Left-to-right: Raleigh Martin, Jasper Kok with scientist-in-training Zia, Francesco Comola, Yue Huang, Francis Turney.

Left-to-right: Raleigh Martin, Jasper Kok with scientist-in-training Zia, Francesco Comola, Yue Huang, Francis Turney.

Associate Professor Jasper F. Kok (CV) – Ph.D. (Applied Physics, University of Michigan, 2009)

Jasper Kok was born in the Netherlands, where he obtained a B.S. in physics at Leiden University. He then moved to the United States for graduate school, and obtained his PhD in Applied Physics from the University of Michigan in 2009, for which he received a Distinguished Dissertation Award. He then took an Advanced Study Program postdoctoral fellowship at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, followed by an NSF Climate and Large-Scale Dynamics postdoctoral fellowship at Cornell University. Jasper joined the faculty at the department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at UCLA in 2013, was awarded an NSF CAREER grant in 2016, and received tenure in 2017.

Jasper’s research focuses on physical processes of direct relevance to climate and planetary sciences. In particular, he has advanced the understanding of the emission and the resulting climate impacts of desert dust, which accounts for the majority of particulate matter by mass in the atmosphere. He has also applied some of these advances to understanding the mysteries of sand transport and dust emission in Mars’ dilute atmosphere and on Saturn’s fascinatingly Earth-like moon Titan.

Contact info:
Office: 7142 Math Sciences Building, UCLA
Phone: Email is the best way to get a hold of me.

If you are a prospective student or postdoc and are interested in joining my group, feel free to contact me. I particularly welcome interest from women and underrepresented minorities.


Postdoctoral scientist Raleigh Martin ( – Ph.D. (University of Pennsylvania, 2013) (website)

For his postdoc, Raleigh is working to improve predictions for wind-driven sand and dust movement to overcome the limitations of idealized laboratory and numerical models for these processes.  Based on large ensembles of high-frequency wind and sediment transport measurements in field settings, he is investigating the role of natural turbulence and bed structure on aeolian saltation flux and thresholds. Raleigh’s work has been supported by an NSF postdoctoral research fellowship.

Graduate student Yue Huang ( – B.S. (Sun Yat-Sen University, 2015)


For her PhD, Yue is working on quantifying the dust emission flux and size distribution of dust aerosols generated by wind-blown sand on sand dunes. This project will help identify whether sand dunes are an important source of dust aerosols to the climate system, which is still an open question. Yue is also interested in understanding the radiative effect of mineral aerosols on the climate system.


Graduate student Francis Turney ( – B.S. (UCLA, 2015)

For his PhD, Francis is investigating the initiation ofFrancisHeadshot wind-blown sand transport as it pertains to the modulation of dust emission, which has implications for climate and climate change. In order to better understand the stochastic impact of bed structure and turbulent flow on sand transport initiation, he is coupling a computational fluid dynamics model with a discrete element model for particle dynamics, and seeding it with wind flow data from the field and from large eddy simulations. His PhD work is supported by a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Graduate student Francesco Comola ( – Visiting from EPFL (2016), M.S. (University of Padova, 2012)

FrancescoDuring his visit, Francesco worked on a fragmentation theory for fractal snow crystals in saltation. The proposed fragmentation theory is accounted for in a statistical-mechanics model of saltation, which appears to provide the missing connection between the seemingly inconsistent size distributions of snowfall and blowing snow. Francesco’s work was supported by a scholarship granted by the Doctoral School in Civil and Environmental Engineering of EPFL.