Faculty of Science

UNSW School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Coastal and Regional Oceanography Lab

Towards an integrated understanding of boundary current systems

Media Coverage, News and other Announcements

Bluebottle Watch on ABC radio Illawarra

March 2024

Dr. Amandine Schaeffer spoke on ABC radio Illawarra this morning (20 March) to discuss the BluebottleWatch project. Dr. Schaeffer is leading the BlueBottleWatch project, along with Surf Life Saving Australia researcher Dr. Jaz Lawes.

The project aims to develop an online tool that will warn beachgoers about the likelihood of bluebottles invading the beach. This will hopefully reduce the number of stings treated by surf lifesavers, which presently is more than 40,000 around Australia every year.

Extreme Ocean Temperatures: Prof. Moninya Roughan interviewed on ABC

March 2024

The start of autumn has delivered extreme heat to NSW land and ocean. There has been a spell of abnormal heat lasting 10 days, with many inland regions exceeding 5C above average. Sydney's average maximum this month was 3.5C above the long-term average.

The waters off NSW are also extremely warm, with temperatures exceeding the 90th percentile: a threshold that is used to define marine heatwaves. Prof. Moninya Roughan was asked to comment on the abnormal ocean conditions for an ABC News and Guardian article, and was interviewed live on air by ABC news (see video below). Prof. Roughan also spoke live on ABC illawarra and ABC Darwin radio.

Recording of ABC News live stream on Youtube

Sea surface temperature anomalies and percentiles on 8 March 2024 (IMOS Oceancurrent).

Welcome Siyi!

March 2024

A warm welcome to Siyi Song! a new PhD student starting in the lab. Siyi will focus on the generation mechanism, seasonal changes, and interactions of the eddies in the East Australian Current region. Siyi graduated from the Ocean University of China with a bachelor's degree, and will be based at UNSW Sydney for the next 3+ years working with her supervisors Prof. Moninya Roughan and Dr. Junde Li.

Prof. Moninya Roughan receives the RSNSW Clarke Medal

March 2024

Prof. Moninya Roughan received the Royal Society of NSW Clarke Medal last week. The award was presented at Parliament House by her excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC. and Dr Susan M Pond AM FRSN FTSE FAHMS, president of the Royal Society.

The award is made for distinguished research in any area of the sciences affecting the planet (excluding Medical, Veterinary, Agricultural and Environmental sciences) that is conducted in Australia and its territories.

The Clarke Medal is the oldest and most prestigious medal awarded by the Royal Society of NSW, which itself is the oldest learned society in the Southern Hemisphere. Moninya joins a stellar list of scientists including Richard Owen, Thomas Huxley, Fredrick Hutton, Douglas Mawson, and Emma Johnston.

Photos taken by Salty Dingo.

Ocean Science Meeting in New Orleans

February 2024

Prof. Moninya Roughan and Dr. Veronique Lago presented their work at the AGU Ocean Science meeting in New Orleans this month. Nearly 6,000 scientists from around the world attended, which offered a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues. Moninya presented a poster on Ocean warming, trends and marine extremes, while Veronique presented her work with the FishSOOP project.

Following the Ocean Science meeting, Prof. Moninya Roughan and Dr. Veronique Lago met with international collaborators for a Fishing Vessel Observation Network (FVON) workshop. FVON has been officially endorsed by the UNESCO Ocean Decade as an action part of a global effort towards better knowledge of our oceans.

Left: Moninya's poster description, Right: Vero presenting FishSOOP.

Transforming Ghana Fisheries with Moana Ocean Temperature Sensors

February 2024

A new video has been published highlighting the challenges faced by fisheries in Ghana due to declining catches. In this video, co-founder of Ocean Data Network, Carlos Castro Muniain, introduces the ZebraTech Moana temperature sensor (as used by FishSOOP) that provides near-realtime data on oceanographic conditions. These data are useful for empowering fishers with valuable insights for smarter and more sustainable fishing.

Associate Professor Shane Keating discusses waves on ABC podcast

February 2024

Associate Professor Shane Keating joined Suzanne Hill on the ABC Nightlife podcast to talk about waves and other mathematics. He answered questions on tsunamis, surf forecasts, and even managed to fit in a bit of card sorting mathematics.

You can listen to the podcast here.

Invitation to Contribute Articles to Oceanography Supplement: Western Boundary Theme

February 2024

In December 2024, The Oceanography Society is set to release the third supplement to Oceanography magazine, focusing on "Frontiers in Ocean Observing". The society is seeking initial interest in contributing short articles to this open-access supplement, and there is no cost to authors for publishing.

This supplement will comprise of articles that fall under various themes. Lab leader Prof. Moninya Roughan is a guest editor for theme 3: Western Boundary Currents and Their Impacts on Shelf Seas.

Letters of interest should be emailed to Oceanography Editor Ellen Kappel (ekappel@geo-prose.com ) by March 15, 2024, and should contain the following:

Notice of whether you will be invited to contribute an article will be sent by April 15, 2024. More information about this supplement availablehere.

BluebottleWatch Fieldwork off Botany Bay

January 2024

BluebottleWatch French collaborators joined the Sydney team in January 2024 to test 3D-printed Bluebottle models that they designed in real ocean conditions. The fieldwork off Botany Bay was a great success, with the bluebottle models equipped with GPS and satellite communication systems being deployed and received over multiple days under varied weather and sea states.

The observations will now be analysed, with an aim to create a lagrangian model depicting Bluebottle movement (speed and direction) resulting from winds and currents. This model will then be integrated into ocean circulation models to understand the origin and variability of Bluebottles.

Left: deployment of Bluebottle-like models and classic ocean drifters equipped with GPS trackers (photo by Amandine), Right: the Bluebottle Watch team (photo by Dan Hewitt).

Underwater gliders sample extreme low salinity (Conversation article and ABC News)

January 2024

New research led by Dr. Neil Malan and including contributions from lab members Prof. Moninya Roughan and Dr. Michael Hemming show that extreme rainfall in 2022 (the wettest year on record) led to freshwater plumes that extended further out from the coast than was previously thought possible. These plumes were 50 m deep, and remained offshore for months. A new 'double-stacking' dynamic was also observed resulting from the multiple rainfall events in 2022.

This research used data from 36 autonomous ocean glider missions over 13 years, and salinity observations at the Port Hacking 100 m depth mooring site. Such events may become more common as extreme rainfall events are projected to become more frequent as a consequence of climate change, hence continued observations are vital.

Dr Neil Malan and Prof. Moninya Roughan co-wrote a Conversation article on this work, and Neil also appeared on National ABC Breakfast.

Bottom-left: Plumes of floodwater pushed far out to sea during the 2022 floods. This image shows the Hunter River on April 11 2022. NASA Earth Observatory, CC BY-ND.

Lab visit to WRL-UNSW facilites

December 2023

This week, a lab trip took place to visit the Water Research Lab - UNSW, located at the foot of Manly Dam. Professor Mitchell Harley kindly conducted a tour around the facilities of the oldest lab of its kind in Australia, with a history spanning more than 60 years.

For more details about what WRL does, you can visit the Water Research Laboratory website.

Different types of experiments are currently being conducted at WRL, with some of them in partnership with BEES.

Prof. Moninya Roughan showcasing the lab's research at the UNSW DVC Research & Enterprise strategy day

November 2023

Lab leader Prof. Moninya Roughan presented the lab's research at the UNSW DVC Research & Enterprise strategy day last week (30th November). Moninya explained how ocean eddies drive extreme "ocean weather" off New South Wales, bringing in masses of warm water which sometimes persist for months.

Moninya also presented how data collected during the recent RV Investigator cruise will help in understanding how these eddies behave, and how the fishing industry is contributing data through citizen science approaches (FishSOOP).

Photographs taken by Jackie Randles at the UNSW DVC Research & Enterprise Strategy Day (LinkedIn).

Congratulations to Prof. Moninya Roughan on the award of the Clarke Medal and Lectureship in Earth Sciences from the Royal Society of NSW

November 2023

This award is made for distinguished research in any area of the sciences affecting the planet (excluding Medical, Veterinary, Agricultural and Environmental sciences) that is conducted in Australia and its territories.

The Clarke Medal is the oldest and most prestigious medal awarded by the Royal Society of NSW, which itself is the oldest learned society in the Southern Hemisphere. Moninya joins a stellar list of scientists including Richard Owen, Thomas Huxley, Fredrick Hutton, Douglas Mawson, and Emma Johnston.

For more details you can read more here.

RV Investigator Voyage video

November 2023

A video summarising the RV Investigator voyage last month is now publicly available on the UNSW Community Youtube Channel. This video, created by Bella Charlesworth (communications officer onboard), explains the importance of this cruise and provides a glimpse of what life was like onboard.

Lab return while monster eddy is forming off Sydney

November 2023

Lab members onboard the RV Investigator returned home today (November 2nd) after 24 days at Sea. During this time essential data was collected for understanding eddies and currents off southeastern Australia. And to the lab's suprise the ship was welcomed back to Sydney by a Humpback whale!

As the lab members returned, a monster warm-core eddy was forming 50 km offshore threatening to raise ocean temperatures close to Sydney over the next days to weeks. Using ship data, and deployed drifters and Argo floats, they estimated that the 400 km wide eddy holds 30% more heat than normal for this part of the ocean, and determined that its currents are moving at 8km an hour and temperatures deep underwater are up to 3 degrees celsius above normal.

For more details you can read the conversation article written by Prof. Moninya Roughan, Dr. Amandine Schaeffer, Dr. Junde Li, and Associate Prof. Shane Keating, which was also picked up by the Guardian, Swellnet, Timeout, UNSW News Room, and Mirage News.

(top-left) Lab members departing the ship, (top-right) Humpback whale spotted close to the ship (photo credit: Dr. Vanessa Pirotta), (bottom-left) RV Investigator (photo credit: Dr. Vanessa Pirotta), (bottom-right) the monster eddy as seen by satellite on IMOS ocean current.

Mid-voyage update

October 2023

Lab members onboard the RV Investigator have so far sampled two distinct eddies and crossed multiple fronts with an aim to understand how oceanic eddies are structured, how they interact with one another, how they interact with the shelf, and what happens in eddy fronts. They have been busy using the ship's Triaxus towed system and have undertaken multiple CTD profiles. Additionally, they have deployed drifters, radiosondes and Argo floats (including a biogeochemical one).

The voyage is a large interdisciplinary effort supported by several IMOS data streams. Read more here.

(Left) Getting ready to deploy the Biogeochemical Argo float from L-R Craig Hanstein, Pete Strutton and Moninya Roughan. Image Credit: Linda Gaskell, CSIRO MNF. (Right) Deploying the Biogeochemical Argo float. Image Credit: Bella Charlesworth (UNSW).

RV Investigator departs from Sydney

October 2023

Today (9th October) the RV Investigator departed from the White Bay cruise terminal to investigate eddies in waters off New South Wales. The ship's inhabitants, including many members of the lab, took in the sights of Sydney's skyline including the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

Fair winds and following seas on your journey. May you have a safe and smooth voyage!

To follow cruise updates keep an eye out for the #RVInvestigator hashtag on X/Twitter.

Screenshots from the RV Investigator webcam.

The RV Investigator departing sydney (photos taken by Stuart Milburn).

Full steam ahead for RV Investigator Eddy Mission

October 2023

This month lab members will board the RV Investigator to investigate the dynamics of eddies, their associated air-sea fluxes and impact on biological productivity, and to collect data useful for prediction.

Chief Scientist Prof. Moninya Roughan has been interviewed by the ABC, Sydney Morning Herald, and appeared on 7 News to speak on the importance of this cruise, while cruise investigator Prof. Shane Keating and Moninya have also written an article for The conversation.

The RV Investigator docked at White Bay Cruise Terminal a week ahead of departure. During this time members of the public were given the opportunity to take a peek inside the ship. UNSW science and other media groups also took part in a tour.

Welcome Cuong, Marina, Gaby and Xiaowen!

September 2023

And the UNSW Coastal and Regional Oceanography Lab is expanding! A brief introducion of our new members:

Cuong is a post-doc, with expertise on coastal ocean dynamics, using observations and modeling output to explain key processes driving changes in the ocean. Cuong earned his Ph.D. at the University of Littoral Cote d'Opale, where he investigated the dynamics of the Gulf of Tonkin and evaluated the effects of fine-scale processes on particulate material and phytoplankton distribution.

Post-doc Marina, is delving into the complexities of eddies and their interactions within the East Australian Current system. In the past, Marina's research included post-doctoral work at the University of East Anglia (UEA), where she studied air-sea interaction and extreme precipitation events in the eastern Indian Ocean, as well as completing her Ph.D. on the dynamics of Antarctic coastal currents.

The physical oceanographer Gaby, now with a post-doc position focusing on coastal ocean dynamics and bio-physical interactions, applies Lagrangian particle tracking models to study marine connectivity. In her previous role at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in Liverpool, UK, Gaby conducted research on various environmental issues, including plastics pollution and marine ecosystems resilience. She holds a Ph.D. in biological oceanography and an MSc in physical oceanography.

Xiaowen, currently pursuing her Ph.D. at the Coastal and Regional Oceanography program at UNSW, focuses on ocean data processing and the large-scale effects of ocean waves. Her work involves high-resolution processing of ocean wave model data and the utilization of non-stationary sea surface temperature data to predict wave patterns. Xiaowen's academic journey began at the Ocean University of China.

A warm welcome to our new lab members!

First row, starting from the left: Cuong, Marina and Gaby. Second row: Xiaowen.

UNSW Coastal and Regional Oceanography Lab launches SEA-COFS

September 2023

A suite of high resolution hydrodynamic ocean models for south eastern Australia that form the South East Australian Coastal Ocean Forecast System (SEA-COFS).

You access the dataset here and can also find it alongside other datasets on our Publications/Dataset webpage here.

Marine Heatwaves - The Conversation Article

September 2023

Amandine Schaeffer, Alex Sen Gupta, and Prof. Moninya Roughan's Article on MHWs in The Conversation received wide coverage, following publication of scientific research in the Nature Journal; Communications Earth & Environment.

Marine Heat Waves are prolonged periods of unusually high marine temperatures, and can occur in surface or sub-surface waters. They are a relatively recently studied phenomenom which look to be increasing in frequency and intensity as a result of climate change. The commonly used definition is that of Hobday et al 2015: A hierarchical approach to defining marine heatwaves "Specifically, we consider an anomalously warm event to be a MHW if it lasts for five or more days, with temperatures warmer than the 90th percentile based on a 30-year historical baseline period".

MHW Mechanisms

Nature Article - Seasonal stratification and complex local dynamics control the sub-surface structure of marine heatwaves in Eastern Australian coastal waters. [DOI] [PDF] 
Citation: Schaeffer, A., Sen Gupta, A. & Roughan, M. Seasonal stratification and complex local dynamics control the sub-surface structure of marine heatwaves in Eastern Australian coastal waters. Commun Earth Environ 4, 304 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-023-00966-4

Additional Links:
UNSW Newsroom
Nature: Communications Earth & Environment

FishSOOP in the news

August 2023

New FRDC project FishSOOP was featured in IMOS news this month. This collaborative pilot project, led by Dr. Véronique Lago and Prof. Moninya Roughan, is working with fishers to collect real-time ocean observations where they matter most. IMOS is a partner of this Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) funded pilot project (2022-007) with Fishwell Consulting and the University of New South Wales.

You can read this news article here.

Bluebottle Podcast

August 2023

Early career researcher, Maxime Arnoud, who visited the lab in 2023, has featured in a Boiling Point Science podcast episode to talk about Bluebottles.

You can find this episode on Spotify here.

Welcome Daniel Hewitt!

August 2023

New biological oceanographer Daniel Hewitt started his position this month. Dan is working to predict the occurrence of bluebottles (Physalia physalis) on Australian beaches for the BlueBottleWatch project. His focus is using a combination of observations (e.g., sightings), ocean observations and hydrodynamic model outputs to develop statistical models that can forecast 'sting risk' for beachgoers.

He recently completed his PhD at UNSW in collaboration with NSW DPI Fisheries, where he used a combination of acoustic telemetry and biophysical modelling to investigate aspects of the fisheries ecology of Giant Mud Crab (Scylla serrata) in southeast Australia.

Welcome to the lab, Dan!

Successful Servicing of the Sydney Moorings

August 2023

Field technicians Tim Austin, Stuart Milburn and Zac Anderson successfully serviced the Sydney moorings (SYD100, SYD140, PH100) this month via the DPI Fisheries boat Solitary Ranger. This was their first servicing of the moorings without Clive Holden (Oceanographic Field Services) who has been servicing these moorings for 10+ years, and the NSW-IMOS technicians will continue to service these moorings into the foreseeable future.

This was also a great opportunity to compare temperature measured by the MOANA sensors (used for the FishSOOP project) with the other deployed sensors.

Fieldwork photographs taken by Tim, Stuart and Zac.

AMSA Conference in the Gold Coast

July 2023

Prof. Moninya Roughan and past/present team members Michael Hemming, Fernando Sobral, Neil Malan, Colette Kerry and David Gwyther presented their work this month at the Australian Marine Society Association (AMSA) 2023 conference in the Gold Coast, Australia.

The following Posters and talks were presented at the conference:

  • Moninya (Poster): Observed Multi-decadal Sub-surface Trends in Coastal Waters Adjacent to the East Australian Current
  • Moninya (talk): KEYNOTE: Ocean warming, trends and marine extremes in the East Australian Current System: A synthesis of current knowledge
  • Neil (poster): The influence of mesoscale circulation on chlorophyll concentrations in the East Australian Current separation zone
  • Neil (talk): Observed double-stacking of low salinity layers off southeast Australia associated with extreme rainfall events
  • Michael (poster): Monitoring Coastal Waters Adjacent to the EAC using High-resolution Ocean Time Series collected since 2006 (NSW-IMOS)
  • Michael (talk): New Open Access Multi-decadal Ocean Temperature Marine Heatwave Data Products
  • Fernando (talk): Mean State And Intra-Annual Variability In Temperature Structure and Heat Transport In The East Australian Current System
  • Colette (talk): Towards a high-resolution coastal ocean forecast for southeastern Australia: What could it mean for you?
  • David (talk): How does 4DVar data assimilation affect the vertical representation of mesoscale eddies?

Photographs taken during the conference.

Comments on New Marine Heatwave Study

June 2023

Dr Amandine Schaeffer commented on a new marine heatwave study showcased in AGU's science news magazine Eos this month. This new study, led by Dr. Dillon Amaya (Physical Sciences Laboratory, NOAA, USA), discovered that more intense, longer-lasting marine heat waves can effect bottom depths independently from the surface.

Amandine pointed out that this new study is not the first to measure marine heat waves below the surface, as there are previous smaller-scale studies near Australia and in the tropical western Pacific. This new study "shows the need for subsurface understanding and subsurface observations to really see what's happening in terms of extremes below the surface", Amandine said.

Successful Newcastle Radar Calibration

May 2023

Oceanographic field technicians Tim Austin and Zac Anderson visited the Coastal Ocean Dynamics Applications Radar (CODAR) sites close to Newcastle last week for calibration of the systems. During the calibration process, a transponder and portable aerial were used to triangulate the transmission (TX) and reception (RX) aerials of the CODAR systems, which enabled the truthing and refinement of their measurements. This involved navigating a vessel offshore to various locations along the perimeter of the aerials' range.

Thank you Tim and Zac!

Fieldwork photographs taken by Tim and Zac.

Welcome Luke Matisons!

May 2023

Luke Matisons started his PhD this month. He is studying the dispersal characteristics of eddies in the EAC using drifters and Lagrangian particle tracking to better understand the impacts mesoscale and submesoscale dynamics have on the populations of marine organisms.

Before starting his PhD, Luke completed his Bsc (Honours) at Murdoch University in Western Australia where he studied the relationship between neuston assemblages (e.g., fish and lobster larvae) and regional and mesoscale oceanography. He also has experience working in the Indian Ocean as part of the second International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE-2).

Welcome to the lab Luke!

Ocean Warming: Professor Moninya Roughan Conversation Article and Interview

May 2023

Professor Moninya Roughan has published an article in the Conversation on the unusually warm global oceans this month. She explains how the triple La Nina is over, meaning we are likely to see El Nino develop enabling warmer temperatures. This El Nino-Southern Oscillation cycle is occuring amid the constant rise in temperature associated with anthropogenic climate change, and is the reason why the Pacific Ocean is abnormally warm.

You can read the Conversation article here.

Professor Roughan has also given four interviews on the recent warm waters off New South Wales. She has spoken to 2GB, ABC National Drive, ABC NSW North East, and ABC NSW South East, and introduced the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) and its role in understanding ocean temperatures.

Welcome Zac Anderson!

