B.Sc. Astronomy (University College London, UK)
M.A.St. Theoretical Physics (Cambridge University, UK)
D.Phil, Astronomy (Sussex University, UK)
My research involves the use of mathematical and computer modeling to understand how different marine systems function and how they might change under changing environmental and climate conditions. For me, a marine system can mean many things; a the biological and chemical transformations of a single particle of detrital material settling through the water column; the productivity of a seagrass bed along the coast; the cycling of carbon in the global ocean.
Particle Flux: Sinking particulate organic material formed from phytoplankton cells, fecal pellets, and detritus is one of the main routes that organic matter can get from the surface to the deep ocean. The biological and chemical transformations that these particles undergo as they sink help determine the vertical profiles of various elements in the oceans and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. I am interested in understanding and being able to model the factors affecting the quality and composition of this flux and how it changes on its journey from the surface to the deep ocean.
Coastal Systems: I am interested in understanding the factors affecting the productivity of marine macrophytes such as seagrasses and seaweeds, as well as saltmarsh grass systems. Most of my work in this area has concerned seagrasses in Texas and Florida, seaweeds along the northern shore of Alaska, and saltmarshes in Georgia. The approach is to work closely with field scientists and ecologists in developing a mathematical and computational model that follows the dynamics of the plant growth over time and under different environmental conditions.