My thesis in 180s… and in French

This weekend, I took part in the “Thesis in 180s” competition at MIT during which French speaking PhD students from all background presented their thesis in 180 seconds (3 minutes) to a non-specialized audience. This competition started in French-speaking countries in 2012, and this year was the first time that the competition was hosted is the US. The event was organized by the French Consulate in Boston and the French @MIT Club.

Explaining one’s research project in such a short amount time requires a lot of preparation, but it was a very fun challenge! During my presentation, I introduced the concepts of dew, foliar uptake, transpiration suppression, cavitation, and water use efficiency, all in only 180s! I was awarded 3rd place and received a $500 prize from Thales, who sponsored the event. The winner, Arthur Michaut, will defend the US in the international final in September in Liège (Belgium).

If you understand French, make sure to watch the video of my presentation!

NASA Jet Propulsion Lab SURP grant received

I was recently awarded a 1-year award from the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab’s Strategic University Research Partnership program!  These grants provide up to $100,000 for cutting edge earth science research conducted by JPL scientists and their chosen collaborators at one of JPL’s 12 partnering universities.

For this project, I will be collaborating with David Thompson from JPL. We plan to combine QuikSCAT active microwave remote sensing data with the AVIRIS Next Generation data over California to advance remote sensing of tree canopy water, improving our ability to map ecophysiology, water stress, drought response, and fire risk.

Photo credit: NASA Landsat (showing the Selenge River delta)

PEI Hack Award

I just receive the great news that I  have been awarded one of the Mary and Randall Hack ‘69 Graduate Awards by the Princeton Environmental Institute! The Mary and Randall Hack ’69 Award provides research funding to support Princeton University graduate students pursuing innovative research on water and water-related topics with implications for the environment.

I am planning on using the award to focus my summer research on my project using QuikSCAT data to map dew formation over tropical forests.

You can read more about my project in the official announcement HERE.

PEI-STEP Fellowship

I am happy to announce that I was awarded a PEI-STEP Fellowship! I will be working in collaboration with Prof. Mauzerall on the influence of policy incentives on the deforestation rate of tropical forests. I will look at decisions taken from the international to the municipal level across three different countries: Brazil, RDC and Indonesia. I will use the Global Forest Change monitor to study land use change and associate decrease in deforestation rates with efficient policy incentives.

The Fellowhsip will cover one year of stipend. To complete the STEP Certificate, I will also have to complete three courses in environmental policy. I am really thankful to PEI for such a great opportunity and I’m looking forward to starting working on my project!

See the PEI announcement HERE.

NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship

I am glad to announce that I just got awarded a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) for my proposal entitled “Improved Understanding of Tropical Forest Carbon Dynamics Using Coupled Models and Remote Sensing of Water Vapor Isotopes”.

The award is $30,000 per annum, including $24,000 for my stipend and an allowance of up to $6,000, consisting of $3,000 for student expenses and $3,000 for university expenses. It may be renewed for up to 2 additional years.

See the complete list of this year’s recipients (Earth Science category).


I just got accepted to the SPATIAL 2014 Summer course at the University of Utah. This course is the second leg of the Iso-Camp Summer school I attended in June 2013. SPATIAL is focused on regional and continental research involving stable isotopes. In addition, I also got awarded a $2300 NSF scholarship to cover the tuition of the course.

I am very excited and I am really looking forward to being back in Salt Lake City to hang out with the isotopeteers!