Who's Who? Who's New?

Helen Hill for EAPS News
October 1, 2017

A warm EAPS welcome to all the new members who joined the department recently.

Incoming Graduate Students

With the approval of the addition of Biological Oceanography to the EAPS graduate degree list (effective September 1, 2017), EAPS gained four new graduate students: A warm welcome then to MIT-WHOI Joint Program students Kevin Archibald, Camrin Braun, Christina Hernandez, and Andrew Hirzel, the department's first Biological Oceanography students. All four are currently based at WHOI.

Third year Kevin Archibald studies ecosystem modeling and biogeochemical dynamics, focusing on the Middle Atlantic Bight shelfbreak front. He is particularly interested in how variability in phytoplankton community dynamics drive biogeochemical fluxes across the front. Archibald's advisors are Drs Mike Neubert and Heidi Sosik at WHOI. In his spare time, he says he enjoys reading and outdoor activities  such as hiking, biking, and canoeing.


Fourth year Camrin Braun, a National Geographic Explorer and Martin Fellow for Sustainability, works with Dr Simon Thorrold, in the Fish Ecology Lab, at WHOI where he devises new analysis and modeling techniques to estimate geopositions of marine animals that avoid surface waters. You can read more about his work in this 2016 profile Shark Takes from Oceanus Magazine. He will be giving a presentation of his work as part of the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative Monthly Lunch Series on Thursday, November 16.


Another third year Christina Hernandez is interested in early life stages of fish and fish population dynamics. More specifically, she is interested in how empirical studies on the ecology, distribution, and growth of early life stages of fish can help us to build better mathematical models of the population dynamics of these species. She says she is also hoping to do some work on adaptive dynamics of fish, that is, mathematical modeling of evolution. Her advisor, Dr Joel Llopiz, runs the Fisheries Oceanography and Larval Fish Ecology lab at WHOI. In her spare time Hernandez says she likes to go hiking, spend time at the beach, reading, cooking vegetarian food, especially homemade soup, and making crafts.


First year Drew Hirzel is focused on plankton ecology dynamics and its interplay with physical and chemical oceanography. He is currently working with Dr Dennis McGillicuddy at WHOI on a shelf-break frontal system south of Massachusetts. Hirzel enjoys reading and biking.


Incoming Postdocs

Xiaowen Zhang joins EAPS from the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Florida where she recently defended her PhD. She was the lead author on Importance of lateral flux and its percolation depth on organic carbon export in Arctic tundra soil: implications from a soil leaching experiment published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences earlier this year. Zhang joins the Summons Group as a Postdoctoral Associate where her research will focus on searching for viable chemical means for probiotic synthesis of membrane-forming lipids under laboratory conditions.


Postdocs who left in September 2017:
Benjamin Brown-Steiner - Postdoctoral Associate - CGCS/Prinn Group
Daniel Rothenberg - Postdoctoral Associate - CGCS/Selin/Solomon Groups
Jacopo Tani - Postdoctoral Associate - Zuber Group