UNH Ocean Seminar

Transport of Pollutants in the Natural Environment: Microplastics and Methane Plumes

Dr. Theresa Oehmke
Postdoctoral Scholar

UNH Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

Friday, Apr. 29, 2022, 3:10pm
Chase 105

Turbulence is a complicated phenomenon that is characterized by rapid mixing and transport. My research has focused on using experimental methods to predict and understand this model for various particles and scalars. In this talk I will discuss the influence of homogeneous isotropic turbulence on the rotation and dissolution rates of anisotropic particles whose size is within the inertial subrange of turbulence. I will present methods and results for the 3D reconstruction of flat particle orientation that allows for examination of spinning vs tumbling rates. Then I will discuss how our understanding of spinning and tumbling contributes to our knowledge of determining the impacts of shape and size on dissolution rates for in-house, custom made sugar particles (as seen in the figure included). I will end the talk with some of my current work at UNH which characterizes methane leak transport by using smoke visualization methods. 


Dr. Theresa B Oehmke is a Postdoctoral Diversity and Innovation Scholar in Mechanical Engineering at the University of New Hampshire. Dr. Oehmke earned a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley in 2021 and a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Engineering Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2015. Theresa does research related to Environmental Fluid Mechanics. Specifically, she is interested in the transport of particles and pollutants in turbulent flows. Prior research has included work with fibers, cuboids, and flat particles within the inertial subrange to study how size and shape influence particle motion and dissolution. Current projects include the transport of methane in the atmosphere and the transport of seeds in the Great Bay Estuary.