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Research Projects for New Students

Several funded research projects for new students are listed below.

Many other faculty are interested in attracting students to study with them.  Several have proposals pending that may be funded by the time admissions decisions are made. Funding may also come from internal MIT-WHOI fellowship sources, or external Fellowship sources for which prospective students are encouraged to apply. See list at

We encourage prospective students to explore faculty's research areas of interest and contact them directly. When contacting them, please state your research interests and include your CV and an unofficial transcript.

Applied Ocean Science and Engineering

The MSEAS group at MIT has graduate student positions available. Our research vision is to develop and transform ocean modeling, data assimilation and inference schemes to quantify regional ocean dynamics on multiple scales. Our group creates and utilizes new models and methods for multiscale modeling, uncertainty quantification, data assimilation and the guidance of autonomous vehicles. We then apply these advances to better understand physical, acoustical and biological interactions. Our environment is collaborative within a lively group of students and researchers. We seek both fundamental and applied contributions to build knowledge and benefit society. Our present research projects are outlined here: and our recent publications here

Biological Oceanography

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Chemical Oceanography

Subduction zones are the interface between Earth’s interior (crust and mantle) and exterior (atmosphere and oceans), where carbon and other volatile elements are actively moved between terrestrial reservoirs by plate tectonics. Dr. Pete Barry is seeking a doctoral student to study the volcanic fluid and gas emissions in the Andean Convergent Margin (ACM). Specifically, a position is available on an NSF funded project to gain a better understanding of the deep carbon cycle and natural carbon sequestration processes in Earth’s crust. This project will characterize the extent of mineralogical and biological carbon sequestration along the geologically well-studied ACM, using an integrated isotope approach (noble gases and stable isotopes). Extensive field campaigns and mass spectrometry work will be a cornerstone of this project.  More information on the Barry Lab and the research group can be found at

Deep ocean circulation plays a key role in global climate change over a range of timescales, and neodymium (Nd) isotopes have the potential to trace these processes. Dr. Sophie Hines is seeking a doctoral student to investigate the mechanisms that set the Nd isotopic composition of North Atlantic Deep Water, a global Nd isotopic endmember that is implicated in major climate transitions in the past. This position is part of an NSF-funded project (with collaborators at University of Delaware and California State University Bakersfield) that will involve a research cruise to the Labrador Sea. In addition, the student will be trained in trace metal chemistry and mass spectrometry. Students from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. More information can be found at

Dr. David Nicholson is seeking a doctoral student to study the role of the ocean in carbon uptake and sequestration via the solubility and biological carbon pumps. In particular, a position is available on a new NSF-funded project on understanding the role that marine phytoplankton in the North Atlantic Ocean play in the carbon cycle. The project focuses on utilizing data from Biogeochemical Argo floats and satellite remote sensing.  An interest in global biogeochemical cycles and strong quantitative/data analysis skills are desired. Some programming experience in Python or Matlab is a plus. More information on projects can be found at

Marine Geology and Geophysics

Dr. Veronique Le Roux is seeking a doctoral student to be part of an NSF-funded interdisciplinary study (collaboration with Scripps and BC) on water/volatiles in lower crustal cumulates from arc settings. The student will be primarily trained in using and developing secondary ion mass spectrometry techniques and other geochemical techniques (e.g., SEM-EDS, LA-ICP-MS, EPMA etc.), with opportunities to contribute to discussion related to rheology and numerical modeling of crustal foundering, as part of the larger collaborative project. The goal is to use exposed terranes of lower crustal cumulates to determine the water contents of arc roots and primary arc magmas, building on novel results from our preliminary study. The Le Roux lab strongly encourages people of diverse backgrounds to reach out and apply.

Physical Oceanography

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