Ault received his PhD from the University of Arizona in 2011, then completed an ASP postdoctoral fellowship at the National Center for Atmospheric Research from 2011-2013 before joining Cornell as an assistant professor.

Research Interests

Dr. Ault's research coalesces around three areas of inquiry related to emergent climate risks: (1) estimating the risk of prolonged drought under climate change; (2) understanding the dynamics of seasonality, particularly spring; and (3) characterizing variations in the Tropical Pacific on timescales of decades to centuries, and their influence on global climate. His methods entail data synthesis from observational sources as well as numerical and statistical modeling. The nature of his work is therefore highly interdisciplinary, affording him the opportunity to collaborate closely not only with climate scientists and modelers, but with colleagues in many other disciplines, including geography, paleoclimatology, and ecology.

Research Group Members

Teaching Interests

Variations in tropical weather and climate; 21st-century megadrought risk in the American Southwest; energy and climate change.

Selected Publications

  • Ault, Toby R. 2016."Water resources: Island water stress."Nature Climate Change6(12): 1062-1063.
  • Ault, Toby R., Justin S. Mankin, Benjamin I. Cook, Jason E Smerdon. 2016."Relative impacts of mitigation, temperature, and precipitation on 21st-century megadrought risk in the American Southwest."Science Advances2(10): e1600873.
  • Monahan, William B., Alyssa Rosemartin, Katharine L. Gerst, Nicholas A. Fisichelli, Toby R. Ault, Mark D. Schwartz, John E. Gross, Jake F. Weltzin. 2016."Climate change is advancing spring onset across the US national park system."Ecosphere7(10): e01465.
  • Ault, Toby R., Zachary Labe, Raul Zurita-Milla. 2016."Identifying anomalously early spring onsets in the CESM large ensemble project."Climate Dynamics 1-18.
  • Newman, Matthew, Michael A. Alexander, Toby R. Ault, Kim M. Cobb, Clara Deser, Emanuele Di Lorenzo, Nathan J. Mantua, Arthur J. Miller, Hisashi Nakamura Shoshiro Minobe, Niklas Schneider, Daniel J. Vimont, Adam S. Phillips, James D. Scott, Catherine A. Smith. 2016."The Pacific decadal oscillation, revisited."Journal of comparative neurology(29): 4399-4427.


Research Group Members

Graduate Students