Graduate Research Opportunities at Purdue - Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences - Purdue University Skip to main content

Graduate Research Opportunities at Purdue

Atmospheric ScienceEnvironmental GeoscienceGeology & GeophysicsPlanetary Science

Atmospheric Science

Professor Dan Chavas (  The Climate and Extreme Weather Laboratory in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) at Purdue University, led by Prof. Dan Chavas, has NSF-funded graduate student (MS/PhD) opportunities starting Fall 2021 to study climate controls of extreme weather, including h urricanes and severe thunderstorms. We explicitly and proudly seek to increase the participation of individuals from underrepresented groups in our field. If you are interested, please email Dan Chavas for more information and/or to ask any questions. I’d love to hear about your background and interests and let you know more about myself, our group, and our department.

Professor Matt Huber ( Huber has graduate student positions available in climate data analysis, food-energy-water nexus modeling, and paleoclimate modeling. He is actively seeking highly qualified students with suitable subject area expertise as well as data analysis, modeling and computational skills.

Professor Lei Wang ( I am looking to recruit graduate students in large-scale atmospheric dynamics and climate dynamics.  Opportunities exist to learn and apply geophysical fluid dynamics to better understand Earth's atmosphere and climate dynamics using a hierarchy of theoretical and idealized numerical models. Specific projects include jetstream dynamics, extreme weather, weather-climate continuum, the role of moisture on the mid-latitude circulation. Students will have the freedom to develop their research projects as they progress towards a Ph.D. Students will also have the opportunity to enroll in Purdue's Computational Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs to broaden their education. Students who majored in atmospheric sciences are preferred. Applicants with a strong background in math and physics and an interest in atmospheric science are also encouraged to apply.

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Environmental Geoscience

Professor Lisa Welp (  Seeking a graduate student starting summer or fall of 2021. The student will work on the NSF-funded Critical Interface Network in Intensively Managed Landscapes (CINet) multi-institution collaboration project with Professors Tim Filley and Lisa Welp to study the processes that occur within agricultural soils that influence the export of carbon and nutrients. Applicants with a strong background in laboratory chemistry and an interest in environmental science are encouraged to apply.

Professor Qianlai Zhuang ( The Ecosystems and Biogeochemical Dynamics Laboratory at Purdue University is seeking one/two graduate students starting Fall, 2019, who are interested in:

  1. modeling feedbacks between the biosphere and atmospheric climate and chemistry and/or
  2. modeling water, carbon and nitrogen cycling in terrestrial ecosystems.

Students majored in ecosystem sciences, atmospheric sciences, and other related fields with proficient mathematical and computational skills and interests in pursuing PhD programs are preferred. These students will participate in a number of research projects funded by NSF, NASA, DOE, and USGS.

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Geology and Geophysics

Professor Jonathan Delph (  I'm looking for quantitative geologists or applied physicists interested in relating computationally-intensive datasets to geologic and tectonic phenomena. Multiple opportunities exist to learn and apply passive-source seismic imaging and seismic interferometry techniques (both static and dynamic) to the tectonics/geodynamics of Earth. Specific research projects include tectonic contributions to seismic anisotropy, the imaging of magmatic plumbing systems, and investigating variations in crustal and upper mantle properties in the Pacific Northwest. Other opportunities include developing and improving seismic techniques to recover Earth’s crustal properties on both local and regional scales.

Professor Marissa Tremblay (  Opportunities to apply thermochronology to problems in tectonic geomorphology.

Professor Xiaotao Yang ( Opportunities to apply and develop high-resolution seismic imaging methods to solve problems in tectonics, earthquake and volcano hazards, and transient velocity changes. Regions of interests include but not limited to the Aleutian-Alaska margin and the continental interior, the North-American mid-continent, and the western United States.

Professor Lucy Flesch ( Professor Lucy Flesch has NSF funded graduate opportunities to use GPS, seismic and geologic data to perform geodynamic modeling of continental regions in order to understand mountain building process, locations of earthquakes, plate boundary evolution and role of the deeper convecting mantle. Regions of interests include the Alaskan continental interior and Bering Sea, Western North America, Tibet, and the Ethiopian plateau.

Douglas Schmitt (  Field and laboratory based opportunities in rock physics and geomechanics, active source surface and borehole seismology, and scientific drilling.  Current interests include combined studies along the Alpine Fault, the Chicxulub Impact crater, and the nearby Kentland Crater and laboratory studies focussed on understanding the geophysical properties of crustal fluids. 


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Planetary Sciences

Professor Stephanie Olson ( Opportunities to conduct research in astrobiology using numerical models. Possibilities include:

  1. Using climate models to simulate the consequences of seasonality for exoplanet habitability and the challenges and/or opportunities arising from seasonality for life detection missions;
  2. Using biogeochemical models to explore the habitability of synchronously rotating exoplanets;
  3. Coupling models for Earth’s physical, chemical, and biological evolution to constrain the histories of biosignature gases like oxygen and methane in our atmosphere.

Professor Mike Sori (  Opportunities to use NASA spacecraft data to study problems in planetary geophysics and surface processes throughout the solid worlds of the Solar System.  Specific topics include water and ice on Mars and geodynamics on Ceres.  Students will have the freedom to customize and develop projects of their choosing as they progress towards a Ph.D.  Applicants from a diverse set of backgrounds are encouraged to apply, especially those with previous coursework in math and/or physics.

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