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Helga Huntley

Associate Research Professor


Helga Huntley studies pieces of the Earth's climate system by using mathematical and numerical models, in connection with data. The mathematics involved ranges from PDE theory to numerical methods to optimization theory to statistics.

She is currently following three main directions in her research: (1) Developing and applying Lagrangian tools to analyze ocean circulation and transport; (2) Investigating data assimilation methods (for paleoclimate reconstruction, e.g., and for Lagrangian observations); (3) Studying sea ice in the Arctic and its role in the local circulation.

Department Affiliation

Physical Ocean Science and Engineering 

Current Projects

Lagrangian Ocean Dynamics
The broad question we try to answer is "Where is stuff in the ocean coming from and where is it going?" This line of inquiry has lots of interesting applications, from pollution mitigation and search and rescue missions to biology to tracer transport in the context of climate dynamics. 

Data Assimilation
Huntley’s work on data assimilation has taken two main directions. One is related to the Lagrangian ocean dynamics analysis and studies how Lagrangian observations (e.g. from surface drifters) can be used to improve Lagrangian forecasts. The other branch is concentrated on the problem of using data averaged over time to inform a model with higher temporal resolution. 

Sea Ice Dynamics
Currently, Huntley is working on using ice models in conjunction with observations to understand the seasonal cycles in ice-ocean dynamics in the Canadian Archipelago.


Ph.D., Mathematics, New York University, 2005
M.S., Mathematics, New York University, 2003
B.S., Mathematics, University of Notre Dame, 1999

Select Publications

Mariano, A.J., E.H. Ryan, H.S. Huntley, L.C. Laurindo, E. Coelho, A. Griffa, T.M. Ozg¨okmen, M. Berta, D. Bogucki, S. Chen, M. Curcic, M. Gough, B.K. Haus, A.C. Haza, ¨ P. Hogan, M. Iskandarani, G. Jacobs, A.D. Kirwan, Jr., N. Laxague, B. Lipphardt, Jr., M.G. Magaldi, G. Novelli, A. Reniers, J. Restrepo, C. Smith, A. Valle-Levinson, M. Wei, Statistical properties of the northern Gulf of Mexico surface velocity field as sampled by GLAD drifters, J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 121, doi: 10.1002/2015JC011569, 2016.  

Jacobs, G., H.S. Huntley, A.D. Kirwan, Jr., B.L. Lipphardt, Jr., T. Campbell, T. Smith, K. Edwards, and B. Bartels, Ocean processes underlying surface clustering, J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 121, 180–197, doi: 10.1002/2015JC011140, 2016.  

Huntley, H.S., B.L. Lipphardt, Jr., G. Jacobs, A.D. Kirwan, Jr., Clusters, deformation, and dilation: Diagnostics for material accumulation regions, J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 120, 6622–6636, doi: 10.1002/2015JC011036, 2015.

Research Interests

Geophysical fluid dynamics, ocean observation, physical oceanography 


Oil Spill Modeling and Prediction Experiment

Helga Huntley Publications

Physical oceanography, mathematical modeling, scientific computing as applied to the ocean-ice-atmosphere system


• Environmental Fluid Dynamics• Ocean Observation• Physical Oceanography


CEOE School & Departments

School of Marine Science & Policy

Advancing the understanding, stewardship, and conservation of estuarine, coastal, and ocean environments.

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Department of Geological Sciences

Discovering how geological processes have operated over various time scales to create and influence the planet’s surface environments.

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Department of Geography

Investigating the interactions between people and the environment and the processes that explain the location of human and natural phenomena.

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College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment • 111 Robinson Hall • Newark, DE 19716 • USA • Phone: 302-831-2841
Geography: 302-831-2294 • Geology: 302-831-2569 • Marine Science and Policy: 302-645-4212 • E-mail: ceoe-info@udel.edu

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