Susan Allen

Professor

ESB 3017
(604) 822-2828
Accepting students
faculty

I am a physical oceanographer with skills in fluid mechanics including scaling, analytics, laboratory and numerical modeling.  My areas of application include coastal oceanography, mesoscale meteorology and biogeochemical-physical interactions in the ocean.

My largest scholarly contributions have been to 1) understanding flow over and around topography and particularly canyons, and the resulting impacts on cross-shelf exchange. I have also made significant contributions to 2) biological-physical interactions and in particular the impact of surface processes on the timing of the phytoplankton spring bloom and 3) in collaboration with D. Steyn, I have contributed to the study of atmosphere buoyancy driven flows in the mountains. 4) Lastly, I work in an interdisciplinary oceanography group within the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences. As a community member I have contributed in a number of fields, usually applying my modeling or analytic skills. If one can create a simple model of a phenomena so much of our intuition and understanding can be illustrated and quantified.

My newest project (since Fall 2013) has been a short-term forecast model for the Salish Sea as part of the Marine Environment Observation, Predication and Response Network of Centres of Excellence.

1) Flow over Topography in the Ocean, particularly Canyon Flows

Long Term Goal: To be able to understand the rotationally dominated flow over topography and quantitatively estimate the cross-bathymetric gradient flows and the scalar fluxes they generate.

2) Biological-physical Interactions and Modeling

Long Term Goal: Produce local models of the lower trophic-level ecology and carbon/oxygen/nitrogen cycles based on both simplified and realistic physical models of local coastal regions. Use these models to investigate the relevant processes that determine primary productivity, carbon fluxes and acidity.

3)  Buoyancy Driven Flows in the Atmosphere

General Goal: Defining and quantifying buoyancy driven flows through and on our local mountains. 

Research Opportunities

Post-doctoral position (1 year): Ecosystem modeller for assessing the impacts of oil spills in the Salish Sea - University of British Columbia

The Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of British Columbia invites applications for a 1-year Postdoctoral Fellow to act as an Ecosystem modeler with UBC for a project on modelling ecosystem impacts of oils spills in the Salish Sea, starting between October and December 2020 (with the option to work part-time for a longer period), at standard postdoc salary rate. This role is part of an international project, funded through the Multi-partner Oil Spill Research Initiative (MPRI), which is developing and using an implementation of the Atlantis end-to-end ecosystem model to explore scenarios for the ecosystem-level impacts of oil spills in the region, in support of risk mitigation and management.

The main role of the postdoc will be to work as an ecosystem modeller using the Atlantis ecosystem model that has been developed by CSIRO and UBC for the Salish Sea ecosystem. Key tasks for the successful candidate will include undertaking training in the use of the Atlantis model, and then working in collaboration with stakeholders, as well as the CSIRO and UBC modelling teams, to implement and evaluate realistic scenarios of possible oil spills on the Salish Sea ecosystem. Outputs and outcomes from the position will include assessments of the ecosystem consequences of potential spill events, evaluation of alternative management strategies to mitigate these impacts, and the development of papers for publication in peer reviewed journals.

This position is an exciting opportunity for an early career researcher with a quantitative/ecosystem or biogeochemical modelling background to gain first-hand experience with the Atlantis model – including through dedicated training with the model’s developers at CSIRO – as well as to work with a leading, multidisciplinary modelling team in the Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences at the University of British Colombia.  Candidates should hold a PhD in Marine Ecosystem Modelling, Quantitative Marine Science, Ocean Biological Modelling or a related discipline with a background in statistics, modelling of marine populations, and programming experience (e.g. in C, Python; R, or Matlab).

The role will be co-supervised by Dr Susan Allen (UBC) and Dr Javier Porobic (CSIRO, Australia), with input from Drs Beth Fulton (CSIRO) and Jess Melbourne-Thomas (CSIRO).

Applications including CV; names, e-mails and phone numbers of three referees; and a short statement (up to 500 words) of research interests and suitability for the position should be sent to Dr. Susan Allen (sallen@eoas.ubc.ca) and Dr. Javier Porobic (Javier.Porobic@csiro.au). The new application deadline is October 9, 2020 but will be extended if a suitable candidate has not been found.

