Wanying Kang

Assistant Professor

Contact Info:





Darius Collazo 617.253.0251

Investigates large-scale atmospheric and oceanic dynamics, and their effects on the climate of Earth and other planetary bodies.

Research Interests

I use theories and numerical modeling to understand the geophysical fluid dynamics of the atmosphere and oceans on Earth and beyond, such as terrestrial exoplanets, disintegrating lava planets, and icy satellites like Saturn’s Enceladus and Titan. Applying tools developed for climate science on Earth to planetary science questions has the potential to give answers about what makes a planet habitable, and how biosignatures might be detected. Investigations into extreme worlds can even give us clues about ancient conditions on Earth and other planets—how they formed and how their climates evolved, and how Earth’s climate may continue to evolve. With next-generation instrumentation, there will soon be opportunities to make more detailed observations of exoplanets in the near future, and so one goal is to find potentially observable consequences through numerical simulations and collaborations with other groups in EAPS.

Topics I investigate:

  • Icy ocean worlds
  • Terrestrial exoplanets
  • Lava worlds
  • Climate

Biographic Sketch

Wanying Kang joined the EAPS faculty in 2022. Kang holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University and an undergraduate degree in Physics from Peking University. In 2020, she was appointed as an EAPS Lorenz-Houghton Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow working with John Marshall and Sara Seager.

Key Publications

  • Kang, W. (2024). Nonsynchronous rotation of icy moon ice shells: The thermal wind perspective. Science Advances, Vol 10, Issue 4. 10.1126/sciadv.adk2277

  • Kang, W., Ding, F., Wordsworth, R.D., & Seager, S. (2021). Escaping Outflows from Disintegrating Exoplanets: Day-side versus Night-side Escape. The Astrophysical Journal, 906. 10.3847/1538-4357/abcaa7

  • Kang, W.* and G. Flierl (2020). Spontaneous formation of geysers at only one pole on Enceladus’ ice shell, PNAS, Volume 117, Issue 26, p.14764-14768 10.1073/pnas.2001648117