My research focuses on interfacial nanoscience and leverages basic science to advance carbon mineralization processes in confined environments. I work on both in situ (geological) and ex situ (industrial) CO2 sequestration. My research on carbon capture and utilization processes is funded by the Department of Energy's Early Career Program, National Science Foundation, and Aramco (the largest oil and gas company in the world).
My research explores the functional roles of microbes in ecosystems. Microbes, such as bacteria and fungi, contribute to global carbon balance and cycle nutrients required for plant growth. Using theory, experiments, and mathematical models, my team analyzes the response of microbial communities to changes in the environment and the consequences for life on Earth. Much of our work focuses on the soil microbiome and feedbacks to global climate change. We also recognize the growing need to manage ecosystems and their microbial inhabitants in the face of human environmental pressures. We aim to provide a sound scientific basis for solving environmental problems, including climate change, at local to global scales. We aim to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of these efforts.
The central aim of the Ardo Group research program is to understand and control spatiotemporal mechanisms and dynamics of non-equilibrium processes relevant to desalination, solar fuels devices, CO2 capture, photovoltaics, electrolyzers, fuel cells, electric heat pumps, and atmospheric water harvesting. Guided by results from numerical simulations and processes that occur in Nature, members of the Ardo Group design and fabricate kinetically asymmetric systems using chemical synthesis and molecular-level engineering of molecule–material structures. Specific tailoring of the mechanisms imparted by these asymmetries allows us to control photo-induced charge separation in solar energy conversion schemes, current rectification using electrochemical ratchets and ionic diodes made from ice or ion-exchange membranes, selective and rapid catalysis of reactions involving proton transfer such as for CO2 capture, and local temperature using photonic and heat-transfer processes. Results from each study increase fundamental knowledge of the transport and transfer phenomena (ion, electron, photon, energy, heat) that dictate the function and effectiveness of sustainable clean water and renewable energy technologies. The Ardo Group is well-suited for students and postdoctoral scholars with various backgrounds and expertise, spanning the disciplines of chemistry, applied physics, chemical engineering, materials science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and biophysics.
The Maxx X Lab (MXLab: Experimental Low-Dimensional Condensed Matter Chemistry Laboratory) is an interdisciplinary chemistry laboratory positioned at the interfaces of solid-state chemistry, materials chemistry and physics, and nanoscience. Research in the MXLab focuses on the chemistry and physics of novel solids from the bulk and down to the nanoscale. The fundamental understanding of emergent electronic, optical, and quantum phenomena in these solids is realized by creating new materials that are comprised of weakly-bound subunits (via van der Waals forces) possessing reduced dimensionalities, in one- or two-dimension/s, and high surface areas. Presented with this diverse platform—coupled with the drastically altered behaviors and interactions of electrons or photons within these lattices—the MXLab’s vision is to leverage such unique material attributes at the nano- to the sub-nanometer size regime to develop building blocks that will interface nascent quantum phenomena with next-generation energy harnessing, conversion, and storage technologies.
Chancellor's Professor, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering - Samueli School of Engineering
- Building academic and research programs in electrochemistry and electrochemical engineering. - General motivation; decarbonizing economy through electrochemical processes. - Specific research projects in materials design and news technologies for electrochemical energy conversion. - Contributions in electrocatalysis (mostly heterogenous) and bio-electrocatalysis (mostly enzymatic). - Applications in fuel cells, electrolyzers and bio-electrochemical systems. - Innovations in fuel cells catalysts design: PGM (commercialized by Cabot Corp.); PGM-free (commercialized by Pajarito Powder LLC). - Interest in bridging electrochemically active (nano)materials design and integration of electrochemical processes at hierarchy of scale.
The overarching objective of my research is to better understand intelligence in brains and machines. One component of this effort is the development and application of AI and statistical machine learning methods, in particular deep learning, to a broad range of problems in the natural sciences.
Exchange of scalar (such as carbon dioxide, heat, or trace gases), momentum, and energy between the atmosphere and the elements of the ecosystem such as land, vegetation and water is controlled by turbulence or multi-scale organized eddy motions. The Boundary Layers and Turbulence (BLT) lab led by Prof. Banerjee uses a range of novel theoretical, numerical, and experimental tools to identify the governing laws of such interactions across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Research topics include: atmospheric boundary layer dynamics, turbulent fluid dynamics, land/water/vegetation - atmosphere interaction, wildfires, vegetation dynamics, carbon and water cycles, hydrology, wetlands, and terrestrial aquatic interfaces.
My research explores the vulnerability of terrestrial natural ecosystems to repeated disturbances and prolonged degradation. My scientific toolbox includes a combination of field manipulation experiments, statistical and dynamic vegetation models, and remote sensing. These skills have helped me to scale up results from the local to the regional scale. My Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Ecology has also facilitated my interaction with a wide range of disciplines to integrate knowledge from research specialists across different fields to contribute to potential solutions to tropical forest sustainability.
Associate Chancellor, Office of Sustainability - UC Irvine
Wendell Brase co-chairs UC President Janet Napolitano’s Global Climate Leadership Council and leads an award-winning sustainability program in his role as Vice Chancellor for Administrative and Business Services at the University of California, Irvine.
Distinguished Professor in Strategic Management, Strategic Management - Merage School of Business
I take a behavioral approach to strategic decisions. I've studies topics ranging from capital investment to trust in a wide variety of settings. A substantial portion of my work deals with decisions under uncertainty.
His primary research focus since joining UC Irvine has been high-temperature electrochemical dynamics and integrated energy systems research that includes fuel cells, gas turbines,electrolyzers, and solar and wind power. Brouwer is a highly recognized researcher in the area of alternative energy and is expected to make strong contributions to UCI's stature in the field of energy and the environment and to make leading research and teaching contributions to MAE and to the Environment Institute.
Aided by super-computer simulations and analytic models, Professor Bullock studies how galaxies and their constituent dark matter halos have formed and evolved over billions of years of cosmic time. By analyzing data that astronomers have collected using the Hubble Space Telescope, the Keck Observatory, and other ground and space telescopes, he works to understand how galaxies, including the Milky Way and its Local Group of galaxies, emerged from the primordial universe. One of his long-standing interests has been the use of astrophysical observations to constrain the microphysical nature of dark matter.
My research objectives for the past 30 years have been to better understand food practices in arid lands and the tropics. These would constitute the majority of food systems that have not been captured by the corporate food industry that is destroying the planet. I focus on gender (female farming vs male farming, family systems, and the effects of imported industrial foods, upon food production and consumption. Recently I have become interested in the problem of racism within the US empire and its effects upon local foods, including loss of land. I am also planning to write about the problem of militarism and its damage on views as to what a man should be and the concomitant increase of misogyny in the large part of the world that is affected by the US Empire. I have conducted field research in Yucatan, with the Gikuyu people of Kenya, the pastoral Maasai people of Kenya, the Dine (AKA Navajo people of the US Southwest, and in four Micronesian societies (Palau, Yap, Kosrae, and the Marshall Islands. I identify myself as having partial Native Californian ancestry, and 50% Yankee ancestry. Ihave lived most of my life in the LA area, as did my mother, most of her parents, and her great grandparents. In addition to anthropology, I have a strong background in economics (BA MIT), Cognitive psychology, linguistics, measurement models and multivariate statistics)
Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Faculty Director, Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources, Law - Law
Professor Camacho is a recognized authority on the goals, structures, and processes of regulation, with a particular focus on U.S. environmental, natural resources, and land use law. His legal and scientific publications consider the role of public participation and scientific expertise in regulation; the allocation of authority between regulatory institutions; and how the processes, structure, and goals of legal institutions can be reshaped to more effectively account for emerging technologies and the dynamic character of natural and human systems. He has written extensively on climate change governance, particularly in the context of species conservation and public lands management. His interdisciplinary research involves collaborations with experts in ecology, land use planning, political science, computer science, genetics, philosophy, and sociology. He is the co-author, with Robert Glicksman, of Reorganizing Government: A Functional and Dimensional Framework published by NYU Press in 2019. Professor Camacho is also the Faculty Director of the Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources, an elected member of the American Law Institute, a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and a Scholar at the Center for Progressive Reform.
