Dr. Anton Seimon


Ph.D., Geography, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2004

B.A., Geography, State University of New York at Albany, 1987


A native of South Africa, I am a geographer with research experience on a broad variety of themes in atmospheric and environmental science. These include:  monitoring climate change impacts on high alpine watersheds in the Peruvian Andes; present-day and past tropical Andean and African climates; high-intensity tornadoes; and conservation planning for climate change using high-resolution Earth System models.

Peru – Cordillera Vilcanota multidisciplinary climate change monitoring studies

 Since 1998, I have coordinated long-term monitoring on climate change in the Cordillera Vilcanota, a glacier-covered range of the Peruvian Andes and one of the primary headwaters of the Amazon River, including leading or co-leading 20 field research expeditions. Many outstanding research collaborators have joined me in these efforts. Since 2009 I have been working in close partnership with my departmental colleague, Dr. Baker Perry, conducting both field research and courses for the Appalachian State Study Abroad Program.  Current Cordillera Vilcanota projects focus on mesoscale precipitation processes and water isotopes (with Baker); paleoclimatology (with Charles Rodda and Dr. Paul Mayewski at the University of Maine-Orono); amphibian monitoring and disease detection (with Dr. Tracie Seimon from the Wildlife Conservation Society and Kelsey Reider from Florida International University); mammalian biodiversity (with Kate Doyle from UMass-Amherst); herder response to climate change (with Allison Caine of U. Michigan); and vegetation monitoring through the GLORIA initiative (with Lic. Alfredo Tupayachi of UNSAAC-Cusco, Dr. Karina Yager at NASA-Goddard and Dr. Stephan Halloy of The Nature Conservancy).

Selected publications, presentations and press releases include the following:

Perry, L.B., A. Seimon and G.M. Kelly, 2014: Precipitation delivery in the tropical high Andes of southern Peru: New findings and paleoclimatic implicationsInternational Journal of Climatology 34: 197-215. DOI: 10.1002/joc.3679.

Seimon, A., and L.B. Perry, 2014: Modes of tropical Andean precipitation seasonality during the Little Ice Age encoded in ice core isotope profiles. IGBP-PAGES 2k: 3rd International Symposium South and Central America (LOTRED-SA), Medellín, Colombia.

Scientists, students, and Quechua community partner to understand climate changeMedia release by Appalachian State University.

Seimon, A., and L.B. Perry, 2010: Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru precipitation studies: explicit simulation of oxygen stable isotope ratio profiles in seasonal snowfall. II International Symposium: Reconstructing Climate Variations in South America and the Antarctic Peninsula over the last 2000 years, Valdivia, Chile.

Hole, D.G., K.R. Young, A. Seimon, C. Gomez, D. Hoffmann, K. Schutze, S. Sanchez, D. Muchoney, H.R. Grau and E. Ramirez, 2011: Adaptive management for biodiversity conservation under climate change – a tropical Andean perspective. In, Herzog, S.K., R. Martínez, P.M. Jørgensen & H. Tiessen (Eds.). Climate change effects on the biodiversity of the tropical Andes: an assessment of the status of scientific knowledge. Inter-American Institute of Global Change Research (IAI) and Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), São José dos Campos and Paris

Seimon, A., T.A. Seimon (co-lead coauthors), P. Daszak, S. Halloy, P. Sowell, B. Konecky, L.M. Schloegel, C.A. Aguilar, J. Simmons, and A. Hyatt, 2007: Upward range extension of Andean anurans to extreme elevations in response to tropical deglaciation. Global Change Biology, 13:288-299

Halloy. S.R.P., R. Ortega, K. Yager and A. Seimon, 2005: Traditional Andean cultivation systems and implications for sustainable land use. Acta Horticulturae, (ISHS) 670: 31-55

Halloy, S., A. Seimon, K. Yager and A. Tupayachi, 2005: Multi-dimensional (climatic, biodiversity, socioeconomic, and agricultural) context of changes in land use in the Vilcanota watershed, Peru. In Land Use Changes and Mountain Biodiversity. E.M. Spehn, M. Liberman and C. Körner (eds.), CRC Press, Boca Raton

Seimon, A., 2003: Improving climatic signal representation in tropical ice cores: A case study from the Quelccaya Ice Cap, Peru, Geophysical Research Letters, 30, 1,772-1,776

Barry, R.G., and A. Seimon, 2000: Climatic fluctuations in the mountains of the Americas and their significance. Ambio, 24, 364-370 

Applying ultra-high resolution Earth System models for environmental conservation planning