UBC hires on the basis of merit and is strongly committed to equity and diversity within its community. We especially welcome applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and others with the skills and knowledge to productively engage with diverse communities. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Supervisor: 
Susan Allen
Posted: 
September 23, 2020
Deadline: 
October 9, 2020

Zooplankton Ecology & Modelling of the Salish Sea Postdoctoral Fellow

The Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of British Columbia invites applications for a Postdoctoral Fellow in the field of zooplankton ecology and modelling. The successful applicant will conduct research as part of a collaborative group investigating and modelling phytoplankton and zooplankton ecology of the Salish Sea. The candidate will be expected to take a lead role in performing model - data comparisons to evaluate an existing coupled bio-physical model (SalishSeaCast with SMELT salishsea.eos.ubc.ca) in collaboration with zooplankton ecologists in Fisheries and Oceans, Canada and University of Washington. Once the model is evaluated, the candidate will use the model results to determine the drivers of seasonal and interannual variability in zooplankton in the Salish Sea to aid in understanding juvenile salmon survival.  In collaboration with modellers, the candidate will contribute to the development and testing of zooplankton model improvements. Other responsibilities include communications with partners, report preparation, presentation of results at conferences and the publication of research results in peer-reviewed, leading international journals.

Minimum Requirements: A Ph.D. in oceanography or a related field with both expertise in zooplankton ecology and a strong quantitative background. A broad understanding of phytoplankton and zooplankton taxonomic groups is required and knowledge of their life histories and ecologies, including relationships with physical processes is desirable. Programming knowledge with R, python or similar is required and experience handling large spatial data/results sets is preferred. Practice with comparisons using diverse data sets would be an asset; candidates with previous experience in evaluation of plankton models would be ideal. The candidate should have an excellent record of research competence demonstrated by publications in the peer-reviewed international scientific literature. The ideal candidate will be independent, self-motivated, collaborative, have excellent written communication skills, and be well organized. The position is for one-year, renewable for a second year. Preferred start dates are October-December 2020. Salary is dependent upon educational level and experience; the minimum salary is $57,000 per year plus benefits.

Applications, including a CV, copies of two relevant publications, and the names, e-mails and phone numbers of three referees should be sent to Dr. Susan Allen (  ). The new application deadline is October 8, 2020 but will be extended if a suitable candidate has not been found.

UBC hires on the basis of merit and is strongly committed to equity and diversity within its community.  We especially welcome applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and others with the skills and knowledge to productively engage with diverse communities.  All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Supervisor: 
Susan Allen
Posted: 
September 14, 2020
Deadline: 
October 8, 2020

B.Sc. Queen's University (Honours, Physics) (1984)
Ph.D. Cambridge University (1989)
NSERC Industrial Post-doctoral Fellow at Seakem Oceanography Ltd.(1989-1990)
UBC (1990-present)
Sabbaticals : Institute of Ocean Science (1999-2000), IFREMER, Brest, France (2006), IOS (2007), Berkeley (2013, 2014), Technical University of Delft (2014)

Research Staff

Research Software Engineer

PDFs and RAs

Postdoctoral Fellow
Postdoctoral Fellow

Graduate Students

PhD Oceanography
MSc Oceanography
MSc Oceanography
PhD Oceanography
PhD Oceanography
PhD Oceanography
PhD Oceanography
MSc Atmospheric Sciences
MSc Oceanography

2016

Soontiens N, Allen S.E, Latornell D, Le Souef K, Machuca I, Paquin J-P, Lu Y, Thompson K, Korabel V. 2016. Storm Surges in the Strait of Georgia Simulated with a Regional Model. ATMOSPHERE-OCEAN. 54:1-21.

2015

A Wolfe M, Allen S.E, Hodal M, Pawlowicz R, Hunt BPV, Tommasi D. 2015. Impact of advection loss due to wind and estuarine circulation on the timing of the spring phytoplankton bloom in a fjord. ICES Journal of Marine Science: Journal du Conseil. :fsv151.

2014

Tommasi D, Hunt BPV, Allen S.E, Routledge R, Pakhomov EA. 2014. Variability in the vertical distribution and advective transport of eight mesozooplankton taxa in spring in Rivers Inlet, British Columbia, Canada. JOURNAL OF PLANKTON RESEARCH. 36:743-756.

Snauffer EL, Masson D, Allen S.E. 2014. Modelling the dispersal of herring and hake larvae in the Strait of Georgia for the period 2007-2009. FISHERIES OCEANOGRAPHY. 23:375-388.

Le Souef K.E, Allen S.E. 2014. Physical modeling of tidal resonance in a submarine canyon. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS. 119:1324-1343.

Spurgin J.M, Allen S.E. 2014. Flow dynamics around downwelling submarine canyons. OCEAN SCIENCE. 10:799-819.

2013

Howatt T.M, Allen S.E. 2013. Impact of the continental shelf slope on upwelling through submarine canyons. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS. 118:5814-5828.

