Bradley Penta, PhD

Brad received an undergraduate Physics degree from Emory University (1989), and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Marine Science from the University of South Florida (1993, 2000), and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute – MBARI (2003). He is currently an Oceanographer at the Naval Research Laboratory at Stennis Space Center. Brad is a biological oceanographer whose research focuses on coupled ecosystem-circulation modeling, the underwater optical environment, ecosystems analysis, and remote sensing. This research utilizes numerical biogeochemical and bio-optical models coupled with nested, high-resolution, data assimilative, physical circulation models merged with comprehensive data collected from myriad sensors and platforms (in-situ, laboratory, and remote) to study phytoplankton dynamics, harmful algal blooms (HABs), hypoxia, and bioluminescence. Brad will lead the modeling component of the study, utilizing the US Navy’s HYCOM and NCOM circulation models. For this project, a lower-trophic ecosystem model (COSINE) will be coupled to the circulation models. The results, along with the in-situ observations, will be combined with satellite remote sensing data, using the Navy Coupled Ocean Data Assimilation (NCODA) system, to provide a comprehensive picture of the physical and bio-optical states of the three-dimensional Gulf of Mexico. Near-real time model runs during the cruises (assimilating glider data) will forecast local biophysical oceanography for 1-2 days to help plan cruise operations.