Our Focus

My research group is focused on understanding feedbacks in the earth system that impact climate change. This includes global and regional scale atmospheric transport of biogeochemically important species such as desert dust, as well as the carbon cycle. We look at these issues through a combination of 3-dimensional global transport and climate models, as well as analysis of satellite and in situ data.

Research Areas

Desert Dust Variability

Atmospheric nutrient cycles

Aerosol Biogeochemistry

Earth System 

Science modeling



Five faculty members elected AAAS fellows

November 2020

Professor Natalie Mahowald and four other Cornell faculty members have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society.

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Scientists aim to broaden knowledge of volcanoes

October 2020

A research team from the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences has received a $1.4 million grant from NASA to lead a study of how volcanic ash from past eruptions affected the Earth, and the potential impact of future eruptions.

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Scientists track plant diseases riding across globe with dust

July 2020

A Cornell University interdisciplinary team, including Natalie Mahowald, received a grant from NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration to better understand how plant pathogens that travel the globe with dust particles might put crops at risk, especially in places where people struggle to eat. “It’s just a fascinating combination of cross-disciplinary work that’s going to allow us to address things that no one has been able to address before,” said co-investigator Natalie Mahowald.

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