Department of Earth, Environmental & Planetary Sciences

Christopher Horvat

Visiting Assistant Professor (Research)
Lincoln Field
Room 216
Research Interests Oceans Ice and Atmospheres, Environmental Science


I am a climate scientist studying emergent changes to Earth's climate system. I currently split my time between Brown and the University of Auckland in Aotearoa New Zealand, where I am a senior lecturer and lead the Antipodal Oceanography Group. The primary focus of our research is how small scales of variability (meters to kilometers) in Earth's oceans, atmosphere, and sea ice feed back to broad changes in Earth's climate, ecosystems, and carbon cycle. As a group, we develop satellite remote sensing tools and model parameterizations, take in-situ observations, and run climate models. One area of research focuses on sea ice in polar regions, where dramatic changes are being observed but poorly represented by climate models. Another is changes to upper-ocean ecology, both at the poles, where thinning ice has flooded the upper ocean with light in summer, but also in the tropics, where slow-moving cyclones can cause massive, rare blooms that dramatically impact the local food webs. A third is work in Indigenous communities and schools in Arctic Canada, Greenland, and Aotearoa, focusing on the co-production of knowledge and incorporation of indigenous ways of knowing (mātauranga Māori, e.g.) into assessments and predictions of climate change impacts.