April 2023

New technician, Zac Anderson, started his position this month. Zac will be involved with maintenance of the NSW-IMOS moored scientific arrays, including setup, deployment and recovery of oceanographic instrumentation (ADCP, Seabird CTDs, Aquatech PTs, acoustic releases etc.), as well as data processing, data quality control and data management.

He previously worked for five years as a Physical Oceanography Research Technician for the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS), where he was often chief scientist on research cruises and was responsible for processing and releasing quality-controlled CTD data.

The QAQC summit 2023 at SIMS and 10+ Years of Service

March 2023

The IMOS Quality Assurance and Quality Control summit was held for the first time in person since 2019 at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science between March 27-29. Technicians, researchers, and leaders from multiple IMOS mooring nodes met to discuss topics such as mooring data products, mooring configurations, quality control procedures, and the IMOS toolbox.

Moninya, Stuart, Tim and Michael attended the summit. Moninya and Michael gave an update on mooring data collection, data products, and a new automatically-generated report, while Tim provided training of the MATLAB toolbox.

Summit attendees on day 1 (left), and on day 2 (right).

IMOS colleagues were acknowledged for 10+ years of service at the summit, including lab members Tim and Stuart. On March 29th, Moninya, Tim and Stuart also attended a UNSW-organised event to celebrate 10+ years of service at UNSW. Over the years Moninya has led the NSW-IMOS node and the Coastal and Regional Oceanography Lab, playing an integral part in areas such as research, management, and teaching (to name a few). Tim and Stuart have been key in collecting ocean data off NSW through active participation in glider/mooring planning, recoveries and deployments. Thank you for your contributions over the years!

Tim Austin (left), Moninya Roughan (middle), and Stuart Milburn (right).

Farewell to Taku Wagawa after 6 months at UNSW

March 2023

Lab members met at Coogee for a BBQ to bid Taku and his family farewell after 6 months at UNSW. Taku has been collaborating with lab members to investigate EAC characteristics and dynamics using glider and mooring observations. Taku has now returned back to the Japan Sea National Research Institute where he Will continue to collaborate with the lab remotely.

A typical Australian BBQ was ideal for celebrating his contribution over the last 6 months!

Bluebottles at the Ocean Lovers Festival

Bluebottles at the Ocean Lovers Festival

March 2023

BluebottleWatch, led by Amandine Schaeffer, was on display during the Ocean Lovers Festival at Bondi beach.

Primary and high-school students, as well as the general public, were able to learn more about the bluebottle's handedness (see BluebottleWatch webpage for more details), observe how 3D-printed bluebottle models in a tank move in response to wind forcing, and discover how they can use the citizen science project to record their encounter with bluebottles. We hope to see your bluebottles photos there soon!

Left: Amandine attending the BluebottleWatch booth at the Ocean Lovers festival. Right: Talks presented at the festival, including one on the BluebottleWatch project.

Recognising 10+ years of IMOS service

Recognising 10+ years of IMOS service

March 2023

Lab leader Prof. Moninya Roughan, as well as other ocean scientists from around Australia, were recognised by IMOS for their 10+ years of service at an IMOS annual meeting in Melbourne.

Moninya adds - "I am extremely proud of the contribution the team have made to ocean observing since 2007. What an amazing community."

Moninya collecting her prize at the IMOS annual meeting in Melbourne.

Legendary data collectors, Tim Austin and Stuart Milburn, have also celebrated 10+ years service for IMOS. Their invaluable contributions have been the bedrock of many studies on the EAC.

Tim Austin (Left) and Stuart Milburn (right)

Tim and Stuart have been acknowledged by IMOS in the marine matters magazine for working tirelessly to maintain the continuity of NSW-IMOS mooring data during the Covid-19 period.

The IMOS Marine Matters magazine is accessible here.

Professor Moninya Roughan interview for The Sydney Morning Herald

Professor Moninya Roughan interview for The Sydney Morning Herald

February 2023

Lab leader Prof. Moninya Roughan was interviewed by the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) on the topic of Sydney's recent warm waters. Parts of the ocean off south-east Australia are around three degrees warmer than average. Ocean temperatures around Sydney have been consistently above the monthly average of 24.8 degrees.

The SMH article is accessible here.

Warm Ocean Temperatures off Sydney (Ocean Currents).

Dr. Neil Malan on South East NSW Breakfast

Dr. Neil Malan on South East NSW Breakfast

February 2023

Lab member Dr. Neil Malan joined Simon Launder on ABC South East NSW Breakfast to talk about the unusually warm waters off Narooma. The EAC has extended much further south than usual, leading to a marine heatwave stretching from Port Stephens in the north to Narooma in the south.

The interview is available here at around the 2 hr 10 min mark.

Left: Dr. Neil Malan, Right: MHW off NSW coast (Ocean Currents)


Neil was asked to join ABC South East NSW Breakfast again a few weeks later to speak about the ongoing high temperatures off the south coast and the recent glider deployment between Sydney and Batemans Bay.

The interview is available here at around the 38 min mark.

Welcome Dr. Véronique Lago!

Welcome Dr. Véronique Lago!

January 2023

New postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Véronique Lago, started her research position this month. Véronique is working on the Fish-SOOP program in collaboration with the fishing industry to put Moana temperature sensors on fishing equipments. Prior to this position, Véronique worked as a post-doctoral scientist at the Climate Change Research Centre at the UNSW looking at the effect of the newest estimates in Antarctic ice sheet melting on the Antarctic Bottom Water formation.

Welcome to the lab!

Prof. Moninya Roughan attending AGU 2022

Prof. Moninya Roughan attending AGU 2022

December 2022

Lab leader Prof. Moninya Roughan attended the AGU Fall Meeting 2022 in Chicago last week. She presented one oral presentation on the drivers of ocean warming in southern hemisphere western boundary currents (work led by lab member Junde Li), and two posters: one on marine heat waves and their drivers in the Tasman Sea (work led by lab member Yustina Elzahaby), and one on the dynamics of eddies and their role in ocean warming in the East Australia Current.

Left: Poster presented by Moninya on Thursday, Middle: Moninya standing in front of her poster on marine heatwaves, Right: Moninya's kids also attending the conference.

Predicting bluebottle invasions

December 2022

Lab member Dr. Amandine Schaeffer, who is leading the BluebottleWatch project, along with Surf Life Saving Australia researcher Dr. Jaz Lawes, are developing an online tool that will warn beachgoers about the likelihood of bluebottles invading the beach. This will hopefully reduce the number of stings treated by surf lifesavers, which presently is more than 40,000 around Australia every year.

A 'bloom' of bluebottles swept onshore NSW beaches in 2021 associated with north-easterly winds, and large numbers of beachgoers were stung as a result. 'North-east is the most favourable wind condition for bluebottle beachings at Coogee and Maroubra, while it is dominantly south and south-east for Clovelly,' Dr. Lawes said when speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Dr. Schaeffer and Dr. Lawes encourage citizen scientists to document future beachings at the iNaturalist website.

More details are available in the Sydney Morning Herald article.

A left-handed bluebottle that beached this year (Photo taken by Amandine).

Lab end of year celebration

November 2022

Lab members were joined by school of maths colleagues to celebrate the end of a productive 2022 at Maroubra's Arthur Byrne Reserve. Activites such as painting, Slacklining, Petanque, Finska, and Saboteur were enjoyed, and there was even a little dancing.

Figure: Lab members posing at Maroubra Arthur Byrne Reserve.

ARC Discovery Project Funded

November 2022

Prof. Moninya Roughan, Dr. Amandine Schaeffer, Dr. Shane Keating, and Dr. Colette Kerry were successful in receiving $693,000 in the latest round of ARC Discovery grants for 'Understanding multi-scale dynamics of eddies in the East Australian Current'. This project aims to provide the first rigorous quantification of the dynamics of rotating eddies (the weather systems of the ocean) and fronts on scales ranging from metres to hundreds of kilometres and hours to weeks in the East Australian Current System. This project will improve ocean forecasting and the sustainable management of Australian marine industries and the seafood sector.

See here for more details.

Planned 2023 cruise track underneath the SWOT swath.

Professor Moninya Roughan interview for The Sydney Morning Herald

November 2022

Group leader professor Moninya Roughan was interviewed by The Sydney Morning Herald to give some thoughts on ocean temperature change, particularly why the ocean was colder at this time of the year.

Long term sea temperatures have been increasing over the last 80 years and the oceans off south-east Australia are warming at the fastest rate on the planet, Moninya stated.

But this month the ocean is one degree colder than average as response of a cold core eddy from Forster to Jervis Bay, controlling the ocean circulation and temperature.

Figure: SST anomaly showing a cold core cyclone pushing cold water to the north.

Dr. Colette Kerry interview for the 60 Minutes

October 2022

Dr. Colette Kerry, a postdoctoral research associate member of the Coastal and Regional Oceanography Lab gave an interview for The 60 minutes program to draw on her knowledge and expertise in physical oceanography, to analyse the currents at the moment of the missing of the Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez.

You can watch the full video on The 60 Minutes website. And you can find her interview in part five, minute 1:41, explaining that there was a notorious rip current next to the headland and the East Australian Current (EAC) was unusually close to the shore on the night Theo disappeared.

EAC workshop 6 in Lennox Head - The 6th East Australian Current workshop and writing retreat was held in Lennox Head

Tuesday 18 - Friday 21 October 2022

The Coastal and Regional Oceanography Lab were joined by CSIRO colleagues Dr. Peter Oke, Dr. Tatiana Rykova, and Dr. David Griffin, and visiting colleague Dr. Taku Wagawa from the Japan Sea National Research Institute in Lennox Head to discuss research into the EAC and its eddies.

Presentations were given, literature were discussed, writing was commenced, and even a few card games were played. This was also a great opportunity for lab members to meet in person at a beautiful location on the NSW coast.

New Research: Moving easterlies driving WBCs further south

October 2022

Research published in Nature Climate Change led by Junde Li and including team members Moninya Roughan and Colette Kerry has revealed the link between poleward shifting southern hemisphere WBCs and changes in mid-latitude easterly winds. They show that the WBCs have penetrated poleward but have not strengthened, and are now transporting more heat into their extensions.

A writeup of this study was published in The Conversation and was featured in another Nature article.

The team have a research cruise planned for September next year aboard RV Investigator, Australia's research vessel, to explore eddies further. This will shed new light on eddy processes in the warming ocean.

Figure: Time series of zonal mean latitudes of the zero wind stress (solid orange line) and SAM index (solid blue line). The dashed orange line and blue line indicate the linear trends of zonal mean latitudes of zero wind stress and SAM index, respectively. (Li et al., 2022).

