Charuleka Varadharajan

Project Scientist, Earth and Environmental Sciences Area, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
BIDS Senior Fellow

Charu is a scientist in the Energy Geosciences Division of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area at Berkeley Lab. As a biogeochemist, she is interested in studying the nexus of carbon, water, and energy with a focus on understanding and limiting the impacts of human activities on water quality and climate. Her research involves the monitoring and mitigation of contaminants in water resources; the measurement and prediction of carbon fluxes in terrestrial and subsurface environments; and the management, synthesis, and analysis of diverse multi-scale environmental datasets. Her expertise spans various techniques for data collection and analysis, including laboratory experiments; x-ray synchrotron spectroscopy; sensor-based field data collection; web-based tools to integrate distributed datasets in real-time; and the use of geoinformatics, statistical, and wavelet-based data processing to analyze high spatial and temporal resolution data. She is currently interested in applying a combination of statistical, data mining, and machine learning approaches to groundwater and related datasets in California to gain insights that can help the state manage its groundwater sustainably. She had previously participated in data-driven scientific assessments of well stimulation (hydraulic fracturing) in California performed for federal and state agencies and was part of an expert committee advising the state of California on criteria for monitoring groundwater impacted by well stimulation. Charu earned her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and conducted her postdoctoral research at Berkeley Lab.