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Hilla Afargan-Gerstman, PhD

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the ETH Zürich, working with Prof. Dr. Daniela Domeisen in the group of Atmospheric Predictability. I am a recipient of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship. I also took part in the EU Horizon2020 research Project "Blue-Action" for understanding the impact of the Arctic of European weather and climate.

Since 2024, I am also affiliated with the University of Lausanne (UNIL), Switzerland, as a postdoc in the Atmospheric Process group. 

 

I also teach lectures on the science behind climate change as part of these MSc courses at UNIL: 

- Weather and Climate Dynamics (Spring, 2023, 2024)

- Environmental Crisis and Societal Change (Spring, 2023)

Exploring how the downward impact of the stratosphere will change in future climate. 

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European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant No 891514.

RESEARCH FOCUS

  • My research interests are mid-latitude weather and climate, storm track and jet stream dynamics, variability and predictability, extreme weather events (e.g., extreme extratropical cyclones, windstorms, marine and land cold air outbreaks, heatwaves) and their impacts, drivers of extreme weather in present and future climate.

  • Exploring the potential for improving the prediction skill of surface weather in mid-latitude and polar regions on subseasonal-to-seasonal (S2S; beyond 10 days and up to three months) timescales.

  • I also have ongoing interest in understanding the impact of climate change on extratropical storms and windstorm damage over Europe using CMIP6 and a wide range of statistical tools and platforms.

  • Stratosphere-troposphere coupling and stratospheric impact on mid-latitude weather and climate, in particular the impact of Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) and strong polar vortex events on extratropical storm track, jet stream and cold extremes.

CURRENT PROJECTS

  • Predictability of winter North Atlantic storm track in subseasonal re-forecasts 

  • The downward impact of the stratosphere in current and future climates (my Marie Sklodowska-Curie research project: stratoIMPACT).

  • Winter windstorm damage in Europe in a changing climate

News

01/2024 We are offering a Master thesis project at ETH (for enrolled Mater students) on "Predicting Rain in the Sahara on sub-seasonal to seasonal timescales" 

(co-supervision together with Koko Armon, D-USYS, ETH)

MSc_ad_sahara

Education

2012 - 2018

Ph.D. Weizmann Institute of Science

PhD in Atmospheric Dynamics.

In my PhD, I was working with Prof. Yohai Kaspi on mechanisms controlling the seasonal variability of mid-latitude storm tracks. We used both reanalysis data and an idealized GCM, in which we implemented a seasonal cycle to study the storm track response to variations in the strength and location of the jet stream. We also studied the midwinter suppression of the Pacific storm track, a major open research question in the field of Atmospheric Dynamics.

2007 - 2010

M.Sc. Weizmann Institute of Science

M.Sc. in Physical Oceanography.

2003 - 2007

B.Sc. 

Tel Aviv University

B.Sc. in Geophysics, Atmospheric and Planetary Science

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