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Jenna Pearson

PhD Candidate
Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences


Broadly, my interests are at the intersection of physical oceanography and biogeochemistry. I use statistical methods paired with models, observations, and theory to understand the transport and fate of tracers like oil, pathogens, and nutrients in the upper and coastal ocean, with emphasis on submesoscales. I also assess climate models to understand how dead zones will be influenced by a changing climate and land use. Please see my publications for more information, or click on the photos below.


Indian Ocean Dead Zones

Utilizing climate models and observations to understand how dead zones will respond to human-induced and natural changes to climate, agriculture, and industry.

Biases in Drifter Statistiscs

Quanitfying the effects of convergence zones and vortices on Eulerian velocity structure functions estimated with surface drifters using both numerical models and observations.

Transport and Dispersion

Stastical analysis of surface drifters, driftcards, and numerical models to understand small-to-large scale motion in the Gulf of Mexico and Narragansett Bay.

Structure Function Theory

New theory for velocity and reactive tracer structure functions in anisotropic 2D and Quasigeostrophic flows to better understand biophysical interactions under more realistic conditions.


Studying the Ocean from the Classroom to the Bay



In Preparation

  1. Pearson, J., Fox-Kemper, B. In Prep: Seasonal transport in the Gulf of Mexico from surface drifter observations. Journal of Physical Oceanography
  2. Pearson, J., Fox-Kemper, B. In Prep: Blended second-order structure function laws for passive-reactive tracers in geophysical flows. Geophysical Research Letters
  3. Pearson, B., Pearson, J., Fox-Kemper, B., In Prep: Structure Functions in Quasigeostrophic Turbulence. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans

In Revision

  1. Pearson, J., Fox-Kemper, B., Pearson, B., Chang, H., Haus, B., Horstmann, J., Huntley, H., Kirwan, D. A., Jr., Poje, A., Under Review: Biases in structure functions from observations of submesoscale flows. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
  2. Pearson, B., Pearson, J., Fox-Kemper, B., In Revision: Relation between structure functions and cascade rates in anisotropic 2D turbulence. Physical Review Fluids


  1. Chang, H., Huntley, H., Kirwan, D., Jr., Carlson, D., Mensa, J., Mehta, S., Novelli, G., Ozgokomen, T., Fox-Kemper,B., Pearson, B., Pearson, J., Harcourt, R. 2019: Small-scale dispersion observations in the presence of Langmuir circulation. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 49, 3069-3085 [PDF, DOI]
  2. Pearson, J., Fox-Kemper, B., Barkan, R., Choi, J., Bracco, A., & McWilliams, J., 2019: Impacts of convergence on structure functions from surface drifters in the Gulf of Mexico. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 49, 675–690 [PDF, DOI]
  3. Xia, C., Cochrane, C., DeGuire, J., Fan, G., Holmes, E., McGuirl, M., Murphy, P., Palmer, J., Carter, P., Slivinski, L., & Sandstede, B., 2017: Assimilating Eulerian and Lagrangian data in traffic-flow models. Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena, 346, 59-72 [PDF, DOI]

Find Me


Jenna Pearson

Department of Earth, Environmental & Planetary Science
Brown University
324 Brook Street
Providence, RI 02912

Email: jenna_pearson@brown.edu