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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton
(023) 8059 6214

Professor Robert Marsh BSc, MSc, PhD

Professor in Oceanography and Climate, Head of Physical Oceanography Research Group

Professor Robert Marsh's photo

As a physical oceanographer, my research reveals how our restless oceans shape the world around us. Interdisciplinary studies concern the drift of objects as diverse as sea turtle hatchlings, volcanic pumice and icebergs. In some places, objects move swiftly with ocean currents that are quite steady and predictable. Elsewhere, they encounter the chaos of swirling “eddies”. To fully understand and predict the resulting patterns of ocean drift, our challenge is to carefully account for both currents and eddies at global scale.

The same currents that carry floating objects play a grander role in conveying vast quantities of heat over great distances and depths, moderating our climate here in the UK and pacing the current rate of global warming. The oceans also play a pivotal role in the hydrological cycle, which appears to be intensifying with climate change. As a climate scientist, I use a rich variety of data and advanced computer models to explore such ways that the oceans are changing our world.

BSc Physics & Meteorology, University of Reading (1986)
MSc Physical Oceanography, University of Wales (1988)
PhD Physical Oceanography, University of Southampton (2000)
Research Assistant, Oregon State University (1987-88)
Research Associate, University of East Anglia (1989-90)
NERC Research Scientist (Higher Scientific Officer, Band 5 and Band 4), James Rennell Centre for Ocean Circulation and Climate (1991-95), Southampton Oceanography Centre (1995-2005), National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (2005-07)
Appointed Reader at Southampton (2007)

Research interests

Specialism: Ocean and Climate modelling

Global Ocean Modelling: diagnostics of water mass transformation; large-scale transports and fluxes in eddy-permitting and eddy-resolving ocean models; particle tracking in ocean models for a wide range of applications.

Earth System Modelling (ESM): developing and using a new framework for intermediate complexity ESM (GENIE); use of GENIE to investigate Earth system change over the past and next millennium, over the last deglaciation, and during warmer climates episodes in the deeper past.

Climate Change: changes in Atlantic circulation, heat content and water masses over recent decades; detecting the changing water cycle in ocean salinity (in observations and models); modelling the flux of meltwater and icebergs from Greenland to the North Atlantic. See also Computational Modelling Group: Climate page.

Climate Variability & Predictability: variability of water masses and large-scale circulation in the North Atlantic; seasonal predictability of winter SST anomalies in the North Atlantic; decadal predictability of the Atlantic circulation in different coupled climate models.

Research group

Physical Oceanography

Research project(s)

Evolution of Carbon Cycle Dynamics (eCCD)

Century of variability in Greenland melting and iceberg calving

Hydrological Cycle Understanding (Horyuji PAGODA)

Assessing the Impact of Geo-engineering the Climate

CLimate scale analysis of Air and Water masses

Iceberg forecasting - from days to decades (ICECAST)

Safer Operations at Sea - Supported by Operational Simulations (SOS-SOS)

Topic Editor for Geoscientific Model Development

Full Member of NERC Peer Review College

SOES Lead Academic, Centre for Doctoral Training in the Institute for Complex Systems Simulation (ICSS)

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Book Chapters

  • Kent, E. C., Marsh, R., & MCCIP (2006). Impacts of climate change on sea temperature. In P. J. Buckley, S. R. Dye, & J. M. Baxter (Eds.), Marine Climate Change Impacts Annual Report Card 2006 MCCIP.
  • Challenor, P. G., Hankin, R. K. S., & Marsh, R. (2006). Towards the probability of rapid climate change. In H. J. Schellnhuber, W. Cramer, N. Nakicenovic, T. Wigley, & G. Yohe (Eds.), Avoiding dangerous climate change (pp. 55-63). Cambridge University Press.




SOES3009 Shelf Sea & Shelf Edge Dynamics – module leader
SOES6006 Climate Dynamics – previous module leader, present lecturer
SOES3010 Large Scale Ocean Processes  – lecturer
SOES3015 Palaeoclimate Change – lecturer
SOES1008 Earth & Ocean System – lecturer

Professor Robert Marsh
Ocean and Earth Science
National Oceanography Centre Southampton
University of Southampton Waterfront Campus
European Way
Southampton SO14 3ZH

Room Number : NOCS/564/03

Facsimile: (023) 8059 6400

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