AMSA Conference in Cairns

August 2022

Prof. Moninya Roughan, and team members Michael Hemming and Daniel Lee presented their work this month at the Australian Marine Society Association (AMSA) 2022 conference in Cairns, Australia.

Moninya gave an oral presentation on the spatial and temporal variability of marine heatwaves in key fishing grounds around New Zealand, and presented a poster on the impacts of marine stingers on the Australian community. Daniel Lee presented the drifting dynamics of Bluebottles, as well as introducing a new Bluebottle python module. Michael presented glider data collected during a marine heatwave, and the development and usage of FAIR temperature data products at the national reference stations.

RV Investigator Cruise

July 2022

Principle Investigator Dr Amandine Schaeffer has completed another successful voyage on the RV Investigator. The main aim of the voyage was to retrieve the deep East Australian Current mooring array, but time was also spent chasing frontal processes and investigating an unobserved submerged canyon.

Welcome Connor and Fernando!

June 2022

Two new PhD students start their EAC research journeys at the lab this month.

Connor Henderson will be investigating the mechanisms behind eddy tilting and how they interact with the EAC and the shelf, while Fernando Sobral will be investigating the heat transport driven by eddies along the EAC system from observational data and modelling outputs.

Welcome to the lab!

10 Years at UNSW

May 2022

Surfing and sailing legend Tim Austin this year celebrates 10 years working at the Coastal and Regional Oceanography lab. Tim joined the lab in March 2012 and has been a valuable part of the Moorings team.

His continued dedication to the team and sustained data collection over the years has enabled a vast range of studies on the EAC and its impact on coastal waters off NSW. Thank you Tim!

Youstina profiled by the Moana Project

28 March 2022

PhD student Youstina Elzahaby's work, and professional journey from actuary to marine heatwave expert was recently profiled by the Moana project. Her latest work on the effect of surface mixed layer depth on marine heatwave classification has just been published in Frontiers of Marine Science, and can be found here.

Focus on Marine heatwaves - PhD student Youstina Elzahaby.

Severe Rainfall Affecting NSW Coast

9 March 2022

Anomalous rainfall over NSW and QLD coastal areas has caused severe flooding and led to increased river plume discharge as seen by satellite. This increased rainfall coincides with a La Nina, and warmer than average western Pacific ocean surface temperatures.

Team members Dr Junde Li, Prof Moninya Roughan, and Dr Colette Kerry have recently published a study on how mesoscale circulation impacts the structure of river plumes during intense rainfall events.

This study is available here

Above: River plumes between Lennox Head and Port Macquarie NSW on March 7 2022 taken by the Sentinel-3 satellite (accessed from: https://ovl.oceandatalab.com.)

Marine Heatwave

4 Jan 2022

A Marine Heatwave (MHW) off Sydney has generated media interest in Oceanography with Professor Roughan being interviewed by several mastheads including SMH and The Guardian.

The Guardian - Extreme marine heatwave: waters off Sydney set to break January temperature records

SMH - Sea temperatures inch towards record high but marine ecosystems could suffer

The Independent - Sydney faces extreme marine heatwave

9 News - Marine heatwave sends NSW ocean temperatures soaring to levels not seen in decades

ABC - Extreme marine heatwave sees east coast water temperatures rise

Update - 3 Feb 2022

UNSW Oceanography deployed a Slocum research glider to observe the MHW and a picture of the data is shown below. Note the extremely warm pool of surface water shown after 02/02. A CTD cast taken on 3/2/22 shows how the Temperature and Salinity change with depth and the ranges are remarkable.This deployment was carried out in cooperation with Australian National Facility for Ocean Gliders (ANFOG) and supported by Australia's Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS).

RV Investigator Cruise

1 June 2021

Dr Schaeffer and Dr Hemming recently took part in a productive 3-week research cruise deploying a deep water mooring array and studying eddy interactions in the East Australian Current (EAC).

ABC News - RV Investigator marks end of weeks-long voyage studying impacts of warming East Australian Current

IMOS OceanCurrent - Contrasting_East_Australian_Current_eddy_interactions

Surfboard lost off Tasmanian Coast turns up in North Queensland.

22 April 2021

Dr Shane Keating was interviewed as part of a BBC News Item on a surfboard which had travelled over 2500km before being reunited with its owner nearly 2 years later.

BBC News - Surfer's 'shock' reunion with long-lost board

UNSW Ocean Warming Research in the Media

3 April 2021

Dr Neil Malan's research published in GRL was featured on a number of news sites. This study looked at ocean warming throughout the EAC based on 10 years of Australia's Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) Mooring Data. IMOS is enabled by the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS). It is operated by a consortium of institutions as an unincorporated joint venture, with the University of Tasmania as Lead Agent.

UNSW Newsroom - Narooma's hot spot of ocean warming is more than three times the global average

ABC News - Narooma on NSW south coast revealed as a hot spot for global ocean warming

AboutRegional.com - Narooma's coastal waters a beacon of climate change

Narooma News - Research finds coastal waters off Narooma are warming at four times the global average

Phys.org - Sydney and Narooma's hot spot of ocean warming is more than three times the global average

UNSW Oceanography Drifter and Model Studies in the News

8 March 2021

Several news sites picked up on UNSW Oceanography research in relation to the disappearance of Dover Heights woman, Melissa Caddick.

The Australian - why-sydney-conwoman-melissa-caddicks-remains-could-be-anywhere

7 News Youtube Site - More remains found on NSW South Coast beach, possibly linked to Melissa Caddick

News.com.au - Why Sydney conwoman Melissa Caddick's remains could be anywhere

Doritos, duckies and disembodied feet: how tragedy and luck reveals the ocean's hidden highways

Three new datasets: UNSW Oceanography publishes high-resolution data of the EAC region

25 May 2020

As part of it's commitment to open research and data, three new datasets of model and reanalysis output of the EAC region off the coast of Eastern Australia have been published by UNSW Oceanography. These include a 22-year, free-running, hydrodynamic simulation of the East Australia Current System using the Regional Ocean Modelling System with a horizontal resolution of 2.5-6 km in the cross-shore direction and 5 km in the alongshore direction, and 30 vertical s-levels. The second dataset is a high-resolution reanalysis of the East Australian Current System assimilating an unprecedented observational data set using 4D-Var data assimilation over a 2012-2013. Finally, a high-resolution (750m) free-running hydrodynamic simulation of the Hawkesbury Shelf region off Southeastern Australia using the Regional Ocean Modeling System over 2012-2013 is also available. Further information about all three datasets including download links, license and how-to-cite can be found via the links below.

Publication: Dipole eddies in the EAC separation zone are both ubiquitous and important

3 April 2020

The recurrent dipole eddies seen associated with the EAC separation is something that's been on our mind for some time, and in Autumn 2017 members of our lab on a research cruise aboard the RV/Investigator made a quick dash across one of these eddy dipole structures, taking measurements between the two eddy centres. In a paper led by Neil Malan, and recently published in JGR Oceans, we combined these detailed shipboard measurements with data from satellite altimetry, drifting buoys, and our 10 years of sustained glider observations.

What did we find?

Well, these dipoles occur a lot more often than we thought (like 50% of time), and they squirt a lot (like an amount half of the average transport of the EAC) of offshore water at high speed onto the shelf, with this water being detected near the coast by our gliders in water as shallow as 50m. Itseems that this jet of water, dubbed the 'larval superhighway', provides a good explanation for why lobster larvae settle along the coast where they do (work by Paulina). We believe it may be important for other species too, watch this space!

For more info see:

Malan, N., Archer, M., Roughan, M., Cetina-Heredia, P., Hemming, M., Rocha, C., Schaeffer, A., Suthers, I., & Queiroz, E. (2020). Eddy-Driven Cross-Shelf Transport in the East Australian Current Separation Zone. Journal of Geophysical Research (Vol. 125, Issue 2). pdf

Meet The Professors - Prof Moninya Roughan

3 December 2019

Prof Moninya Roughan and Prof Katrin Meissner were honoured at UNSW's last Meet The Professors ceremony for 2019. During her talk Prof Moninya Roughan gave us an insight into her personal and research achievements. She is within the group of first female professors in the history of School of Mathematics and Statistics at UNSW. The ceremony was attended by her entire research group, family members, senior academics such as Prof. Emma Johnston and head of school Prof. Bruce Henry, and even Moninya's PhD supervisor and mentor Emeritus Professor Jason Middleton.


16-20 September 2019

There was a strong representation of the UNSW oceanography group at Oceanobs'19. Oceanobs is the largest ocean observing systems planning conference that takes place every ten years and brings together the global ocean observing community to decide on what will be measured over the coming decade. This was the 3rd and the largest Oceanobs' since its inception in 1999 which hosted as many participants as the number of posters in Oceanobs'19. This was also the first Oceanobs' to officially acknowledge the indigenous ocean observation practices around the globe and invited 52 indigenous delegates.

Members of UNSW Oceanography contributed to four white papers (see publications) and presented four posters. Furthermore, Prof. Roughan was a member of the organising committee and led key discussions throughout the conference.

Below are some highlights.

Above: Alumni Dr. Matt Archer (left) catches up with Prof. Roughan (centre) and Dr. Niel Malan (right).

Above: Dr S. Contractor (left) and Dr. N. Malan (centre) deep in discussion in front of a poster created by Dr. M. Hemming.

Carlos Rocha PhD submission

28 June 2019

Congratulations to Carlos for submitting his PhD titled "Simulated nutrient and phytoplankton dynamics in the East Australian Current system".

Above (left to right): Neil Malan, Steefan Contractor, Eduardo Queiroz, Tim Austin, Carlos Rocha and Paulina Cetina

Oceanography group leader cited by Peter Hannam in Sydney Morning Herald

3 March 2019

Prof. Moninya Roughan was cited by SMH environmental editor Peter Hannam in his article about impacts of Tasman Sea warmth on fisheries.

Moninya Roughan, a professor at the University of NSW specialising in ocean circulation around Australia, said last year's more extreme event meant New Zealand's fisheries suffered, including a voluntary cut in quotas at the Hoki deepwater fishery that affected supplies to Australian markets.

UNSW Oceanography rated 5 by ARC ERA 2018-19

28 March 2019

The Australian Research Council's, Excellence in Research for Australia 2018-19 report has rated UNSW a 5/5 in Oceanography. Only 4 facilities received this highest possible rating, being UNSW, UTas, UWA and Curtin Universities. This is high recognition for UNSW Oceanography which continues to produce world class research.

The full report can be viewed here

The first female Professors in School of Maths recognised today!

