Principal Investigator

James Ruppert, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor (he/him), CV, Google Scholar
Office: National Weather Center (NWC) 5331

James joined the faculty of OU’s School of Meteorology in 2021. He received his Ph.D. from Colorado State University in 2015 and held a postdoc position from 2015–18 at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany. Before coming to OU he was an assistant research professor at Penn State. His main research interests include convective storms and their interactions with large-scale circulation. A central topic of emphasis in his research lately is cloud–radiation feedback. In his free time he enjoys spending time with family, being outdoors, and seeking out great local food.

Graduate Students

Hrag Najarian
Graduate Research Assistant, Ph.D. Candidate

Hrag joined the Convective Storm Dynamics group in the Spring of 2022. He was born in Lebanon but then moved to Los Angeles at the age of 5. Soon after, he became fascinated by the weatherman’s ability to predict the future which sparked a passion that grew out of hand. He completed his B.S. in Atmospheric Sciences at the University of California, Davis in the Summer of 2018, and then his M.S. in Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma in the Fall of 2021, studying cloud-radiative effects within the Madden-Julian Oscillation. He is now pursuing his Ph.D. working alongside Dr. James Ruppert and Dr. Naoko Sakaeda to continue to understand cloud-radiative interactions on a diurnal time scale within the seasonal-subseasonal timescale over the Maritime Continent through numerical modeling.

Emily Luschen
Graduate Research Assistant, Ph.D. Student

Emily joined the Convective Storm Dynamics group in August 2021. As a native Oklahoman, she grew up fascinated by the weather. However, it was not until Emily’s first year of college when her love of math drove her to the field of meteorology. Before pursuing her M.S., Emily earned an A.S. in Physics at Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) and a B.S. in Meteorology at OU. As an undergraduate, she worked as a math tutor at OCCC and managed data for the Oklahoma Lightning Mapping Array. In her free time, Emily enjoys laughing at her own jokes and rewatching episodes of Community.

Undergraduate Students

Robby Frost
Undergraduate Researcher, B.S. Student

Robby joined the Convective Storm Dynamics group in November of 2022. Robby grew up in central Oklahoma and north Texas and was fascinated by all forms of convective storms after many close encounters with severe storms and tornadoes growing up. Robby currently researches the role the radiative diurnal cycle played on Tropical Storm Erin’s overland intensification in 2007 over Oklahoma. Outside of the classroom and research, Robby enjoys hanging out with friends, listening to music, cooking, photography, and being outdoors.

Andrew Muehr
Undergraduate Researcher, B.S. Student

Andrew Muehr joined the Convective Storm Dynamics group in October 2021. Andrew grew up in the Milwaukee area and was fascinated with all forms of weather from a young age, especially severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. He is currently researching the relationship between the hodograph, updraft and precipitation qualities, and tornado potential, fitting with his interest in severe storm environments. In his free time, he plays on the OU Club Soccer Team, spends time with friends and family, and immerses himself in extreme weather.

Colin Welty
Undergraduate Researcher, B.S. Student

Colin joined the Convective Storm Dynamics Group in November 2022. He was born and raised in the northern suburbs of Dallas, Texas. From reading books about clouds with his grandmother at a young age to watching GFS runs in high school, Colin has always been fascinated with all modes of extreme weather. Currently, Colin is researching the role of the diurnal cycle in the overland intensification of Tropical Storm Erin (2007) using WRF model simulations. Outside of research, Colin enjoys listening to music, political engagement, traveling, and watching sports with his friends.

Past Students