Dr. Morgan E O'Neill
Assistant Professor, Earth System Science
Contact: oneillm ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ stanford.edu; @morganeoneill
My work focuses on separating the physics that are fundamental to extreme events from the conditions imposed by a variety of climates. My prior research focused on applying tropical meteorology theory to giant planet dynamics. I am now focused on terrestrial problems of severe weather in a warming world. My current research concerns the outflow dynamics of the worst storms on Earth: tropical cyclones and supercell thunderstorms.
I received my B.S. in Physics at the University of New Hampshire in 2009, and my Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences at MIT in 2015 working with Dr. Kerry Emanuel. I was a Koshland Prize Postdoctoral Fellow at the Weizmann Institute of Science and then a T. C. Chamberlin Fellow at the University of Chicago before joining the Earth System Science faculty at Stanford in 2018.
- ESS 228: Advanced survey of current research in climate dynamics (Spring 2022)
- ESS 247: Tropical meteorology (Spring 2019, 2021)
- ESS 279: The climate system and the second law of thermodynamics (Summer 2021)
- ESS 146/246A: Atmosphere, ocean and climate dynamics: the atmospheric circulation (Fall 2019, 2020, 2021)
- ESS 146/246B: Atmosphere, ocean and climate dynamics: the ocean circulation (co-taught Winter 2019)
I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Physical Sciences from Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, India in 2013. I worked as a scientist in the Atmospheric Sciences Department in Space Applications Centre, ISRO for 5 years before moving to the US to pursue my doctoral degree. I am broadly interested in understanding dynamics of tropical weather systems such as hurricanes and monsoons and their impact on climate variability. To achieve this, I hope to make synergistic use of ground and space-based observations along with idealized and non-idealized numerical models.
I am interested in the fluid dynamics of atmosphere ranging from raindrop scale to the general circulation, especially for the tropical region where moisture plays an important role. Currently, I am studying convective cold pool formation and its role in triggering new convection. Before I came to Stanford, I used to study the vortex dynamics of rotating Rayleigh-Bénard convection in lab, as well as a semi-analytical theory of how much rain can a cumulus cloud produce.
- 2011-2015: Nanjing University, undergraduate, atmospheric sciences.
- 2015-2018: Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, master program.
I am broadly interested in the dynamics of convective systems, and their interaction with larger-scale circulation. I am currently studying the thermodynamics of the tropical cyclone overturning circulation. Before I began working at Stanford, I received my B.S. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2018. While there, I studied the role of the Beaufort High in setting the freshwater content of the Beaufort Gyre, in the Arctic Ocean.
I am broadly interested in the role turbulence plays in atmospheric dynamics, specifically how we can leverage tools like large-eddy and direct numerical simulation of the Navier-Stokes equations to better understand global circulation from a modeling perspective and in the context of a changing climate. I am in the mechanical engineering program jointly advised by Professors Morgan O'Neill and Parviz Moin where I am currently studying downslope windstorms and its theoretical extension to supercell systems. I completed my Bachelors of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 2021 with a minor in Mathematics. My research background is experimentally based with experience in plane jet shear flows as well as supercavitation.
Co-term M.S. student/researcher
I am interested in atmospheric dynamics with a background in climate science, supporting the development of climate change indicators in the Chesapeake Bay and investigating the effects of environmental factors on marine populations of the Central-American Pacific Coast. I am very excited to study the relationship between extratropical storms and stratospheric water vapor enrichment, exacerbating climate change.
I'm a second year undergrad studying computer science, and I'm interested in studying the visible satellite presentations of historic tornadic supercells. Additionally, I enjoy storm chasing on the Great Plains each spring.
Summer researcher (now a doctoral student at Brown University)
I am an undergraduate in the mathematics department broadly interested in numerical weather prediction and partial differential equations. My current research focuses on the outflow interactions between binary tropical cyclones.
Former summer students:
- Summer 2020, SURGE: Howard Tang, San Jose State University
- Summer 2021, SURGE: Aarón Pacheco, Minnesota State University Mankato
- Summer 2021, SESUR: Howard Qin and Lulabel Ruiz-Seitz, Stanford University
Former Earth Systems co-term MS student:
- Henri Stern, '22
Sai Prasanth Bhalachandran