Lesley De Cruz is an assistant professor at the Department of Electronics and Informatics (ETRO) at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and a senior researcher at the Royal Meteorological Institute of (RMI) of Belgium.
She obtained a PhD in Physics at Ghent University in 2011 and joined the RMI in 2012. As of 2021 she holds the joint “FED-tWIN” professorship between RMI and VUB, funded by BELSPO (Belgian Science Policy Office). She coordinates the RMI’s Seamless Prediction Programme, which aims to deliver accurate weather forecasts by leveraging high-resolution multisensory observations, innovative nowcasting, probabilistic modelling and artificial intelligence (AI).
Her main research interest is the development of novel AI methodologies to improve weather and climate modelling and observations. Other research interests include short-term weather prediction, the predictability of the atmosphere and how it is affected by the ocean, regional climate modelling, data assimilation and Bayesian inference. Her research is driven by the goal to integrate new insights from dynamical systems theory and innovative AI into operational weather forecasting and climate science, to better protect society from climate-related risk.