Curriculum Vitae

Contact me.

07/2022 – Present. Modeling and Analysis Manager, Sequoia Climate Foundation.
Location: Irvine, CA.
01/2020 – 06/2022. Postdoctoral Researcher with the Iterative Eden Project (IEP), National Center for Ecological Analysis & Synthesis (NCEAS), University of California, Santa Barbara.
Location: Santa Barbara, CA.
05/2018 – 12/2019. Research Scholar with FABLE, IIASA.
Location: Laxenburg, Austria.
08/2017 & 01-03/2018. Mikhalevich Award Fellow, IIASA.
Location: Laxenburg, Austria.
09/2017-12/2017. Teaching Fellow, UCLA Undergraduate Education Initiative sponsored by the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
• Food: A Lens for Environment and Sustainability (Freshman GE Cluster M1) under Prof. Jenny Jay, Dr. Raffaella D’Auria, Dr. Cully Nordby.
Location: Los Angeles, CA.
09/2016-04/2017. Teaching Fellow, UCLA Undergraduate Education Initiative sponsored by the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
• Food: A Lens for Environment and Sustainability (Freshman GE Cluster M1) under Prof. Jenny Jay, Dr. Raffaella D’Auria, Dr. Cully Nordby and Dr. Andy Rice.
Location: Los Angeles, CA.
04-06/2016. Teaching Associate, UCLA Geography
• Past Societies and their Lessons for Our Own Future (ANTHRO M158Q/GEOG M153/HNRS M152) under Prof. Jared Diamond
Location: Los Angeles, CA.
01-03/2016. Muir Research Fellow and Reader, UCLA Geography
• Past Societies and their Lessons for Our Own Future (ANTHRO M158Q/GEOG M153/HNRS M152) under Prof. Jared Diamond
Location: Los Angeles, CA.
10-12/2015. Teaching Associate, UCLA Geography
Modeling the Environment (GEOG 166) under Prof. Kyle Cavanaugh
Location: Los Angeles, CA.
05-09/2015. Muir Memorial Chair Research Fellow, UCLA Geography
Location: Los Angeles, CA.
05-09/2015. Research Fellow
Southwest Center for Climate Science
Location: Los Angeles, CA.
10/2013-01/2014. Managing Editor
Environmental Humanities Now
Location: Los Angeles, CA.
05-09/2013. Graduate Student Researcher
Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
Location: Los Angeles, CA.
09-11/2009. Field Researcher
MAPAD (mission archéologique et paléontologique Afar Djibouti)
Location: Dikhil, Djibouti.
09-12/2007. Lecturer in Physics
Department of Arts and Science, Modern College of Business and Science
Location: Muscat, Oman.
05-09/2007. Research Assistant
Department of Anthropological Science, Stanford University
Location: Stanford, CA.
09/2001-05/2005. Teaching Assistant and Lab Demonstrator
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Queen’s University
Location: Kingstion, ON, Canada.
2018. Ph.D. (Geography)
University of California, Los Angeles
Dissertation: “Climate, corn, and culture: Modeling paleoenvironmental change and Native American Zea mays agriculture in Utah at the MCA-LIA transition”
Chair: Glen M. MacDonald
Los Angeles, CA
2015. C.Phil. (Geography)
University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA
2004. M.Sc. (Neutrino Astrophysics)
Queen’s University
Thesis: “222Rn calibration and spatial symmetry of sensitivity of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) Detector”
Chair: Aksel Hallin
Kingston, ON, Canada
2001. B.Sc. (honours, Physics)
Queen’s University
Kingston, ON, Canada
Journal Articles
Thelen, T., Thomson, M. J., Aldana, G., Gonzalez, T. (2022). villager: A framework for designing and executing agent-based models in R. Journal of Open Source Software. 7(79), 4562,

Kaitlyn M. Gaynor, K. M., Azevedo, T., Boyajian, C., Brun, J., Budden, A. E., Cole, A., Csik, S., DeCesaro, J., Do-Linh, H., Dudney, J., Galaz García, C., Leonard, S., Lyon, N. J., Marks, A., Parish, J., Phillips, A. A., Scarborough, C., Smith, J., Thomson, M., Vargas Poulsen, C., Caitlin R. Fong, C.R. (2022). Ten simple rules to cultivate belonging in collaborative data science research teams. PLoS Computational Biology.

FABLE Consortium. (2022). How can diverse national food and land-use priorities be reconciled with global sustainability targets? Lessons from the FABLE initiative. Sustainability Science.

