Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering
Work: 508 289 3619
Building: Bigelow 410
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, MA 02543
My background is in macroecology, with a focus on studying large scale patterns and processes in marine ecosystems. The investigation of large-scale variability in the ocean necessitates an understanding of the dynamics of ocean currents. My research at WHOI is interdisciplinary in nature, attempting to characterize and understand the biological response to horizontal and vertical fluxes in the open ocean. My research interests include the integration of numerous satellite observations with autonomous, in-situ observations (Argo floats, gliders, etc.) to investigate bio/physical interaction in the World Ocean. Currently, I’m investigating the influence of nonlinear mesoscale ocean eddies on primary production. In an attempt to understand and describe why eddies originating in different regions have differing effects on marine ecosystems, I’m working with my Postdoc mentors Dr. Dennis McGillicuddy and Dr. Breck Owens using observations from a series of polar orbiting satellites in conjunction with autonomous float profiles to investigate areas where a robust relationship exists between the surface expression of mesoscale eddies and primary production (see figure below for an example of some of the regions we are currently investigating). Utilizing an automated eddy tracking procedure developed by my Ph.D adviser, Dr.Dudley Chelton, which identifies and tracks ocean eddies, we test which of the many mechanisms by which eddies influence marine ecosystems appear to control the biological response in the cores of eddies in a particular region. The observations compiled in my Ph.D work provide a baseline for the assessment of global, coupled bio/physical numerical models in reproducing the effect of mesoscale eddies on marine ecosystems.
My research at WHOI builds upon my thesis work and utilizes coupled bio/physical numerical models in conjunction with satellite and in situ observations to attempt to understand the complex physical mechanisms that drive observed biological variability at the oceanic meso and submesoscale.
Ph.D, Oregon State University (Oceanography), 2012
M.S, Nova Southeastern University (Oceanography), 2007
B.A, University of Arizona (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology), 2003