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Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Research Group: Physical Oceanography

Currently Active: 

In our research, we seek to understand, quantify and predict the physical character of the ocean, and the dynamic processes that control its circulation and mixing.

Group Overview

Participating in a wide variety of oceanographic cruises, we use shipboard instruments, moorings, floats and autonomous underwater vehicles to make in situ measurements of key ocean processes.

Of further vital importance are measurements that help us to accurately estimate air-sea exchanges of heat, momentum and gases throughout the world's oceans. Building on our expertise in ocean remote sensing, and with strong links to space agencies, we are exploring patterns of change and variability in satellite measurements of surface temperature, sea level and productivity. Aligned with this suite of observations, we develop and use a wide range of ocean and climate models, to test new hypotheses, to predict climate change, and to explore the role of the ocean in the wider Earth system.

The Physical Oceanography and Climate group of OES is also strongly involved in high-computing through its modelling activities

in particularly working together with the MSM group of NOC on the analysis of high-resolution ocean models

and introducing the UK coupled climate model in Southampton, focusing on the role of the ocean in climate (change) together with the UK Met Office

Contact: Prof. Sybren Drijfhout

Associated research themes

Coastal and Shelf Processes


Research Vessels

We have two vessels based at NOCS that are available to staff and students of Ocean and Earth Science. R.V. Callista and R.V. Bill Conway

Postgraduate opportunities

PhD Project Titles

A new generation of climate predictions system
Dr Florian Sevellec, Prof Sybren Drijfhout

Deep convection and the sinking branch of the Meridional Overturning Circulation
Prof Sybren Drijfhout, Dr Joel Hirschi, Dr Mike Bell (UK Metoffice)

Energetic eddies at the boundary of the Atlantic
Dr. Eleanor Frajka-Williams, Prof Alberto Naveira Garabato, Dr Alex Brearley (British Antarctic Survey)

Multi-decadal warming of the subtropical Atlantic Ocean: Causes and implications
Prof Bob Marsh, Dr Jeremy Grist, Dr Gerard McCarthy

North Atlantic storminess and variability of the meridional overturning circulation
Dr Joel Hirschi, Dr Aurelie Duchez, Prof Sybren Drijfhout, Dr Pat Hyder (Met Office)

Physical controls on ocean primary production
Dr Anna Hickman, Prof Bob Marsh, Jonathan Sharples (University of Liverpool), Stephanie Dutkiewicz (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Predicting increased frequency of extreme sea-level flooding events from Monte Carlo simulations using a novel ultra-fast climate model
Dr Philip Goodwin, Dr Ivan Haigh, Prof Eelco Rohling

Sea ice controls on Southern Ocean water mass formation
Prof Alberto Naveira Garabato, Lead Supervisor - Dr Andrew Meijers (British Antarctic Survey Polar Oceans programme), Dr Paul Holland (British Antarctic Survey Polar Oceans programme), Dr Daniel Jones (British Antarctic Survey Polar Oceans programme)



Research Staff

Staff MemberPrimary Position
Stephanie AllenPostgraduate research student
Claudie BeaulieuLecturer
Jeffrey BlundellResearch Fellow in Physical Oceanography
Simon BoxallLecturer
Alexander BrearleyResearch Fellow
Nikki BrownPostgraduate research student
Harry BrydenEmeritus Professor
Christian E BuckinghamPostdoctoral Research Fellow
Helen BurnsPostgraduate research student
Elizabeth ComerPostgraduate research student
Jesse CusackPostgraduate research student
Tiago DottoPostgraduate research student
Sybren DrijfhoutProfessor in Physical Oceanography and Climate Physics
Aurelie Duchez RAPID Group Research Scientist
Kasem ElfadiPostgraduate research student
Victor Estella PerezPostgraduate research student
Dafydd Gwyn EvansPostgraduate research student
Xiangbo FengResearch Fellow
Alexander ForryanResearch Fellow
Eleanor Frajka-WilliamsLecturer of Physical Oceanography
Freya GarryPostgraduate research student
Ivan D HaighLecturer in Coastal Oceanography
Jonathan HarrisonPostgraduate research student
Freja HuntPostgraduate research student
Zoe L JacobsPostgraduate research student
Jon LawrencePostgraduate research student
Delphine LobellePostgraduate research student
Robert MarshProfessor in Oceanography and Climate
Robert MawdsleyPostgraduate research student
Jennifer V MeckingResearch Fellow
Simon MuellerResearch Fellow
Alberto Naveira GarabatoProfessor
Kevin OliverLecturer in Physical Oceanography
Marcello PassaroPostgraduate research student
Konstantina RizopoulouPostgraduate research student
Ian RobinsonEmeritus Professor
Josie RobinsonPostgraduate research student
Craig D RyePostgraduate research student
Stefanie RyndersPostgraduate research student
Melissa SaelandPostgraduate research student
Florian SevellecLecturer in Physical Oceanography
John ShepherdProfessorial Research Fellow in Earth System Science
Nikolaos SklirisResearch Fellow
Maike SonnerwaldPostgraduate Research Student (ICSS)
Ben TimmermansPostgraduate research student
Giang TranPostgraduate research student
Matthew P WadeyResearch Fellow
Neil WellsAssociate Professor in Physical Oceanography and Meteorology
Werenfrid WimmerResearch Assistant
Claire WinderPostgraduate research student
Xiaolong YuPostgraduate research student

Related Projects

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