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Geoffrey (Jake) Gebbie

Senior Scientist, J. Seward Johnson Chair

Physical Oceanography

Contact Information:
Work: 508-289-2801

Mailing Address:
266 Woods Hole Road, Clark 213A (MS #29)
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, MA 02543

Research Interests

  • Connecting physical oceanography and climate dynamics
  • Leveraging paleoceanographic and historical instrumental data to understand the 20th and 21st centuries
  • Estimating past ocean circulation and its role in paleoclimate using physical models and biogeochemical records.
  • Analyzing climate variability through state estimation, especially the synthesis of general circulation models and observations.

How did we get here? Before tackling what the climate of the 21st Century will look like, we have very little data that actually tells us how ocean properties came to look the way they do. Large changes have occurred since the Little Ice Age over the last few hundred years, and before that, even larger changes occurred at the end of the Last Ice Age over the last 20,000 years. My focus is to combine the best observations from the instrumental record as well as paleoceanographic archives to reconstruct the evolution of the climate-relevant properties of heat and carbon leading up to the present day. Due to the lack of observations over decadal to millennial timescales, I use inverse methods to combine physical/biogeochemical models and the data records. Basic questions remain unanswered. Where did the CO2 in today's atmosphere come from? How are the alternating warm and cool periods of the distant past still affecting the ocean today? Past climate reconstructions ultimately will inform our understanding of the future climate of the 21st Century and beyond.

Selected Recent Publications

See the Publications section for a more complete list.

Selected Awards and Fellowships

  • J. Seward Johnson Chair for Education, 2020-present
  • James E. and Barbara V. Moltz Fellow, 2015-2019
  • Tenured Associate Scientist Award, WHOI, 2018
  • NASA Earth System Science Fellow, 2000-2003

Advising and Supervising

  • Postdoctoral Investigators: Duo Chan (U. Southampton, UK), Laura Cimoli (U. Cambridge, UK),  Thomas Chalk (National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK)
  • Graduate Students: Cora Hersh (MIT/WHOI), Anthony Meza (MIT/WHOI), Brynnydd Hamilton (MIT/WHOI), Ailin Brakstad (U. Bergen, Ph.D., 2023), Xabier Davila (U. Bergen, Ph.D., 2023), Laura Fleming (M.S., MIT/WHOI, 2018)
  • Summer Student Fellows: Mariya Galochkina (2019), Maya Chung (2018), Celina Scott-Buechler (2017), Yuxin Zhou (2015), Tsung-Lin Hsieh (2013), Joey Wenig (2012)
  • Thesis Committee Member for: Theo Carr, Glenn Liu, Hanyuan Liu (Ph.D., 2023), Joleen Heiderich (Ph.D., 2021), Fern Gibbons (Ph.D., 2011), Holly Dail (Ph.D., 2012), Dan Amrhein (M.S., 2014), Ning Zhao (Ph.D., 2017), Marianna Linz (Ph.D., 2017)