Research Lab


Baldwin Group


The Baldwin Group studies climate dynamics and extreme event risk.

Research Area: Human Systems, Physical Climate


(Brando Lab)


The ECOSTRESS Group focuses on quantifying the vulnerability of terrestrial natural ecosystems to repeated disturbances and prolonged degradation. Research focuses: Identifying ecological thresholds beyond which global changes cause abrupt, prolonged degradation of terrestrial ecosystems by stressing, disturbing, and killing forests; quantifying ecological & climatological boundaries for tropical agricultural expansion and intensification; finding solutions to feed the planet while maintaining  the ecological integrity of terrestrial natural ecosystems.

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles


Czimczik Lab


Claudia Czimczik and her team work to understand the impacts of climate change, alterations in natural disturbance frequencies (i.e. fire), and changes in land use and management (i.e. urbanization) on the cycling of carbon and nitrogen in terrestrial ecosystems. The group's research aims to appreciate and predict how human activities will impact the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems in the future and how changing terrestrial ecosystems will feedback to the climate system. A major focus of these activities is on high-latitude ecosystems, i.e. arctic tundra and boreal forests.

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles


Davis Research Group


The Davis Research Group works to understand and find ways to meet the challenge of satisfying global demand for energy, food, and goods without emitting CO2 to the atmosphere. Steve Davis and his team are interested in energy technology and policy; emissions and energy embodied in international trade; life cycle assessment; interactions of agriculture and climate; human drivers of greenhouse gas emissions; and socio-economic inertia of climate change.

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles, Human Systems


Druffel Lab


Ellen Druffel and her team investigate why the 14C age of marine dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is thousands of years old, despite evidence that most of it is produced in the surface ocean during photosynthesis. The group also studies how ocean circulation changed in the tropical and subtropical Pacific during the past millennium.

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles


Egoh Research Group


The Egoh Research Group is interested in the mapping and valuing of ecosystem services to understanding the economic consequences of land degradation on human well-being. Understanding links between ecosystem services and underpinning biodiversity. Also of interest is the implementation of current policies related to biodiversity and ecosystem services and options that exist to safeguard or restore priority areas important for both. The identification of such priority areas is at the center of their research.

Research Area: Human Systems


Goulden Lab


The Goulden Lab focuses on how terrestrial ecosystems work, with an emphasis on what controls the exchanges of gases and energy between land surfaces and the atmosphere.

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles


Biosphere Atmosphere Interactions Group
(Guenther Lab)


The Biosphere Atmosphere Interactions Group are investigating biosphere-atmosphere interactions on scales of individual cells to the whole earth system to improve predictions of biogeochemical fluxes, atmospheric composition, air pollution,  climate and ecosystem health. This is being accomplished through multidisciplinary field, laboratory and modeling studies of the processes controlling these interactions.

Research Area: Atmospheric Chemistry


Johnson Research Group


The Johnson Research Group's primary research goal is to reconstruct past climate (paleoclimate) over the past several glacial-interglacial cycles at seasonal to millennial resolution and to compare these records with other paleoclimate data and model output. Specifically, the lab utilizes geochemical variations preserved in natural calcium carbonate archives such as speleothems (cave deposits) to construct well-dated records of past precipitation, temperature, vegetation, and/or atmospheric circulation in the tropical Indo-Pacific, the Asian monsoon region, and California.

Research Area: Physical Climate


Biosphere-Atmosphere-Human Interaction Research Group

(Kim Lab)


Saewung Kim's Biosphere-Atmosphere-Human Interaction Research Group conducts research on how biosphere-atmosphere-human interactions are affecting tropospheric oxidation capacity. The lab’s main research activities are deploying gas phase atmospheric constituents monitoring instrumentation to the field to constrain tropospheric oxidation capacity.

Research Area: Atmospheric Chemistry


Mackey Lab


The Mackey Lab conducts research to better understand how photosynthesis shapes, and is shaped by, biological, chemical, and physical processes in the ocean. We study all types of phytoplankton with an emphasis on tiny and ubiquitous cyanobacteria in the genus Synechococcus. Research in the lab is focused on two overarching questions: (1) How do phytoplankton sense, acclimate, and adapt to changes in their environment? and (2) What interplay does this cause between natural populations and their environment, and how does it influence their patterns of diversity and biogeochemical activity? The lab is particularly interested in how phytoplankton will adapt to global change

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles


Magnusdottir Modeling Lab


The Magnusdottir Modeling Lab focuses on atmospheric and climate dynamics. Gudrun Magnusdottir and her team use observations, as well as a hierarchy of numerical models, to study dynamical processes in the atmosphere and climate variability. The lab investigates feedback mechanisms influencing the unprecedented high-latitude trends in several climate variables over recent decades, tropical-extratropical and troposphere-stratosphere dynamical interactions, and the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) -- its variability on different timescales and what controls it in the climate system.

Research Area: Physical Climate


Martiny Research Group


Adam Martiny and his team work to identify (i) how microorganisms respond and genetically adapt to environmental variations and (ii) the biogeochemical role of this biodiversity. The results from this research are important for both understanding the basic biology and diversity of globally abundant microorganisms as well as gaining a mechanistic understanding of the biological controls on nutrient cycles.

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles


Moore Modeling Lab


The Moore Modeling Lab is interested in the role of marine biota in global biogeochemical cycles and Earth's climate system. Keith Moore's research focuses on understanding how marine phytoplankton and other ocean biota influence the cycling of key elements (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, silicon, iron) in the oceans, and on the biogeochemical links between the ocean, atmosphere, and land through atmospheric transport and riverine runoff.

