Published: July 28, 2022 By

CU Boulder PhD candidates Katie Fankhauser and Denis Muthike are lead authors of new research on our ability to forecast, mitigate and quickly respond to increasingly intense drought conditions in Africa due to climate change.

Fankhauser is seeking a PhD in environmental engineering while Muthike is working towards a PhD in environmental studies. Both are advised by Associate Professor Evan Thomas and have close ties to CU Boulder’s Mortenson Center in Global Engineering. 

Fankhauser is the lead author of a paper in Science of The Total Environment that identifies the impacts of high groundwater use in response to drought in the Horn of Africa. The paper, which was co-authored by Muthike, investigates satellite data, remote-sensors and machine learning analysis tools. 

Muthike is the lead author of a paper in the Journal of Hydrometeorology that validates and compares satellite-based rainfall tools over a variety of conditions to better understand their reliability and validity. Fankhauser is a co-author on the paper.

We asked both about the research, their time at CU Boulder and where their work goes from here.