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Through the Porthole is a newsletter aimed at providing information on graduate school and the application process, as told through the eyes of graduate students in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography. The newsletter is entirely staffed on a volunteer basis.

Our staff currently includes:




Brynnydd (Brynn) Hamilton


Brynn is a Physical Oceanography PhD candidate whose research interests lie at the intersection of ocean modeling and paleoclimate studies. When she's not writing code, you can find her rock-climbing, skiing, or hiking all over New England. Her roles on the newsletter crew include writing, editing, and anything else that seems like a good idea in the moment.




Chloe Dean

Website Manager and Graphic Designer

Chloe is a Chemical Oceanography PhD student in the MIT WHOI Joint Program. She studies marine biogeochemical cycling and aims to explore the impact of carbon sequestration strategies, like ocean alkalinity enhancement, on the biologically mediated carbon cycle. After completing her graduate studies, she hopes to join the growing carbon removal industry and aid in the research and development of safe, equitable carbon removal strategies. When she’s not in the lab, Chloe enjoys exploring new trails, birding and taking long walks with her cat (often all at the same time). Her responsibilities on the newsletter crew include managing the website and occasional graphic design and writing.



Ciara Dooley


Ciara is an Applied Ocean Science and Engineering student in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program. She studies surfzone fluid dynamics by using cameras to track the motion of naturally occurring foam on the ocean’s surface. With these measurements, she hopes to improve our understanding of coastal environments, allowing us to better predict nearshore flows and protect coastlines. When not looking at images of the sea, she likes to play guitar, hang out with her cat, and explore New England. In the future, Ciara hopes to find herself in a role where she can continue learning about our environment – whether that be through teaching, research, or something else entirely! Her responsibilities on the newsletter crew include writing articles.



Cora Hersh


Cora is a PhD candidate in Physical Oceanography. She uses models and observations to study year-to-year variability of water properties in the tropical and subtropical oceans. Prior to joining the Joint Program, she worked for two years as a science communications fellow at the National Cancer Institute, and subsequently did a year-long research assistantship at WHOI. Her undergraduate background is in physics. In her free time she enjoys crafts of all kinds, learning which local plants are edible and/or can be made into jam, playing ukulele, and going on bike rides on the Falmouth bike path.



Elena Perez


Elena is a Physical Oceanography Ph.D. student in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program, advised by Magdalena Andres and Glen Gawarkiewicz. Her past research includes studying the drivers of marine heatwaves, analyzing the variability of Gulf Stream rings using sea surface height products, and modeling the relationship of the Shelf Break Jet to sea level variability on the U.S. Northeast coast. She is particularly interested in climate variability, mesoscale to large-scale ocean dynamics, sea level change, and extreme events.




Emily Burdige


Emily is a chemistry student in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program who is broadly studying how diatoms uptake carbon dioxide. More specifically, their research is focused on the enzyme kinetics and proteomics of carbonic anhydrase, which catalyzes the interconversion between carbon dioxide and water. Their research aims to better understand the global marine carbon cycle and how diatoms can act as a sink for carbon dioxide. She hopes to one day work at the intersection of research and public policy. In her free time she is an avid reader, biker, and dog-sitter with an ever-growing list ranking her favorite Trader Joe's desserts.



Emma Bullock


Emma is a graduate student in Chemical Oceanography. She studies submarine groundwater discharge in Arctic coastal regions, using radium isotopes to track dissolved mercury in coastal groundwater discharge. She is passionate about making sure that local community concerns are addressed, even in remote locations such as the Arctic Circle. Emma is still unsure on what she wants to do upon completion of her graduate studies, but finds science communication compelling. When not doing research, Emma enjoys drawing and painting, cooking new recipes, or curling up under a blanket with a good book.




Lap Warmer

Woof. Bark. Woof Woof.

Gone But Not Forgotten


Paris Smalls

Paris was the previous co-director of the Newsletter. He graduated with his PhD from the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in 2021.


Jule Middleton

Jule was the previous co-director of the Newsletter. They graduated with their PhD from the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in 2022.


Beckett Colson

Beckett was the previous graphic designer for the Newsletter. He graduated with his PhD from the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in 2023.


Ian Jones

Ian was the mailing list manager and readership analyst for the Newsletter. He graduated with his PhD from the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in 2022.


Danielle Haas Freeman

Danielle was the previous web manager and writer for the Newsletter. She is currently a PhD candidate in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program.


Noah Germolous

Noah previously wore almost every TTP hat: director, editor in chief, writer, graphic designer, emailer, etc. He is currently a PhD candidate in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program.


Marc Foster

Marc was previously a writer for the Newsletter. He is currently a PhD student in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program.


Annaliese Meyer

Annaliese set up and ran the Newsletter's Twitter (X?) account and was a previous writer for TTP. She is currently a PhD candidate in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program.

Learn more about Through the Porthole

Learn more about the MIT-WHOI Joint Program