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Personal profile

Academic Background

I am an applied mathematician with an interest in modelling and understanding processes in the oceans and climate system. 

My personal web page can be found at http://www.uea.ac.uk/~dps/

I was Head of the School of Mathematics from 2010 to 2014 and also in 2017, and I was Associate Dean for Learning, Teaching and Quality for the Faculty of Science in 2015-2016 and 2018-2022.


Key Research Interests

My main research interest is large scale ocean modelling. The motivation is to understand the role of the ocean in the climate system. 

Most of my research has been involved with cold regions, the Norwegian-Greenland Sea and the Southern Ocean. I was deeply involved in the Fine Resolution Antarctic Model (FRAM) project and the Ocean Circulation and Climate Advanced Modelling (OCCAM) project.

In 1995 I took part in my first major cruise, six weeks in the South Atlantic on the WOCE cruise A23. In 1996 I took part in the Greenland Sea tracer release experiment. In 1999 I co-led the ALBATROSS cruise around the Scotia Sea. In 2003 I co-led a project to put current meter moorings in Shag Rocks Passage and undertake a hydrographic survey of the North Scotia Ridge. I successfully recovered the moorings in 2004. In 2008 I was at sea on a project to examine the mixing near Kerguelen.

I became interested in coupled ocean-atmosphere processes and modelling through involvement with the NERC COAPEC program. This has led to my participation in coupled ocean-atmosphere modelling projects, including HiGEM.


Areas of Expertise

Dynamic oceanography; computer simulation; ocean and climate modelling; observational physical oceanography.


Teaching Interests

I teach using a variety of techniques from traditional chalk and talk to computer based lectures. Modules I have lectured include:

1st year: Calculus, Differential Equations, Mechanics and Modelling, Calculus for Accountants, Introduction to Maple, Symbolic Algebra, Computation and Modelling.

2nd year: Hydrodynamics. Mathematics I and II for Environmental Scientists and Geophysicists.

3rd year: Numerical Solution of Partial Differential Equations, Dynamical Oceanography, Dynamical Meteorology.

Masters: Numerical Solution of Partial Differential Equations, Dynamical Oceanography, Dynamical Meteorology.

In the academic year 2022/23 I will be teaching Dynamical Oceanography.

I have also given research level lectures at a variety of international summer schools ranging from Greece to Chile. 


Research Group or Lab Membership

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action