Jennifer Prairie, PhD

Jennifer Prairie
Phone: (619) 260-8820
Fax: (619) 260-6874
Office: Shiley Ctr for Science & Techn 269

Assistant Professor, Environmental and Ocean Sciences
AFFIRM Cohort '14

  • Ph.D., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego; Oceanography
  • M.S., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego; Oceanography
  • B.A., Dartmouth College; Mathematics

Jennifer C. Prairie, PhD, joined the USD faculty in 2014. Prairie teaches courses on introductory marine biology and physical oceanography. Her research combines laboratory experiments and field work with mathematical modeling to study biological-physical interactions in marine ecosystems, particularly focusing on plankton. Current projects include studying marine snow formation in turbulence and zooplankton foraging in patchy environments. Prairie welcomes undergraduate involvement in her research.

Scholarly Work

Prairie’s research is interdisciplinary, focusing on how biological and physical factors interact in marine planktonic ecosystems. Some previous research projects include: studying small-scale phytoplankton distributions in the ocean using a novel free-falling imaging system and investigating the settling behavior of marine snow particles across sharp density gradients in the laboratory. In her current research, Prairie is studying marine snow formation in turbulence and is also examining zooplankton foraging in patchy prey environments. Prairie is looking for interested undergraduates to participate in her research at USD that will involve laboratory work, modeling and data analysis, and even the possibility of taking part in oceanographic research cruises.

Areas of Interest

Prairie enjoys teaching a wide range of courses, particularly those that approach science from an interdisciplinary perspective. Prairie emphasizes student interaction in the classroom, allowing students to be active participants in the course through demonstrations, discussions, and field trips. She currently teaches Life in the Ocean and Introduction to Physical Oceanography. As a postdoctoral scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Prairie taught courses in both mathematics and marine science.

Office Hours

Section 01
8/17 - 11/20 M 2:00 pm - 4:00 pmTBD - TBD
8/17 - 11/20 T 10:30 am - 12:00 pmTBD - TBD
8/17 - 11/20 W 11:30 am - 1:00 pmTBD - TBD