Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan


CLaSP welcomes two new faculty

Posted: October 2, 2018

CLaSP welcomes two new faculty

Climate & Space was very fortunate to add two new faculty members this year: Assistant Professor Ashley Payne, and Assistant Professor Ángel Adames-Corraliza.

Assistant Professor Ashley Payne

Born in Boston, MA. and raised in Austin, TX., Ashley Payne completed her B.S. in geoscience at the University of Texas, and received her M.S. (2012) and Ph.D. (2016) in Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine, advised by Gudrun Magnusdottir.

Her fascination with the physical world developed early. “My interest in science started with extreme weather and Indiana Jones. Growing up in Texas, I experienced several tornado outbreaks that were both terrifying and exciting and drove my interest in the physical sciences.” After a short digression in anthropology, she found her way into an introductory course in geology and loved it. “Pursuing an undergraduate paleoclimate research project and talking with the growing group of climate faculty in the department help me focus on what truly interested me.”

Ashley came to CLaSP in September, 2016 as a University of Michigan President’s Postdoctoral Fellow to work with Prof. Christiane Jablonowski. “I was interested in extending my work using numerical modeling,” she says. “Christiane is a known expert in the field and was suggested to me as a potential postdoc mentor. I was fortunate to be awarded a President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship which gave me the independence to expand my research.”She was named Assistant Professor in September of this year.

Prof. Payne is interested in the large scale dynamics that influence the impacts, characteristics and climatology of extreme weather events in past, present and future climates. She uses process-based studies for model evaluation and employs simple experiments to develop a mechanistic understanding of weather extremes. "My current focus is on understanding factors that influence atmospheric river persistence and duration. I am interested in testing the hypothesis that knowledge of the driving mechanisms behind the formation and development of atmospheric rivers will improve medium to long-term forecasts of their intensity at landfall."


Assistant Professor Ángel Adames-Corraliza 

Assistant Professor Ángel Adames-Corraliza came to Climate and Space in January of this year. He was born Puerto Rico, and grew up in the town of San Sebastían in the rural northwest section of the country. He received his bachelor's in Physics from the Puerto Rico - Mayagüez in 2010, and his MS and PhD in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Washington - Seattle in 2016.

“My interest in science was always there,” he says. “It was partly ignited by old books that my dad bought at the flea market when I was very young. I also remember he bought a microscope at the flea market and magnifying glass. I remember that I loved doing experiments with the magnifying glass, trying to burn leaves and papers.”

He says his interest in meteorology came from watching clouds develop during the day, and tracking hurricanes as they moved across the Atlantic. “My dad also bought this old book on weather that had black and white pictures of snowflakes, freezing rain and hail. I thought all of that was super interesting, probably more so because it never happened in Puerto Rico. He says the defining moment was when hurricane Georges crossed the island in 1998. “The experience of living through a hurricane inspired as much intrigue as it did fear and respect.’

Ángel says he became interested in the University of Michigan while attending the NextProf workshop in late 2016. While there, he was impressed by the various initiatives happening at the U-M, as well as the people he met from the CLaSP department. Not long afterward, he heard about an open position at Climate & Space. “So I applied, and here we are.”

Prof. Adames-Corraliza’s research seeks to understand a variety of tropical motion systems and their role in the global climate system. “In particular, I do research in the dynamics of tropical phenomenon and how they impact weather patterns around the globe. An area of special emphasis right now is the role that water vapor has in the organization of rainfall in these systems. I have also tried to understand how tropical phenomena affect wave activity in the midlatitudes and how climate change will affect tropical motion systems. I approach these problems using theory, observations, and state of the art model output.”

The Climate & Space department is very pleased to officially welcome these new faculty members to our team.


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