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The University of Southampton

Professor Harry Bryden appointed Regius Professor of Ocean Sciences

Published: 23 March 2020
Professor Harry Bryden
Newly-appointed Regius Professor in Ocean Sciences, Professor Harry Bryden

The University of Southampton is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Harry Bryden, FRS, as Regius Professor in Ocean Sciences.

The prestigious Regius Professorship was bestowed on the University by Her Majesty the Queen in recognition of Southampton’s international leadership in ocean science and maritime systems. Southampton also hosts the Regius Professor of Computer Science , held by Professor Dame Wendy Hall, with both titles being unique to the University of Southampton.

Throughout his distinguished career as an oceanographer, Professor Bryden is, perhaps, best known for his pioneering work in ocean circulation and advancing our knowledge of the role of the ocean in the Earth's climate.

“I have enjoyed working on a wide variety of global ocean circulation topics with colleagues in Southampton for the past 28 years,” said Professor Bryden. “A special privilege has been to interact with enthusiastic undergraduate, Masters and PhD students on leading-edge research problems on nearly a daily basis.  I am deeply honoured to have been appointed Regius Professor by the University of Southampton giving me the opportunity to further build Southampton’s international profile and potential in Ocean Sciences.”

Professor Rachel Mills, Southampton’s Dean of Environmental and Life Sciences, said: “Our undergraduate and postgraduate programme in Ocean and Earth science is amongst the largest, and most successful in the world. Together with our Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute, this makes us world leading in a sector that contributes over £10 billion annually to the UK economy. Our award of the Regius Professorship of Ocean Sciences is fitting recognition of our global profile in this area. We look forward to celebrating Harry’s appointment with the wider oceanographic community in the months ahead.”

Professor Paul Wilson, the University’s Head of Palaeoceanography and Paleoclimate Research Group and Chair of the Regius Professor search panel added: “No-one embodies that profile better than ocean physicist and avid Saints’ fan, Harry Bryden, FRS. He has pioneered our understanding of what makes the ocean tick. Thanks to him we have a much better idea of the way it circulates, the way it moves heat around on our planet and the consequences for our climate.”

Professor Mark E. Smith, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University, offered his congratulations: “A Regius Professorship is a rare privilege and reflects the exceptionally high-quality of teaching and research at the University. Today we celebrate Harry’s appointment and I look forward to working with him to mobilise our research power to confront the extraordinary scientific and societal environmental challenges that lie ahead.”

Professor Bryden originally joined the UK’s Institute of Oceanographic Sciences in 1993 and worked at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS) from its inauguration as the Southampton Oceanography Centre (SOC) in 1995. From 2007-2011 he led the NOCS Graduate School through an exciting period of development and growth.

Professor Bryden is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union and the Royal Society, and Honorary Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, and past President of the Challenger Society for Marine Sciences. He has authored and co-authored over 110 refereed scientific publications.

In 2005, Professor Bryden was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society "for the outstanding contributions he has made through careful observation and innovative analysis and interpretation of data to the study of the meridional transport of heat in the ocean"

He was awarded the Prince Albert I Medal in 2009 by the International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Ocean, “in recognition of his fundamental contributions to understanding the ocean’s role in the global climate system.”

Professor Bryden has received the Fridtjof Nansen Medal from the European Geosciences Union (2013) "for his long-term leadership in experimental physical oceanography and in understanding the mechanisms of the general ocean circulation and heat transport". The Challenger Society for Marine Science awarded him the Challenger Medal in 2014, for his significant contribution to the development of marine science.

Professor Bryden has supported the University philanthropically for many years. He has given generously to the Peter Kilworth Memorial Prize, the National Oceanography Centre’s Post-Doc Fund, and to special lectures in the School of Ocean and Earth Science. He is therefore recognised in the Southampton Giving Circles as a member of the Vickers Circle.

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