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Disaster Experts: A Journalist’s Guide

[THIS LIST WAS LAST UPDATED JUNE 13, 2023] 

Aftermath of a 2015 wildfire, northern Alaska. (Kevin Krajick/Earth Institute)

Columbia Climate School scientists can help journalists cover the causes, effects and implications of natural and manmade disasters, both sudden and slow moving. These include heat waves, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, wildfires, pollution spills, warfare and nuclear issues. Unless otherwise stated, researchers below are at our Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. For general questions regarding climate change, see our List of Climate Experts. For further advice, or questions about other earth sciences including geology, oceanography or atmosphere, contact Kevin Krajick, kkrajick@ei.columbia.edu or Caroline Adelman, cadelman@climate.columbia.edu.

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GENERAL DISASTER PREPAREDNESS & RESPONSE

Steven Cohen, Earth Institute professor and a former EPA official, has long studied how urban areas can become more resilient to disasters and longer-term challenges. He is author of Understanding Environmental Policy and other books. sc32@columbia.edu | 212-854-1214

Irwin Redlener, physician and founding director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, is a leading thinker regarding emergency planning and response, and in dealing with the aftermaths of all kinds of disasters, including epidemics, hurricanes, earthquakes and terrorism.  ir2110@columbia.edu | 212-535-9797

Jeffrey Schlegelmilch is director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness. He has broad expertise relating to both disaster policy as well as the development and implementation of disaster preparedness, response and recovery programs.  js4645@columbia.edu | How to Prepare for a Hyperactive Hurricane Season

Jonathan Sury of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness leads a project that maps local vulnerability to a broad variety of disasters at the sub-county level. These include extreme heat, earthquakes, landslides, tornadoes and floods. The map is interactive and available to the public.  jjs2154@columbia.edu | Link to the map

Arthur Lerner-Lam , a seismologist by training, studies the broader economic and social factors that drive vulnerability to hazards such as earthquakes and hurricanes.  lerner@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8348

John Mutter, who began as a geophysicist, studies the long-term economic costs of catastrophes. He is author of the book The Disaster Profiteers, about how the rich often benefit from disasters, and the poor suffer. He led a long-term effort to reach a definitive count of the casualties of Hurricane Katrina.  jcm@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-0716  | The Disaster Profiteers

Marc Levy is a political scientist at the Center for International Earth Science Information Network. He and colleagues map the interaction between humans and earth’s surface, generating global images vital for assessing hazards and risks ranging from sea-level rise to forced migration. mlevy@columbia.edu | 845-365-8964

Benjamin Orlove, an anthropologist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, studies the psychology and sociology of disasters, and how individuals prepare for and react to them.  bso5@columbia.edu | 212-854-1543

EPIDEMICS, DISEASE

See ‘CORONAVIRUS: EXPERT RESOURCES FOR JOURNALISTS, posted March 2020 and continuously updated.

EXTREME WEATHER: DROUGHTS, STORMS, HURRICANES, FLOODS

What Is Causing Devastating Floods?

Adam Sobel, an atmospheric scientist, is the author of Storm Surge, a book about Hurricane Sandy. He assesses a wide variety of extreme weather including hurricanes,  the causes of cold and hot spells, and related social issues, as well as the implications of climate change.  ahs129@columbia.edu | 212-854-6587

Suzana Camargo is a professor of ocean and climate physics. She is an expert on hurricanes and cyclones, their genesis, intensity, and their relationship to climate, from intraseasonal to centennial time scales.  suzana@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8640 | What Hurricane Forecasts Mean

Richard Seager, a climate scientist, studies large-scale cycles such as El Niño that influence weather, including floods, hurricanes snowstorms and droughts. He is coauthor of a widely cited study about the connection between climate and the Syrian civil war.  seager@ldeo.columbia.edu  | 845-365-8743

Benjamin Cook is a leading researcher on temperature and drought, and their relation to climate, especially in the western U.S. He is based at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. bc9z@ldeo.columbia.edu | 212-678-5669 | Rising temperatures in the U.S. West Bring Megadrought

Jason Smerdon is a climatologist and frequent public communicator who studies the history and future of extreme weather, including droughts and extreme snow and rain. jsmerdon@ldeo.columbia.edu | Winter Extremes: So Last Year? | How the West Got Set Up for a Water Crisis

Mingfang Ting is an atmospheric physicist who studies the regional effects of climate change including the jet stream on droughts and extreme precipitation including rain and snow in North America and elsewhere.  ting@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8374 | Riding the Waves of Climate

