A summer in the lab

This summer I finally started my own research project. I spent the summer working in the Caylor Lab in Princeton, helped by Craig Sinkler, a student from Rider University who did an internship in our lab this summer. We planted six large bulbs of Colocasia esculenta that we watered until the plants reached maturity. After about 4 weeks of growth, we stopped watering the plants. Every two days, we sprayed the leaves of half of the plants with isotopically spiked water, while the other half of the plants did not get any water. We collected leaves from each treatment and looked at the spatial distribution of water isotopes in the leaf using the Picarro Induction Module. I then built maps of the leaf isotopes for leaves collected at different times within a 4 week long treatment. 

In order to help us interpret the evolution of the spatial patterns of the leaf isotopes, I also started running a water potential experiment in which I leave a leaf dry out under a heat lamp over a period of 10 hours and collect samples every half hour that I run on the WP4C to measure leaf water potential. I have been running the same experiment but spraying the leaf with ultra pure water every hour to look at whether foliar uptake is actually happening in Colocasia esculenta and how it improves water potential. Preliminary results show that foliar uptake is indeed happening!


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.


I am a PhD Candidate!

I just got the news today that I passed my general examination! I am now officially a PhD Candidate!

My Generals’ proposal is focusing on the importance of non-meteoric atmospheric water for the hydraulic functions of plants in tropical forests.


EEWR Seminar April 4th 2014

I gave the EEWR (Environmental Engineering and Water Resources) departmental seminar on Friday, April 4th 2014. I focused my talk on my work with Frances O’Donnell on using ground penetrating radar to map tree roots in the Kalahari desert, in particular on the different image processing techniques that I used on the GPR images.

See the flyer and abstract here.

See my slides here.


First International Workshop on Advances in Observations, Models and Measurements Techniques of Atmospheric Water Vapor Isotopes

I gave a presentation at the First International Workshop on Advances in Observations, Models and Measurements Techniques of Atmospheric Water Vapor Isotopes hosted at the CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research) in Gif-Sur-Yvette, near Paris, from October 16th to October 18th 2013. My talk presented the first results of her project on rain-vapor equilibrium in Central Kenya.

The workshop was organized by Hans Christian Steen-Larsen and Valérie Masson-Delmotte and had been designed to bring together the community involved in measurements and modeling of water vapor stable isotopes in order to review the state of the art, to stimulate new collaborations, and to formulate recommendations for future research. It was decided to write a white paper highlighting the added-value of isotope measurements for atmospheric science studies, the state of the art for each topic, the progress in different research directions allowed by recent water vapor isotopic composition measurements, and key recommendations.

Workshop’s website

My presentation