Introducing the 2019 GNSS Team


Researcher: Kara Lamb
I am currently a research scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at NOAA in Boulder, CO. My research focuses on aircraft field measurements and laboratory observations of atmospheric aerosols using specialized instrumentation. Aerosols are among the most poorly understood factors influencing future climate, and my work focuses on improving our understanding of the sources, optical properties, and atmospheric lifetime of absorbing aerosols such as black carbon and iron oxides. To characterize these aerosols in the atmosphere, I took part in NASA’s Korean United States Air Quality Study (KORUS-AQ), which was a 6-week long aircraft field campaign sampling over South Korea. Since forest fires can be one of the major sources of aerosols, I also studied the optical properties of biomass burning aerosols during NOAA’s FireLab Study at the USDA’s FireSciences Laboratory in Missoula, MT. Recently I’ve become very interested in how machine learning can improve measurements of atmospheric aerosols, both through improving our characterization of aerosols observed with specialized instrumentation, and through connecting ground-based and satellite remote sensing observations with in situ measurements from aircraft and balloon platforms.

I’m originally from Illinois, and I studied for my B.S. in physics at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, with minors in French and Mathematics. I then moved to Chicago to study for my Ph.D. in physics at the University of Chicago, where my doctoral work focused on cirrus cloud microphysics. I took part in a number of laboratory studies to understand how isotopic water vapor can be used as a tracer for ice formation in cirrus clouds through targeted experiments performed in a cloud chamber at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.


Researcher: Garima Malhotra

I am originally from New Delhi, India where I completed my bachelors in Electronics and Communication Engineering. Currently, I am doing my PhD in Space Physics at the University of Michigan (UM) where I am studying the importance of Earth’s lower atmosphere on the ionosphere and thermosphere system via combination of numerical simulations and satellite observations. The influences of Earth’s climate on the upper atmosphere/space around Earth has recently received a lot of attention from scientists around the world and is an active topic of research. It forms one of the biggest hurdles in accurately predicting the ionospheric and thermospheric state at any given point which becomes extremely important because most of the human space based activities are in this region. Before this, I completed my MS in Electrical Engineering at Virginia Tech where I worked in the SuperDARN group. My thesis involved studying the effect of stratospheric equatorial quasi biennial oscillation (QBO) on mid-latitude mesospheric winds using SuperDARN radars.

I am also involved in numerous outreach efforts and student organizations at UM. I am a part of Graduate Rackham International organization which is a student organization aimed to provide support for all international students at UM. I am also leading Michigan Earth Science Women’s Network where I organize events aimed at professional development for women in sciences and engineering. One of my most memorable experiences at UM was when I got the opportunity to give a Ted-style talk titled ‘Skirts & STEM’ as part of the MLK day celebrations.

My hobbies include dancing, hiking and reading.


Researcher: Athanasios Vlontzos

Athanasios is a first year computer science PhD student at Imperial College London Department of Computing. Part of the Biomedical Image Analysis group (BioMedIA) his research focuses on reinforcement learning and computer vision for freehand ultrasounds and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Previously he did his undergraduate degree on electrical and electronic engineering at Imperial College London focusing on computer vision and signal processing. He was also briefly affiliated with General Electric Healthcare and the development of machine learning solutions for interventional angiography

In his free time Athanasios is a radio producer, playing music from all over the world, and station manager of the Imperial College Radio Station


Researcher: Edward Wagstaff

I did my undergraduate degree in mathematics at Cambridge University, followed by a masters in mathematics and computer science at Oxford University. After graduating I spent several years working in the software industry in London, working with a number of clients including the BBC and Worldpay, before returning to Oxford to begin my PhD studies in machine learning in 2016.