Ryan P. Abernathey is an Assistant Professor of Earth And Environmental Science at Columbia University and Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory. He received his Ph.D. from MIT in 2012 and a B.A. from Middlebury College. He joined Columbia in 2013 after a postdoc at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Ryan is a physical oceanographer who studies the large-scale ocean circulation and its relationship with Earth‚Äôs climate. A central theme is how ocean “mesoscale” turbulence, i.e. eddies, waves, and jets on scales of tens to hundreds of kilometers, contributes to the transport of momentum, heat, and geochemically relevant tracers. Regionally, his main focus is the Southern Ocean, which surrounds Antarctica and links the three main ocean basis. High-resolution numerical modeling and satellite remote sensing are key tools in this research, which has led to an interest in high performance computing and big data.
In Feb. 2016, Prof. Abernathey was awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in Ocean Sciences and an NSF CAREER award for a project entitled “Evolution of Mesoscale Turbulence in a Changing Climate.” He received a NASA New Investigator Award in 2013. Together with Prof. Tony Jebara (Computer Science) and Dr. Joaquim Goes (LDEO), Abernathey also recently received a Columbia Research Initiatives for Science and Engineering (RISE) grant to apply machine learning techniques to ocean satellite observations. He is an active participant in and advocate for open source software, open data, and reproducible science.