Research

I study how radiation, chemistry, and dynamics interact to determine the structure and variability of the atmosphere. In particular, I study the stratospheric circulation, which influences the thermodynamic state of the stratosphere and the distribution of trace constituents such as ozone and water vapor.

I defended my Ph.D. dissertation in April 2021, titled “The Unified Internal Dynamics and Global Interactions of the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation”. My dissertation focused on understanding the oscillatory wind pattern in the tropical stratosphere known as the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO). Using idealized models and reanalyses, we revised communal understanding for why the QBO terminates before reaching the tropopause, forming a buffer zone. Our new theory for buffer zone formation increases appreciation for how the QBO mediates the exchange of angular momentum between the tropical stratosphere and the rest of the atmosphere. Our work emphasizes how simple aspects of idealized models of the QBO (e.g. boundary conditions and the formulation of the wave forcing) encode previously underappreciated assumptions about QBO dynamics.