Skip Navigation

Christopher Wolfe

Assistant Professor 
Stony Brook University 
(631) 632-3152


I am a physical oceanographer interested in the interplay between small-scale features, such as mesoscale eddies and boundary currents, large-scale circulation of the ocean, with an emphasis on the role of the ocean in climate. As my research involves time and space scales not readily accessible by observations, I rely on theoretical and numerical models of the ocean. My tools range in complexity from simple sets of differential equations, to idealized numerical models, to highly-resolved and realistic general circulation models requiring thousands of CPUs. I both make use of ocean general circulation models and contribute to their development. My current research is focused on the dynamics and variability of boundary currents, particularly the Gulf Stream (a western boundary current) and the Leeuwin Current (a peculiar eastern boundary current). Both of these currents are highly dynamic and frequently form eddies and meanders. In addition, the Gulf Stream is known to migrate north and south by up to a 100 km on interannual time scales in response to changes in atmospheric circulation (often represented by the North Atlantic Oscillation and the Atlantic Meridional Mode) as well as internal dy namics. Past research has focused on the ocean’s global overturning circulation, the role of eddies in the Southern Ocean, and the predictability of baroclinically unstable jets.