Research Statement

Climate plays an important role in the behavior of the terrestrial portion of the Earth System. Less frequently discussed, however, is the idea that changes in the land surface itself can influence the atmosphere and climate. My work is focused on understanding how changes in the land surface can drive responses in the atmosphere, at both regional and global scales.

​In particular, my work aims to identify where the atmosphere is most sensitive to changes in the land surface, which​ surface properties have the biggest impact on the atmosphere at any given location, and how changes in surface energy and water fluxes modify atmospheric processes.

I use Earth System Models to study how the land and the atmosphere interact. My work has leveraged the Community Earth System Model (CESM), SLIM (an idealized land model which I have developed to run coupled to the CESM framework), and Isca (an idealized global circulation model). I enjoy thinking about idealized representations of the Earth system, in particular to dig into the basic physical processes involved in land-atmosphere coupling. This includes exploring representations of “Earth” with idealized continental configurations.

I am also interested in regional land-atmosphere coupling. I aim to understand how properties of the land surface modulate physical processes in the atmospheric boundary layer and lower troposphere to modify cloud formation and precipitation in different climate regimes (e.g. tropical vs. boreal areas). My goal is to understand what scale of vegetation change in a given biome is required to drive a local, regional, or large-scale response in the atmosphere.


  • American Geophysical Meeting Fall Meeting Talk: Halfland: continental distribution fundamentally alters global climate by modulating atmospheric water vapor on half-land, half-ocean planets. Conference Paper, Presented, 12/18/2023.
  • American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting Poster: SwampLand vs. Desertland: using the extreme end-cases of possible terrestrial evaporation to explore the role of evapotranspiration from land in the global climate system. Conference Paper, Presented, 12/14/2023.
  • Continental Climate Workshop, Harvard University. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 06/21/2023.
  • Canadian Center for Climate Modelling and Analysis (CCCMA) CLASSIC/COHERENT-C Workshop Presentation. Conference Paper, Presented, 05/17/2023.
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) Workshop Presentation. Conference Paper, Presented, 03/01/2023.

Software Titles

  • Simple Land Interface Model. Lead scientific developer of the Simple Land Interface Model (SLIM), an idealized land surface model that runs within the framework of the Community Earth System Model. Laguë is responsible for ongoing scientific development, and for coordinating with the software engineering team at the National Center for Atmospheric Research for ongoing support. . Release Date: 07/18/2023. Inventors: Marysa Laguë, Gordon Bonan.


  • G. E. M. Shum, M. M. Lague, S. Rushley & A. L. S. Swann (2023). Beautiful Days in the Neighborhood: Land-Atmosphere Interactions as Drivers of Forest Expansion. Earth Interactions. Published, 09/26/2023.
  • M. M. Lague, G. R. Quetin, S. Ragen & W. R. Boos (2023). Continental configuration controls the base-state water vapor greenhouse effect: lessons from half-land, half-water planets. Climate Dynamics. Published, 07/01/2023.
  • M. M. Lague, G. R. Quetin & W. R. Boos (2023). Reduced terrestrial evaporation increases atmospheric water vapour, amplifying surface temperatures. Environmental Research Letters. Published, 07/01/2023.
  • T. Kukla, M. M. Lague & Z. Xia (2023). The zonal patterns in late Quaternary South American Monsoon precipitation. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology. Published, 03/31/2023.
  • W. Kong (2023). Understanding responses of summer continental daily temperature variance to land surface perturbations through a surface energy balance perspective. Journal of Climate. Published, 01/01/2023.