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ABOUT ME

Hi! I am Rebecca Evans, a PhD candidate at the University of Miami studying how hurricanes are affected by the rising and setting of the sun! My PhD advisor is Dr. David Nolan.

I grew up in Northern Ireland, where in my spare time I was on the Northern Ireland gymnastics team. Then I went to the University of Oxford, where I got a combined Bachelors and Masters degree in Earth Sciences. While at university I started rowing, coxing, and cycling. After Oxford, I moved to Miami to study hurricanes. I am now in the final stages of my PhD in hurricane physics at the University of Miami. In Miami, I started playing beach volleyball, and, oddly, chess. 

I hope you enjoy my website, and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out using the form in the "contact" tab. Thank you! 

RESEARCH INTERESTS

I have had the great privilege of studying multiple topics in the Earth System during my research career. For my master's degree, I studied how the annual cycles of temperature, ice volume, and stratification in the Arctic Ocean will respond to climate change. For my PhD, I moved my focus to the atmosphere, studying on how Tropical Cyclones are affecting by the diurnal cycle of solar radiation. Apparently I like trended cyclical processes! 

MOST RECENT RESEARCH:

(1) How the rising and setting of the sun produces Internal Inertia-Gravity Waves (IIGWs) in idealized simulations of Tropical Cyclones

  • This work used a vortex model named 3DVPAS (3-Dimensional Vortex Perturbation Analysis and Simulation).

  • More detail can be found in the Publications tab. 

 

(2) How each specific variable (wind, rain, ice, etc.) in a TC cycles in space and time with the diurnal frequency 

  • We used analytical methods, such as Empirical Orthogonal Functions and Fourier Transforms, to find the prominent spatial patterns of diurnal variability, and relative timings of diurnal cycles in 3-D space. Therefore, we can discuss mechanisms by which the diurnal cycle of solar radiation can affect TCs in a fully 3-D quantitative framework. 

  • This work uses a combination of:

    • High-performance regional modeling of TCs using full-physics simulations in WRF.

    • The ECMWF global hourly ERA5 reanalysis dataset 

  • Check out the video below from a recent seminar where I spoke on this topic!

  • You can also see my presentation at the American Meteorological Society 34th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology (May 13th 2021)

(3) How the IIGWs produced by TCs propagates in to the stratosphere, and how the diurnal cycles discussed in points 1 and 2 modulate these waves

  • We are using full-physics simulations in WRF of TCs with a high domain top to explore how the propagation and breaking of waves in the upper atmosphere is affected by diurnal changes in the TC itself. IIGWs in the stratosphere are important for climate through modulating the strength of upper air currents, so we expect this to be an important research question to answer! ​​​

FUTURE RESEARCH:

For future research, I would be most interested in combining my two favourite research topics: hurricanes, and climate change! More specifically, how climate change will affect tropical cyclone intensity, IIGW production and propagation, and feedback on to the climate system. 

SKILLS:

My entire research career has used high-performance scientific programming. I am extremely proficient in Matlab, with specialism in processing, analysis, and visualization of enormous datasets. Additionally, I am proficient in Python, NCAR Command Language, Wolfram Mathematica, Fortran, and the Linux command line. 

RECENT EVENTS

Seminar at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. The seminar was entitled "Diurnal Oscillations in Tropical Cyclones, and their Influence on Gravity Waves in Linear and Non-Linear Models". I won the RSMAS award for "Best Scientific Content in a Student Seminar" for this presentation:  

In a highlight of my PhD, I was invited to help conduct data collection at the landfall of Hurricane Delta (2020) in southern Louisiana. One of the two projects was the University of Florida Coastal Management Project wind towers which measure wind speeds in landfalling hurricanes. The other was the MIT Cosmic Watch muon detectors which measure muon production rate in landfalling hurricanes. In the left image you can see me attaching a muon detector to the FCMP wind tower, in deteriorating conditions a few hours before landfall. The right two images are showing another detector setup, and a closeup of the detectors themselves. Very cool.