Stephanie Waterman

Associate Professor

ESB 3053
(604) 827-2665

Mixing processes in the oceans play a fundamental role in setting the global distribution of heat, energy, chemicals and marine organisms, and are directly linked to climate dynamics. Yet, there exists fundamental uncertainty in the rates and mechanisms of ocean mixing across a variety of spatial and temporal scales. Our research employs both traditional and novel theoretical and observational tools to quantify ocean turbulence and mixing rates, and gain insight into the mechanistic processes driving them at both large and small scales.

Current Interests:

  • Ocean turbulence & ocean mixing from observational & theoretical perspectives
  • Arctic oceanography, in particular the rates, mechanisms and impacts of mixing in this unique mixing environment
  • Shelf-basin exchange, in particular mechanisms that deliver deep ocean water to the coastal ocean and modify it en route, with a specific focus on the delivery of low-oxygen, acidic NE Pacific waters to the coastal ecosystems of British Columbia​
  • Glacier-ocean interactions, in particular how melting glaciers impact coastal ocean physics, chemistry and biology
  • Autonomous ocean observing, in particular ocean gliders and the autonomous measurement of ocean turbulence
  • Geophysical fluid dynamics, in particular jets, eddies, internal waves, scale interactions & mixing + parameterizations for turbulence & mixing
  • Climate change education, in particular climate literacy for non-specialists


  • Ph.D. Physical Oceanography, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Joint Program, Woods Hole, USA. 2009.
  • M.Sc. Aeronautics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA. 2002.
  • B.Sc. Engineering Physics, Queen's University, Kingston, Canada.  2001.

Professional Experience​​​

  • Visiting Academic, Atmospheric, Oceanic & Planetary Physics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK. 2022 - 2023.
  • Associate Professor, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. 2021 - present.
  • Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Ocean Turbulence, 2018 - 2023.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. 2014 - 2021.
  • Research Fellow and Associate Investigator, Climate Change Research Centre and ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. 2012 - 2013.
  • Research Fellow, School of Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK. 2009 - 2012.
  • Research Associate, Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Imperial College, London, UK. 2009 - 2012.

Select Awards & Distinctions

  • Killam Faculty Research Fellowship, UBC, 2022-2023
  • Charles A. McDowell Award for Excellence in Research, UBC, 2022
  • Killam Teaching Prize, UBC, 2021
  • Discovery Accelerator Supplement, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, 2020
  • Canada Research Chair (Tier II), Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat, 2018
  • Early Career Ocean Scientist Award, Canadian National Committee for the international Scientific Committee on Ocean Research (SCOR), 2016
  • Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in Ocean Sciences, 2015
  • Ruth and Paul Fye Award for Excellence in Oceanographic Research, 2015
  • Discovery Early Career Researcher Award, Australian Research Council, 2012


PDFs and RAs

  • Postdoctoral Fellow

Graduate Students

  • PhD Oceanography
  • MSc Oceanography
  • MSc