2015 WRF and Moore/Sloan Postdoctoral Fellow
School of Oceanography
E. Virginia Armbrust, School of Oceanography
Bill Howe, Computer Science & Engineering and eScience Institute
Post-doctoral researcher, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2013
Ph.D., Physical Oceanography, MIT/WHOI Program in Oceanography, 2013
B.Sc. (Hons.), Ocean Sciences, Bangor University, UK, 2007
Microscopic algae (phytoplankton) form the base of the oceanic food chain, and are key players in the biogeochemical cycles of many climatically active elements, such as carbon and nitrogen.
Sophie Clayton uses a combination of modeling approaches, field observations and large-scale data analysis techniques to understand how the oceanic environment shapes patterns in phytoplankton ecology. Since joining UW, Clayton has been working with data collected with the SeaFlow instrument (an underway flow cytometer that describes the community structure of small phytoplankton cells).
This represents a rich source of high-resolution (~1km) data on the physical and biological structure of the surface ocean over a large area. Clayton has recently been applying statistical spatial analysis techniques to identify characteristic scales of variation. Preliminary results show that the influence of physical structures (e.g., ocean eddies) on the distribution of phytoplankton biomass and community varies across the North Pacific basin.