Ocean Life

The ocean has been an important part of my life. I was lucky enough to grow up next to the sea on the attractive Devon coast, which I think inspired my life-long interest in the marine environment and my desire to be close to it. Strangely, sometimes it feels like the ocean has synced with my thoughts, providing balance. I am certainly not unique in feeling a closeness with the ocean and feeling its importance in my life. It has immense beauty, power, danger and intrigue and even its local horizons tempt thoughts of the unknown, freedom, adventure, infinity, ...

My undergrad in Southampton was a collection of maritime-related subjects and activities which paved the way for my first career as a Hydrographic Surveyor (see also ). This first short career involved working and living on ships for a couple of years in the North Sea and English Channel, operating sonar equipment to map the seabed for oil and gas exploration and to update charts for The Admiralty. Living and working at sea was an unforgettable experience which sometimes I miss; the freedom you feel with being constantly on the move and exploring, the sights and sounds of living on a ship. I was quite young when I worked offshore (another life?) and at the time still wished to explore different career paths. Here are some pictures of life on ship during calm conditions (not typical!):

My current project, which I've been working on for around 5 years is partly focused on better understanding the fluid mechanics of the Arctic Ocean. More specifically we've been interested in exploring how internal waves (i.e., waves beneath the ocean surface) contribute to the longevity of ocean layers. These layers of different density have been frequently observed in the Arctic Ocean pycnocline, for example, during the Beaufort Gyre Exploration Project. Here is a picture of some layers from one of our numerical experiments:

The plot shows a layering of the fluid using contours of the vertical gradient of salinity (essentially the vertical gradient of density in this case) as a function of the vertical coordinate (y axis) and time (x axis). The signatures of internal waves are evident in the plot. See for more information about this work and for project details.

Swimming and boating are two things that I enjoy in my free time. Here is a picture of several of us from the club doing some open-water swimming: