Philip Leadbitter

Philip Leadbitter


Personal profile

Key Research Interests

Ocean microstructure has traditional been measured using free fall floats, and within the last 5 years similar systems adapted to Slocum gliders. A partnership between Kongsberg, Rockland Scientific Inc and the University of East Anglia has led to the design and implementation of Micropods, fast thermistor and shear probes that record at 512 Hz, which fit to the shape of the Kongsberg Seaglider an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). The work around microstructure is two-fold, firstly validating and improving the data collection methods for microstructure data from AUVs and secondly working with the collected data (mainly but not limited to temperature) to better understand ocean mixing through very small scale perturbations in the upper 1000m of the water column.

Ocean mixing is the process by which physical (momentum and heat), chemical and biological parameters are dispersed throughout the oceans. Using AUVs gives us access to areas that we would not be able to take measurements such as the open oceans or during bad weather where taking a research vessel is not possible. The current area of research is focused on data collected in the Faroe-Shetland channel region during the MASSMO4 an autonomous marine exercise in the summer of 2017 of the Scottish coast. As this is a highly energetic region the aim with this data set is understand and master the analysis techniques to then move onto work based in less energetic regions.

Academic Background


I completed a Master of Science at the University of Southampton in Oceanography. During this time I completed research alongside members of the RAPID team (Dr Gerard McCarthy and Dr Aurelie Duchez) using tide gauges as a proxy to look at the stability of the Kuroshio (Pacific Ocean western boundary current), based on the work conducted by Gerard in the Atlantic Ocean. 

I then spent a year working in the retail sector, before moving the Norwich to start my PhD where I cam currently using fast (512Hz) temperature data collected by specially designed instrumentation equiped on two of the UEA fleet of Seagliders to look at ocean mixing.

Follow me on Twitter for updates on my work (especially during times where I am at conferences or on field work) at @oceanographil



  • 2012 - 2016 : University of Southampton, MSci Oceanography
  • 2016 - 2017 : Games Workshop, Sales Assisstant, Southampton
  • 2017 - Present : University of East Anglia, PhD Student - NEXUSS - Using Autonomous Platforms to map Ocean Mixing

Supervisory Team

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 14 - Life Below Water

Education/Academic qualification

Master in Science, Southampton Solent University

27 Sep 201214 Jun 2016

Award Date: 14 Jun 2017

External positions

Sales Assisstant, Games Workshop

1 Jun 201631 Aug 2017


  • Physics
  • Oceanography
  • Microstructure
  • Gliders
  • Temperature

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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