Earle Wilson

Postdoctoral Scholar


About me

I am a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering at Caltech, working in the Oceans & Cryosphere, Theory & Observations Group. I completed my PhD at the University of Washington, School of Oceanography, where I was advised by Professor Stephen Riser.

I am interested in the dynamics of the ocean, their coupling with the cryosphere, and the diverse ways in which these processes combine to influence our global climate. My recent work has been focused on the Southern Ocean, an area of interest that has led me to explore the feedbacks between Antarctic sea ice growth and the ventilation of heat from the deep ocean, the dynamics of subpolar gyres and their interactions with seafloor topography, and the drivers of abrupt summertime surface warming events otherwise known as marine heatwaves. To investigate these problems I use a broad array of observations and numerical tools, ranging from in situ measurements to ocean general circulation models.

Update: In summer 2022, I will join Stanford as an assistant professor in the Department of Earth System Science (see new website: https://polar.stanford.edu/). If you are interested in working with me as a graduate student or postdoc, please contact me directly.

Recent Projects

Subpolar gyres

The dynamics of subpolar gyres in the Southern Ocean.

SIE and SST variability in the Southern Ocean

Drivers of recent changes in sea ice extent (SIE) and sea surface temperature (SST) variability in the Southern Ocean

The Maud Rise Polynya

The recurrence of the Maud Rise polynya

Subglacial plume liftoff

The dynamics of a subglacial salt wedge

Ice Ocean Feedbacks

Wintertime ice-ocean feedbacks in the Southern Ocean


While in graduate school, I was a science communication fellow at the Seattle Pacific Science Center. Through this program, I participated in a science communication training course and designed a planetarium show that showcases fieldwork in the Southern Ocean.

gyre schematic.

In 2016, I participated in the six-week long I08S GO SHIP cruise. In coordination with the SOCCOM project, I maintained a regular blog and took questions from a class of six graders at Lakeside Middle School in Seattle.


The best way to reach me is via email.