20 November 2018

Moninya Roughan, Catherine Greenhill and Frances Kuo have jointly become the first female academic members of staff to be promoted to full Professor through the UNSW School of Mathematics and Statistics. This historic occasion was recognised today with the Dean of Science and Head of School. Promotion to Professor at UNSW is dependent on making outstanding leadership contributions and being recognised at an international level in areas of research, and/or teaching, and/or engagement.


UNSW Oceanography Team - Louise Castro, Paulina Cetina-Herida, Amandine Schaeffer, Moninya Roughan, Jason Everett, Tim Austin, Michael Hemming, Neil Malan, Emma Johnston, Carlos Rocha.

Professor's Frances Kuo, Catherine GreenHill, Emma Johnston (Dean), Moninya Roughan, Bruce Henry (HOS).

Ruoying He visit

17 November 2018

Prof. Ruoying He (North Carolina State University) who leads a similar Boundary Current Research Group to ours, visited UNSW Oceanography today and gave a talk on The Effects of the Gulf Stream and Storms on Coastal Ocean Dynamics. Thanks Ruoying.


Michael Hemming, Neil Malan, Tim Austin, Paulina Cetina-Herida, Amandine Schaeffer, Eduardo Queiroz, Ruoying He.

ACOMO 2018

9-11 October 2018

The biennial Australian Coastal and Oceans Modelling and Observations Workshop (ACOMO) 2018 was held this year in Canberra bringing together the fields of Ocean Observing and Ocean Modelling. Moninya was part of the organising committee and chaired the Observation and Models session. Carlos spoke on Biogeochemical dynamics on the East Australian Current System. Eduarda presented a poster on Ocean observations show cyclonic fronts intensify internal tides off eastern Australia. Collette spoke on Forecasting from the Deep Ocean to the Coast: Predictability of shelf circulation impacted by a Western Boundary Current.


Link to event on IMOS website - http://imos.org.au/calendar/events/acomo/acomo2018/


Dr Moninya Roughan with Australia's Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel

Earth and Space Science News highlights recent EAC paper

1 August 2018

Archer et al (2018) received a editors highlight in EOS. Well done to Matt and the coauthors!

Link to article on eos.org

Full citation:

Archer, M. R., Keating, S. R., Roughan, M., Johns, W. E., Lumpkin, R., Beron, Vera, F. J., & Shay, L. K. [2018]. The kinematic similarity of two western boundary currents revealed by sustained high resolution observations. Geophysical Research Letters, 45. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GL078429

AMSA 2018

5 July 2018

Congratulations to Carlos Rocha on winning the Holloway Prize in Physical Oceanography at Australian Marine Science Associations Conference 2018. An abstract of Carlos' work is below:

"Understanding phytoplankton dynamics is critical across a range of topics, spanning from fisheries management to climate change mitigation. It is particularly interesting in the East Australian Current (EAC) System, as the region’s eddy field strongly conditions nutrient availability and, therefore, phytoplankton biomass. We coupled a model of the pelagic nitrogen cycle to our EAC high-resolution (2.5 - 5 km horizontal) three-dimensional ocean model (described in Kerry et al., 2016 - available on the Publications section). To make sure that we were getting our model results right, we compared them to available data using several statistical metrics. This showed that the model can reproduce the timing and the spatial structure of the main patterns of chlorophyll variability and is also able to correctly simulate the vertical distribution of nutrients."


Prizewinners at AMSA 2018.

Nina's Thesis submission

20 April 2018

Congratulations to Nina Ribbat who today submitted her Doctoral Thesis entitled "High Resolution Circulation of the Hawkesbury Shelf Region (31.5S-34.5S), SE Australia: Mean, Variability and Transport Pathways." This is a significant contribution to understanding the physical oceanography of the Hawkesbury Shelf Region.


Carlos Rocha, Matt Archer, Moninya Roughan, Nina Ribbat, Tim Austin & Paulia Cetina-Heredia.

Newcastle HF Radar installation live

7 March 2018

The HF RADAR system installed off Newcastle late last year is now working well, as demonstrated by this map for 3 March 2018, in which the radar currents are overlain on a Sea Surface Temperature image as well as geostrophic currents from altimetry. All three ocean observing systems reveal the main flow of the East Australian Current separating from the shelf and heading off towards New Zealand. Only the radar and the SST imagery, however, can resolve the details of the submesoscale eddies between the EAC and the continental shelf. The radar system was installed by SIMS and IMOS and supported by the NSW Government.


Link to original article on Oceancurrent - Newcastle radar monitoring the EAC separation point

GODEAE OV Summer School - Operational Oceanography

2 October 2017

Prof. Roughan was invited to attend the 2017 Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment Summer School and gave 2 lectures on observing the ocean: global and coastal in-situ observations.

The GODAE Ocean View Summer School brings together world leading oceanographers to teach 70 students from around the world who are the next generation of leading oceanographers. Operational oceanography is an integrated approach (satellite data, in-situ observations, numerical models), science-based and user-driven to describe and forecast the ocean in support of societal needs.

Australia is represented in the International GODAE Ocean View Programme through the efforts of the operational Bluelink ocean forecasting team.

2017 GODAE Summer School Group Photo @GOVMallorca2017 #GOVSchoolMallorca2017


More information:


GODAE Oceanview Summer School

Oceanographic Research Cruise on R/V Investigator

31 August 2017 - 5 October 2017

Members of the Coastal and Regional Oceanography Lab recently participated in the research voyage �The whole enchilada: from production to predation in Tasman Sea ecosystems,� which focused on the relationship between open ocean production and coastal fisheries off the eastern coast of Australia. They lead the Blue Team onboard the R/V Investigator, identifying different water masses to sample in, and tracking ocean circulation features, from fronts to eddies. During the cruise, several interesting physical features were observed, including: a frontal convergence of two water masses, a train of frontal eddies along the inshore edge of the EAC, and internal waves hundreds of meters below the surface, with waveheights over 50 m!


Figures show Voyage Schematic and a Langrangian Drifter Experiment (Click to enlarge).


Eduardo Quieroz, Carlos Vieirarocha & Matt Archer do the science.

UNSW Oceanography featured in IMOS Marine Matters

30 June 2017

The June 2017 edition of IMOS Marine Matters features 3 interesting stories on UNSW Oceanography:

Marine heatwaves� surface temperature doesn�t tell the whole story.

Ocean radar: Radar observations prove to be a useful tool for examining frontal eddies along the East Australian Current

Satellite Remote Sensing: A tale of two eddies in the EAC: introducing Murphy and Freddy.


For more detailed information see our publications page.

World Oceans Day

8 June 2017

Spare a thought for your oceans on World Oceans Day!

Over 8 Million Tons of plastic enter the ocean every year. Plastic bags and packaging strangle and suffocate turtles, seals and seabirds such as the Australian Albatross who become entangled or mistake them for food.

Plastics break down over time into smaller pieces which are eaten by fish and other marine organisms.

Very small plastic pieces (microplastics) may not be visible to the naked eye but are still ingested by zooplankton and small fish harming the entire marine food web through bioaccumalation of toxic substances which are passed onto larger predators (including humans).


How can you help?


It is critical we reduce the amount of plastics entering our oceans through dumping or entering waterways.

This starts with reducing your own individual usage and spreading the word to help friends and others reduce theirs too. Dont think your contribution is not important!

Become mindful of your plastic usage and avoid plastics you dont need.

Turn down plastic bags, straws, excessive packaging and single use items.

Avoid shampoos, soaps and cosmetics containing microbeads.

Help locally to keep your beach or environment clean.

Support a ban on single use plastic bags - Sign the #BanTheBag petition on change.org.

Ask your retailer to cut down on excessive packaging.


More Information.

World Oceans Day - Free public lecture @ Sydney Institute of Marine Science - 7pm, Thursday 8 June 2017

World Oceans Day - Find an event near you

Clean Up Australia

ABC War on Waste #WarOnWasteAU

Coffs Harbour HF Radar featured front cover of JGR Oceans

31 May 2017

This months Journal of the Geophysical Research: Oceans edition featured the Coffs Harbour HF Coastal Radar Array front cover along with UNSW Oceanographys latest paper on frontal eddies:

Characterizing frontal eddies along the East Australian Current from HF radar observations by Amandine Schaeffer, A. Gramoulle, M. Roughan and A. Mantovanelli.

Key Points:

Cyclonic eddies occur frequently along the East Australian Current (30�S) on average every 7 days over a 12 month period

Frontal eddies with high Rossby number (0.6�1.9) and inshore radius ~10 km propagate downstream all year round at 0.3�0.4 m/s

Cyclonic frontal eddies influence biology through vertical uplift favoring local production or entrainment of productive water over 100s of km

Marine Heatwaves Paper featured in Sydney Morning Herald

21 May 2017

PH100 Temperature

Amandine and Moninya's recently published GRL paper "Sub-surface intensification of marine heatwaves off southeastern Australia: the role of stratification and local winds" made front page news in the The Sun Herald today.

The Herald Article "Endless Summer" highlighted the threat of marine heatwaves to marine organisms and the importance of long term sub-surface temperature records.

The Port Hacking National Reference Station will turn 75 this year (data pictured) making it one of the longest sub-surface temperature records anywhere. The introduction of the Port Hacking 100m IMOS Mooring in 2009 has significantly enhanced the data resolution.


The Sun Herald - "Endless Summer" (print version)

The Sun Herald - "'Maximum damage': What's going wrong in our deep blue and warming sea" (online version)


See also a more comprehensive write-up on the national IMOS news site:


IMOS - "Marine heatwaves - surface temperature doesn't tell the whole story"

5th CSIRO - UNSW EAC workshop

24-28 April 2017


The 5th UNSW/CSIRO East Australian Current Workshop was hosted by MetOcean solutions in New Zealand. It was an opportunity for students and scientists from UNSW to share their research and foster new collaborations. Themes of the conference included meso-scale ocean circulation and oceanic eddies, as well as operational oceanography.

Link to news item on MetOcean site.

ADCP trans-tasman voyage

1 November 2016

An Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) which is normally moored in 100m of water off Bondi Beach broke its mooring in January this year and went missing. Luckily it washed up in New Zealand last week and was found by a Foxton fisherman, Rusty Kuiti, while out fishing on Waitarere Beach, NZ.


Rusty contacted us here in Sydney via Clive at OFS and Stuart's father in New Zealand was able to collect it on the weekend. It will be shipped back to Sydney in the next week. Oceanographers here at UNSW are keen to download the data onboard to see what details we can find about its interesting voyage. We are very grateful to Rusty for finding and returning it and relieved to get our research instrument back safely. Rusty was happy with a case of beer as a small reward and said he was heading back down the beach to look for another one.


