About Me

My name is Penelope (Penny) Maher and I am a climate scientist. I am a post-doc at the University of Exeter, England.

I am part of the ParaCon grant that aims to significantly improve the representation of convection across model scales from 1-100km. In this position I am working with Geoff Vallis and John Thuburn, with support from the Met Office. At present, I am involved in a project to building a reduced complexity version of the UM. Within this project, I am implementing the simple Betts-Miller convection scheme.

I am also part of the EuroClim grant that aims to advance the fundamental dynamical understanding of mechanisms influencing seasonal weather in Europe. In this position I am working with Geoff Vallis and the EuroClim team, which includes the Met Office, investigating the interactions between convection and large-scale atmospheric circulation.

I have a PhD from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia which I completed at the Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC) under the supervision of Steven Sherwood . Below is a summary of research interests, recent activities and blogs

Research Interests and Visits

My primary research interest is the interaction between convection and interseasonal to interannual variability of the atmosphere in global climate models. I am interested in cumulus parameterisation, large-scale variability, convective organisation and convectively coupled equatorial waves. I am also interested in applied and theoretical fluid dynamics.

After submitting my PhD in April 2014 I moved to Berlin, Germany and was employed as a Research Associate at the CCRC. During this time I was a guest of the Institut für Meteorologie at Freie Universität in Berlin. After this short term position I continued on as a guest scientist with the CCRC until starting a post-doctoral position at Exeter.

In September 2014 I was awarded my PhD. For my PhD I investigated the interactions between large-scale variability and precipitation in observations, fully-coupled GCMs and a reduced complexity aquaplanet model.

During my PhD I was a guest of Bjorn Stevens at the Max-Plank Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M) in Hamburg, Germany. It was one of the highlights of my PhD.

Recent Publications

In February 2016 my paper on the skill in simulating Australian precipitation at the tropical edge was published in the Journal of Climate. This work was summaried in Representation of precipitation in models limited by small scale processes.

Read Maher and Sherwood 2016. »

The previous paper on this topic identifyied the dominant Australian winter interannual large-scale precipitation drivers.

Read Maher and Sherwood 2014. »

I am currently preparing a third manuscript on this topic exploring the covariability of the subtropical jet, subtropical ridge and southern annular mode.

Recent Blogs

I like writing journal articles in LaTeX. But managing revisions and working out changes between revisions is not easy. So I wrote a shell package to help.

Read my blog: Writing a journal article in LaTeX with colour coded personalised track changes. »

From my perspective as an early career scientist, there are three scientific communities. And each of them make me a better scientist.

Read my blog: Scientific community as an ECR »

Did you read: Getting noticed is half the battle? I did and it made me mad.

Read my blog: Mixed messages to ECR from Senior Academics »

Twice in the last year I have packed my possessions into two suitcases and moved countries. I have been in Exeter for a few weeks now and I have written a blog about my move and settling into the English countryside.

Read my blog: Sydney to Exeter via Berlin »

Popular Blogs

I am in the process of writing a multi-blog post on academia, motivation, work life balance and managing stress. The first entry on work life balance in academia asks the question: Is work life balance in academia the problem or am I the problem?

Read my blog: A balanced scientist »

I wrote a blog reflecting on my experience as a PhD student. To say the last few months were hard is an understatement.

Read my blog: Reflections on a PhD »