University of Reading Committee

Committee 2021-2022: PhD students Swinda Falkena, Melanie Kobras, and Laura Risley; and recent PhD graduate Dr. Jennifer Israelsson.
Committee 2020-2021 and co-founders of the Reading node: PhD students Ieva Daužickaitė, Swinda Falkena, Jennifer Israelsson, and Melanie Kobras.

The committee hosted a PhD information event for students at the University of Reading on 19 November 2020.
This academic year they are planning to set up a mentoring scheme for students at Reading. Stay tuned for more details 🙂

Jennifer (she/her): I am a final year PhD student working in the intersection of Statistics and Meteorology. By applying spatial statistics and Extreme Value theory on incomplete and sparse data, I am to describe the spatial and temporal rainfall behaviour over western Africa. My undergrad was a very broad Mathematics degree, so understanding the Meteorology theory has been a steep but interesting journey. I was certain that I would not do a PhD until I sent in my application during my final year, mainly because I had never met anyone like me within the academic world and no one had told be that it would suit me. My main hobbies are working as a fitness instructor at my local gym and cooking with a nice glass of red in my hand.

Laura (she/her):  I am a first year Mathematics PhD student at the University of Reading (part of SCENARIO). My project will use data assimilation to forecast ocean current velocities from satellite data, this involves using numerical methods to solve complex elliptic equations. I did my BSc at the University of Bath and MSc at Queen Mary University of London, both in mathematics. I had always dreamed of doing a PhD but when I  completed my BSc I wasn’t sure if I was capable or if I still wanted to. Taking a year out from education made me realise how much I missed learning, and this motivated me to apply for postgraduate study. I love watching movies, exploring new places and playing music in a marching band.
Email: l.risley@pgr.reading.ac.uk

Melanie (she/her): I am a second year PhD student applying my mathematical skills to a meteorology problem. The aim of my research is to find a suitable model that can describe the variability of atmospheric storm tracks associated with jet streams. After my very theoretical undergrad I did a Master in Biomaths (both in Germany) and had the chance to work on a research project in Norway. My time there encouraged me to apply for a PhD, before that I haven’t even thought about it. In my free time I love to play Rugby, go for a run and enjoy the outdoors. I’m also very passionate about travelling to new places or visiting my friends abroad.
Email: m.kobras@pgr.reading.ac.uk

Swinda (she/her): I am a final year PhD student in the Mathematics of Planet Earth CDT. I work on clustering methods and how to obtain more informative signals using them, i.e. distinguish the signal from the noise, using a Bayesian approach. All of this applied to atmospheric circulation regimes to better understand the atmospheric dynamics on timescales of one to two weeks. I did my undergrad in Physics and Mathematics, followed by master’s in Mathematics and Climate Physics (all in the Netherlands). My master thesis supervisor encouraged me to do a PhD and that is how I ended up in Reading. I love running, like to play football and in general to be outside and explore.