Noel Aloysius

Noel Aloysius
Assistant Professor
University of Missouri
Biomedical, Biological and Chemical Engineering
1406 Rollins Street
Fields of interest
Hydroclimatology; Teleconnections (ENSO, PDO, etc) and impacts on terrestrial water cycle; climate and food security
Description of scientific projects
1. Applying machine-learning for environmental conservation planning in the Mississippi River Basin:

Excessive resource use, such as chemical fertilizers in agriculture or increased discharge of urban and industrial waste, create chemical processes that impair ecosystems. In heavily managed landscapes like the Mississippi River Basin, such impairments cause (i) disproportionately high rates of chemical reactions spatially (Hot Spots) and/or (ii) disproportionately high reaction rates within short time periods (Hot Moments). Here, we propose to develop Machine Learning approaches using high-dimensional hydro-environmental data to make and improve predictions of Hot Spots and Hot Moments. Our goal is to explore the likelihood of developing transformative environmental conservation blueprints for the Mississippi River Basin in critical areas of sustainable development, including (i) improving water quality in aquatic systems, (ii) maintaining productive food production systems, and (iii) sustaining resilient natural areas.

2. Preserving Rain Forests and Enhancing Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in Central Africa

The dynamics and intensity of the hydrological cycle in the Congo River Basin is largely modulated by climate, particularly the spatial and temporal variation of precipitation. The dynamics of trade winds and the transport of moisture from the eastern Atlantic constitute the main drivers of precipitation and, subsequently, runoff, and their seasonality. Competing pressures on water resources include revival of rural economies, providing adequate sanitation facilities to over 90 million people, achieving food security, hydropower development, industry use (mostly mining) and environmental conservation. Here, we propose to evaluate key limitations that causes absurdly low crop yields which, in turn, leads to forest clearing. We hypothesize that substantial opportunities exist to increase agriculture productivity through water and nutrient management in rural areas, while maintaining environmental sustainability. Our research will proposal several solutions to (i) improve crop yields by managing water and nutrient management to double the current crop yields, and (ii) develop a pathway to limit forest clearing.