Plumley is a graduate student in the Applied Mathematics Department working under the advisement of Applied Mathematics Professor and Department Chair Keith Julien. Her research includes the development, investigation and simulation of reduced PDE multi-scale models that accurately capture the turbulent dynamics of the geodynamo. The geodynamo operates over disparate spatial and temporal scales that prohibit direct application of the Navier-Stokes equations even with massively parallel high-performance computing architectures. Rigorous asymptotic reductions Navier-Stokes equations that focus on the dominant dynamics are beginning to provide new in-roads to this grand challenge problem.
NASA's Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) program solicits graduate fellowship proposals to fulfill the NASA Science Mission Directorate to "Understand the Sun and its effects on Earth and the solar system". This prestigious $30,000/yr fellowship is awarded initially for a year with a maximum of two more renewals contingent on satisfactory progress and funding. In the category of the planetary science program, Plumley submitted a proposal titled "A New Approach for Modeling the Dynamics of Planetary Interiors", which has been awarded for the 2015-2016 academic year.