Since 2008 I have worked with environmental conservation organizations and national governments to apply climate change science to serve environmental conservation objectives in eastern and central Africa.  I am currently Principal Investigator on a MacArthur Foundation grant to generate simulations of future environmental conditions of the Lake Tanganyika watershed using the Community Earth System Model at ultra-high spatial resolution.  I conduct this work in close partnership with Dr. Peter Lawrence of the Land Modeling Group at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and Dr. Simon Nampindo of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).  Our project teams with BirdLife International, The Nature Conservancy, WCS and other non-governmental organizations in the Tanganyika region to provide model outputs and tailored products to inform conservation planning. Prior to this project, I directed the WCS Albertine Rift Climate Change Assessment (2007-12), a five-year program on climate change adaptation funded by the MacArthur Foundation in Africa’s foremost biodiversity hotspot.

Selected publications and reports include:

Seimon, A., J.C. Ingram and J.E.M. Watson, 2013: Climatology of the East African Great Lakes Region and potential impacts of climate change on its biodiversity and ecosystem services. In, I. Gordon (ed.) Conservation Strategy in the Great Lakes Region of East and Central Africa. John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, International Programs for Conservation and Sustainable Development, Chicago pp. 103-134

Seimon, A. and G. Picton Phillipps (2012): Regional Climatology of the Albertine Rift. In, A. Plumptre (Ed.), Long-term changes in Africa’s Rift Valley, New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Seimon, A., A.J. Plumptre and J.E.M. Watson, 2012: Building consensus on Albertine Rift climate change adaptation for conservation: a report on 2011-12 workshops in Uganda and Rwanda. WCS Workshop Report, Wildlife Conservation Society, New York, 40 pp.

Seimon, A., J. Watson, R. Dave and J. Oglethorpe et al., 2011: A Review of Climate Change Adaptation Initiatives within the Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group NGO Consortium, Wildlife Conservation Society, New York, and Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group, Washington DC

Seimon, A. and G. Picton Phillipps, 2010: Climatology of the Mountain Gorilla’s Domain. In N. Belfiore (Ed.), The Implications of Global Climate Change for Mountain Gorilla Conservation. African Wildlife Foundation, International Gorilla Conservation Programme and EcoAdapt. 

Tornado and Severe Thunderstorm Research 

Each year in the springtime I spend several weeks with my family roaming the Midwestern Great Plains to observe supercell thunderstorms and tornadoes. Currently, with funding support from the National Geographic Expeditions Council, I lead a team conducting the El Reno Survey, a project to crowd-source storm chasers to develop a multi-perspective archive of imagery of the largest and second-most intense tornado ever documented. My earlier studies on the extreme-intensity Plainfield, Illinois tornado in 1990 and Great Barrington, Massachusetts 1995 tornado in complex terrain led to the Inside Tornadoes research initiative, also funded by National Geographic in 2001, that was featured in National Geographic Magazine and the Explorer television series.

Selected publications, presentations and media coverage include:

Seimon, A., J. Allen, T. Seimon, E. Edwards, S. Talbot and D. Hoadley, 2014: The El Reno Survey Project: Crowd-sourced Database Development, Synchronous Photogrammetric Observations and 3-D Mapping of the Largest Documented Tornado. 27th Conference on Severe Local Storms, American Meteorological Society, Madison, Wisconsin

Bosart, L.F., A. Seimon, K.D. LaPenta, M.J. Dickinson and W.E. Bracken, 2006: Supercell tornadogenesis over complex terrain: The Great Barrington, Massachusetts tornado on 29 May 1995Weather and Forecasting 21: 897-922

Seimon, A., and L.F. Bosart, 2004: An observationally based hypothesis for significant tornadogenesis in mountain environments. Preprints, 22nd American Meteorological Society Conference on Severe Local Storms, Hyannis, MA

Seimon, A, 1993: Anomalous cloud-to-ground lightning in an F5-tornado-producing supercell thunderstorm on 28 August 1990Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 74, 189-203

National Geographic Magazine (April 2004): Chasing Tornadoes by Priit Vesilind, photography by Carsten Peter.

National Geographic Explorer (2002): “Into the Tornado”, a television documentary on the 2001 field effort


I co-lead (with Dr. Baker Perry) the Peru Summer Study Abroad program in the Andes, Andean Mountain Geography (GHY 4530/5530) and Climate and Tropical Glaciers (GHY 4531/5531).

Title: Research Assistant Professor
Department: Geography and Planning

Email address: Email me


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