Anthropogenic emissions and their chemical transformation during atmospheric transport drive critical issues surrounding air quality and climate change. Dr. Carlton conducts atmospheric modeling, organizes and leads field and laboratory studies to investigate these topics with the ultimate goal of informing policymakers so society can develop effective strategies that protect human health, ecosystems, agricultural economies and security. Her favorite science involves formation of secondary organic aerosol through cloud processing and aerosol water chemistry.
My research combines field observation with geochemical analyses to understand how climate and anthropogenic activities impact carbon cycling and storage in (Arctic) land ecosystems, air pollution, and the global carbon cycle.
Our research is aimed at understanding the complex interactions of human and natural systems in order to assess the causes and magnitude of damages and disruptions now and in the future, and to identify possible solutions.
I study how physical processes shape coastal waters – combining principles of fluid mechanics, oceanography, and ecology. I use both field observations and numerical experiments to examine circulation in the coastal ocean, its natural variability, and influence on marine ecosystems and human-nature interactions. My recent research is focused on understanding the feasibility of the large-scale, offshore cultivation of macroalgae for the production of biofuels and a strategy to sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
My research is centred around the mapping, modelling and valuing of ecosystem services and prioritizing areas for conservation action. I am particularly interested in the impact of climate change on ecosystem services. Also, recently, I have been working on restoration as a solution to land degradation and climate mitigation action. In my lab, we measured restoration success based on ecosystem services and put a monetary value on ecosystem services.
Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Chemistry - Physical Sciences
The Finlayson-Pitts research group study atmospheric processes such as new particle formation and particles growth; heterogeneous chemistry and surface chemistry; and the photooxidation of neonicotinoids.
Major research interests are in the area of stochastic modeling of surface hydrologic and geomorphologic processes. Current areas of research include modeling and estimation of space-time rainfall from spaceborne sensors, seasonal precipitation forecasting using observations and climate models, stochastic theories of transport on the Earth's surface, river network dynamics and hydrologic response. All these research topics have the common thread of exploring space-time statistical signatures over a range of scales and relating them to the underlying physical processes. Modeling is pursued using minimal complexity models that explore re-normalization and patterns.
My primary interests are in software engineering with a focus on mobile security, testing, and analysis; software architecture; and software maintenance and re-engineering. I leverage static and dynamic program analysis, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to address problems in multiple software application domains and problems—including mobile applications, decay of software architecture, and autonomous vehicles (i.e., self-driving cars). I was also formerly a software engineer at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where I worked on scientific software for climate science, climate change, environmental science, earth science, and health science. I also was an intern at the Southern California Earthquake Center, which houses one of the largest collaborations on geoscience. I would like to apply software engineering techniques to address global problems of climate change and environmental degradation.
I investigate 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. I am especially interested in the role of reactive gases in the Earth System.
Assistant Professor, Operations and Decision Technologies - Paul Merage School of Business
My research formulates optimization and game theory models to study the environmental and social implications of business operations, and propose policies/mechanisms that lead to profitable outcomes that also help preserve the natural environment and improve social welfare. My research interests include the design and implementation of environmental policies, and new business models to support/regulate the informal sector in developing countries.
Assistant Professor, Health, Society & Behavior - Public Health
Climate change communication; Understanding how to engage diverse audiences on the issue of climate change and climate sensitive health impacts, support various climate policy, behavior change to reduce carbon footprint, and prepare various communities for climate related change, and identify effective communication strategies.
My research investigates how urban development patterns intersect with neighborhood livability and environmental quality. These themes are evident in three overarching and interrelated areas of my empirical work: environmental disparities and injustice, time-activity and air pollution exposure monitoring in low SES communities of color, and knowledge and perceptions of environmental hazards. My scholarship contributes to several literatures – transportation and environmental planning, environmental health science, public health, and geography – and expands each by helping explain how places and policies influence people, behavior, and community health.
