Fernando David Cúñez

Position/What you do at U of R?Fernando David Cúñez

I am a Postdoctoral Associate in the DRIP (Dirt, Rivers, Ice, Particles) Lab, working with Dr. Rachel Glade. My research focuses on revealing the role of grain shape on geophysical hazards and processes such as landslides, river erosion, and debris flows.

Where are you from?

I am originally from Quito, located in the highlands of Ecuador. Although I also lived in Campinas, Brazil for almost 7 years.

What got you interested in Earth and Environmental Sciences?

As a mechanical engineer, I found a natural connection between my background in fluid mechanics and granular materials and the world of Earth and Environmental Sciences, particularly in the area of sediment transport. The intricate interplay of forces, the dynamic behavior of sediments, and the overall environmental impact fascinated me. It was clear to me that my background could be leveraged to develop innovative models and solutions that have a real-world impact in understanding and predicting sediment transport processes.

What do you enjoy most about U of R?

The campus, it is beautiful in all seasons. I especially enjoy riding my bike around campus in spring and fall where there is a huge variety of colors.

Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?

One of my hidden talents are charcoal grilling and cooking. I find immense joy and satisfaction in firing up the grill and preparing delicious meals over a bed of smoky charcoal. Whether it's searing a perfectly marbled steak, slow-cooking tender ribs, or crafting a medley of grilled vegetables, the art of charcoal grilling allows me to infuse a unique, smoky flavor into the dishes I create.

What is your favorite thing to do in Rochester, NY?

One of my favorite things to do in Rochester, NY, is to go for a motorcycle ride. The region offers a stunning array of natural beauty, especially the picturesque lakeshores and landscapes. During the summer, I particularly enjoy taking a ride to Cobbs Hill Park to watch the breathtaking sunset. It's a perfect way to unwind and connect with the scenic wonders of this area while enjoying the freedom of the open road.