Aerosol-Climate Interactions research group members in Spring 2019. From left-to-right: undergraduate researcher Chloe Whicker, postdoctoral scholars Francesco Comola and Adeyemi Adebiy, Prof. Jasper Kok, and grad students Danny Min Leung and Yue Huang.

Some happy research group members at 2019 graduation. From left-to-right: former undergraduate researchers Yang (Kitty) Wang, Kaylie Cohanim, Chloe Whicker, and Kenyon Chow.

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, received tenure in 2017, received the American Meteorological Society’s Henry Houghton Early Career award in 2020, and was promoted to Full Professor in 2021.

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.

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 am passionate about broadening participation for students and researchers from groups that are underrepresented in the geosciences. I thus particularly welcome interest from female applicants and underrepresented minorities.


Graduate student Alyson Fritzmann ( – B.S. (Lawrence University, 2020)

Aly’s research interests include aerosol optical properties and aerosol-climate interactions. Currently she is working to quantify regional trends of dust emissions and their subsequent contributions to the global dust cycle. In the future, she’s interested in investigating the impact of dust on climate by determining the dust direct radiative forcing. Aly is the current co-president of the AOS graduate department’s student group, Chi Epsilon Pi (XEP), and is passionate about advocating for diversity and inclusion in science. In her spare time, she enjoys rock climbing as well as taking her Australian Shepherd on hikes around LA!

Graduate student Danny Min Leung ( – B.S., M.Phil. (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2018)

Danny studies aerosol-climate interactions, focusing on how meteorological drivers regulate fine particulate matter pollution episodes using the chemical transport model (GEOS-Chem) and multivariate statistical analysis (here). For his PhD, he currently works on the parameterizations of effects of boundary-layer turbulence and other physical mechanisms on changing emissions and deposition of dust aerosols, and incorporating the parameterization schemes into the Community Earth System Model (CESM).

Postdoctoral scholar Jun Meng ( – Ph.D. (Dalhousie University, 2020)

Jun’s research interests include dust emission, aerosol modeliJUN_3_4-350x467ng and air pollution. He is currently leading a project parameterizing the dust size distribution in CESM with a focus on the representation of coarse and super coarse dust particles in models, which is greatly underestimated by current global aerosols models.

Group alumni

Former graduate student Yue Huang (, website) – PhD (UCLA, 2021)

Photo-yueFor her PhD, Yue worked on “Observational constraints on dust size and shape.” She did impactful work quantifying dust fluxes from sand dunes (here), quantifying the globally-representative asphericity of desert dust (here), and figuring out how to convert between different types of measurements of dust particle sizes so that comparisons between models and measurements are closer to comparing apples to apples (here). She is now a postdoctoral fellow with Ron Miller at Columbia University, for which she received a prestigious Earth Institute postdoctoral fellowship.

Former postdoctoral fellow Adeyemi Adebiyi (, website) – Ph.D. (University of Miami, 2016)

Yemi was a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow whose work has shown that that the atmosphere contains an astonishing 17 million tons of coarse dust (particles with diameter > 5 um), which accounts about a third of the atmosphere’s total particulate matter load. Climate models account for only about a quarter of this coarse dust, thereby missing important effects on climate and weather. For this impactful work, Yemi received a prestigious Chancellor’s Award for Postdoctoral Research. Yemi is now an assistant professor at the University of California – Merced. Member of group from 2017 – 2021.

Former undergraduate researcher Robin Anthony-Petersen used satellite data to investigate impacts of dust on clouds in the tropical North Atlantic. Robin is currently a graduate student at the University of California – Berkeley. Member of group from 2019 – 2021.

Former undergraduate researcher Alana Dodero used satellite data during the 2020 massive “Godzilla” dust storm to investigate the impact of the asphericity of dust on its optical properties. Member of group in 2020.

Former postdoctoral fellow Francesco Comola ( – PhD from EPFL (Switzerland). Member of group from 2016 – 2019.

FrancescoFrancesco was a Swiss National Science Foundation Mobility Fellow, working on understanding turbulent effects on dust emission and sand transport on the atmospheric boundary layer. Among his impactful work is an insightful parameterization of the effects of turbulence on fluxes of sand and dust (here), which is currently being implemented into atmospheric models. Francesco was also a visiting grad student in 2016, during which time he worked on a fragmentation theory for fractal snow crystals in saltation (here).

Whicker_photoFormer undergraduate researcher Chloe Whicker studied the surface concentration of desert dust, which has implications for understanding human health impacts. Chloe is currently a graduate student at the University of Michigan. Member of group from 2018 – 2019.


Former undergraduate researcher Kaylie Cohanim researched wind-blown sand transport on Earth and other planetary bodies (mainly Titan), and its implications on climate and the development of geological surfaces. Now a graduate student at Princeton University. Member of group in 2018.

Former postdoctoral fellow Raleigh Martin (, website) – Ph.D. (University of Pennsylvania, 2013). Member of group from 2013 – 2017.

For his postdoc, Raleigh performed extensive field measurements of wind-blown sand using novel methodology. The objective of this work was to improve predictions of wind-driven sand fluxes and the consequent dust aerosol emissions. He obtained large ensembles of high-frequency wind and sediment transport measurements, which he used investigate the role of natural turbulence and bed structure on sediment fluxes and thresholds. Raleigh’s work has been supported by an NSF postdoctoral research fellowship. Raleigh’s work resulted in a number of excellent publications.

Raleigh is now a Program Director in the Division of Earth Sciences at the National Science Foundation.