Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

CLaSP Seminar Series - Dr. Cynthia Gerlein-Safdi

Date: November 16, 2017
Time: 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: SRB Auditorium, room 2246

Our guest for this week's CLaSP Seminar Series will be CLaSP researcher Dr. Cynthia Gerlein-Safdi. Please join us! 

Title: "Investigating dew deposition on leaves: effects on leaf water content, CO2, and remote sensing characterization"

Abstract:  Dew deposition occurs in ecosystems worldwide, even in the driest deserts and in times of drought. Although some species absorb dew water directly via foliar uptake, a ubiquitous effect of dew on plant water balance is the interference of dew droplets with the leaf energy balance, which increases leaf albedo and emissivity and decreases leaf temperature through dew evaporation. Dew deposition frequency and amount are expected to be affected by changing environmental conditions, with unknown consequences for plant water stress and ecosystem carbon, water, and energy fluxes. Combining water isotope analysis and a leaf energy balance model, I will show that dew can significantly decrease leaf transpiration and carbon assimilation. I will then expand on how microwave remote sensing can help us capture the spatial extent of dew events and how this can then be applied to rainfall canopy interception, a large missing piece in our understanding of the water cycle. 

Biography: Cynthia Gerlein-Safdi is a Junior Fellow of the Michigan Society of Fellows, working in the department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering. She is an ecohydrologist and her research focuses on the impact of rain, dew, and fog interception on canopy water dynamics. She is involved in the CYGNSS mission, using the brand new data to resolve the daily cycle of canopy water. Prior to arriving at the University of Michigan, Cynthia received a PhD from the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University, an MEng from the École et Observatoire des Sciences de la Terre (EOST) in Strasbourg France, and a BSc in Earth Sciences from the University of Strasbourg, France.

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