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

Theresa Lincheck
Graduate Research Assistant, M.S. Student


Emily Luschen
Graduate Research Assistant, M.S. 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.

Hrag Najarian
Graduate Research Assistant, Ph.D. Student

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.

Undergraduate Students

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.

Emily West
Undergraduate Researcher, B.S. Student

Emily joined the Convective Storm Dynamics group in December 2021. She has interests spanning all four Earth systems, atmosphere, biosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere, but was ultimately drawn to meteorology due to her fascination with Earth system interactions. Emily is excited to be studying abroad in the Spring of 2022 where she will continue to learn about oceanography and tropical meteorology. She has previously worked with Dr. Basara in the CHEWE Research Group where she researched the ability of vegetation to signal flash drought. In her free time, Emily rides for the OU Equestrian Club Team and enjoys reading.