Ana Carolina Vaz

Asst. Scientist, MAS

(808) 372-2237
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Assistant Scientist, Department of Ocean Sciences - Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

I have long been fascinated with understanding how physical oceanography processes affect marine life, and by extension, our own lives, especially the recreational, cultural and economical activities in which we engage. I have a broad range of research interests related to biophysical interactions, particularly understanding the connectivity of marine organisms driven by dispersal during their early life stages, along with a focus on characterizing their underlying physical mechanisms of transport. I also actively seek to apply the results of my research to pressing management issues. 

My current research with Dr. Paris group focuses on improving the understanding of the dispersal pathways and fate of oil during the Deep Water Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, through the use of a Lagrangian Model, the Connectivity Modeling System, developed and maintained by the Paris Lab. The high pressure observed in the DWH wellhead changed oil droplet composition and characteristics, and we seek to understand how it also affected their dispersal and fate through the water column, and if the use of dispersants was effective during first response to the spill. In addition we use modeling tools to investigate the spill effects on the marine ecosystem. This research is part the CIMAGE-II consortium, funded by the GoMRI. 



2012Ph.D. Oceanography University of Hawaii at Manoa
2005M.S. Physical Oceanography University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
2003B.S. Oceanography University of Rio Grande (FURG), Brazil

Honors & Acknowledgements

Awards and Scholarships


2006-2010 CAPES/Fulbright Scholarship for PhD Students 
2003-2005 CnPq Scholarship for Masters Students
1999-2003 CnPq Scholarship for Undergraduate Students


2010 Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii (RCUH) Dissertation Completion Award
2010 Mentoring Physical Oceanographers to Increase Retention (MPOWIR) Travel Award
2010 American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) Travel Award 
2009 NOAA Center for Atmospheric Science at Howard University Travel Award
2008 Merit Scholarship Award from the Department of Oceanography, UH
2008 Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) Travel Award 
2007 International Consortium for the Study of Climate Changes in South America (SACC) Travel Award 
2006 European Network of Excellence for Ocean Ecosystems Analysis (EUR OCEANS) Travel Award 
2006 IOC-UNESCO Travel Award
2005 IOC-UNESCO Travel Award
2004 International Consortium for the Study of Climate Changes in South America (SACC) Travel Award


Research Interests

• Biophysical interactions in the oceans 
• Connectivity of marine populations 
• Transport and mixing in the ocean 
• Coastal and estuarine physical oceanography
Mesoscale Dynamics
• Fisheries management