Klaus Jacob, special research scientist, is expert in the consequences of coastal storms. A longtime advisor to New York City on climate adaptation, he accurately predicted the flooding of the subways during Hurricane Sandy.  jacob@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8440

Radley Horton, a climate scientist, has done a wide variety of interdisciplinary work on the physics of storms, their interaction with climate, and the socioeconomic risk factors, especially in coastal areas. He has advised the mayor New York City and the U.S. president on climate and weather risks.  rh142@columbia.edu | 845-365-8496

Kai Kornhuber, a postdoctoral researcher at the Earth Institute, studies the physics behind extreme weather including persistent, heavy downpours that can lead to widespread flooding.  kk3397@columbia.edu

Yochanan Kushnir studies climate variability and change, particularly in regard to the influence of the oceans. Much of his work focuses on the Atlantic, and how it influences weather during all seasons across North America, Europe, Africa and the Mideast.  kushnir@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8669

Yutian Wu studies the general circulation of the atmosphere including jet streams and storm tracks. She is interested in the decline of Arctic sea ice, and how this in turn may be linked to increasingly extreme weather in temperate latitudes—heat waves, cold spells, and big storms.  yutianwu@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8157

Chia-Ying Lee, is an expert on tropical cyclones/hurricanes, how they intensify, their relationship to climate, and how we assess their potential risks. cl3225@columbia.edu | 845-680-4523

Kyle Mandli studies the physics of destructive waves including tsunamis, debris flows, and especially storm surges related to hurricanes. He is an assistant professor at Columbia’s Department of Applied Physics and Applied Math.  kyle.mandli@columbia.edu | 212-854-4485 

Michela Biasutti studies the dynamics of the tropical atmosphere, focusing on precipitation patterns, extreme weather and climate change. She has a particular interest in the Sahel region of Africa.  biasutti@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8512

Lorenzo Polvani is an atmospheric scientist with a wide variety of interests in climate variability and change, including tropical cyclones, the influence of the Arctic on other regions, and related issues.  lmp3@columbia.edu | 845-365-8347

Andrew Robertson, head of the climate group at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, studies the relationship between medium-term climate swings and extreme weather including floods and droughts.  awr@iri.columbia.edu | 845-680-4491

Andrew Kruckiewicz is a staff associate at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society who studies flash floods, how they may be compounded by other hazards, and subsequent organization of relief; he has worked internationally with the Red Cross. andrewk@iri.columbia.edu

Mona Hemmati researches extreme weather events including storm surge and flash flooding, and assesses actions communities can take to resist or retreat from them.  mh4232@columbia.edu

Michael Tippett is a meteorologist in the Department of Applied Physics and Math who specializes in the study of tornadoes, and how to forecast them.  tippett@iri.columbia.edu | 845-680-4420

Marcus van Lier-Walqui studies the genesis of thunderstorms and the tornadoes they sometimes spin off, including the possible roles that climate and air pollution could play.  mv2525@columbia.edu | 212-678-5513

Upmanu Lall, director of the Columbia Water Center, leads studies of the natural and manmade factors that cause inland flooding, and how they might be mitigated.  ula2@columbia.edu   212-854-8905

EXTREME WEATHER: HEAT/COLD WAVES

How Can We Make Heat Waves Less Deadly?

Adam Sobel, an atmospheric scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, heads Columbia’s Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate. He assesses extreme weather including the causes of extreme cold and hot spells, and related social issues.  ahs129@columbia.edu | 212-854-6587  Adam Sobel, others on heat waves | Sobel testifies to Congress

Richard Seager, a climate scientist at Lamont-Doherty, studies large-scale cycles such as El Niño that influence weather, including extreme bouts of heat. His studies of drought and heat waves in the U.S. West are widely cited.  seager@ldeo.columbia.edu  | 845-365-8743

Benjamin Cook is a leading researcher on temperature and heat waves and their relation to climate, especially in the western U.S. He is based at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. bc9z@ldeo.columbia.edu | 212-678-5669 | Rising temperatures in the U.S. West Bring Megadrought

Radley Horton, a climate scientist, has done a wide variety of interdisciplinary work on climate, including heat waves. He is coauthor of several key studies exploring literal killer combinations of heat and humidity. He has advised the mayor New York City and the U.S. president on climate risks.  hortonr@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8496   Global emergence of fatal heat/humidity

