Research: Phytoplankton and ice phenology, Coastal ecosystem, Stratification dynamics, Dissolved oxygen dynamics, Estuarine circulation and secondary circulation, Biophysical interactions, Biogeochemical-physical models
Marine ecological systems are dynamic and impacted by both natural variability and anthropogenic perturbations. Dr. Li’s research aims to better understand the physical processes and the variety of biological-physical interactions that govern the ecosystem responses to climate and human-induced changes, with particular interests focusing on the “bottom-up” effects, which encompass the changes from physical environment (e.g., stratification, circulation, sea ice) to nutrient cycling to marine primary production. Her research spans a wide spectrum of marine environments from estuaries to continental shelves and from low- to high-latitudes. Dr. Li investigates the ecosystem responses mainly through developing and employing coupled biogeochemical-physical models (e.g., ROMS, FVCOM), complemented by analytical approaches and observational data. Her current research includes (1) linking physical dynamics to biological variability in circum-Antarctic polynyas and (2) investigating the correlation scale between stratification and marine primary production in the global ocean.