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How Grad Student Bodner Uses Theoretical Math to Add Turbulence to Transport Predictions

September 10, 2019

Predicting where oil will go can be one of the most challenging aspects of marine oil spill response. Following Deepwater Horizon, research showed that strong currents capable of transporting oil often appear along ocean fronts (the interface between river like-water masses that have different temperatures, salinities, or densities). However, our limited understanding about ocean front formation and the influence of turbulence, upper ocean mixing, and submesoscale currents (which can cause floating material to cluster and then spread out) inhibits the accuracy of ocean transport prediction models. Abigail Bodner uses mathematical theory and large eddy simulation (LES) models to improve our understanding about how different turbulence and mixing processes affect the behavior and development of ocean fronts.

Abigail is a Ph.D. student with Brown University’s Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences and a GoMRI Scholar with the Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbons in the Environment III (CARTHE-III).

Her Path

Abigail grew up in Israel, where she taught and tutored high school math before pursuing theoretical mathematics at Tel Aviv University. Although she enjoyed her studies, she felt like something was missing. She added earth sciences as a second major and fell in love with atmospheric and oceanic fluid dynamics, which allowed her to use mathematical tools to describe natural phenomena. She completed an atmospheric dynamics master’s degree at Tel Aviv University, where she researched how large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns can cause blocking events associated with temperature fluxes for certain topographies.

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