Uncovering how biomes respond to climate change

The Terrer Lab at MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), under the direction of Professor César Terrer, 2022 Abdul Latif Jameel Water & Food Systems Lab (J-WAFS) seed grant recipient, is evaluating the impact of climate change on the planet's ability to store carbon. Postdoc Leila Mirzagholi works with Terrer on her research, applying her background in mathematics and physics to understand how various factors can affect the amount of carbon can be stored in terrestrial ecosystems under climate change.

Leila explains her entry to climate sciences, saying 'I was really motivated by the problems and the nature of the problems, especially to make global terrestrial ecology more quantitative,' adding, 'I can work on research beneficial for society and the planet.'

Her recent research examines global warming's effect on autumn leaf senescence. Understanding the timing of this process, and how it is changing in a warming planet, will support predictions of carbon storage capacity in global carbon cycle modeling. Leila is also measuring how deforestation impacts local climate, examining temperature variation and hydrological cycle changes to understand the extent to which natural solutions for carbon uptake can play a role in climate change mitigation.

MIT News