Portrait of myself, Henri Drake

About me

I am a 5th year PhD student in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (MIT/WHOI) Joint Program in Physical Oceanography. The goal of my doctoral research is to understand the geophysical fluid dynamic processes controlling the abyssal ocean meridional overturning circulation. In my dissertation, I argue that this global overturning current is controlled by the details of turbulence in the bottom few hundred meters of the ocean and the local topography (slopes, hills, and canyons), all of which are currently unresolved in– and absent from– global climate models. I am generally interested in atmosphere-ocean climate dynamics, especially on long timescales, and the history and philosophy of climate modelling. I am passionate about making scientific institutions more diverse and inclusive, so that all scientists feel welcome, supported, and valued. I also enjoy developing open-source software, such as my new package ClimateMARGO.jl, which is an extremely simple climate-economic model for quantitively exploring different climate policy options (run it right in your browser by clicking here).

I have broad interests in the dynamics of Earth's climate on long (10 to 10,000 year timescales), but the topics I am actively working on are:

  1. meridional overturning circulation dynamics,
  2. abyssal mixing layer dynamics,
  3. submesoscale-topographic interactions,
  4. tidally-generated internal waves and deep ocean mixing,
  5. the role of the ocean in centennial- and millenial-scale climate change,
  6. the predictive skill of climate models on mutli-decadal timescales,
  7. the role of uncertainty (and science) in climate policy.
Topics 1-4 relates to my thesis work while topic 5-7 relates to some exciting side projects. If you share any of the above interests and/or would like to collaborate, please get in touch!

Google scholar My CV (resume)

A movie showing how a turbulent field of eddies stirs an blob of purple tracer around a narrow and hilly deep ocean canyon The movie shows that the blob of tracer, initially just a few km in diameter, gets diffused across an area of about 60km by 60km over the course of 200 days.
The turbulent three-dimensional transport of a spherical blob of tracer in a deep ocean canyon. This simulation mimics a real ocean expedition in which 100 kg of Sulfur Hexafluoride was injected 4000 meters below the ocean surface in the Brazil Basin and was traced out over the course of several years [Source: Drake et al. (in prep)]


08/23/2020 - The first chapter of my PhD dissertation, a theoretical study of the deep ocean circulation, is now published in the Journal of Physical Oceanography!

12/04/2019 - Our new paper evaluating historical climate model projections of global warming is now published in Geophysical Research Letters. See coverage by the Associated Press (via The New York Times), Science Magazine, Vox, and more.

09/20/2019 - My colleagues and I wrote an opinion piece "Young climate scientists speak out" about why we, as young climate scientists, participated in the Boston Youth Climate Strike (09/20/2019) for climate action.

06/08/2019 - My opinion piece "Eight ways to support women in science" was published in EOS.

12/08/2018 - I passed my thesis proposal and am now a fully-fledge PhD candidate working on their thesis!

09/05/2018 - I started a science communication project where I livestream Fortnite, a popular video game, with other climate scientists. We're on Youtube and Twitch. Gizmodo and Wired covered the project. CBC Radio also interviewed me for a story.

08/30/2018 - I wrote a blog post about Male Allyship of Women in Science for the Society for Women in Marine Science. There is a lot of work that needs to be done for diversity and inclusion in science.

06/20/2018 - I passed the written exam and oral exam components of my PhD Qualifying Exam! Onwards to PhD candidacy!

02/02/2018 - My first first-author paper, on Lagrangian upwelling timescales in the Southern Ocean, was just published in Geophysical Research Letters!

12/12/2017 - Our new review paper on Lagrangian ocean analysis just came out in Ocean Modelling.

11/15/2017 - I was interviewed by Nature editor Michael White's Forecast, a podcast about climate science and climate scientists, as part of outreach for the 2017 Graduate Climate Conference.

09/29/2017 - My first paper, led by phenomenal Scripps Insitution of Oceanography graduate student Veronica Tamsitt was published in Nature Communications. The work is summarized at Phys.org.

06/09/2017 - I was awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship by the National Science Foundation to study the circulation of the deep ocean for the next three years. Haverford College article.

02/18/2017 - Welcome to my new website!