People

Marjorie Friedrichs is an Associate Professor of Marine Science. She received a B.A. in Physics from Middlebury College in 1989, a M.S. in Oceanography from the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in 1992 and a Ph.D. in Oceanography from Old Dominion University (ODU) in 1999. After a two-year post-doctoral position at ODU, she became a faculty member in the Department of Ocean, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences for 5 years before moving to the Department of Biological Sciences at VIMS. Here at VIMS she leads the BioCOM lab, which focuses on using mathematical models to study how physical processes affect biological and chemical properties in coastal and estuarine systems. Recent work has focused on examining the anthropogenic impacts of nutrient inputs and climate change to coastal and estuarine systems. She has experience leading a wide variety of model intercomparison projects, and currently serves on the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee for the Chesapeake Bay Program, the Chesapeake Community Modeling Program Steering Committee and the North American Carbon Program Scientific Steering Group of the US Global Change Research Program.
Fei Da (M.S. Student) graduated from Nanjing University in China with a bachelor degree in Oceanographic Science in 2015. While in college, Fei engaged in projects supervised by Professor Shu Gao and Yong Yin. He also lead an Undergraduate Innovation Program focusing on sea-level changes in the Beibu Gulf of China using methods from chemical oceanography and marine biology. In the summer of 2014, Fei took the course Introduction to Ocean Numerical Modelling given by Prof. Shen from Dalhousie University. Fei's interest lies at the intersection of physical oceanography, biological oceanography and modeling; at VIMS he will studying biogeochemical modeling. This is the link to Fei's undergraduate work: http://bdrc.nju.edu.cn/dafei/homepage/index.html 
Kelsey Fall (Ph.D. Student) graduated magna cum laude from Coastal Carolina University in 2009 with a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Science and minor in Applied Mathematics. While at Coastal, she worked with Dr. Ansley Wren using Acoustic Water and Current Meters (AWACs) and Acoustic Doppler Velocimeters (ADVs) to investigate the influence of storm events on nearshore hydrodynamics and sediment transport. In 2009, she came to VIMS to pursue her Master’s degree in Physical Oceanography under the advisement of Dr. Carl Friedrichs and Dr. Marjorie Friedrichs.  In 2013, she earned her Master’s degree for her thesis entitled “Relationships among fine sediment settling and suspension, bed erodibility, and particle type in the York River Estuary, Virginia”, and began a Ph.D. program with Dr. Carl Friedrichs and Dr. Marjorie Friedrichs. For her Ph.D., she is utilizing a combination of optical and acoustic instrumentation with transmissometers and irradiance meters to better understand the role suspended particulate matter (SPM) plays in water clarity. In addition to her research with the BioCOM lab, she oversees various research projects within the Coastal Hydrodynamics and Sediment Dynamics Lab (CHSD). She is in charge of maintaining, deploying, and analyzing data from the CHSD long-term observing system bottom benthic tripod equipped with ADVs, Conductivity-Temperature-Depth sensors (CTDs) and a sediment trap. She leads sediment sampling cruises and the lab analysis associated with them. She helped design a new tower that is equipped with four vertically stacked ADVs, CTDs, and light intensity meters in support of her Ph.D. project.
Kyle Hinson (M.S. Student) graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2014 with a B.S. in Environmental Sciences and a minor in Physics. While there he worked extensively in Dr. Tamlin Pavelsky’s Global Hydrology lab helping to identify river characteristics using satellite images. After leaving UNC he began working at the USEPA Chesapeake Bay Program Office as a Modeling Staffer with the Chesapeake Research Consortium. While there he helped to develop numerous inputs and methodologies for incorporating river diversions, atmospheric data, and climate change that were incorporated in the Bay Program’s watershed and estuarine models. At VIMS, he is continuing work related to the impacts of the Chesapeake Bay induced by effects of climate change in partnership with researchers at Penn State, Auburn, Old Dominion, and the Chesapeake Bay Program.
Daniel Kaufman (Postdoctoral Research Associate) received a B.S. in Physics from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2009 and a Ph.D. in Marine Science from the College of William and Mary in 2017 under the supervision of Dr. Marjy Friedrichs. His dissertation combined data assimilative biogeochemical modeling with field observations of autonomous underwater gliders to investigate phytoplankton dynamics of the Ross Sea, Antarctica. This research demonstrated an effective approach to better understanding ecosystem dynamics in regions that are undergoing substantive climate-induced changes and where harsh conditions make other means of access difficult. After completion of his dissertation, he rejoined the BioCOM lab as a Postdoctoral Research Associate studying the impacts of changes in watershed land cover and land use on nutrient cycling and carbon fluxes in the Chesapeake Bay, North America. This work utilizes a land-estuarine-ocean modeling system to analyze mechanisms of variability in the carbon cycle on time scales ranging from seasons to a century.
Pierre St-Laurent (Research Scientist) completed a Ph.D. in Oceanography at the Université du Québec in 2010 under the supervision of Fiammetta Straneo. His dissertation focused on sea ice-ocean interactions, physical dispersion of riverine freshwater, and the physical controls on the freshwater balance of sub-Arctic seas. He joined the Antarctic numerical modeling group at Old Dominion University in 2010 to work on an NSF project investigating oceanographic processes that influence the melt of ice shelves in west Antarctica. In 2015 he joined the BioCOM lab to study the impacts of Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition (AND) on the biogeochemistry of oligotrophic coastal waters. His work involves simulating AND events observed during an oceanographic cruise, and simulating AND events at the regional scale using 3-D atmospheric-oceanic biogeochemical models.
Jessie Turner (Ph.D. Student) graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with an M.S. in Oceanography in 2015. In Alaska, she investigated marine particle size distributions using optical imaging camera systems under the direction of Dr. Andrew McDonnell. She also participated in the GK-12 program teaching science in 5th and 6th grade classrooms. Before Alaska, she graduated cum laude from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Earth & Oceanographic Sciences with Environmental Sciences.  At Bowdoin, and under the supervision of Dr. Michele LaVigne, she looked at Mg/Ca ratios in the shells of larval oysters grown in different CO2 conditions to evaluate differences in shell geochemistry. In the summer of 2012, she researched clam flat sediment pH levels for the non-profit organization Friends of Casco Bay in South Portland, Maine.  At VIMS, Jessie is conducting field work at four Chesapeake Bay oyster aquaculture operations to study their effects on water clarity and sediment erodibility. She is also investigating long-term water clarity data for Chesapeake Bay and evaluating Ches-ROMS ECB model skill for suspended solid concentrations and light attenuation.

Alumni of the BioCOM lab: 

  • Dr. Julia Moriarty (Ph.D., graduated 2017)
  • Dr. Ike Irby (Ph.D., graduated 2017)
  • Dr. Danny Kaufman (Ph.D., graduated 2017)
  • Dr. Yongjin Xiao (Ph.D., graduated 2014)
  • Ms. Kelsey Fall (M.S., graduated 2012)
  • Dr. Yang Feng (post-doc, 2011-2015)
  • Dr. Aaron Bever (post-doc, 2010-2011)
  • Dr. Jianhong Xue (post-doc, 2008-2011)
  • Dr. Vincent Saba (post-doc, 2007-2010)