Solutions-driven ocean research at the interface of public health and ecosystem function, ranging from nanoscale processes to globally patterns. Specific research focus: (1) Infectious Disease Ecology, (2) Metagenomics and Transcriptomics, (3) Big Data, (4) Ecosystem Services, (5) Civil and Environmental Engineering, (6) Satellite Remote Sensing, (7) Global Change Biology, (8) Policy and Communication.
Our research is to study extreme light-matter interaction, advanced nano-physics/optical materials, and ultrafast/quantum/bio-photonics at the nanometer scale (e.g. in plasmonic, metasurface, zero-index/2D material, optical fiber platforms), as well as advancing next generation optical imaging, energy, bio/optical sensing, medical, and communication applications.
I work on atmospheric and climate dynamics, atmosphere and ocean interactions, and atmosphere and sea-ice interactions. I use a combination of observations and a hierarchy of numerical models to study dynamical processes in the atmosphere, and climate variability. Much of my research is focused on understanding processes that can lead to extended predictive skill of atmospheric phenomena, including extreme events, by considering the slower components of the Earth system, not only surface processes (such as ocean, sea ice and snow) but also stratospheric circulations that through stratosphere-troposphere coupling can improve predictive skill on seasonal time scales.
Studies (a) the environmental dimensions of conflict and peacebuilding; (b) climate change adaptation in conflict and post-conflict societies; and (c) transnational threat systems. He has done extensive field work in conflict zones in South Asia and East, Central and West Africa.
Our institut conducts theoretical and experimental research related to the behavior and the interaction between solid, particulate and fluidic (gas/liquid) substances or material systems, as they appear in the production of high-performance, high-value materials and products, in technical applications and processing plants, and in nature.
My research focuses on better understanding and explaining ongoing changes in the Cryosphere, as well as reducing uncertainties in the ice sheet contribution to sea level rise using numerical modeling.
Associate Professor, Art History - Humanities
I work on modern and contemporary art, theory, and criticism, with special interests in environmental history, the history of photography, and media studies, and am the author of "Ecologies, Environments, and Energy Systems in Art of the 1960s and 1970s" (MIT Press, 2014), and the forthcoming "Second Site" (Princeton University Press, 2021).
Professor, Population Health and Disease Prevention - Public Health
Global health and development; Toxic environmental pollution; Microbial diversity, ecology and health
Political Ecology of Brazil-China Relations My current book project is a critical global ethnography of Chinese investments in Brazilian agribusiness. This long-term research project focuses on the formidable role of Brazil and China in restructuring global agroindustrial production, investments, and trade—which drive geopolitical and economic transformations of critical importance for climate change and global environmental governance. Environmental Justice in the Amazon I am member of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN-SDSN) Science Panel for the Amazon. We are co-authoring an interdisciplinary report analyzing changes to landscapes and livelihoods driven by commercial agriculture, timber and mineral extraction, and infrastructure construction, which addresses major drivers of climate change and the cultivation of environmental justice in a global biodiversity hotspot. Impacts of COVID-19 on Food Supply Chains in the US I am Co-PI of an interdisciplinary research project examining disruptions to food supply chains in California, Florida, and the Midwest due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team has been awarded $1 million from the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (USDA) to undertake this project from 2020 to 2022. We are adapting surveys originally developed for climate change-induced disruptions of agricultural production by incorporating greater attention to issues of gender, race, social equity and resilience along the entire food supply chain
Pan’s research focuses on the synthesis and atomic scale characterization of multifunctional materials with an emphasis on probing atomic scale structure and properties of material interfaces and nanostructures under controlled boundary conditions and environments. His group’s goal is to obtain a fundamental understanding of the atomic level structure-property relationships of nanoengineered materials, especially oxide heterostructures, ferroelectrics/multiferroics, nanocatalysts and two-dimensional (2D) functional materials. He is developing novel four-dimensional scanning transmission electron microscopy and momentum-resolved vibrational electron microscopy to probe atomic scale structure, chemical and physical properties of single atom catalysts, 2D strongly correlated oxides, ferroelectrics/multiferroics, and complex concentrated materials with multiple principal elements.
