Karen is interested in biological-physical coupling in continental shelf ecosystems with a current focus on the biogeochemical cycles in the northwest European shelf seas.
Areas of expertise:
Karen's main responsibility is for the development of the ecosystem component of the coupled physical-biological shelf seas models run operationally at the Met Office. This work is instrumental in the scientific development and assessment of the coupled models and Karen will be active in pulling through scientific advances in ecosystem modelling to the Ocean Forecasting research and development suite of models.
Following an investigation into the performance of the shelf seas ecosystem model, the current focus of Karen's work is the upgrade of this model, ERSEM, to the latest code. Additionally, as part of the project transitioning the shelf seas hydrodynamic model from POLCOMS to NEMO, Karen is working on the online coupling of ERSEM to NEMO.
Once the model development is complete, Karen will be focusing on validation and verification of the ecosystem component of the new coupled model.
Karen has been a member of the Applied Ocean Modelling Research group since joining the Met Office in April 2008. As the Met Office code owner of ERSEM and to maintain its status as a state-of-the-art ecosystem model, Karen has been liasing with external developers and users of the code including scientists at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory and the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory. She is a member of the Met Office's Ocean Biogeochemistry Working Group.
Karen was involved in the Met Office's contribution to the European Coastal Sea Operational Observing and Forecasting System (ECOOP). She also worked on coupling the open ocean ecosystem model, HadOCC, to NEMO for use in the GlobColour project. This project provided for the assimilation of individual ocean colour sensor data (L2P) and GlobColour merged ocean colour products (L3) into FOAM-HadOCC system.
Before joining the Met Office, Karen spent two years as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies of San Francisco State University. While there she worked on an individual-based model of the delta smelt, a threatened fish species in the Sacramento-San Jaoquin Delta.
Karen completed her PhD in Marine Sciences in August 2006 at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her dissertation was titled 'Towards defining larval dispersal and population connectivity on the South East U.S. Continental Shelf.'.
Karen is currently a member of the Devon Marine Conservation Zone local group. This group is part of a wider effort to create a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) around England.