Dennis J. McGillicuddy, Jr., Ph.D., is the recipient of the 2008 Rosenstiel Award. McGillicuddy, a senior scientist in the department of Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Woods Hole, Mass., is a pioneer in the study of physical-biological interactions in the ocean. His multidisciplinary studies of plankton and ocean currents are helping to decipher what controls the productivity of marine ecosystems and how this affects the global carbon cycle.
McGillicuddy has broken new ground by bridging the gap between several physical and biological oceanographic disciplines, revolutionizing progressive marine ecosystem modeling and observations. He has developed physical-biological models for studying the population dynamics of copepods (tiny free-swimming crustaceans) on Georges Bank, as well as harmful algal blooms in the Gulf of Maine. Some of these models have assimilated physical and biological data, an important step in providing forecasts of harmful algal blooms (including “red tides.”)
McGillicuddy’s research uses field data, satellite remote sensing and numerical models. Projects range from mesoscale ocean dynamics to coastal ocean prediction, bio-optics, marine biogeochemistry, marine ecology, and fisheries oceanography. He also has a distinguished publication record, with more than 52 refereed journal publications to his credit.
Raised in west Florida, McGillicuddy received his B.A. in Engineering Science cum laude at Harvard in 1987 and his Harvard M.S. in Applied Physics in 1989. Subsequently, he received his Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences in 1993, also at Harvard.
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