Observing Ocean Circulation

Isabela Le Bras

Isabela Le Bras

Assistant Scientist
Physical Oceanography Department

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Isabela Le Bras is a sea-going physical oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) studying the ocean’s large-scale circulation. Her research is motivated by a desire to understand the ocean’s role in the climate system. Specific areas of interest include:

  • The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), an intricate system of currents that stabilizes the earth’s climate by redistributing heat, salt, oxygen, and carbon on a global scale.

  • High-latitude ocean dynamics and the linkages between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.

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Learn more about joining Isabela’s research group


  • PhD in Physical Oceanography, 2017

    MIT-WHOI Joint Program

  • BA in Physics, 2010

    University of California Berkeley

Research Projects


Subpolar North Atlantic Processes - Dynamics and pRedictability of vAriability in Gyre and OverturNing. A UK-US collaboration to improve our understanding of a key ocean region.

Oxygen cycling in the Irminger Sea

Probing the physical and biological controls on the Irminger Seas’s oxygen cycle using moored Oceans Observatories Initiative (OOI) and Bio-Argo data.

Beaufort Gyre Observing System

The Beaufort Gyre is one of the Arctic Ocean’s main dynamical sea-ice and ocean circulation systems, its major freshwater reservoir, and a centerpiece for Arctic and global change.

AMOC connectivity

We are compiling a novel dataset at about 37N using satellite, float, and mooring observations to test the connectivity of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC).

Recent Publications

Observation-based estimates of heat and freshwater exchanges from the subtropical North Atlantic to the Arctic

Subpolar North Atlantic western boundary density anomalies and the Meridional Overturning Circulation

Changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, which have the potential to drive societally-important climate impacts, …

Mean Conditions and Seasonality of the West Greenland Boundary Current System near Cape Farewell

The structure, transport, and seasonal variability of the West Greenland boundary current system near Cape Farewell are investigated …