Dr. Stuart Evans will be joining UB in January 2018 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography whose research focuses on regional climate variability. In particular, his research is organized around rainfall, land-atmosphere feedbacks, and the effects of atmospheric dust.
Dust is an important component of the climate system as it has to the ability to alter precipitation patterns and surface temperature, and is a key nutrient supply for much of the biosphere. Dust also matters in human environments, where it is a hazard to both health and transportation.
His current research uses both global climate models and satellite observations to study the effects of dust on the climate of north Africa and the Sahel region in particular. By absorbing and scattering incoming sunlight, dust alters the energy balance of the atmosphere and reduces the rainfall the region receives, reducing plant growth and exacerbating droughts. He is also interested in how the loss of rainfall can create a feedback loop between increasing desertification and increasing dust.
Previous research has included investigations into the variability of the timing and intensity of the Australian monsoon, the importance of vegetation and soil water to Australian dust emission, the occurrence of regional weather patterns in the Great Plains, and the causes of cloud errors in global climate models.
Dr. Evans holds a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from the University of Washington and a Bachelor’s in Astronomy from Haverford College.