Honor for Scientist Joellen Russell

Nov. 21, 2017

UA Scientist Named Thomas R. Brown Distinguished Chair

TUCSON, Ariz. — Joellen Russell, a University of Arizona faculty member who is part of an international team studying the Southern Ocean's role in Earth's life-support system, has been named the Thomas R. Brown Distinguished Chair in Integrative Science.

Russell, an associate professor of biogeochemical dynamics in the UA Department of Geosciences, is in charge of the modeling component of the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling Project, which involves using climate models, supercomputers and robot floats to monitor the biogeochemistry of the ocean.

Several 5-foot cylindrical, yellow floats are deployed by the project, which is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and NASA. Via satellite, the floats beam back data that is being used by researchers to assess the uptake of heat and carbon by the Southern Ocean. 

The project "will ultimately impact our world in terms of our knowledge of climate science and prediction science," Russell said. "We will be able to more accurately determine what is going to happen in the future in terms of climate change. It's absolutely tremendous."

"The foundation trustees are pleased to support Joellen's research, teaching and leadership within the scientific community," said Sarah Smallhouse, president of the Thomas R. Brown Foundations. "Her enthusiasm and scientific rigor create an excellent opportunity to advance these priorities and help us build a brighter future." 

"Joellen's research is critical as we grow our understanding of how the Earth can be more resilient," said Joaquin Ruiz, vice president of innovation for the UA Office of Research, Discovery and Innovation and dean of the UA College of Science. "I'm grateful to the Brown Foundations for its visionary support of research at the University of Arizona." 

Russell also is an assistant professor with the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in the UA Department of Planetary Sciences. 

The Thomas R. Brown Foundations donated $2.5 million in 2008 to establish an endowment for the Thomas R. Brown Distinguished Chair in Integrative Science. Russell is the third faculty member to hold the chair.


Researcher Contact:
Joellen Russell
UA Department of Geosciences

Media Contact:
Bob Logan
UA College of Science

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