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles


Morlighem Research Group


The Morlighem Research Group focuses on better understanding and explaining ongoing changes in the Cryosphere, or the frozen parts of the Earth, using numerical modeling. Mathieu Morlighem and his team are interested in understanding the interactions of ice and climate by combining state-of-the-art numerical modeling with remote sensing and in situ data. In particular, they are interested in determining how the ice sheet, ice caps and mountain glaciers will respond to climate change in the coming century. The Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM) is their primary tool to address these questions

Research Area: Physical Climate


Mueller Lab


Research in the Mueller Lab analyzes the interactions between climate, land use, agriculture, water, and food security in the context of global change.

Research Area: Human Systems


Prather Modeling Lab


The Prather Modeling Lab focuses on simulation of the physical, chemical and biological processes that determine atmospheric composition and development of (1) detailed numerical models of photochemistry and atmospheric radiation and (2) global chemical transport models that describe ozone and other trace gases.

Research Area: Atmospheric Chemistry


Primeau Research Group


The Primeau Research Group is interested in the ocean's role in the climate of the Earth. The ocean plays a determining role in the variability of the climate system on inter-annual to millennial timescales. The lab uses global observations and a hierarchy of ocean models together with advanced computational and mathematical techniques to study the ocean. Francois Primeau and his team’s current research is directed in three broad areas: 1) the surface-to-surface transport and ventilation of ocean water masses; 2) inter-annual to decadal variability of the ocean's wind-driven circulation; and 3) global ocean biogeochemical cycles.

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles, Physical Climate


Pritchard Lab


The Pritchard Lab's expertise is in next generation climate simulation, focusing on the physics of cloud-related processes in the virtual atmosphere. Mike Pritchard and his team apply a range of traditional and experimental new approaches to study the global atmosphere in a virtual laboratory. These include conventional global climate models and experimental approaches such as "superparameterized" prototype global models.

Research Area: Physical Climate


Randerson Research Group


The Randerson Research Group seeks to improve our understanding of global change in terrestrial ecosystems. They use remote sensing data, atmospheric trace gas observations, field measurements, and models in new ways to study feedbacks between terrestrial ecosystems and climate.

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles, Physical Climate


Rignot Research Group


The primary interest of the Rignot Research Group is to understand the interactions of ice and climate, in particular to determine how the ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland will respond to climate change in the coming century and how they will affect global sea level. Glaciology mixes a variety of scientific and engineering disciplines. Eric Rignot and his team combine satellite remote sensing techniques (imaging radar, laser altimetry, radio echo sounding) airborne geophysical surveys, field surveys (GPR, GPS) and numerical modeling (ice sheet motion and ocean circulation near glaciers). In May 2013, the Rignot Research Group recieved a NASA award for "Ice Velocity Mapping of the Antarctic Ice Sheet," a five-year project funded that will extend funding at UC Irvine for ten years to map ice motion in Antarctica and deliver the products to the science community.

Research Area: Physical Climate


Saltzman / Aydin Research Group


The oceans produce a diverse array of trace gases that affect the chemistry of the atmosphere and the climate system. The Saltzman / Aydin Research Group’s goal is to understand what controls the production, emissions, and atmospheric chemistry of oceanic trace gases. Eric Saltzman, Murat Aydin, and their team develop trace gas detectors, collect field data from islands and ships and use computer models to simulate natural processes. The group is also interested in the history of trace gas/climate interactions.

Research Area: Atmospheric Chemistry, Biogeochemical Cycles


Trumbore Lab


Susan Trumbore has been at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry (MPI-BGC) since 2009. Trumbore's main research contribution is the application of radiocarbon to study the dynamics of carbon cycling in plants and soils.

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles


Velicogna Research Group


The focus of the Velicogna Research Group is to study the cryospheric components of the water cycle and their response to climate forcing. In particular, Isabella Velicogna and her team study the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, their contribution to sea level rise and the evolution of the Arctic water cycle in response to climate change.

Research Area: Physical Climate


W. M. Keck Carbon Cycle Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Laboratory


In 2001, ESS/CGECR researchers Ellen Druffel, John Southon and Susan Trumbore were awarded $2 million by the W.M. Keck Foundation for the development of an accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) facility – the Keck-Carbon Cycle AMS facility - for radiocarbon measurements in support of carbon cycle research at University of California, Irvine. Related Research Group: Santos Research Group

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles


Yu Modeling Lab


Research Topics Include: Two Types of El Nino: Central-Pacific El Nino and Eastern-Pacific El Nino; A New Global Parallel and Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere GCM; ENSO Simulation, Dynamics, and Prediction; ENSO-Monsoon Interactions; Indian Ocean Zonal Mode; Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO); Tropical Instability Waves (TIW); Tropical-Extratropical Interactions; Cloud-Radiation Feedback; Jetstream and Stormtrack Vacillation; Regional Climate Variations

Research Area: Physical Climate


Zender Research Group


The Zender Research Group studies the microphysics of trace gas, aerosol, and surface interactions with Earth's radiative, thermodynamic, and chemical processes. Charles Zender and his team develop and refine the representation of these processes to improve climate prediction. Model simulations, combined with lab, field, and satellite data, help them predict and attribute features of climate and climate change. Current research includes mineral dust and carbonaceous aerosols, snow lifecycle and albedo, aerosol impacts on ocean biogeochemistry, wind-driven surface energy/mass exchange, climate-disease links, and super-dooper-big-scale data analysis. The team's aerosol, radiative transfer, and data processing models are freely available and are used by geoscientists world-wide.

Research Area: Atmospheric Chemistry, Physical Climate