Yutian Wu studies the general circulation of the atmosphere including jet streams and storm tracks. She is particularly interested in the decline of Arctic sea ice, and how this may be linked to extended heat waves and cold spells. yutianwu@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8157

Kai Kornhuber, a postdoctoral researcher at the Earth Institute, studies the physics behind extreme weather including persistent heat waves around the world that endanger humans, crops and ecosystems.  kk3397@columbia.edu | Persistent heat in a warming world| How climate will worsen simultaneous heat waves

Simon Mason, based at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, produces seasonal weather forecasts around the world, including for heat waves. He works with other professionals to make U.S. eastern cities more resilient to heat waves.  simon@iri.columbia.edu | Let’s name heat waves, just like hurricanes

Hannah Nissan is a physicist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society who works on seasonal to subseasonal early warning systems for heat waves and adaptation plans, particularly in the Caribbean and South Asia.  hannah@iri.columbia.edu

Mingfang Ting is an atmospheric physicist who studies the regional effects of climate change on heat waves as well as droughts and extreme precipitation in North America and elsewhere.  ting@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8374

Robbie M. Parks is an environmental epidemiologist. Robbie is primarily interested in understanding the impact that climate, weather (via rising temperatures, hurricanes, floods, wildfires), and air pollution can have on illness, mortality, and life expectancy.  rmp2198@columbia.edu | Rising Temperatures Will Cause More Fatal Injuries

Elisaveta Petkova studies the health effects of climate change and extreme heat on urban populations including in New York City.  elisaveta.petkova@columbia.edu

EARTHQUAKES & TSUNAMIS

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory deploys seismologists across the world to study earthquakes on land and under the sea, as well as manmade quakes including from nuclear tests. Until recently, in conjunction with the U.S. Geological Survey the observatory ran the Lamont Cooperative Seismic Network, displaying northeast U.S. quake information in real time.

Won-Young Kim heads the Lamont Cooperative Seismic network, covering the northeast United States. He is also expert in seismicity related to hydraulic fracking, nuclear explosions or other human activities, and in quakes that occur in unusual places within the continents. wykim@ldeo.columbia.edu  | 845-365-8387 / 8583

Cecilia McHugh is a marine geologist who focuses on undersea environments, with an eye to documenting signs of past earthquakes and tsunamis, and improving hazard forecasts in quake-prone areas. She has worked off Haiti, Japan, Bangladesh and Turkey.  cecilia@ldeo.columbia.edu  |  845-365-8648

Leonardo Seeber responds to northeast U.S. quakes. He also works extensively in quake-prone areas of Italy, India, Bangladesh, Turkey and other nations. He is expert in manmade quakes.  nano@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8385

Folarin Kolawole is a structural geologist who studies the origins of a variety of seismic events, from slow continental rifting to earthquakes induced by human activities. His work spans locations from Brazil to the south-central United States, and many areas of Africa.  fk2432@columbia.edu

Arthur Lerner-Lam is a research professor at Lamont-Doherty. He has studied big earthquakes in many parts of the world, including China and Haiti. He also studies the socioeconomic factors that make people vulnerable to quakes. lerner@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8348

Michael Steckler has assessed major seismic threats in Bangladesh, India, Turkey, Italy and other nations. His studies have revealed major threats in large areas, especially in southeast Asia and the Mediterrean. steckler@ldeo.columbia.edu |845-365-8479 | A Giant Earthquake May Lurk Under Bangladesh

Christopher Scholz is expert in the mechanics of earthquakes, and the possibility of quake forecasting. He has worked in Africa, and is particularly interested in quakes along the U.S. West Coast.  scholz@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8360

John Armbruster has worked in the U.S. Northeast, Pakistan and the Himalaya, among other places. He is highly knowledgeable about both natural and manmade quakes.  armb@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8556

Anne Becel is a geophysicist specializing in undersea structures that can cause earthquakes and tsunamis. She has worked off Alaska, Mexico and other places.  annebcl@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8813 

Spahr Webb is a seismologist specializing in undersea earthquakes and their consequences, including tsunamis. He has worked globally, including in the east and west Pacific, and off Alaska.   scw@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8439

Rob Skarbek is a seismologist who studies rock mechanics, and the physics of how earthquakes get started.  rskarbek@ldeo.columbia.edu

Eric Beaucé is a geophysicist who is refining ways to detect and locate tiny earthquakes, and understand their implications for the occurrence of larger ones.  ebeauce@ldeo.columbia.edu

Brian Boston is a geophysicist who studies natural hazards including earthquakes and volcanoes by mapping the sub-seafloor, particularly along subduction zones and continental rifted margins.  brianb@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8472

Kyle Mandli studies the physics of destructive waves including tsunamis caused by earthquakes. He is an assistant professor at Columbia’s Department of Applied Physics and Applied Math.  kyle.mandli@columbia.edu | 212-854-4485 

Meredith Nettles has worked globally. Her specialty is earthquakes that occur within glaciers, particularly in Greenland.  nettles@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8613

George Deodatis, a member of the Earth Engineering Center, assesses the earthquake resistance of buildings, bridges and other structures.  deodatis@civil.columbia.edu | 212-854-9728

VOLCANOES

Terry Plank, a geochemist, studies the deep-earth forces that drive explosive volcanoes. Winner of a MacArthur “genius” fellowship, she has worked in Alaska, the continental United States, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Mexico and islands in the Pacific Ocean.  tplank@ldeo.columbia.edu |845-365-8410 | Terry Plank, Volcano Maven

William Menke  is highly knowledgeable in general volcanology, seismology and geology, especially in volcanoes related to mid-ocean spreading ridges and hot spots. He has worked in Iceland and the U.S.  menke@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-304-5381

Conor Bacon is developing methods to forecast volcanic eruptions using seismic data. His work has taken him to farflung places including Iceland and Borneo. cbacon@ldeo.columbia.edu

Cornelia Class is a geochemist and field geologist highly knowledgeable in general volcanology. She has analyzed volcanic rocks in Africa, Panama and many other places.  class@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8712

Einat Lev studies the physics of lava flows, and how they interact with topography and human structures. She is also knowledgeable about many other aspects of volcanoes. She has worked in Hawaii, Japan, Chile, Iceland and other nations. einatlev@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8616 | In Hawaii, Living With Lava

Peter Kelemen, a geochemist and geologist, studies igneous rocks in many areas of the world, from the Aleutian Islands to Oman. He is particularly interested in deep-earth processes that drive volcanism.  peterk@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8728

Yves Moussallam specializes in studying the gases that volcanoes emit, which can present both immediate dangers and longer-term effects on climate. He works in many remote areas of the world.  yves.moussallam@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8710 | Exploring How Volcanoes Affect Climate

Vicki Ferrini is a marine geologist who has been involved in studies of volcanoes that arise from the ocean floors. vlf2102@columbia.edu | 845-365-8339

LANDSLIDES, GLACIAL OUTBURST FLOODS

Göran Ekström is a seismologist who studies landslides worldwide, with a special interest in assessing and mitigating hazards. He has worked extensively in Alaska, Nepal and other areas, where he has shown that seismology can be used to detect glacial outburst floods, caused by sudden failures dams holding back meltwater lakes. ekstrom@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8742 | At a Melting Glacier, a Huge Flood Threat

Joerg Schaefer is a glacial geologist who in part studies the factors that can lead up to glacial outburst floods in the Himalayas and elsewhere, and how seismicity may be used to study them.  schaefer@ldeo.columbia.edu | Seismic Monitoring May Improve Warnings of Glacial Outburst Floods

Benjamin Orlove, an anthropologist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, studies communities that live near glaciers, and how glacial outburst floods or other phenomena may affect them.  bso5@columbia.edu | 212-854-1543 | Seismic Monitoring May Improve Warnings of Glacial Outburst Floods

Chiara Lepore studies extreme rainfall events, and their links to starting landslides. Among other places, she has worked in Puerto Rico. clepore@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-680-4515

WILDFIRES

Benjamin Cook is a leading researcher on temperature, drought and climate, and their implications including for wildfires in the western United States. He is based at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. bc9z@ldeo.columbia.edu | 212-678-5669

Lisa Dale is a lecturer in the Earth Institute’s Sustainable Development Program who has served in both public and academic positions where she studied wildfire prevention and response in public lands, especially in the U.S. West.   lad2189@columbia.edu

Ruth DeFries is an Earth Institute professor who studies large-scale human interactions with the surface of the earth, including studies of controlled and uncontrolled agricultural fires in Asia and South America, and their effects on greenhouse gas emissions, air quality and public health. rd2402@columbia.edu | 212-851-1647

Robert Field is a research scientist at Columbia University and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He has helped develop fire danger rating systems for Canada, Indonesia and Malaysia. He currently studies the effects of the water cycle on fires, and the cause, fate and effects of emissions from fires. Robert.field@columbia.edu | 212-678-5600 |El Nino and Fire Risk