Allen S.E, Lewis A.G. 2013. LEPEOPHTHEIRUS SALMONIS (KROYER, 1837): SECOND NAUPLIUS AND COPEPODID LOCOMOTOR APPENDAGES, SURFACE AREAS AND POSSIBLE APPENDAGE FUNCTIONS. CRUSTACEANA. 86:1695-1710.

Allen S.E, Wolfe M.A. 2013. Hindcast of the timing of the spring phytoplankton bloom in the Strait of Georgia, 1968-2010. PROGRESS IN OCEANOGRAPHY. 115:6-13.

2012

Lippold J, Luo Y, Francois R, Allen S.E, Gherardi J, Pichat S, Hickey B, Schulz H. 2012. Strength and geometry of the glacial Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. NATURE GEOSCIENCE. 5:813-816.

2011

Swart N.C, Allen S.E, Greenan B.JW. 2011. Resonant amplification of subinertial tides in a submarine canyon. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS. 116

Jackson J.M, Allen S.E, McLaughlin F.A, Woodgate R.A, Carmack E.C. 2011. Changes to the near-surface waters in the Canada Basin, Arctic Ocean from 1993-2009: A basin in transition. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS. 116

Ianson D, Allen S.E, Mackas DL, Trevorrow MV, Benfield MC. 2011. Response of Euphausia pacifica to small-scale shear in turbulent flow over a sill in a fjord. JOURNAL OF PLANKTON RESEARCH. 33:1679-1695.

2010

Jackson J.M, Carmack E.C, McLaughlin F.A, Allen S.E, Ingram R.G. 2010. Identification, characterization, and change of the near-surface temperature maximum in the Canada Basin, 1993-2008. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS. 115

Gherardi J.-M, Luo Y., Francois R., McManus J.F, Allen S.E, Labeyrie L.. 2010. Reply to comment by S. Peacock on ``Glacial-interglacial circulation changes inferred from Pa-231/Th-230 sedimentary record in the North Atlantic region''. PALEOCEANOGRAPHY. 25

Dawe JT, Allen S.E. 2010. Solution convergence of flow over steep topography in a numerical model of canyon upwelling. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS. 115

Allen S.E, Hickey B.M. 2010. Dynamics of advection-driven upwelling over a shelf break submarine canyon. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS. 115

Jackson J.M, Allen S.E, Carmack E.C, McLaughlin F.A. 2010. Suspended particles in the Canada Basin from optical and bottle data, 2003-2008. OCEAN SCIENCE. 6:799-813.

Luo Y., Francois R., Allen S.E. 2010. Sediment Pa-231/Th-230 as a recorder of the rate of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation: insights from a 2-D model. OCEAN SCIENCE. 6:381-400.

Lewis A.G, Johnson C, Allen S.E. 2010. CALANOID COPEPOD THORACIC LEGS-SURFACE AREA VS. BODY SIZE AND POTENTIAL SWIMMING ABILITY, A COMPARISON OF EIGHT SPECIES. CRUSTACEANA. 83:695-713.

2009

A. Collins K, Allen S.E, Pawlowicz R. 2009. The role of wind in determining the timing of the spring bloom in the Strait of Georgia. CANADIAN JOURNAL OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC SCIENCES. 66:1597-1616.

Waterhouse AF, Allen S.E, Bowie AW. 2009. Upwelling flow dynamics in long canyons at low Rossby number. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS. 114

Allen S.E, X. de Madron D. 2009. A review of the role of submarine canyons in deep-ocean exchange with the shelf. OCEAN SCIENCE. 5:607-620.

2008

Luo Y., Francois R., Allen S.E. 2008. Sediment Pa-231/Th-230 as a recorder of the rate of the Atlantic meridional overturning: Insights from a simple 2-D model. GEOCHIMICA ET COSMOCHIMICA ACTA. 72:A575.

2007

Francois R, Frank M, van der Loeff MRutgers, Bacon MP, Geibert W, Kienast S, Anderson RF, Bradtmiller L, Chase Z, Henderson G et al.. 2007. Comment on ``Do geochemical estimates of sediment focusing pass the sediment test in the equatorial Pacific?'' by M. Lyle et al. PALEOCEANOGRAPHY. 22

Reuten C., Steyn D.G, Allen S.E. 2007. Water tank studies of atmospheric boundary layer structure and air pollution transport in upslope flow systems. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-ATMOSPHERES. 112

2006

Amundrud TL, Melling H, Ingram RG, Allen S.E. 2006. The effect of structural porosity on the ablation of sea ice ridges. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS. 111

Lewis A.G, Allen S.E, Martens G. 2006. Rapid swimming and the median intersomitic ridge in calanoid copepods. CRUSTACEANA. 79:501-511.

