Our planet is shaped by the interaction of living things with their physical environment. My interests center on understanding these interactions. Since I trained as an oceanographer, my primary expertise is in how the ocean circulates and influences marine life, climate, and atmospheric chemistry. I got my Ph.D. from the MIT/Woods Hole Joint Program in Physical Oceanography and spent over fifteen years in Princeton at Princeton University and NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory working to develop computer models of how the planet works. In January 2011 I joined the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. I served as department chair from July 2018-2021 and resumed the role in May of 2023.
My group's research is currently focused in three major areas
1. Representing climate processes: Climate models try to faithfully represent physical and biological processes or their impacts. Areas of long-term interest include the representation of turbulence at scales ranging from centimeters to tens of kilometers, capturing the impacts of ocean color and understanding the controls on the growth of phytoplankton.
2. Understanding how these processes shape Earth's climate.I'm interested in the large scale circulation of the ocean and how it interacts with the biosphere and carbon cycle, as well as the role of aerosols such as mineral dust and black carbon.
3. Characterizing variability in the climate system. I'm interested in variability and change on a range of scales, from interannual variability associated with El Nino, to detecting biological and physical tipping points driven by anthropogenic climate change, to understanding multi-millennial variability in the carbon cycle.
More information on each of these topics can be found by clicking on the "Research areas" tab.
270.103: Introduction to Global Environmental Change and Sustainability (fall semesters)
270.224: Oceans and Atmospheres (Spring semesters)
270.323: Ocean Biogeochemical Cycles (last taught Spring 2022)
270.325: Introductory Oceanography (Spring 2021,2023)
270.327: Field Experience in Bermuda (Intersession 2018, 2019, 2023)
270.425: Earth and Planetary Fluids (co-taught, alternate fall semesters, last taught 2021)
270.611: Advanced Atmospheric Dynamics (Last taught, Fall 2016)
270.620: Seminar in Geophysical Turbulence (Last taught,Fall 2015)
270.644: Physics of Climate Variability (Last taught, Fall 2014)
270.654: Environmental Data Analysis (Last taught, Fall 2017)
May 2023: Congratulations to graduate student Rui Jin who passed her Graduate Board Oral exam.
October 2023: Congratulations to graduate student Leone Yisrael who was accepted to the BIMS Tidal Wave program.
November 2023: Congratulations to graduate student Leone Yisrael whose first paper was just accepted at Diversity and Distributions.