Stephanie Waterman

Associate Professor

ESB 3053
(604) 827-2665

I am a sea-going physical oceanographer with research interests in process studies related to ocean dynamics. I am particularly interested in scale interactions, and I like to consider the inter-relationships between various components of the oceanic circulation at different time and length scales, and hence governed by different physics. Further, I investigate the implications of these interactions for the large-scale circulation and the ocean's role in the climate system. One example is how features of the large-scale circulation, like the Gulf Stream jet, interact with the smaller-scale mesoscale eddy field, the "weather systems" of the ocean. Other examples are how the internal wave field on sub-eddy scales couples to smaller-scale turbulent motions, and how waves and turbulence are modulated by the larger-scale background flow.

I approach the study of oceanic processes from both observational and theoretical perspectives. The methods I employ include targeted field observations, observational data analysis, idealised process modelling, analytical analysis, and laboratory studies. Broadly, I make and interpret process-targeted observations, and develop and study simplified physical and mathematical models of ocean processes. The ultimate goals are to observe the real world system, identify the important physical processes underpinning a particular phenomena, and reduce their complexity to the most basic physical models that capture the essential physics. It is from study of these theoretical models that understanding of the physical mechanisms is ultimately gained.

My specific research interests are in

  • Arctic oceanography, in particular lateral & vertical mixing and their role in shelf-basin exchange.
  • Southern ocean dynamics, in particular the role of mesoscale & sub-mesoscale processes.
  • Western boundary current jets & their recirculation gyres, in particular the role of eddy fluxes in these systems.
  • Geophysical fluid dynamics, in particular jets, eddies & scale interactions.

For more information, see

- B.Sc. Engineering Physics, Queen's University, Kingston, Canada.  2001.
- M.Sc. Aeronautics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA. 2002.
- Ph.D. Physical Oceanography, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  (WHOI) Joint Program, Woods Hole, USA. 2009.
- Research Associate, Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Imperial College, London, UK. 2009 - 2012.
- Research Fellow, School of Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK. 2009 - 2012.
- 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.
- Assistant Professor, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver,
  Canada. 2014-present.

PDFs and RAs

  • Postdoctoral Fellow

Graduate Students

  • PhD Oceanography
  • MSc Oceanography
  • MSc