ADCP's work by sending out 4 sonar 'pings' of sound waves at a set frequency. From the return echo the speed of the water can be calculated throughout the water column. This is similar to how a police radar gun works but instead of tracking one car, an ADCP can track many water parcels in any direction. In addition, this instrument array collects temperature and pressure data and is usually paired with a thermistor string for temperature profiling and water quality or flourescence, salinity, turbidity meters at some sites. These scientific moored arrays are deployed as part of Australia�s Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS).


Foxton Beach, NZ near where the ADCP was found.


Local fisherman Rusty Kuiti (L) hands over ADCP to Mike Milburn.


ADCP Voyage (Path unknown)


Link to article in the NZ Herald - Fisherman's Foxton find stuns Sydney scientists

Public lecture - Observing coastal circulation in a hotspot of ocean warming

1 September 2016

A public lecture to be given by A.Prof Moninya Roughan, while on academic sabbatical at the University of Auckland, will explore the physical oceanography of the Tasman Sea region, ocean observing systems, and applications to biology and larval recruitment.

Click on the brochure above to download as a full size pdf.

Link to article in the NZ Herald - Ocean between NZ and Australia a climate change "hotspot"

Otago Daily Times article - Tasman Sea a climate change 'hotspot'

East Australian current changes may be behind unusually warm waters off Sydney

24 June 2016


Another article in The Sydney Morning Herald regarding warmer sea temperatures and the extension and warming evident in the EAC, referencing Moninya Roughan and Bernadette Sloyan.

SMH - East Australian current changes may be behind unusually warm waters off Sydney

Warm waters and long summer have climate scientists alarmed

13 May 2016

The Sydney Morning Herald quotes UNSW's Moninya Roughan and Matthew England on warmer water temperatures in the EAC and how 2016 is virtually certain to break climate records.

SMH - Sydney weather: Sunny days roll on as huge high pressure ridge keeps cold at bay

Coral Bleaching in Sydney Harbour

20 April 2016

Record sea surface temperatures have been observed during the 2015-16 El Nino. This has lead to widespread coral bleaching across Northern Australia and the Great Barrier Reef as coral cells lose their symbiotic algae to heatstress. Initial surveys suggest 93% of the Great Barrier Reef has been affected.

ARC Coral Reef Studies - Only 7% of the Great Barrier Reef has avoided coral bleaching

RN - Only 7 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef remains unaffected by coral bleaching, scientists find

SMH - The Great Barrier Reef: 93% hit by coral bleaching, surveys reveal

The Age - Is this the end of the Great Barrier Reef?


Coral bleaching has even been observed in Sydney Harbour for the first time on record.

ABC - Coral bleaching found in Sydney Harbour, rising sea temperature may be cause, scientists say

SBS - Coral bleaching found in Sydney

SMH - Sydney's corals now bleaching in 'pretty shocking' sign of warming waters

9 - Coral bleaching in Sydney Harbour could lead to ecosystem collapse


With El Nino declining, it is likely that most Corals in Sydney Harbour will recover from this bleaching episode once temperatures return to normal. However, this disquieting event should reinforce calls for a marine park to be established in Sydney Harbour to protect her unique diversity as combinations of stressors such as heatstress, pollution and overfishing can cause sudden and irreversible change to an ecosystem.

The Age - Sydney needs a marine park to protect its biodiversity


Note you can observe the Sydney Harbour surface temperature and salinity from our reatime marine observatory by following this link.

Sydney Harbour Marine Observatory

4th CSIRO- UNSW EAC workshop

30-31 March 2016

The 4th CSIRO- UNSW EAC workshop was held on 30-31 March 2016. Presentations and Discussions ranged broadly. For example, talks were given on diagnosing the properties of sub meso scale eddies, understanding the vertical processes in idealised mesoscale eddies, physical and biogeochemical properties of Tasman Sea Eddies, understanding the mean and variability in the circulation in the coastal ocean and Sydney Harbour through high resolution modelling.

Invited Guest Ken Ridgway (CSIRO) gave a special seminar on our understanding of the East Australian Current gained over the past 30 years, and Prof Moninya Roughan (UNSW) presented an overview of the impact of the EAC on the shelf hydrography and circulation along the east coast of Australia.

The EAC Array

31 March 2016

The major australian western boundary current, the EAC (East Australian Current) is now better understood thanks to the EAC Array and the work of Bernadette Sloyan, Ken Ridgeway and Rebecca Cowley. Data from the first 18 month deployment (2012-13) is now available through the IMOS data portal.

Oceancurrent - The EAC Array - Revealing the Boundary Current


3rd CSIRO- UNSW EAC workshop

7-8 November 2015

The 3rd CSIRO-UNSW EAC Workshop was held 7-8 December 2015.Lively discussion centred on data assimilation methods and techniques.

Invited Guest Prof Brian Powell (U Hawaii) gave a special seminar on the different flavours of Data Assimilation and their advantages, purposes and uses.

Wild Researchers Exhibition Stars Sage Oceanographers

Thursday 5 November 2015

A photo exhibition entitled Wild Researchers opened at the Australian Museum last night. This image starring Nina Ribbat, Dr Paulina Cetina-Heredia and Dr Amandine Schaeffer received a write-up in The Australian and airtime on ABC News.



Link to the exhibition at www.wildresearchers.unsw.edu.au/

ABC News Website

Article in The Australian

Article in Sydney Morning Herald

Congratulations to Oceanographer Trevor McDougall being elected a Fellow of The Royal Society of New South Wales

Wednesday 23 September 2015

Scientia Professor Trevor McDougall has been unanimously elected to Fellowship of the Royal Society of NSW, the oldest learned society in the Southern Hemisphere. His appointment as Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW has been described by Head of School Bruce Henry as a "wonderful honour", and we warmly congratulate Trevor for his latest achievement.

Link to article on UNSW Maths School Website.

Treadmills for Baby Lobsters

Tuesday 2 September 2015

A collaborative research project at SIMS between University of Auckland, DPI Fisheries and UNSW Oceanography Scientists is looking at swimming behaviour of larval Eastern Rock Lobster (Jasus verreauxi). The results from the study will be combined with modelling of ocean currents and larval feeding conditions to see if it possible to use satellite information about the sea to predict the recruitment of baby lobsters into NSW fisheries.

Further information at:




Only 2 weeks till SIMS Harbour Hike (Sunday 30 August 2015)

Monday 17 August 2015

Only 2 weeks until the annual Sydney Institute of Marine Science Harbour Hike. This is a terrific family event which begins with an easy 11km walk along the Sydney Harbour Foreshore from Kirribilli to Chowder Bay with fun questions and activities for kids along the way. The walk through stunning surroundings culminates at Chowder Bay (Clifton Gardens) beach and park where there will be entertainment and food as well as stalls and displays showcasing marine research. Cost is $25 which supports the important work done by SIMS scientists in understanding and preserving the long term health of the Sydney Harbour estuarine environment. Register at Harbour Hike 2015.

10 Year Marine Science plan released

Wednesday 12 August 2015

A national marine science plan covering the next 10 years was released yesterday by the Australian Government. This plan calls for increased seatime for RV Investigator, systematic mapping of Australias marine environment and co-ordination of existing marine scence efforts in particular a "national oceanographic modelling system". According to National Marine Science Committee Chairman, Mr John Gunn only 25% of Australias marine environment is comprehensively mapped. The plan also calls for more spending on Marine Science, currently less than 1% of marine revenue and for graduate training to become more multidisciplinary. Marine scientists need to be across social sciences, economics, maths, statistics, physics, chemistry and information technology — along with emerging fields such as bioinformatics and new “omics” disciplines including metagenomics, proteomics and metabolomics.

Read more in the following articles:

science.gov.au - Marine Science Plan to help grow and protect Australia�s blue economy

The Australian - Better marine science to underpin a doubling of the blue economy

The Australian - Plan urges marine science coalition

UNSW symposium celebrating Women in Science

Wednesday 12 August 2015

A.Prof Moninya Roughan and members of the Coastal and Regional Ocenographic Lab took part in a Celebrating Women in Science Leadership event today. Speakers at the UNSW Science event included NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer Professor Mary O'Kane, CEO of Circadian Technologies Dr Megan Baldwin, CEO of Cellmid Pty Ltd Maria Halasz, CEO of Arup Peter Bailey, and UNSW Dean of Science Professor Merlin Crossley. UNSW has some of the country�s leading female scientists including Professors Michelle Simmons (quantum physics), Veena Sahajwalla (material sciences and engineering), Emma Johnston (marine ecology), Angela Moles (plant ecology) and Martina Stenzel (chemistry).

Link to the UNSW Newsroom

Watch the informative video at youtube or download here

Ocean lab in the news following Volcano discovery

Friday 17 July 2015

The volcano discovery (see below 2 articles) has generated significant interest in the media including:

ABC News - Volcano cluster thought to be 50 million years old accidentally discovered off coast of Sydney

Sydney Morning Herald - CSIRO Investigator discovers extinct volcanoes off Sydney coast


Sky News - Submerged volcano cluster found off Sydney

The Australian - Deep sea volcanoes found off Sydney

The Guardian - Huge and ancient underwater volcanoes discovered off coast of Sydney

Cosmos - Ancient cluster of volcanoes found off Sydney

The Telegraph UK -Huge underwater volcanoes found off Sydney

News.com.au - Submerged volcano cluster found off coast of Sydney

Techly - CSIRO find extinct volcanoes just off Sydney�s coast 

CSIRO news blog - Volcanic discoveries create Sydney�s hottest new suburb

UNSW Newsroom - 50 million-year-old volcano cluster discovered off Sydney


Oceanographic research aboard RV Investigator

Wednesday 15 July 2015

Groundbreaking oceanograpic insights into fish larvae and small eddies as reported in the Coffs Coast Advocate today by the team from our UNSW Coastal and Regional Oceanographic Laboratory. Some more information on fish larvae and audio of an interview with Professor Iain Suthers here at ABC Rural.


Oceanographers: Moninya Roughan, Paulina Cetina-Herida, Shane Keating, Amandine Schaeffer, Carlos Rocha.

RV Investigator discovers 50 million-year old volcano cluster off coast of Sydney

Monday 13 July 2015

Australia's new ocean-going research vessel Investigator has discovered extinct volcanoes likely to be 50 million years old about 250 kilometres off the coast of Sydney. The chief scientist for the voyage, UNSW Australia marine biologist Professor Iain Suthers, said that while searching for the nursery grounds for larval lobsters the ship was also routinely mapping the seafloor when the volcanoes were discovered in 4,900 metres of water. "The voyage was enormously successful. Not only did we discover a cluster of volcanoes on Sydney's doorstep, we were amazed to find that an eddy off Sydney was a hotspot for lobster larvae at a time of the year when we were not expecting them," Professor Suthers said.