The overall objective of my research is to develop mathematical models able to predict the rates at which carbon dioxide is exchanged between the atmosphere and the ocean. My research combines dynamical circulation models, satellite data, and hydrographic measurements to infer the circulation of the ocean and the biogeochemical transformation rates that occur in it.
Cicerone Professor, Earth System Science - Physical Sciences
Climate-carbon cycle feedbacks, fires, land cover change, remote sensing, tropical deforestation, global change in arctic and boreal ecosystems, terrestrial ecosystems and climate policy. Studies the global carbon cycle using remote sensing and in-situ measurements and different types of models. Current research themes in his laboratory include climate-carbon cycle feedbacks, land use change, and the effects of fire on ecosystem function and atmospheric composition.
The primary interest of our research group is to understand the interaction between 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 and regional sea level.
Flooding and erosion has emerged as one the greatest challenges facing the world. Losses are escalating at an alarming rate, and millions of people are impacted by flooding every year. At the UCI Flood Lab, we advance simulation technologies for characterizing flooding and erosion dynamics, and we join trans-disciplinary research teams and work with affected communities to integrate these technologies into actionable information and better policies for management. We envision a future where advanced simulation technologies developed by engineers are more interactive and accessible to everyone, and more trusted, to contemplate the possibility of flooding and erosion, how people and the environment might be impacted, and what can be done about it.
Professor, Education - Education
Professor Santagata is an educational researcher, studying math and science teaching and learning in and out of school. She is a leading scholar in the use of video technologies to study learning interactions and to foster teacher professional competence. She works in partnership with schools and local non-profit educational agencies to solve persistent problems of practice, particularly those affecting educational settings that serve marginalized youth. Her collaborations include a long-lasting partnership with the Crystal Cove Conservancy to develop and study programs that support K-12 students' systems thinking and their interest in science learning and STEM careers.
My research is focused on the development of statistical machine learning methods and algorithms, particularly for complex large-scale datasets, including applications to time-series, spatial, and spatio-temporal data. A particular focus of interest is analysis of large remotely-sensed data sets in the context of climate science, including long-standing collaborations with faculty in UCI's Earth System Science department and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I also recently led (2016-2021) the NSF-funded National Research Traineeship program at UCI, supporting graduate students at UCI working at the interface of machine learning and physical sciences.
Solingen studies the reciprocal influence between international political economy and international security, globalization and its discontents, global supply chains, transnational diffusion, nuclear proliferation, international institutions, and science and technology, among other topics. She received the 2018 William and Katherine Estes Award from the National Academy of Sciences recognizing basic research on issues relating to nuclear weapons; the 2019 Distinguished Scholar award in International Security from the International Studies Association; and the 2020 Susan Strange Professorship at the London School of Economics. She is a former President of the International Studies Association. In the context of this initiative, she will be especially interested in international collaboration on global problems of climate change and environmental degradation.
In the Sorte Lab, we take an integrative approach - spanning studies of organismal physiology to biogeography - to understand the mechanisms of responses to global change. Specific research foci include (1) the ecophysiological underpinnings of species’ distributions, (2) the impacts of climate-driven shifts in these distributions, (3) the interactions between climate change and species invasions, and (4) ways that species can "cope" with climate change (e.g. via acclimation, adaptation, and re-distribution).
My research focuses on the study of people’s transactions with their social and physical environments—especially how they influence personal and public health. My research, classroom teaching, and graduate mentorship at UCI span the fields of social ecology, environmental psychology, urban planning, epidemiology, and public health. Some of my current work is in the ‘science of team science’ and investigates factors that affect the collaborative success of transdisciplinary research and training programs. Other research focuses on the health and behavioral impacts of environmental stressors like traffic congestion, crowding, and information overload; applications of environmental design research to urban planning; and the environmental psychology of the Internet, especially the ways that qualities of virtual life affect people’s behavior and well-being.
