When I was younger, hurricanes frequently struck our homes and destroyed so much. Growing up in Nassau, I witnessed the wreckage from Hurricane Michelle and Andrew as a little girl. When I went to college, Hurricane Irene followed me up to Connecticut and delayed my arrival. The following year, Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy ploughed over the US East Coast. I went from a childhood where I thought I understood how hurricanes behave to not understanding how they travelled so far up the US coast. These events pushed me to study how tropical cyclones function and develop, especially concerning the changing climate. With rising sea levels, increasing temperatures and more extreme weather events, small island developing states, like The Bahamas, are highly vulnerable and exposed to destruction and unprecedented danger.
For my undergraduate thesis, I used a climate model to study the El Niño Southern Oscillation’s influence on tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic Ocean. Climate variability specialists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and professors from Wesleyan University Earth & Environmental Science department supervised this project. I graduated with high honours and then pursued a teaching career in the United States. I discovered my love for teaching at the Talcott Mountain Science Center as an in-house meteorologist and earth science instructor. I redesigned the meteorology laboratory, registered our weather station with the state and wrote specialized STEM curricula for children between kindergarten and grade 8. The following summer, I returned to Nassau and taught high school mathematics and science at the Tambearly School.
Two years later, I joined researchers at the University of Leeds Institute of Climate and Atmospheric Science to predict future tropical cyclone development in The Bahamas and the North Atlantic. The study used a high-resolution model to predict how tropical cyclones behave under the worst-case greenhouse gas emission scenario, Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5. I also was a reviewer for the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report.
At the Cape Eleuthera Institute, I hope to lead a specialized climate group that focuses on tropical cyclone development. I also plan to continue studying environmental variables that may fluctuate due to the increasing global mean temperature and precipitation. One of my goals is to promote education and awareness about climate change in high-risk nations. I also want to properly educate the public and inspire more people to see the importance of working in atmospheric science, while applying research to mitigation and adaptation for future generations. Currently, my research focuses on paleotempestology and hurricane behaviour in the next 30 years.