Gemma O’Connor

Postdoctoral Scholar, Oceanography


I am a Washington Research Foundation postdoctoral fellow in the School of Oceanography. My research aims to uncover the historical drivers of ice loss in West Antarctica so that we can better understand and predict future ice loss. In West Antarctica, melting occurs via extremely complex ice-ocean-atmosphere processes. The complexity of this problem is compounded by being one of the most data-poor regions of the world. As such, I use a suite of data sources and techniques to investigate the drivers of ice loss, including paleoclimate records from ice cores, data assimilation, and numerical ocean modeling. 

I received my PhD from the UW Earth and Space Sciences department in 2023 and my B.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2017. I have also participated in several field campaigns ranging from collecting coral cores in the central Pacific to conducting ice-penetrating radar surveys at the South Pole.