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Graduate Research Opportunities

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

A few examples of research opportunities are listed here:

Applied Ocean Science and Engineering

Biological Oceanography


Chemical Oceanography


Marine Geology and Geophysics

Dr. Forrest Horton is seeking a doctoral student FOR AN NSF-FUNDED PROJECT to study the geochemistry of lavas from Baffin Island, arctic Canada. These samples contain the isotopically lightest helium of any terrestrial igneous rocks, indicating that they perhaps material from the deepest and most primordial regions of Earth's mantle. The goals of the project are to (1) better characterize this deep mantle component using an array of isotopic systems, (2) improve our understanding of helium behavior in magmatic environments, and (3) evaluate the temporal evolution of mantle plumes. The student will have the opportunity to conduct fieldwork, learn a wide variety of analytical techniques (noble gas mass spectrometry, laser ablation ICP-MS, and SIMS), and/or conduct high-temperature diffusion experiments.

Physical Oceanography

Dr. Hyodae Seo is seeking a doctoral student to join his research group specializing in air-sea interaction and climate modeling. The successful candidate will collaborate on an NSF-funded project to examine coupled ocean-atmosphere-land processes that affect the climate, weather, and upwelling on California coastal regions. In particular, the project will use a series of high-resolution regional coupled model simulations to explore 1) how the ocean-atmosphere coupling arising from anomalously warm coastal ocean temperatures during marine heatwaves affects the coastal and inland climate, and 2) how this interaction is influenced by the projected greenhouse-gas-forced changes in large-scale drivers, such as the expansion of the Hadley Cell, repositioning of the North Pacific High Pressure system, and increases in ocean stratification. For further details about the project, please see here  or contact Dr. Hyodae Seo directly.

Dr. Jake Gebbie is seeking a doctoral student to collaborate on a NASA-funded project that combines physical oceanography, paleoceanography, and climate dynamics. The aim of the project is to detect the remnants of the Little Ice Age in the modern ocean. Some subsurface ocean waters were last in contact with the atmosphere several hundred years ago during the cold period known as the Little Ice Age, and are expected to exhibit a slow cooling trend in the mid-depth Pacific Ocean. Multiple forms of information are available to address the aim of the project, including the ECCO ocean reanalysis product that combines millions of in-situ and satellite observations. The project also provides the possibility of using paleoceanographic sediment core data, historical ship observations, and general circulation models. If remnants of the Little Ice Age are detectable, estimates of ocean heat uptake and transient climate sensitivity will have to be substantially revised. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to join both the Paleoceanography and Climate Physics groups at WHOI.