Navarro-Garcia, J., Marcos-Martinez, R., Mosnier, A., Schmidt-Traubb, G., Javalera-Rincón, V., Obersteiner, M., Perez Guzman, K., Thomson, M. J., Penescu, L., Douzal, C., Bryan, B. A., Hadjikakou, M. (2022). Multi-target scenario discovery to plan for sustainable food and land use systems in Australia. Sustainability Science.

Bednar, J., Obersteiner, M., Baklanov, A., Thomson, M. J., Wagner, F., Geden, O., Allen, M., Hall, J. (2021). Operationalizing the net negative carbon economy. Nature.

Thomson, M. J., MacDonald, G. M. (2020). Climate and growing season variability impacted the intensity and distribution of Fremont maize farmers during and after the Medieval Climate Anomaly based on a statistically downscaled climate model. Environmental Research Letters.

Colven, E. L., Thomson, M. J. (2019). Bridging the Divide between Human and Physical Geography: Potential Avenues for Collaborative Research on Climate Modeling. Geography Compass, 13(2), e12418.

Thomson, M. J., Balkovich, J., Krisztin, T., MacDonald, G. M. (2018). Simulated crop yield for Zea mays for Fremont Ancestral Puebloan sites in Utah between 850-1499 CE based on temperature dailies from a statistically downscaled climate model. Quaternary International10.1016/j.quaint.2018.09.031

Loisel, J., MacDonald, G. M., Thomson, M. J. (2017). Little Ice Age climatic erraticism as an analogue for future enhanced hydroclimatic variability across the American Southwest. PLoS One, 12(10), 1-16.

SNO Collaboration. (2005). Electron energy spectra, fluxes, and day-night asymmetries of 8B solar neutrinos from measurements with NaCl dissolved in the heavy-water detector at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory. Physical Review C, 72(5), 055502.

SNO Collaboration. (2005). Search for periodicities in the 8B solar neutrino flux measured by the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory. Physical Review D, 72(5), 052010.

SNO Collaboration. (2004). Constraints on nucleon decay via invisible modes from the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory. Physical Review Letters, 92(10), 102004.

SNO Collaboration. (2004). Electron antineutrino search at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory. Physical Review D, 70(9), 093014.

SNO Collaboration. (2004). Measurement of the Total Active 8B Solar Neutrino Flux at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory with Enhanced Neutral Current Sensitivity. Physical Review Letters, 92(18), 181301.

Book Chapters
Thomson, M. J., Colven, E. (Submitted, in review). Pluralizing the production and use of climate models. In Climate Changed: Models and the Built World. MIT Press.

Thomson, M. J. (2021). Integrated Assessment Models. The International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology. Wiley. preprint.

Thomson, M. J. (2018). Paleoclimatology, Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences. Encyclopedia of Ecology (Second edition). Elsevier.

Technical Reports & Software
Thelen, T., Aldana, G., Thomson, M., Gonzalez, T. (2022). villager: A Framework for Designing and Running Agent Based Models.

FOLU Coalition. (2019). Growing Better: Ten Critical Transitions to Transform Food and Land Use. The Global Consultation Report of the Food and Land Use Coalition September 2019. Full Report, Long Summary, and Executive Summary.

Thomson, M. J., Pérez-Guzmán, K., Sperling, F., Frank, S. (2019). European Union. Chapter in the 2019 Report of the FABLE Consortium. p. 180-191.

