A drone hovers near a wildfire
October 11, 2019

Experts on wildfires

Author: UCR News
October 11, 2019


For fast access to experts, TEXT or call the 24-hour-experts hotline at 951-312-3049, or email news@ucr.edu 



Nicolas Barth: assistant professor, geology. Landscape response after a fire, slides and debris flows/mudflows following fires. nic.barth@ucr.edu 

Kelley Barsanti: assistant professor, chemical and environmental engineering. Modelling of atmospheric particulate matter, especially from biomass burning; how smoke forms and spreads from wildfires; air quality. kbarsanti@engr.ucr.edu

Sydney Glassman: assistant professor, microbiology and plant pathology. Understanding the role of soil fungi and bacteria in ecosystem regeneration after wildfires, and the role of microbial community complexity and fungal-bacterial interactions in litter decomposition. sydney.glassman@ucr.edu

Richard Minnich: professor, earth sciences. Fire ecology of Southern California, Baja California, and temperate Mexico; influence of exotic plant invasions and climate change on wildfires; problems associated with fire suppression; impact of dry weather and drought on wildfires; contribution of air pollution to wildfires; solutions to addressing wildfires; California wildflowers. richard.minnich@ucr.edu

Marko Princevac: professor, mechanical engineering. Wildfire behavior. Research on fire physics include characterization of the interaction between lines of wildfires, emission of particles from wildfires and investigation of the mechanisms that lead to the formation of dense “super fogs” when forest fires are smoldering. marko@engr.ucr.edu

Benjamin Tabibian: assistant clinical professor, health sciences. Critical care and lung diseases. He can speak to what happens in the body, at the cellular level, when we breathe in smoke from wildfires. He can also address: What are the short- and long-term effects of such inhalation? What steps can be taken to mitigate the effects of such inhalation? What kind of increased risk from wildfire smoke do patients with chronic pulmonary conditions such as lung fibrosis, COPD, and asthma face? ben.tabibian@gmail.com

Marko Spasojevic: assistant professor, biology. Plant ecologist who works to understand how plant communities respond to and recover from wildfires. He uses a combination of field research, measurements of plant functional traits, remote sensing, and statistical models to ask questions related to wildfires in forests, chaparral, and grasslands. marko.spasojevic@ucr.edu

Akula Venkatram: professor of mechanical engineering. Expertise relates to estimating the impact of wildfire emissions on air quality. Has developed models to predict the formation of dense fogs associated with water vapor emitted from smoldering fires. Currently involved in creating maps of ground-level concentrations of pollutants emitted by wildfires, using a system of monitors and satellite images. akula.venkatram@ucr.edu