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The University of Southampton
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

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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

Changing Atlantic influences on northwest European shelf seas
Bob Marsh, James Harle (NOC), Martin Edwards(SAHFOS)

Coastal impacts for climate scenarios that exceed 2°C warming
Philip Goodwin, Ivan Haigh, Robert Nicholls (Engineering & the Environment, UoS)

Dynamics of the polar Southern Ocean response to climate change
Alberto Naveira-Garabato, George Nurser (NOC), Anna Hogg (CPOM/University of Leeds), Mike Meredith (BAS)

Microdrifters for Ocean Currents
Eleanor Frajka-Williams, Christopher Cardwell (NOC), Alberto Naveira-Garabato, Liz Bagshaw (Cardiff Univ.), Andras Sobester (Engineering & the Environment, UoS)

Ocean Turbulence in Energetic Eddies using Autonomous instruments *
Eleanor Frajka-Williams, Alberto Naveira-Garabato, Rob Hall (University of East Anglia)

The impact of sea level rise and climate change on small island nations
Ivan Haigh, Robert Nicholls (Engineering & the Environment, UoS)

Ocean Turbulence measurements on Autonomous Underwater Vehicles
Alberto Naveira-Garabato, Eleanor Frajka-Williams, Rob Hall (UEA), Kurt Polzin (WHOI)

Evolution and upwelling of deep water along the path of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current
Yvonne Firing (NOC), Harry Bryden, Joel Hirschi (NOC), Elaine McDonagh (NOC)

* signifies projects with additional CASE funding.


Research Staff

List of all staff members in Physical Oceanography
Staff MemberPrimary Position
Stephanie AllenPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Lewis BaileyPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Claudie BeaulieuVisiting Fellow
Jeffrey BlundellResearch Fellow in Physical Oceanography
Simon BoxallPrincipal Teaching Fellow
Alexander BrearleyResearch Fellow
Nikki BrownPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Harry BrydenEmeritus Professor
Jessica CartwrightPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Alex CattrellPostgraduate research student
Matthew ChadwickPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Matthew ClarkPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Elizabeth ComerPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Walter (Bob) CudmorePostgraduate research student (NEXUSS)
Tiago DottoPostgraduate research student
Oana DragomirPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Sybren DrijfhoutProfessor in Physical Oceanography and Climate Physics
Aurelie Duchez RAPID Group Research Scientist
Victor Estella PerezPostgraduate research student
Alexander ForryanResearch Fellow
Ivan D HaighAssociate Professor in Coastal Oceanography
Samantha HallamPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Elizabeth HarrisPostgraduate research student
Jonathan HarrisonPostgraduate research student
Alistair HendryPostgraduate research student
Laura Herraiz BorregueroMarie Curie Research Fellow
Zoë HolbrookPostgraduate research student (LTDS, GSNOCS, FEPS)
Jon LawrencePostgraduate research student
Delphine LobellePostgraduate research student
Guantong LyuPostgraduate research student
Georgios MargaritisPostgraduate research student
Robert MarshProfessor in Oceanography and Climate
Jennifer V MeckingResearch Fellow
Carlos Joel Mejia OlivaresPostgraduate research student
Simon MuellerResearch Fellow
Alberto Naveira GarabatoProfessor
Kevin OliverLecturer in Physical Oceanography
Tabitha PearmanPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
David PricePostgraduate research student (NEXUSS)
Hagen RadtkePostdoctoral Research Fellow
Ian RobinsonEmeritus Professor
Stefanie RyndersPostgraduate research student
Ryan ScottPostgraduate research student (NEXUSS)
Florian SevellecAssociate Professor in Ocean Physics
John ShepherdEmeritus Professor of Earth System Science
Nikolaos SklirisResearch Fellow
Maike SonnerwaldPostgraduate Research Student (ICSS)
Dafydd StephensonPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Pablo Trucco PignataPostgraduate research student (NEXUSS)
Charles TurnerPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)
Clément VicPostdoctoral Research Fellow
Neil WellsEmeritus Fellow in Physical Oceanography and Meteorology
Werenfrid WimmerResearch Assistant
Jan-Torben WittePostgraduate research student (NEXUSS)
Emma WorthingtonPostgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)

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