Mosnier, A., et al. (The FABLE Consortium) (2019). 2019 Report of the FABLE Consortium: Pathways to Sustainable Land-Use and Food Systems. Laxenburg and Paris: International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). Full Report and Executive Summary.
Grants and Awards
2017. Mickhalevich Award, with Honors, IIASA, Austria
Competitive fellowship awarded following nomination by YSSP supervisors and external peer-review of final research paper, “Climate, Corn and Culture: Simulated Impact of Paleoclimate Change on Fremont Native American Maize Farming in Utah,” supervised by T. Krisztin and J. Balkovic. (Of 51 YSSP projects, 13 finalists were nominated for 4 awards, 2 of were given honors.) Grants an additional 3 month research residency at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria.
2016. Young Scientists Summer Research fellowship, IIASA, Austria
Competitive fellowship awarded in my case by the National Academy of Sciences through the National Science Foundation to fund a 3 month research internship at the interdisciplinary International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria.
2015. Breakthrough Prize for Fundamental Physics
Awarded a share as a member of SNO “for the fundamental discovery and exploration of neutrino oscillations, revealing a new frontier beyond, and possibly far beyond, the standard model of particle physics.” Laureates.
2015 & 2014. Helin Research Travel Grant, UCLA
Joint Departmental and privately endowed grant to pursue dissertation-related fieldwork in a non-English speaking country (Egypt in my case).
2014 & 2012. Graduate Summer Research Mentor (GSRM) fellowship, UCLA
Fellowship awarded to aspiring scientists to fund summer research ($6000+).
2012. Graduate Student Mentor (GSM) Fellowship, UCLA
Competitive fellowship awarded to graduate students to work closely with faculty supervisor on a research project for publication ($34,600).
2001. Carl Rienhardt Award, Queen’s University at Kingston
Fellowship for graduate studies.
Discussion panelist speaking on behalf of the FABLE Consortium at the Global Forum for Innovations in Marginal Environments (GFIME), hosted by the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA). Date: 11/2019. Location: Dubai, UAE.
“Scenathon: First Results of a Model-Aided, Structured Negotiation for Convergence Towards Global Sustainability Goals,” AGU Fall meeting 2018. Presentation (ID GC42C-06). Date: 12/2018. Location: Washington, DC.
“Impact of climate change on Native American maize farming at the MCA-LIA transition,” Climates and Cultures: Perspectives for the future conference, Palais des Académies. Talk and poster. Date: 05/2018. Location: Brussels, Belgium.
“Crop model simulated impact of climate change on Fremont Native American maize farming at the MCA-LIA transition using a statistically downscaled GCM,” American Geophysical Union (AGU). Poster. Date: 12/2016. Location: San Francisco, CA.
“Climate change and civilization: What do we know about global warming in the past, present and future?” Santa Rita Jail, Alameda County. Invited to speak to inmates engaged in a special environmental literacy education program. Date: 12/2016. Location: Dublin, CA.
“Simulated impact of climate change on Fremont Native American maize farming at the MCA-LIA transition, ~12-13th c.,” Mountain Climate Conference, MtnClim2016. Poster. Date: 10/2016. Location: Leavenworth, WA.
“Climate, Corn and Collapse? A Paleoclimate Model and Proxy Based Analysis of Native American Agricultural Decline in Prehistoric Utah,” Association of American Geographers (AAG) annual meeting. Paper. Date: 05/2016. Location: San Francisco, CA.
“Using Stochastically Downscaled Climate Models and Multiproxy Lake Sediment Data to Connect Climatic Variations Over the Past 1000 Years and the History of Prehistoric Maize Farming in Utah,” American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting. Poster. Date: 12/2015. Location: San Francisco, CA.
“Reconstructing conditions for Fremont Zea mays horticulture,” PACLIM Conference 2015, Asilomar Conference Grounds. Poster. Date: 03/2015. Location: Pacific Grove, CA.
“Holocene Nile paleohydrology and eastern Mediterranean paleohydroclimatology”, Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting. Date: 04/2014. Location: Tampa, FL.
“A critical review of Holocene paleohydrology and paleohydroclimatology of the Nile and Eastern Mediterranean,” 78th annual Society for American Archaeologists meeting. Date: 04/2013. Location: Honolulu, HI.
“Applying paleoclimatological methods to study occupational change in an archaeological site,” 6th annual Earth and Planetary Sciences Student Symposium. Date: 04/2013. Location: Los Angeles, CA.
“Holocene geoarchaeology and biogeography in the Fayum, Egypt,” (poster) 67th annual California Geographical Society Conference. Poster. Date: 04/2013. Location: San Luis Obispo, CA.
Articles (in preparation)
FABLE Consortium Technical Working Group. (in prep.) Description of the FABLE Calculator. Environmental Modelling and Software.
FABLE Consortium. (in prep.) Coordinating globally consistent national pathways towards sustainable land-use and food systems.
Thomson, M. J., MacDonald, G. M., Porinchu, D. (in prep.) Mean July lake surface temperatures for lakes in southwestern and central Utah using chironomid-based inference thermometry.
Thomson, M. J., MacDonald, G. M. (in prep.) Macroscopic charcoal-based paleofire records for Alpine Pond, Dixie NF, Blue Lake, Manti La Sal NF, and Denise Lake, Ashley NF, on a diagonal transect of montane Utah.
2020/21 — Expert reviewer for the Working Group II contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), Second Order Draft Government and Expert Review
2020 — Reviewer for the Journal of Quaternary Science
2019 — Reviewer for Scientific Reports
2016 — Reviewer for Ecological Modelling

2018-19 — President of the Social and Cultural (SOCU) Board at IIASA
2012-13 — Co-president for geography grads within the Graduate Students Association (GSA) at UCLA
2002-03 — Co-representative for physics and astronomy grads to the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) at Queen’s University
American Geophysical Union (AGU), Association of American Geographers (AAG), Association of Pacific Coast Geographers (APCG), the Geological Society of America (GSA), the Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG)
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