Nancy Kiang of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies examines atmospheric moisture, vegetation, clouds and other factors that can play into wildfire risk and spread.  nancy.y.kiang@nasa.gov | 212.678.5553

Andrew Kruczkiewicz of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society uses remote sensing to map out temperature and precipitation patterns and how wildfire risk may intersect with other natural hazards, with an eye to helping authorities plan potential responses.   andrewk@iri.columbia.edu

Keren Mezuman is a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Climate Systems Research. Among other things, she models how climate variations and global atmospheric circulation affect the start and spread of fires, and particularly how the resulting emissions affect the atmosphere. km2961@columbia.edu | 212-678-5669

Pierre Gentine works across wide areas of the world to understand the interactions of moisture in the atmosphere, vegetation and soil, the risk of wildfire that can sometimes result.  pg2328@columbia.edu

Caroline Juang is a PhD. candidate at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory who uses satellite imagery to study wildfires, particularly in the U.S. West.  cjuang@ldeo.columbia.edu

Jatan Buch is member of an interdisciplinary group studying the factors that cause wildfires, including climate, vegetation and atmospheric conditions, along with mapping vulnerable populations. His work currently centers on the U.S, West.  jb4625@columbia.edu

ENERGY/POWER OUTAGES

Romany Webb of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law studies the factors that cause energy grids to fail, and ways to make them more resilient to climate-related impacts including floods and cold and heat waves.  rmw2149@columbia.edu

Joan Casey and her team study a wide range of public-health effects stemming from climate-related power outages and wildfires across the United States.  jac2250@cumc.columbia.edu

Melissa Lott, a senior research scholar and the director of research at the Center on Global Energy Policy, is an expert on the power sector and energy systems. m.lott@columbia.edu

Vijay Modi, a Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Earth and Environmental Engineering, works closely with city and national agencies/utilities to understand how energy services can be more accessible, more efficient, and cleaner. modi@columbia.edu

Upmanu Lall, and engineer and director of the Columbia Water Center, is working with colleagues to study the prospect of disastrous “energy droughts.”  ula2@columbia.edu |  212-854-8905 | Could ‘Energy Droughts’ Be Next?

AIR and WATER POLLUTION

Roísín Commane is an atmospheric scientist who tracks the sources of greenhouse gases and other types of pollutants as they move from ground to air throughout the world, including in and around New York City. Her research is conducted from both aircraft and on the ground.  r.commane@columbia.edu |  845-365-8571 | New York Greenhouse Gases| Profile of Commane

Steven Chillrud studies air pollution in both rural and urban areas, especially fine particles of soot and metals, and their health effects. Among other things, he has led projects to track pollutants in fine details in real time, using sensors attached to bikers.  chilli@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8893 | Is City Biking Hazardous to Your Health? | Dust Risk for Subway Workers

Robert Field is a research scientist at Columbia and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies who studies wildfires, including the causes, movements and effects of emissions from fires.  Robert.field@columbia.edu | 212-678-5600 | El Nino and Fire Risk

V. Faye McNeill is an Earth Institute researcher who focuses on the chemistry and physics of small-particle pollution, including soot, in the atmosphere, along with their relations to climate.  vfm2103@columbia.edu | 212-854-2869 | Covid-19 and the Air We Breathe

Dan Westervelt studies air pollution and its relationship to climate change in both urban and rural areas in Africa and elsewhere.  He is leading a pioneering project to track pollution in African cities where currently little data has been gathered. danielmw@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8194 | The Alarming Numbers on Air Pollution

Garima Raheja studies air pollution in the U.S. and abroad, and its implications for environmental justice. garima.raheja@columbia.edu | Addressing Environmental Issues of Air Pollution

Susanne Bauer, based at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, studies how human-generated and natural emissions including those from agricultural operations influence atmospheric chemistry, climate, and air pollution.  sb2273@columbia.edu | 212-678-5666 | A Major Source of Air Pollution: Farms

Kostas Tisgaridis is an atmospheric chemist who studies the movements and effects of aerosols around the world, including manmade pollutants and the constituents of volcanic eruptions.  kt2347@columbia.edu | 212-678-5668

Olivia  Clifton is an atmospheric chemist who studies the movements of various pollutants through the air and their interactions with land, including fine-particulate matter and smoke.  oec2106@columbia.edu | 212-678-5558

David Rosner is a historian who studies the sources and health effects of industrial and mining pollution including asbestos, lead, PCBs and silica, along with the interactions of pollution with changing climate.  He is the author of numerous books.  dr289@columbia.edu

