The Climate Program Office welcomes Dr. David Benson to the MAPP team. Born and raised in Kaduna, Nigeria, David received his bachelor’s in Meteorology from the Federal University of Technology before moving to the United States for a Master’s and PhD. His doctorate in Climate Dynamics at George Mason University was focused on the role of land-atmosphere interactions in the improvement of heatwave prediction. Through this research, it was found that when soil moisture dries beyond a certain threshold, the atmosphere-land dynamics become hypersensitive and could exacerbate heatwave events.
“I investigated how well current subseasonal forecast models represent these thresholds (breakpoints) and the other related metrics and highlighted the need for better initialization and representation of soil moisture in forecast models. The research provides a potential tool for heatwave prediction and model diagnostics,” said David.
David first became interested in Meteorology and Climate Science through his fascination with tropical storms and understanding the way clouds and complex weather systems formed. He also felt it was a great way to see different places and climates of the world without being there physically. David enjoys research topics that focus on predictability and societal impacts. In addition, he finds research that employs AI, novel statistical methods, and multi-disciplinary techniques particularly interesting.
Apart from that, David enjoys playing and watching soccer, especially cheering for his favorite team, the Arsenal Football Club in the English Premier League. He also enjoys going hiking and paddle boarding.