Research in the McKinnon group sits at the nexus of climate science and statistics. We are interested in questions that span the weather-climate divide, shed light on the interactions between natural variability and human-caused climate change, and link to downstream human and biological impacts.

  • September 2021: Welcome to Dr. Suqin Duan, the newest member of the McKinnon group! Suqin is joining our NSF-funded project on the land surface and atmospheric contribution to daily temperature variability and extremes.
  • August 2021: Congratulations to post-doc Wenwen Kong on being awarded an Institute for Digital Research and Education Postdoctoral Fellowship in recognition of her work that features "innovative and computationally based solutions to research problems with a potentially broad impact to the campus".
  • June 2021: Professor Karen McKinnon was selected as a UCLA Hellman Fellow to support new work on marine heat waves.
  • June 2021: Our new paper, Hot extremes have become drier in the United States Southwest, is out. We find that summertime specific humidity has been decreasing over the past seven decades in the semi-arid Southwest, particularly on the hottest days, which is bad news for fire risk. Coverage in the New York Times and LA Times.
  • June 2021: Congratulations to Sam Baugh for being awarded a Dissertation Year Fellowship and a Summer Mentored Research Fellowship to support the last year+ of his PhD research! Sam's research is on developing spatial models for climate data, including ocean heat content. Find out more at his website.
  • March 2021: Congratulations to Russell Horowitz for completing his masters thesis, Circulation and Soil Moisture Contributions to United States Heatwaves!
  • October 2020: Welcome to Wenwen Kong, the newest member of the McKinnon group! Wenwen joins us as an NSF-funded postdoctoral scholar, and will be working on understanding the role of the land surface in influencing temperature variability and extremes.
  • May 2020: New paper roundup! McKinnon and Poppick develop a method to quantify changes in daily temperature-humidity relationships; Deser and the Large Ensemble Working Group present a perspective on the utility of large climate model ensembles; and Elsworth et al. apply the Observational Large Ensemble methodology to ocean chlorophyll concentrations.
  • January 2020: Professor Karen McKinnon is awarded an NSF grant through the Climate and Large Scale Dynamics division, "The factors governing daily near-surface air temperature variability over land". See grant information here.
  • November 2019: Statistics graduate student Sam Baugh passes his qualifying exams, and advances to candidacy. Congratulations Sam!
  • June 2019: Undergraduate Chris Reed wins the Glickfeld Excellence in Environmental Research Award to support his senior thesis research on the sensitivity of California crops to climate variability. Congratulations Chris!

Group news