Geeta Persad

Geeta  Persad
Assistant Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences

Email: geeta.persad@jsg.utexas.edu
Work: +1 512 632 9152
Office: JGB
Mailcode: C1160

Welcome to the Persad Aero-Climate Group!

Our research centers on innovative application of numerical global climate modeling to understand the behavior and societal impacts of the physical climate system. The core of our work focuses on the role of particle aerosol emissions, the primary radiative forcing offset to greenhouse gases over the industrial era, in driving inter-regional differences in the magnitude and rate of climate change and in the emergence of heat and hydroclimate extremes. A growing branch of our research applies this understanding of climate physics and modeling to questions at the interface of climate and hydrology, with a goal of understanding the climate shifts most likely to stress water management in the Central and Western U.S. An overarching goal of the lab's work is to understand how climatic change is most likely to stress human systems and how better understanding of these climate stresses in decision-making contexts can improve societal outcomes.

We are currently welcoming applications for Masters and PhD students for the Fall 2021 cycle (no GRE required)! Postdocs interested in co-developing fellowship proposals in our lab are highly encouraged to contact Dr. Persad via email. Below are some project areas that new group members will have the opportunity to engage with:
-The influence of the evolving geographic distribution of global aerosol emissions on climate, air quality, and societal decision-making
-Nonlinear interactions between aerosol, greenhouse gases, and irrigation/agricultural land management in monsoon climates
-Natural aerosols' influence in the paleoclimate record and their feedbacks with future climate change
-Novel uses of climate data to improve Western U.S. water management

Areas of Expertise

Atmospheric Aerosols, Climate Change, Climate Modeling, Air Pollution, Global Hydrologic Cycle, Monsoon Systems, Western U.S. Climate Impacts, Climate Policy and Decision-Making


Graduate Students

Veronika Redensek, M.S. (Supervisor)
Geological Sciences


Using Big Climate Data to Plan for Water Stress in the Western U.S. (Undergraduate - 10 hrs/wk through Fall 2020, eligible for renewal for up to two years)
Many communities and industries across the United States, particularly in the Western U.S., already struggle to meet their water needs. State-of-the-art climate projections suggest that climate change will only intensify these problems, but water decision-makers often struggle to apply the available climate projection data to their management needs. The student working on this project will use high-resolution climate model projections of future water cycle conditions in the Western U.S. to analyze how the metrics that matter most for regional water management may change in the future. Opportunities available to present within the University community and in external venues and to engage with decision-makers.

Helpful skills:
Basic experience navigating a Linux-based system using the command line
Familiarity with opening and plotting gridded data files in a programming language like Matlab or Python
Eagerness to self-teach any new programming skills necessary
Thoroughness with documenting code and research activities.

 

Mapping Air Quality and Climate Impacts from the Major World Economies (Graduate or Undergraduate - 10 hours/week through Fall and Spring semester, full time during Summer semester.)
Particle aerosol pollution has negative impacts on both the climate system and on air quality and human health. This project works to map the strength and geographic distribution of climate and societal impacts of aerosol emissions from the major world economies. The student working on this project will use high-resolution climate projection data to analyze the impact of regional air pollution on global weather patterns and air quality conditions. The student will have the opportunity to define their own research question, present research at an international scientific conference, and engage with project collaborators at other institutions.

Helpful skills:
Basic experience navigating a Linux-based system using the command line
Interest in climate and/or air quality issues
Familiarity with opening and plotting gridded data files in a programming language like Matlab or Python
Eagerness to self-teach any new programming skills necessary
Thoroughness with documenting code and research activities