Exploring the upper ocean

Tandon Laboratory at UMass Dartmouth

Author: isimoesdesousa

Iury Simoes-Sousa: Successfully Defended Ph.D. Thesis and Prestigious Postdoctoral Fellowship!

We are thrilled to share the wonderful news that the Ph.D. thesis defense of Iury Simoes-Sousa was successfully conducted on August 1st 2023.

Thesis Title: “Swirls and Gusts: Computational Insights into Ocean Vortices and Atmospheric Cold Pools”

The defense was conducted under the guidance of a distinguished committee, whose expertise and guidance were instrumental in shaping and refining Iury’s research. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following committee members:

– Prof. Amit Tandon (Advisor)
– Prof. Daniel MacDonald (UMassD)
– Prof. Geoffrey Cowles (UMassD)
– Prof. Sam Kelly (University of Minnesota Duluth)

The defense was graced with an overwhelming turnout. We had a significant online presence, with about 60 attendees tuning in via Zoom. It’s heartening to note that scholars and enthusiasts from esteemed institutions across the globe joined to witness this important moment in Iury’s academic journey.

The now Dr. Iury Simoes-Sousa has been awarded the prestigious Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Postdoctoral Fellowship, recognizing his outstanding accomplishments and commitment to fostering a more diverse academic community.

Congratulations, Dr. Iury!

Iury featured on the UMassD feature story

Dive into the captivating journey of the computational oceanographer and PhD candidate from our lab, Iury Simoes-Sousa, who traveled from Brazil to UMass Dartmouth to delve deeper into the intriguing world of ocean vortices and their impact on climate change. He recently collaborated with conservationists in a mission to relocate a lost manatee named Tico, who strayed over 2,000 miles away from home. From understanding the dance of ocean vortices to aiding in marine conservation, Iury’s tale is a testament to the power of international collaboration and the intersection of science, environment, and society. Explore the full interview for an inspiring insight into his life and work.

Revealing the Submesoscale-Mesoscale Inverse Cascade: Research on Eddy Formation in the Brazil Current by Former Student Caique Luko

We are excited to share the latest research on Journal of Physical Oceanography led by our former student, Caique Luko, who has been making remarkable strides in the field of physical oceanography in the Brazil Current region. His recent article, titled “Topographically-generated submesoscale shear instabilities associated with Brazil Current meanders,” delves into the fascinating dynamics of the interaction of the Brazil Current and the convoluted topography in the Southeast Brazil.

Authors: Caique D. Luko, Cauê Z. Lazaneo, Ilson C. A. da Silveira (Advisor), Filipe Pereira, and Amit Tandon (Co-Advisor)

The western boundary current system off southeastern Brazil is comprised of two main currents: the poleward flowing Brazil Current (BC) in the upper layer and the equatorward flowing Intermediate Western Boundary Current (IWBC) beneath it. This intricate system exhibits recurrent cyclonic meanders between 22°S and 23°S, which grow quasi-stationarily through baroclinic instability. However, the specific triggers for these meanders have remained elusive until now.

This article sought to shed light on the mechanisms initiating the formation of these mesoscale eddies by incorporating the submesoscale component into the hydrodynamic scenario. They conducted a high-resolution numerical simulation using the Coastal and Regional Ocean COmmunity model (CROCO) at a regional 1/50° (∼2-km) resolution.

Their findings unveil an intriguing process: incoming anticyclones reaching the slope upstream of separation regions induce barotropic instability, thus serving as a trigger for meander formation. This, in turn, generates submesoscale cyclones, which, in conjunction with baroclinic instability, contribute to the growth of the meanders, resulting in a submesoscale-to-mesoscale inverse cascade. As the mesoscale cyclones continue to develop, they interact with the slope, generating inertially and symmetrically unstable anticyclonic submesoscale vortices and filaments.

The arrival of incoming anticyclones and the formation of CST eddies as depicted by stream function () and geostrophic velocity () maps derived from sea-surface height data from: (a-c) a CROCO simulated event; and (d-f) an altimetry observed event. Yellow boxes display snapshots of: (a and d) the incoming anticyclone from the east; (b and e) the anticyclone hitting the continental shelf-break; and (c and f) the formation of a CST eddy downstream. The 160 m isobath (solid white line) is shown to highlight the interaction of the incoming anticyclones with the shelf-break. Regions shallower than 160 m should be analyzed with caution on panels d-f due to the limitations of altimetry data within the shelf.

Caique Luko’s research not only enhances our understanding of the complex dynamics within the western boundary current system but also highlights the importance of considering submesoscale processes in the broader hydrodynamic context. His work opens new avenues for exploring the mechanisms underlying mesoscale eddy formation in the Brazil Current region.

We are immensely proud to share that Caique Luko has continued his academic journey as a Ph.D. student at the prestigious Scripps Institution of Oceanography. This remarkable accomplishment underscores his dedication, expertise, and passion for advancing our understanding of the oceans. We congratulate Caique on his significant contributions to the field of oceanography and look forward to witnessing the continued impact of his research.

For more information about Caique Luko’s article and his ongoing research, please follow him on ResearchGate.

Filipe Pereira: Successfully Defended Ph.D. Thesis and Prestigious Postdoctoral Fellowship!

We are thrilled to share the wonderful news that the Ph.D. thesis defense of Filipe Pereira was successfully conducted on April 14th 2023.

Thesis Title: Physical-biological interactions in the Brazil Current meanders

Filipe is part of the University of São Paulo – UMass Dartmouth dual-degree program and displayed remarkable dedication throughout his research journey, leading to cutting-edge findings and enriching the scientific community. His tireless efforts and commitment to excellence have paved the way for new insights into the physics of the evolution of the quasi-stationary meanders of Brazil Current and its biological implications to local plankton community. Additionally, the dataset and analysis show that while the phytoplankton in mixed layer is influenced by the smaller processes at the edge of the large mesoscale eddy, at the pycnocline the plankton dynamics is dominated by the eddy pumping.

Stay updated on Filipe’s research by following their profile on ResearchGate!”

The defense was conducted under the guidance of a distinguished committee, whose expertise and guidance were instrumental in shaping and refining Filipe’s research. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following committee members:

– Prof. Ilson Silveira (USP Advisor)
– Prof. Amit Tandon (UMD Advisor)
– Prof. Áurea Ciotti (USP)
– Prof. Geoffrey Cowles (UMD)
– Prof. Peter Franks (UCSD)

The now Dr. Filipe Pereira has been awarded the highly prestigious University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship (PPFP), recognizing his outstanding accomplishments and commitment to fostering a more diverse and equitable academic community. This esteemed program, with an impressive track record of success, has seen over 100 former fellows receive faculty appointments at various UC campuses, contributing to the ongoing diversification of the academic community within the University of California. He is going to work with Jen MacKinnon and Drew Lucas on understanding the role of the biology in the ocean optics during harmful algal blooms. Congratulations to Filipe on this remarkable and well-deserved honor!

Alan Andonian: Successful MS Defense

We are happy to announce the successful thesis defense of Alan Andonian, who recently completed his Master of Science (MS) degree in the Engineering and Applied Science program. This significant milestone marks the culmination of Alan’s research and academic journey.

Thesis Title: Vortex Shedding in Two-Dimensional Flow Around a Two-Cylinder Configuration

Alan presented an solid thesis defense, showcasing his understanding of the physics and engineering of vortex shedding in a multi-cylinder configuration, which has important implications for structural fatigue and acoustic interference in ocean moorings.

Thesis Defense Committee:

– Prof. Amit Tandon (Advisor / UMD)
– Prof. Banafsheh Seyedaghazadeh (UMD)
– Prof. Christian Buckingham (UMD)
– Prof. John Buck (UMD)

As Alan embarks on his new role as a Structural Simulations Test Engineer at Simulia Dassault Systems in Johnston, Rhode Island, we have no doubt that his skills and expertise will contribute to innovative advancements in the field.

iury is accepted for the prestigious GFD Summer School on Woods Hole!

We are delighted to announce that iury (currently a Ph.D. candidate from our group) will join the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution this summer for the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics School. The theme for this year (Data-driven GFD) is a cutting-edge topic for both theory and oceanographic data analysis. If you want to know more about iury’s work, check out his website!


Caique is a Master of Science in Physical Oceanography!

Caique joined the group years ago as an MS student from the University of São Paulo (Prof. Silveira’s group). He investigated the effect of mesoscale eddies and topography generating submesoscale eddies in the Brazil Current’s domain. He successfully defended his thesis the last Friday (Apr 29th, 2022). Both prof. Tandon and prof. Buckingham was on his thesis committee. For his next steps, Caique is joining Scripps to pursue his Ph.D.

Ersen’S Joseph ’22: Intertwining mechanical engineering & oceanography

Ersen’S is featured on the university website! Do give it a read.


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