Areas of Research/Interests

My overall research objective is to understand how soil and atmospheric moisture organizes across different spatial and temporal scales and in particular how the interactions with the atmosphere, vegetation and landscape constrain this organization. Most of my work takes place at the global scale but I collaborate on in situ experiments taking place in semi-arid regions and in the Tropics (especially the Amazon).

My research is decomposed into three main areas of research which are related to better predicting and measuring the components of the continental hydrologic cycle

  1. 1.Land-atmosphere interactions:
    - How do soil moisture and surface heat fluxes control and interact with the boundary layer?
    - What are the different feedbacks in the land-atmosphere system and how can we measure them?
    - How can we best retrieve soil moisture and monitor vegetation water stress from remote sensing?

  - What is the effect of surface heterogeneity and nonlinearities on convection and how does it feed back onto the larger-scale circulation?
- How are the surface energy and water cycle coupled to the CO2 cycle?

  1. 2.Boundary-layer and convection:
    - What is the role of boundary-layer entrainment and how can we better represent it in numerical models?
    - What is the role of cold pools and downdrafts in the organization of moist convection?
    - How do clouds form and how can we parameterize them in numerical weather and climate models using a probabilistic/stochastic approach and high-resolution models (Large-eddy simulation and direct numerical simulations)?

  1. 3.Ecohydrology:
    - How do plants interact with the surface hydrologic cycle, especially on daily, seasonal and interannual time scales?
    - How does this in turn interacts (carbon, water and energy fluxes) with the overlaying atmosphere?
    - How can we globally improve the representation of vegetation water stress in GCMs and how can we constrain vegetation water stress using global remote sensing?

Animation of cloud liquid water content in a large-eddy simulation of trade winds

Monthly time series of fluorescence (proxy for GPP) based on the GOME-2 satellite