The four extinct volcanoes in the cluster are calderas, which form after a volcano erupts and the land around them collapses, forming a crater. The largest is 1.5 kilometres across the rim and it rises 700 metres from the sea floor. Professor Richard Arculus from the Australian National University, an igneous petrologist and a world-leading expert on volcanoes, said these particular types of volcanoes are really important to geoscientists because they are like windows into the seafloor. "They tell us part of the story of how New Zealand and Australia separated around 40-80 million years ago and they'll now help scientists target future exploration of the sea floor to unlock the secrets of the Earth's crust," Professor Arculus said. "They haven't been found before now because the sonar on the previous Marine National Facility (MNF) research vessel, Southern Surveyor, could only map the sea floor to 3,000 metres, which left half of Australia's ocean territory out of reach." "On board the new MNF vessel, Investigator, we have sonar that can map the sea floor to any depth, so all of Australia's vast ocean territory is now within reach, and that is enormously exciting," Professor Arculus said.

Professor Suthers said the 94-metre Investigator has other capabilities that marine scientists in Australia have never had before, and the vessel will be key to unlocking the secrets of the oceans around our continent and beyond. "Investigator is able to send and receive data while we're at sea, which meant the team back on base at UNSW in Sydney could analyse the information we were collecting at sea and send back their analysis, along with satellite imagery, so we could chase the eddies as they formed," Professor Suthers said. "This is the first time we�ve been able to respond directly to the changing dynamics of the ocean and, for a biological oceanographer like me, it doesn't get more thrilling," Professor Suthers said. "It was astounding to find juvenile commercial fish species like bream and tailor 150 kilometres offshore, as we had thought that once they were swept out to sea that was end of them. But in fact these eddies are nursery grounds along the east coast of Australia." The research voyage led by Professor Iain Suthers departed Brisbane on 3 June and concluded on 18 June in Sydney, with 28 scientists from UNSW, La Trobe University, the University of British Columbia, the University of Sydney, the University of Auckland, the University of Technology Sydney, and Southern Cross University.

The centre of the volcanic cluster is shown on the map below, 248 kilometres from Sydney Heads. The cluster is 20 kilometres long and six kilometres wide and the seafloor is 4890 metres deep, with the highest point in the cluster rising up to 3,998 metres.

Map showing discovery location.

RV Investigator BNE-SYD EAC Cruise.

Tuesday 2 June - Wednesday 17 June 2015

A/Prof Moninya Roughan and 4 other researchers from UNSW Oceanography are aboard RV Investigator to study eddy evolution and the physical oceanography of the East Australian Current Coastal Ocean Region. They are part of a expedition led by Prof. Iain Suthers investigating the biology, chemistry and dynamics of submesoscale frontal eddies (aka Freddies).

There is a nice write-up of this Expedition to study offshore eddies on UNSW Newsroom

The shiptrack and near realtime data (example below) can now be viewed on the IMOS Oceancurrent website as described here.


IMOS Oceancurrent image

RV Investigator SYD-BNE Moorings Cruise.

Friday 15 May - Tuesday 26 May 2015

5 members of UNSW Oceanography headed out to sea today aboard RV Investigator to assist in a scientific expedition to deploy a deepwater mooring array which will monitor the East Australian Current at approximately the latitude of Brisbane. 6 moorings are to be deployed in depths of almost 5000m. These moorings house scientific instruments which will measure water properties such as temperature and salinity and also water velocity from the ocean floor to the surface. This will allow unprecedented unserstanding of the temporal variability of the East Australian Current critical to accurate modelling of the Australian coastal ocean region and also to inform global ocean and climate models. Very little is known about the long term variability of the East Australian Current although recent recearch has suggested an increase in both strength and southward penetration.

In addition to the mooring deployment there will be a number of other concurrent research activities during this voyage. These include water sampling and hydrochemical analysis, acoustic current profiling, biological surveying and a XBT (expendable bathythermograph) calibration study.

Some media links:

The Sydney Morning Herald - Going with the flow: scientists probe changes in the East Australian Current

The Australian - Buoys no toys, as scientists probe Nemo�s current

The Age - Going with the flow: scientists probe changes in the East Australian Current

Voxy - Investigator measuring an ocean of change

RV Investigator arrives in Sydney.

Thursday 14 May 2015

CSIRO Marine National Facilities brand new Research Vessel, The Investigator, arrived in Sydney today for the first time. She docked at Garden Island under a fleet of helicopters as coincidentally an apocalyptic Sydney saw Mad Max: Fury Road take over the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

RV Investigator is a state of the art 94m long ship equipped for a wide range of scientific expeditions. You can learn more or even conduct a virtual tour at the Marine National Facility Website.

Prof. Iain Suthers and Moninya Roughan led a UNSW tour of the RV Investigator after she docked.

UNSW group aboard RV Investigator

Pictured L- R
Prof. Iain Suthers (BEES), Prof. Bruce Henry (HoS Maths and Stats), A/Prof. David Cohen (HoS BEES), Prof. Jason Middleton, (HoS Aviation) Prof. Merlin Crossley (Dean Faculty of Science), A/Prof. Moninya Roughan (UNSW Oceanography) and Prof. Laura Poole-Warren (Pro Vice-Chancellor Researcher Training, Dean Graduate Research School).

Link to media coverage at The Australian - $120m research ship to study current's effect on climate

EAC Workshop 2 @ UNSW - 2nd East Australian Current Workshop held at UNSW.

Thursday 14 - Friday 15 May 2015

The Coastal and Regional Oceanography Lab at UNSW, hosted the 2nd UNSW, CSIRO, UTAS East Australian Current workshop on Thursday 14th and Friday 15th of May at the School of Mathematics and Statistics,Faculty of Science, UNSW Australia.

NSW-IMOS Glider investigates flood plumes.

Friday 1st May 2015

A NSW-IMOS Slocum deployment captured flood plume behaviour off the Hunter coast. Some very interesting images and a write up on the Oceancurrent news site. Edit: 7 July 2015, This was also written up in the Sydney Institute of Marine Sciences June Foundation Newsletter.

Sydney Harbour Marine Observatory serviced and now live.

Thursday 19th March 2015

Following a successful trial deployment, the Sydney Harbour Marine Observatory (SHMO) Realtime Buoy has been serviced and redeployed. The buoy is located approximately 0.4nm south of the Sow and Pigs Reef in the middle of Sydney Harbour. It is between the western and eastern channels in approximately 17m of water and in the proximity of Chowder Bay. Data from the buoy is streaming live to UNSW servers and will be available to view on the web in near realtime. Surface (1m) Temperature and Salinity can now be viewed here.

Subsea capabilities are in advanced development and will include Dissolved Oxygen, FLNTU, Seafloor Salinity, Temperature and Current profiling sensors. Data will be streamed back via underwater modem and broadcast in near realtime. The strength of this system is that adaptive and remote adjustable sampling will now be possible. For example, during anomolous conditions, sampling frequency and burst rate can automatically adapt to maintain a required standard deviation, or an instuments sampling regime can be remotely tasked.

This is a research & development project funded and in collaboration with Oceanographic Field Services.

Photo: Tim Austin (UNSW), Clive Holden (Oceanographic Field Services) deploys the Realtime Buoy. Credit:Stuart Milburn.


Stuart Anderson speaking at UNSW today at 1pm in RC4082

Tuesday 24th February 2015

Applied Mathematics in HF Radar Oceanography : Some Recent Developments Abstract:

It is a common feature among remote sensing technologies that very considerable progress can be made with relatively simple physical and mathematical models. This is often fortuitous, as without getting �runs on the board� at an early stage, support for further development may evaporate and consign a technology to the graveyard of good-in-principle ideas. But, having survived to puberty, it is equally common for progress to slow or even stall because the detail and fidelity of measurements fail to meet the rising expectations of the users. At this point there is no option but to identify the factors that are limiting performance and to develop techniques to mitigate them. Typically the research problems which arise at this point demand a marriage, or even a m�nage-a-trois, between the disciplines of physics, engineering and mathematics. In the case of HF radar in its oceanographic roles, several topics within the realm of applied mathematics are of special interest at present, and it so happens that these are strongly represented in the research activities of the Department of Applied Mathematics at UNSW, specifically in the areas of (i) fluid dynamics, oceanic and atmospheric sciences, (ii) nonlinear phenomena, (iii) inverse problems, (iv) optimisation, and (v) computational mathematics. In this talk I shall illustrate the application of these branches of mathematics to the problems currently of concern to the HF radar community.

About the speaker:

Stuart J. Anderson received B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from the University of Western Australia. In 1974, he was invited to join the team being assembled in the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organization to develop the Jindalee over-the-horizon radar system where he assumed responsibility for ocean surveillance and remote sensing. He has worked as a visiting scientist at government laboratories in several countries and moonlights as invited visiting professor at the Universit� Paris VI and University College London. Stuart holds or has held adjunct professor appointments at several Australian universities, including the University of Adelaide (Physics), Curtin University (Applied Physics) and the University of New South Wales (Applied Mathematics), and is a professor at the Universit� Rennes I, France, which, in 2005, awarded him an honorary doctorate for his contributions to radar science. He was the recipient of the 1992 Australian Minister of Defence Science Award for Research Achievement. His active research interests span ionospheric physics, radiowave propagation, radar oceanography, signal processing, electromagnetic scattering, passive coherent location, and microwave polarimetry. He has published over 300 journal papers, conference papers, book chapters, and reports in these fields and is the author of the chapter on OTH radar in the authoritative Radar Handbook.

Dr Moninya Roughan awarded prestigious fellowship to China

Tuesday 10th February 2015

Congratulations to Moninya on receiving the great honour of being selected by the Chinese 'Recruitment Program of High-end Foreign Experts of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs' to receive a fellowship to spend time in Shanghai, China as a 'High-end Foreign Expert'. The generous fellowship will allow Moninya to spend up to 6 months in Shanghai over the next 3 years, based at the 'State Key Lab' in Estuarine and Coastal Science at Eastern China Normal University.

State Key labs are recognised as the leading institutes in a discipline, somewhat similar to Australia's Centre's of Excellence, and receive continuing funding.

