Yael Stochel ’22

Headshot of Yael Stochel

Computer Science

Project Title

Ocean Deoxygenation and Warming Spell: An Uncertain Future for Habitat Range of Fish Species

Presentation Link

View Yael's Presentation

Certificate(s): Environmental Studies

I projected habitat reductions for fish species using their metabolic index (MI), which is the ratio of an organism’s oxygen supply against its oxygen demand. Ocean warming reduces the concentration of oxygen while increasing the metabolic rates of marine organisms, resulting in higher oxygen demand but decreasing supply. I quantified habitat reduction in an ensemble of climate projections using the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Earth System Model. I focused on assessing the range of uncertainty in habitat reduction due to natural climate variability in the context of two biological unknowns: The exact sensitivity, or MI threshold, of each species, and the duration for which that species can survive below that threshold. I partitioned the projected habitat reduction into these uncertainties to quantify the primary factors confounding the projection of habitat compression through the end of the century. I found that the biological unknowns were the main source of uncertainty, suggesting that improved understanding of species distribution, behaviors and physiology is of critical importance. I acquired invaluable skills in data analysis and visualization, as well as knowledge about climate modeling and environmental processes. I look forward to continuing related work at Princeton and beyond.

Internship Year


Project Category

Climate and Environmental Science


Sarmiento Group, Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Princeton University


Jorge Sarmiento, George J. Magee Professor of Geoscience and Geological Engineering, Emeritus, Professor of Geosciences, Emeritus; Graeme MacGilchrist, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences; Sarah Schlunegger, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences