Ivan SUDAKOV, PhD in Applied Mathematics (USA)

Ivan holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Novgorod State University, Russia and is currently working as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics at the University of Dayton, USA. His latest research focuses on climate, environmental, statistical and nonlinear physics.

Current position: Assistant Professor at the University of Dayton, USA

Research focus: Climate, environmental, statistical and nonlinear physics

He works to develop a nonlinear theory of climate systems. From 2012 to 2015, he worked as a Research Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of Utah, USA.

For his achievements, Ivan was awarded a Green Talent in 2013. The jury was particularly impressed by his scientific record and his strong commitment to interdisciplinary interaction between mathematics and climate science. He has also been awarded several prestigious fellowships, such as the Isaac Newton Institute Visiting Fellowship, the Ed Lorenz Postdoctoral Fellowship and the Nansen Fellowship. He has published a high number of notable scientific papers over the last years, and has received research grants from different foundations.

CV as submitted for the Green Talents award (2013):


Research focus: Mathematics and Climate

There is an important interaction between mathematics and climate science, this is why Ivan Sudakov has a central role to play in sea ice research and understanding the Earth’s climate system.

Arctic sea ice is a sensitive, leading indicator of climate change; its decline over the 21st century has significantly outpaced projections. In order to improve projections and our understanding of climate change and key processes for sustainable development, Ivan Sudakov is addressing important questions concerning the role of sea ice in the climate system.

Sudakov, originally hailing from Russia, is, among other things, looking into whether the decline of Arctic sea ice has passed through a so-called ‘tipping point’ – an irreversible critical threshold.

The decline of the summer Arctic sea ice pack in recent decades has led to the significant loss of a white reflecting surface covering the Arctic Ocean. This means solar radiation is absorbed by the ocean rather than being reflected, heating the upper ocean, melting even more ice, and so on – a process known as ice-albedo feedback.

“A key mechanism potentially driving the system to ‘tip’ is the ice-albedo feedback. The first aim of my work is to investigate, through dynamical systems analysis, the existence of such a tipping point for various differential equation models of the sea ice and upper ocean,” Sudakov says.

Sudakov will also investigate a key process in the coupling of the ocean to the atmosphere through the ice, which will potentially play a role in tipping point considerations, as well as in a broad range of other climatological and ecological exchange phenomena in sea ice.

The Green Talents jury was particularly impressed by Sudakov´s scientific record so far and his strong commitment to interdisciplinary interaction between mathematics and climate science. By improving projections his research offers important contributions to our understanding of the climatological and ecological role of sea ice in the climate system.