The team of students and researchers in my group study an array of interdisciplinary climate change research problems, including climate extremes, climate change adaptation, and pathways to net-zero emissions. To support numerical modelling and field surveys, we maintain access to a multi-node computer cluster, SCUBA equipment, and field instruments for collecting climate and environmental data in coastal and marine settings.
My group and I aim to create a diverse, interactive, engaging, and interdisciplinary working environment. Each of us strives to keep the group a safe and welcoming place to work, which includes challenging our own biases with an open mind.
Current Group Members
Salome Buglass, PhD student (she/her/hers)
Víctor Cárdenas, PhD student (he/his/him/dad)
Victor is motivated by a deep desire to foster a society that is resilient to natural hazards, including climate-related ones, and is aware of its responsibility and capability regarding the environment and climate. His approach identifies and assesses economic losses in less developed countries resulting from the interaction of societies with nature and provides scientifically and methodologically rigorous risk-financing alternatives. He has 20 years of experience in global projects, involving roughly 30 countries.
Victoria Lucas, MSc student (she/her/hers)
Vicky Lucas has been a meteorologist and air quality scientist, and most recently working in the development and delivery of sustainability training. For the last few years she has been increasingly interested in the use of climate information to increase preparedness and adaptation for a warmer world. Analysis of climate services and bridging the gap into decision making is the basis of her thesis.
Dr. Harmony A. Martell née Hancock, Postdoctoral fellow (she/her/mom)
With two decades of experience teaching students from age 10 to 100, Dr. Martell is a seasoned educator interested in the thermal biology and physiology of marine organisms that govern their survival in the context of climate change. The applied nature of her work has led to the development and improvement of tools for coral reef management and has improved our understanding of interventions to increase success in coral restoration.
Julia Mayer, MSc student (she/her/hers)
Julia is particularly interested in the physical processes of the ocean and how they will be affected by climate change. Currently, she is studying the influence of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation on wave setup along the coast of Tarawa Atoll (Republic of Kiribati). Her work aims to improve the understanding of extreme climatic events and their impact on coastal communities.
Zana has a decade of experience as a professional in journalism at CBC Radio in Toronto and as a project manager developing a national youth ocean and climate literacy program at OceanWise. Her academic background is in biology, ecology, and anthropology, and she has worked with Indigenous communities in Canada and internationally. Zana is researching the socio-ecological roles of blue carbon ecosystems in climate change mitigation and adaptation for coastal communities for her PhD.
Margaryta Pustova, MSc student (she/her/hers)
Margaryta strives to create a better understanding of how the public perceives climate change and how greater individual climate action and climate policy support can be fostered. She is researching the impact of extreme weather events on the public’s preferences regarding climate change adaptation and mitigation actions at the individual and collective levels. Ultimately, Margaryta’s work is driven by her passion for bridging the gap between climate science and climate action.
Liam Lachs, PhD student, Newcastle University (he/him/his)
Liam studies ecological impacts of marine heatwaves on warm-water reef corals at Newcastle’s CORALASSIST Lab. His research is focused on documenting demographic impacts of mass coral bleaching, searching for reefs with contrasting thermal histories, and testing the adaptation potential of corals. This work uses experimental, remote sensing, and ecosystem modelling approaches, and has been built from collaborations with our group.
Xinru Li, PhD, 2023
Thesis: Dynamics of Warm-Season Marine Heat Waves
Currently: Postdoctoral Associate, NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory
Balsher S. Sidhu, Postdoctoral fellow (he/him/his)
Research: Reconciling biofuel demand and natural climate solutions in a net-zero future
Currently: Senior Climate Researcher, riskthinking.AI
Sara Cannon, PhD, 2022
Thesis: Coral reefs, climate change, and resilience in the Central Pacific
Currently: Postdoctoral Associate, Centre for Indigenous Fisheries, UBC
Pedro Cuautémoc González Espinosa, PhD, 2021
Thesis: Integration of sea surface temperature and light for prediction of coral bleaching
Currently: Postdoctoral Associate, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, UBC
Alejandra Urcelay, MSc, 2021
Thesis: Assessing the extent of global mass coral bleaching with an updated database
Currently: Data Manager, UBC Sustainability Hub
Kieran Findlater, Postdoctoral Associate, 2021
Research: Climate services and climate-adaptive decision making
Currently: Senior Policy Advisor, Privy Council Office, Government of Canada
Seth Wynes, PhD, 2020
Research: The role of individuals and institutions in climate change mitigation
Currently: Postdoctoral Associate, Concordia University
Currently: Software Developer, Ubisoft Montréal
Heather Summers, MSc, 2019
Research: Investigating the ability of coral reefs to protect shorelines in the Republic of Kiribati
Currently: Data Science, University of Waterloo
Sophie Webber, PhD, 2015
Thesis: Circuits of climate change finance, policy, and science in the Pacific Islands
Currently: Lecturer, University of Sydney
Justin Lau, MSc, 2016
Thesis: Caribbean sea surface temperatures and El Niño, a new outlook
Currently: Freelance photographer
Sandra Banholzer, MSc, 2012
Thesis: Central Pacific El Niño and its impact on weather and forest fire patterns in N America
Currently: Physical Sciences Specialist, Environment and Climate Change Canada
Doris Leong, PhD, 2015
Thesis: Water resource availability in response to climate change and oil sands operations
Currently: Head, Water Allocation, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations