Group Members

Potential postdocs and graduate students who are interested in using creativity and curiosity to understand our changing natural world can contact Alex at robel (at) Graduate students should apply through the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences or the Program in Ocean Sciences and Engineering.


Dr. Alexander Robel, Assistant Professor (CV)
Email - Github - Twitter


I was born in Miami, Florida (at ~4 feet above sea level) where I developed an early fascination with the puzzles within nature. As an undergraduate at Duke University, I studied Earth Sciences and Physics, and worked with Susan Lozier and Josh Socolar to develop stochastic/dynamical systems methods to understand transport and the propagation of uncertainty in the ocean. I went on to pursue a PhD in Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard, where I was advised by Eli Tziperman and (externally) Christian Schoof. My dissertation focused on the theory and modeling of changes in ice stream flow and their connection to past periods of rapid deglaciation. I then worked with Victor Tsai at Caltech and Doug MacAyeal at the University of Chicago as a NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellow. Since 2018, I have been a faculty member in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech as the head of the Ice & Climate research group. Our work is focused on understanding the causes of ice sheet change and developing conceptual, mathematical, and computational tools to predict future changes.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Dr. Samantha Buzzard
Email - Github - Twitter


I moved to the US to join Georgia Tech as a postdoctoral fellow in 2019. Originally from the UK, I became fascinated with using mathematics to solve problems in earth science and specifically climate change during my undergraduate degree at the University of Exeter. I continued this with my PhD at the University of Reading's department of Meteorology, where I created a mathematical model of surface melt on ice shelves under the supervision of Prof Danny Feltham and Dr Daniela Flocco within the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM). Following this, I worked as a European Space Agency funded postdoc at University College London with Prof Julienne Stroeve and Dr Michel Tsamados, looking at remote sensing and modelling of Arctic sea ice. Two trips to the Arctic have confirmed my love for the polar regions and I'm continuing to work in modelling ice shelves. I'm a strong believer that science careers are for everyone and that we should communicate the science that we do, because of this I often give talks especially to encourage girls into science. My outreach work has included national radio and shows for several hundred teenagers at venues such as the Royal Institution and Sheffield Crucible.

Graduate Students

Ziad Rashed - Email


A native of Egypt, I moved to Northern Virginia in mid-2005 when I was 8 years old. I developed a deep interest in mathematics towards the end of my senior year of high school and was curious about how we can use its power and elegance to describe and model our world. This led me to pursue a degree in Engineering Science and Mechanics at Virginia Tech, where I studied and investigated the governing laws of materials and motions, and how they could be applied in different engineering disciplines. My undergraduate research focused on interfacial fluid mechanics and employing biomimicry for fabrication of slippery surfaces and passive energy generation. I am also very interested in using tools from nonlinear/chaotic dynamics and numerical modeling to determine how we can reduce the complexity of real-world systems while describing their response to internal and external changes. I am developing my skills in these subject areas to gain a greater understanding of the elaborate interactions between glacier and ocean systems, with the greater goal of understanding how these interactions affect the climate on a global scale. 


Paige Copenhaver- Email

(co-advised w/Emanuele Di Lorenzo)


I am currently a PhD student in the Ocean Science and Engineering program. I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Georgia where I majored in physics and astronomy, and I  conducted research in stellar astrophysics. I later became the Mission Operations team leader for the UGA Small Satellite Research Laboratory where I worked on two CubeSat missions: the Multi-view Onboard Computational Imager (MOCI) and the SPectral Ocean Color (SPOC) satellite. My interest in the German language brought me to Freiburg, Germany where I studied sustainability and renewable energy, and this experience inspired me to use my background in physics to study and protect the environment. In 2017 I interned at NASA Langley, and my work on the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE) III on the International Space Station introduced me to a wide variety of atmospheric science and climate change topics. I hope to use my past experiences and current research to influence policy and improve the state of the planet.