Programmatic staff who facilitate Research and Regions, Leaders Forum, Executive Committee, and Steering Council
Alex Ruane 

Science Coordinator, NASA-Goddard Institute for Space Studies, USA 

Dr. Alex Ruane is a Research Physical Scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and an adjunct Associate Research Scientist at the Columbia University Center for Climate Systems Research in New York City. Alex serves as the Science Coordinator and Climate Team Leader for the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP;, an international, transdisciplinary project connecting climate science, crop modeling, and economic modeling to place regional agricultural impacts of climate change into their global economic context to assess uncertainties, vulnerability, and world food security.

Alex’s research uses a variety of climate and impacts assessment models to examine the influence of climate variability and change on a variety of sectors including agriculture, water resources, urban areas, infrastructure, energy, and human health, leading to the development of adaptation strategies and decision support tools for stakeholders and policy makers who need to understand vulnerabilities and uncertainties to successfully manage risk. Alex leads the Coordinated Climate-Crop Modeling Project (C3MP; in its investigations of climate sensitivity at more than 1000 worldwide crop and livestock simulation sets, and has developed the AgMERRA climate forcing dataset to support agricultural impacts modeling. Alex also works to develop new methods to tailor climate scenarios for unique applications around the world, and investigates observational methods, high-frequency variations, and extreme characteristics of hydroclimate.

Alex conducted his doctoral work studying the water cycle in the climate group at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and received a B.S. in atmospheric science at Cornell University.

Carolyn Mutter 

International Program Manager, Columbia University, USA

Mutter joined Center for Climate Systems Research (CCSR), Columbia University, in 2011. She leads the Coordination Unit of AgMIP, providing oversight to communications, events, outreach, administration, and finance while facilitating AgMIP growth sustained through activities of the AgMIP Steering Council, Executive Committee, and Leaders in support of a diverse membership of nearly 1000 scientists worldwide. She also provides the roles of principal investigator of AgMIP-CU awards from USDA, PNNL, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; of supervisor for the AgMIP-CU team, and as advisor on staff development and research administration in the Climate Impacts group at CCSR. With her AgMIP-CU team, she creates and sustains processes for advancing research and coordination activities; timely completion of projects; regular web updates and blogs to increase visibility and awareness of, as well as access to results. She also conducts partner visits to facilitate collaborative planning and proposals for work packages involving AgMIP teams nationally and internationally. Together with partners, she and her team convene regular high level global and regional workshops that enable AgMIP members to regularly advance protocols for intercomparison and improvement of models, including those that include stakeholder input and engagement in the trade-off-model-based research. Mutter has a BS in Geology and Geophysics from the University of Hawaii, Manoa, and a PhD from the Department of Earth and Environmental Science at Columbia University. Prior appointments include Post-Doctoral and Associate Research Scientist at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, during which she contributed to over a dozen deep sea investigations, and Assistant Director for Science Management at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society. She has also served as a Co-Chair on the Columbia University Senate Commission on the Status of Women, and as a Member of the US Science Advisory Committee.
Erik Mencos Contreras

Project Coordinator, Columbia University, USA

Erik Mencos Contreras is a Staff Officer of Research at Columbia University. He supports the AgMIP Coordination Unit by working collaboratively with program managers, researchers, Columbia University finance officers, and sponsor agency officials on the overall research coordination and financial management of the program. Erik assists AgMIP research output by supporting the writing and editing of multi-author, peer-reviewed papers, as well as white papers, concept notes, and reports. He was Chapter Scientist and Contributing Author for the Food Security chapter in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Climate Change and Land. He also supports the organization and execution of multi-disciplinary workshops worldwide. He liaises with international partners at all levels of the program, including Regional Research Teams in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia; Research Leaders in the U.S., Europe, and Australia; and the AgMIP Steering Council, comprised of internationally renowned experts in the field. Erik has a Masters in Climate and Society from Columbia University and a Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from the Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM) in Mexico.
Maria Dombrov
Research Staff Assistant, Columbia University, USA

Maria Dombrov is a Research Staff Assistant at Columbia University. She supports the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Program (AgMIP) and assists through the creation of graphical representations to communicate key scientific concepts and results. She also supports the AgMIP Coordination Unit through the organization and execution of workshops and drafting of workshop reports. Maria has a Masters in Climate and Society from Columbia University and a Bachelors in Biology with Focus on Environmental Science from Syracuse University. 

Maria manages the AgMIP website. If you have any comments or updates, please email her directly at