2005

Mirshak R, Allen S.E. 2005. Spin-up and the effects of a submarine canyon: Applications to upwelling in Astoria Canyon. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS. 110

2004

Allen S.E. 2004. Restrictions on deep flow across the shelf-break and the role of submarine canyons in facilitating such flow. SURVEYS IN GEOPHYSICS. 25:221-247.

2003

Hickey BM, Dobbins EL, Allen S.E. 2003. Local and remote forcing of currents and temperature in the central Southern California Bight. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS. 108

Allen S.E, Dinniman MS, Klinck JM, Gorby DD, Hewett AJ, Hickey BM. 2003. On vertical advection truncation errors in terrain-following numerical models: Comparison to a laboratory model for upwelling over submarine canyons. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS. 108

Ianson D, Allen S.E, Harris SL, Orians KJ, Varela DE, Wong CS. 2003. The inorganic carbon system in the coastal upwelling region west of Vancouver Island, Canada. DEEP-SEA RESEARCH PART I-OCEANOGRAPHIC RESEARCH PAPERS. 50:1023-1042.

2002

Ianson D, Allen S.E. 2002. A two-dimensional nitrogen and carbon flux model in a coastal upwelling region. GLOBAL BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLES. 16

Benson AJ, McFarlane GA, Allen S.E, Dower JF. 2002. Changes in Pacific hake (Merluccius productus) migration patterns and juvenile growth related to the 1989 regime shift. CANADIAN JOURNAL OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC SCIENCES. 59:1969-1979.

Carrasco AC, Allen S.E, LeBlond PH. 2002. Semi-diurnal internal wave diffraction caused by Dixon Entrance, British Columbia. ATMOSPHERE-OCEAN. 40:405-422.

2001

Allen S.E, Vindeirinho C, Thomson RE, Foreman MGG, Mackas DL. 2001. Physical and biological processes over a submarine canyon during an upwelling event. CANADIAN JOURNAL OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC SCIENCES. 58:671-684.

2000

Thomson RE, Allen S.E. 2000. Time series acoustic observations of macrozooplankton diel migration and associated pelagic fish abundance. CANADIAN JOURNAL OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC SCIENCES. 57:1919-1931.

Keen TR, Allen S.E. 2000. The generation of internal waves on the continental shelf by Hurricane Andrew. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS. 105:26203-26224.

Allen S.E. 2000. On subinertial flow in submarine canyons: Effect of geometry. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS. 105:1285-1297.

1998

Finnigan TD, Allen S.E, Lawrence GA. 1998. Physical modeling of an outflow event in Howe Sound, British Columbia. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-ATMOSPHERES. 103:3937-3950.

1997

Allen S.E, Hsieh WW. 1997. How does the El Nino-generated coastal current propagate past the Mendocino escarpment? JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS. 102:24977-24985.

Allen S.E, Stockie JM, Austin PH. 1997. An interactive course in numerical methods for the earth sciences. BULLETIN OF THE AMERICAN METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY. 78:1503-1509.

Finnigan TD, Allen S.E, Lawrence GA, Steyn DG, Jackson PL, Zhu DZ. 1997. A physical model of outflow winds in Howe Sound, British Columbia. 12TH SYMPOSIUM ON BOUNDARY LAYERS AND TURBULENCE. :506-507.

1996

Shore JA, Allen S.E. 1996. Weakly nonlinear oscillatory flow over an isolated seamount. ATMOSPHERE-OCEAN. 34:515-547.

Chen XY, Allen S.E. 1996. The influence of canyons on shelf currents: A theoretical study. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS. 101:18043-18059.

Allen S.E. 1996. Rossby adjustment over a slope in a homogeneous fluid. JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL OCEANOGRAPHY. 26:1646-1654.

Allen S.E. 1996. Topographically generated, subinertial flows within a finite length canyon. JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL OCEANOGRAPHY. 26:1608-1632.

1994

Finnigan TD, VINE JA, Jackson PL, Allen S.E, Lawrence GA, Steyn DG. 1994. HYDRAULIC PHYSICAL MODELING AND OBSERVATIONS OF A SEVERE GAP WIND. MONTHLY WEATHER REVIEW. 122:2677-2687.

Finnigan TD, Allen S.E, Lawrence GA. 1994. Hydraulic analysis of outflow winds in Howe Sound, British Columbia. SIXTH CONFERENCE ON MESOSCALE PROCESSES. :463-466.

1993

Allen S.E, Thomson RE. 1993. BOTTOM-TRAPPED SUBINERTIAL MOTIONS OVER MIDOCEAN RIDGES IN A STRATIFIED ROTATING FLUID. JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL OCEANOGRAPHY. 23:566-581.