My research interests are in statistical machine learning, with a particular focus on spatial and temporal models. Our work has led to improved computer vision methods for understanding image and video data, and scientific applications in neuroscience, ecology, seismology, and atmospheric modeling. My group has designed a number of efficient, general-purpose inference algorithms for graphical models and probabilistic programming languages. We also develop nonparametric Bayesian methods for weakly supervised learning in domains where large-scale human data annotation is infeasible. I direct the UCI Center for Machine Learning and Intelligent Systems.
I work at the intersection of environmental planning, public administration, and resources engineering to find ways to redesign environmental and infrastructure governance processes to be more equitable, efficient, and adaptive to climate change. I study diverse types of regulations (e.g., environmental impact assessment, water quality permits), governance approaches (e.g., collaborative and participatory decision-making) and environmental domains (e.g., floods, hydropower, hazardous waste remediation).
Heads the Software Design and Collaboration Laboratory, which focuses on understanding and advancing the role of design, coordination, and education in software development. Research bridges into the educational realm by developing and critically evaluating new approaches to teaching software engineering, particularly for those topics that traditionally are difficult to address in the classroom.
The focus of our research is to study the cryospheric components of the water cycle and their response to climate forcing. In particular, we study the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, their contribution to sea level rise, and the evolution of the Arctic land water cycle in response to climate change.
Professor and Interim Chair, Environmental and Occupational Health, Program in Public Health - Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences
My research involves spatio-temporal analyses of health data for examining the contributions of known risk factors and environmental exposures to the underlying geographic pattern of disease risk. I work extensively with reconstructing historic environmental exposures using GIS and have an extensive knowledge of groundwater modeling, spatial statistics, and on persistent environmental contaminants including tetrachloroethylene (PCE, a dry-cleaning solvent), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, a perfluorinated compound (PFC) involved in the manufacturing of Teflon), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs, a common class of flame retardants). The current focus of my research is the spatio-temporal analysis of birth defects and infant morbidity in relation to air pollution using generalized additive models (GAM) in a geographic framework
Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health - Public Health
My research focuses on environmental exposure assessment, environmental epidemiology, and environmental health disparity issues. My research aims to provide a strong scientific basis to protect public health from adverse exposure to various environmental agents (e.g. air pollution, toxic metals, heat and extreme weather, noise, and lack of green space). I am also interested in working closely with communities on local environmental justice issues on air pollution, soil contamination, and climate-change related problems.
Xin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UCI. He is an expert on studying structure-property relationships for a range of battery and catalyst materials. His in-depth diagnostic work has helped enable the development of several lithium-ion battery materials and fuel-cell catalysts, including 3D doped high-Ni cobalt-free cathodes, a disordered rock salt anode for fast-charging batteries, and single-atom catalysts that enabling ambient ammonia electrosynthesis. Xin holds a strong track record of leading multidisciplinary studies in the battery and fuel-cell field. Other than his energy materials-related research, he maintains a strong track record in developing machine learning-enabled 3-D, atomic-resolution, and in situ spectroscopic and imaging tools to probe the structural, chemical, and bonding changes of materials.
Our research is centered on developing efficient and abundant metal catalysts for the production of fuels or feedstock chemicals using renewable energy. Our approach takes inspiration from enzymatic active sites as well as thermochemical activity descriptors used in heterogeneous catalysis. The initial targets are the electrocatalytic reduction of water to hydrogen, and carbon dioxide to more energy-dense carbon fuels. The research combines synthesis with advanced electrochemical and spectroscopic techniques. Detailed mechanistic and kinetic studies are employed to improve catalyst design and optimize activity.
PhD Student, Informatics - University of California, Irvine
My research objective is to build knowledge systems that collect and process expert and non-expert beliefs regarding to sustainability concepts and relationships. These systems can be used as part of educational interventions and collaborative knowledge construction in undergraduate sustainability courses.
I have a broad interest in how biogeochemical cycles and other terrestrial processes are changing in response to climate change. The objective of my current research is to understand how shifts in ecosystem structure may alter carbon and nutrient cycles. To do this, I combine field observations of vegetation and soils in the Arctic with remote sensing observations. I also have an interest in using annual plants as a proxy to study changes in atmospheric radiocarbon. This research can have implications for tracking and mitigating local fossil fuel emissions at high spatial resolution.