generalizing findings.


Michael Willig *

Center for Environmental Studies & Engineering

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Dr. Willig is a quantitative ecologist whose research focuses on the spatio-temporal dynamics of populations, communities, and metacommunities in response to climate-induced disturbances such as cyclonic storms and droughts. Much of this research considers initial responses to disturbance (e.g., resistance), and subsequent trajectories of change during secondary succession (resilience and vulnerability). Current projects include both empirical and theoretical components.


Xiusheng (Harrison) Yang

Department of Natural Resources and the Environment

Connecticut State Climate Center

Dr. X. Harrison Yang is a professor in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, the Connecticut State Climatologist and the Director of the Connecticut State Climate Center. He and his group are currently working on the following research projects that relate to climate: (1) Climate and climate change in Connecticut and the Northeastern US, (2) Impact of climate change on water resources, and (3) Mechanisms of atmospheric-hydrologic interactions.