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Natural variability and anthropogenically induced changes in the physical climate system result in perturbations of transport and mixing pathways in both the ocean and the atmosphere at a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Those perturbations, in turn, impact and modify the biosphere, resulting in complex interdependencies between physical, biological and chemical fields.

The fundamental purpose of my group's research is to contribute to a coherent understanding of these changes in physical transport and mixing across many scales. Through collaborations with biological and chemical oceanographers, we also aim at investigating the interactions between physical advection and biogeochemical cycles. Most of our current projects make use of numerical models of varying degrees of complexity and run in both idealized and realistic configurations to understand processes at play. Observations are always used for identifying problems, and are essential to synthesize and contextualize model outputs. Tools within the Knowledge-Discovery through Data mining framework are been developed and applied to investigate local and non-local statistical interrelationships in observed and modelled climate fields.

Current Projects

Transport and mixing pathways in the Gulf of Mexico.

Our goal is to improve understanding of how submesoscale turbulence may impact the dispersal of oil, larvae, drifters and heat. Within the “Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf - ECOGIG Consortium, lead by University of Georgia, we are investigating how spills could potentially affect sensitive areas, learning how advective and mixing processes behave at different depths comparing data from the BP blowout with that from natural oil seeps in the Gulf of Mexico. Learn more about ECOGIG science at the consortium web page by clicking here.

We are also working towards characterizing through high resolution modeling the dispersal distnces and connectivity pathways for coral larvae living in the Gulf of Mexico at different depth ranges.

Funding: GoMRI, NOAA

Labrador Sea variability and trends.

We are part of the U.S. AMOC science team to investigate the variability of oxygen and carbon uptake in the Labrador Sea. Our project also aims at identifying key processes that modulate such variability but are not properly represented in climate models.

Funding: NOAA

Freshwater forcing to the ocean submesoscale circulations.

After investigating how the Mississippi River System contributes to the enhancement in summer and reduction in winter of submesoscale circulations in the northern Gulf of Mexico, we focus on generalizing understanding of the interplay between freshwater fluxes, atmospheric forcing, topography and tides on one hand, and surface submesoscale dynamics, horizontal and vertical mixing, and mixed layer depth on the other, in coastal areas impacted by large riverine inputs. The region of interest is the South China Sea, and specifically in the portion influenced by the Mekong plume, where we collected data in 2016 on the R/V Falkor of the Schmidt Ocean Institute (learn more about our 2016 cruise at the Schmidt Ocean Institute web page by clicking here.

Funding: NSF