Alexander van Geen, a geochemist, studies how arsenic, heavy metals and other dangerous substances enter and spread through drinking water, either naturally or through human action. Much of his work focuses on southeast Asia, but he also works in the U.S.   avangeen@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8644

Benjamin Bostick, a geochemist, studies how arsenic and a variety of other pollutants enter and spread through drinking water. He works in both Asia and the U.S., including on Native American lands.  bostick@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8659

Beizhan Yan is a geochemist who analyzes the relationship between hydrofracking and groundwater pollution, the prevalance of plastics in surface waters, and other types of water pollution, mainly in the U.S. northeast.  yanbz@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8155

Andrew Juhl is a biological oceanographer who studies how sewage and other pollutants move through surface water. He has worked on the Hudson River, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Arctic.  andyjuhl@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8837

Ajit Subramaniam is a biological oceanographer who studies the effects of sewage, oil and other pollutants in coastal areas from Africa to Asia. Among other things, he has investigated the the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.  ajit@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8641

Timothy Crone, a marine geophysicist, specializes in studying underwater physics. He produced the first credible estimate of the magnitude of the great 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, revealing its true extent.  crone@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8687

Christopher Zappa is an oceanographer specializing in upper-ocean and estuary processes including turbulence, currents and waves that influence how pollutants may spread through ocean and estuary waters.  zappa@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8547

Joaquim Goes, a biological oceanographer, studies the factors that drive blooms of harmful plankton, known commonly in some areas as “red tides.” His work ranges from the Amazon to the Arabian Sea. He also studies the prevalence of plastics in coastal waters.  jig@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8467

Upmanu Lall, director of the Columbia Water Center, studies the causes of water pollution both biological and chemical, and ways to prevent and mitigate it.  ula2@columbia.edu   212-854-8905

LOCUST PLAGUES

Azhar Ehsan, a postdoctoral scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, studies climate and climate change in the locust belt, from northern Africa through the Mideast and India.  azhar@iri.columbia.edu

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

Michael Gerrard directs the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. He has had a long career in all aspects of local, national and international environmental law, including litigation related to pollution. mgerra@law.columbia.edu | 212-854-3287

Michael Burger is executive director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. He has studied a wide variety of environmental issues, including pollution control. mburger@law.columbia.edu | 212-854-2372

WARFARE/CIVIL CONFLICT

Josh Fisher is director of the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity (AC4), which seeks to resolve the conditions that lead to violent conflict. Fisher has a focus on extractive industries; he works in Asia, South America, Africa and Europe.  jf2788@columbia.edu | 435-764-0383

Peter Coleman is co-executive director of AC4. He studies multicultural conflicts, and ways to resolve seemingly intractable conflicts. He is the author of 2021 book The Way Out: How to Escape Toxic Polarizationpc84@columbia.edu | 212-678-3112

See also our expert resources on the Ukraine-Russia war.

NUCLEAR ISSUES

Paul Richards is a seismologist who has refined the modern techniques used to detect nuclear blasts, and their application to arms control. He has studied nuclear explosions in Russia, Kazakhstan and North Korea, among other places.  richards@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8389

Won-Young Kim, a seismologist, has worked on techniques to detect nuclear test explosions across the world, with a particular focus on North Korea. wykim@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8387 | North Korea’s 2017 Bomb Test and Earthquakes

Lynn Sykes is a seismologist who helped refine techniques for detecting nuclear test explosions across the world. As a technical advisor, he has been involved in evaluating key international treaties for the United States.  sykes@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8880 | Q&A with Sykes

Timothy Kenna, a geochemist, studies the spread of radioactive substances in the environment. tkenna@ldeo.columbia.edu | 845-365-8513

RELATED PREVIOUS PRESS ADVISORIES:

Expert Resources on the Ukraine War (February 2022)

Coronavirus: Expert Resources for Journalists (March 2020)

Hurricane Experts: Earth Institute Resources for Journalists  (October 2016)

The Paris Climate Summit: Resources for Journalists (November 2015)

El Niño: Resources for Journalists (October 2015)

Building Resilience: Post-Sandy Resources for Journalists (August 2013)

Post-Sandy Resources for Journalists (November 2012)

Hydraulic Fracturing: Resources for Journalists  (August 2011)

Gulf Oil Spill Resources (June 2010)

Haiti Quake and Reconstruction Resources  (January 2010)

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