We work on a range of topics in ocean dynamics. A major focus has been submesoscale dynamics in the upper ocean. The term designates fronts and currents in the surface ocean that are 1–100 km in size and are thought to effect vigorous and lasting exchange between the surface layer and the interior ocean. Our goal is to understand the physics governing the energization of these scales and how they might affect the larger-scale ocean.
Another focus is the overturning circulation of the deep ocean. The large-scale overturning of the deep ocean regulates climate on centennial, millennial, and longer time scales, and it is thought to play a key role in glacial cycles. Our work addresses how turbulence in boundary layers adjacent to bottom slopes can drive the overturning circulation, and we aim to improve our understanding of the small-scale dynamics in these bottom boundary layers.