Moninya will also be spending time at SunYat-sen University in Guangzhou (top 10 in China), and possibly the Ocean University of China, Qingdao during this time. ECNU and OUC are partner Institutes in one of the flagship programs at Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS), the World Harbour Project, led by Peter Steinberg. We wish Moninya all the best in this fellowship and look forward to hearing of new collaborations between China and Australia.

Dr Moninya Roughan and technical team featured on Coast Australia (History Channel)

Monday 19th January 2015

Neil Oliver and the Coast Australia documentary filming team came along on a Slocum glider deployment offshore from Yamba. They were filming for episode 3 of the second series entitled Northern NSW. The team filmed the glider deployment and were lucky enough to see some Humpback whales cruising up the coast. The show will be aired tonight on the History Channel and should appear on SBS sometime later this year.

UPDATE: 12/5/15 - Video now available via youtube or direct download.

Photo: Moninya Roughan, Tim Austin, Neil Oliver, Stuart Milburn.

New Artificial Reef Deployed off Shoalhaven

Saturday 17 January 2015

The second NSW Offshore Artificial Reef (OAR) was deployed today in the Shoalhaven Bight approx. 200km south of Sydney. OAR's provide a habitat for fish and other marine life.

Research is underway to try to quantify the nutrient uptake and increase in primary productivity at these reef sites. As part of this, Coastal and Regional Oceanography Lab scientists have been studying the phyical marine environment around the first NSW OAR located just outside Sydney Harbour.


Photos courtesy of DPI Fisheries and Aquaculture.

Dr Amandine Schaeffer in Antarctica

Friday 5 December 2014

Amandine recently took part in the oceanographic campaign aboard the L�Astrolabe to Antartica. She took temperature profiles using XBTs (Expendable BathyThermograph) during the voyage from Hobart to Terre Adelie and back. The program SURVOSTRAL (SURVeillance of the Ocean auSTRAL) has been collecting temperature and subsurface salinity measurements (from a thermosalinograph) in the Southern Ocean since 1992. Research investigations include water mass fronts, seasonal and interannual variability of the heat budget, transport of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and long term trends of the Southern Ocean warming. The data is available on the IMOS portal and plots can be found here with thanks to the Scripps High Resolution XBT Program.


Dr Linda Armbrecht

Friday 28 November 2014

Congratulations to PhD student Linda Armbrecht (Macquarie University) for successfully completing her PhD, titled 'The phytoplankton and oceanography of Coffs Harbour, Eastern Australia'. Supervisor Leanne Armand (Macq) co-supervisors Moninya Roughan (UNSW) and David Raftos (Macq).

Photo. Dr Linda Armbrecht, A.Prof. Moninya Roughan, Dr Penny Ajani.

National Marine Science Symposium

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Members of the Coastal and Regional Oceanography Lab attended the National Marine Science Symposium hosted byt the Australian Academy of Science at the Shine Dome in Canberra. The Ministerial address was given by the Hon Ian Macfarlane, Minister for Industry.

Link to the National Marine Science Committee (NMSC) Symposium here.

EAC Workshop at UNSW

Friday 21 November 2014

The Coastal and Regional Oceanography Lab at UNSW, hosted the inaugural UNSW, CSIRO and UTAS EAC workshop on Friday the 21st of November at the School of Mathematics and Statistics,Faculty of Science, UNSW Australia.

Link to Agenda here.


EAC Workshop 2014

Photo: Eduardo, Moninya Roughan, Paulina Cetina-Herida, Nina Ribbat, Colette Kerry, Gary Brassington (BoM), Peter Oke (CSIRO),  Gabi (UTAS, CSIRO), Richard Coleman ( UTAS, Pro-vice Chancellor ), Tatiana (CSIRO)

Dr Julie Wood

Wednesday 12 November 2014

Congratulations to PhD candidate Julie Wood (UNSW) who has graduated after finishing her PhD. Her supervisor was Moninya Roughan (UNSW). Julie is now working in the Oceanography Department at Southhampton University with free swimming Ocean Gliders. Well done Julie, we will miss you!

Moninya and Julie

Photo. A.Prof. Moninya Roughan, Dr Julie Wood.

Moninya is the guest speaker at 2014 AHA Field trip

Friday 31 October 2014

A.Prof. Moninya Roughan is the expert guest speaker at the Australian Hydrographers Association - AHA2014 field trip - on a cruise from Ryde to Fort Denison, the site of Australia's oldest tidal gauge pictured below.


Australian Coastal and Oceans Modelling and Observations Workshop 2014.

Thursday 2 October 2014

What�s happening in our Oceans?

Australia's best and brightest marine scientists are meeting in the Canberra next week [7-8 October] to discuss the latest research aiming to unlock the secrets of the oceans surrounding Australia. The Australian Coastal and Oceans Modelling and Observations Workshop will be held at the Academy of Science, with Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb guest speaker. The workshop is organized by the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS), a national research infrastructure operated by a consortium of Universities and research agencies from around Australia. IMOS Director Mr Tim Moltmann said marine science grapples with incredibly complex problems with real world impact: the state of our oceans, the variability of our climate, and the health of fisheries and reefs around Australia. IMOS is funded by the Government�s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS), through the Federal Department of Education.

Media are invited to contact the following experts to discuss the work of IMOS:

Understanding the East Australian Current: Associate Professor Moninya Roughan (NSW) (University of New South Wales) ph. 02 9385 7067

Understanding the Leeuwin Current: Professor Charitha Pattiaratchi (WA), (University of Western Australia) ph. 08 6488 3179

Understanding physics and biology on the Great Barrier Reef: Dr Emlyn Jones (Q) (CSIRO) ph. 03 6232 5483

Understanding the South Australian Gulfs: Dr Charles James (SA) (South Australian Research and Development Institute) ph. 08 8207 5320

Understanding Southern Ocean ecosystems: Dr Jess Melbourne-Thomas (Tas) (Australian Antarctic Division) ph. 03 6232 3322

Sydney Harbour Research Program Science Report Launch

Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Sydney Harbour Research Program Science Report is being launched today at The Sydney Institute of Marine Science by the Hon. Rob Stokes, NSW Minister for the Environment. Entitled "Sydney Harbour: A systematic review of the science 2014" this technical report provides the first systematic review of the state of scientific knowledge around Sydney Harbour. Prof. Emma Johnston and Dr Moninya Roughan of UNSW/SIMS and Prof. Peter Steinberg, CEO of SIMS, are among the reports 15 authors.

The Science report is available here or through the SIMS website.

Further media coverage on the science report launch and findings including the need to reduce microplastic pollution can be found at:

Sydney Morning Herald

Daily Telegraph

Manly Daily (here and here)

Channel 9 News

The Guardian


Hon. Rob Stokes (NSW Minister for the Environment), Prof. Emma Johnston (UNSW/SIMS) and Prof. Peter Steinberg (CEO of SIMS).

Schmidt Ocean Institute planning workshop

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Moninya was recently invited to be on the steering committee for the Schmidt Ocean Institute planning workshop - �Critical opportunities for advanced shipboard oceanography in 2017�. The workshop was held at Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu, Hawaii.


Moninya Roughan, Iain Suthers (UNSW, SIMS), Zdenka Willis (Director of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS))

Asia Oceania Geosciences Society Meeting

Friday, 1 August 2014

Three members of our team attended the 2014 Asia Oceania Geosciences Society Meeting in Sapporo, Japan. Moninya Roughan co-ordinated a session to bring Western boundary Current scientists together to compare and contrast the East Australian Current(EAC), Gulf Stream (GS) and Kurushio Current. Paulina Cetina-Heredia and Amandine Schaeffer gave talks in the session and Julie Woods PhD work was presented as a poster..

(From left to right) Ocean Sciences Section President, Toshiyuki Hibiya, The University of Tokyo; Toshi Yamagata, The University of Tokyo (who gave the Axford Lecture on Climate Variability and Predictability) and Moninya Roughan.

SIMS release new video featuring NSW-IMOS Moorings.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Sydney Institute of Marine Science or SIMS conducts a wide range of research in and around Sydney Harbour. Take a look at their new promotional video here.

Verges, Roughan paper sparks media interest.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Adriana Verges recently published scientific article on the warming of temperate marine ecosystems which was co-authored by Moninya Roughan and other (primarily UNSW) researchers has had significant public impact including the articles below.

'Tropical fish threaten kelp and algae'

'Tropical Fish Are Like Locusts, But For Kelp'

'Warming oceans force fish south' - radio piece

'Climate-driven migration of tropical fish linked to underwater deforestation'

'Tropical Fish Pushed South By Warming Seas Are Destroying Kelp Forests And Seagrass Meadows: Researchers'

'Tropical fish invasion is destroying kelp forests'

Moninya Roughan and Peter Steinberg visit SOA East China Sea.

Tuesday, 6th May 2014

In the afternoon on May 6 of 2014, SIMS/SARCCM delegation visited the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) East China Sea Branch in Shanghai. The delegation was welcomed by the Branch Director General Mr Liu Gaifu. Peter presented an introduction of the WHP; Moninya on the Sydney Harbour Research Program. Mr Xu Ren, Director of SOA East China Sea Marine Monitoring Centre, introduced his Centre’s work on the Shanghai Port. He reported that SOA East China Sea Branch is interested to collaborate with SIMS/SARCCM on the WHP. The Branch’s proposal to collaborate with SIMS/SARCCM on the WHP is now under consideration in the SOA Central Office in Beijing.

After the meeting, the delegation toured the SOA research facility.

(From left to right) A/Prof. Xiao Hua Wang, Dr Moninya Roughan, Prof Peter Steinberg of SIMS/SARCCM, Prof Ren Xu of SOA, Dr Dehai Song of OUC and Dr Li Li of Zhejiang University at SOA East China Sea Branch in Shanghai.

Text and image courtesy of UNSW SARCCM


Images courtesy of Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Research (China)

UNSW Sci. Prof Trevor McDougall awarded Royal Society of Tasmania Medal.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

As reported in the UNSW Australia School of Maths News Site, Scientia Professor Trevor McDougall has been awarded the Royal Society of Tasmania Medal. Congratulations on this latest award go to Sci.Prof McDougall who is one of the world's preeminent oceanographers and heads the Ocean Physics department here at the UNSW School of Maths.

Sydney Harbour Project featured in Sydney Morning Herald.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

The Sydney Morning Herald takes a look at the Sydney Harbour Project's Harbour Usage Study in this weekends edition.

Link to the article here.

Dr Moninya Roughan is a member of the Scientific Advisory Panel for the Sydney Harbour Project coordinated by the Sydney Institute of Marine Science. UNSW Ocean Research Lab research, particularly that of Nina Ribbat on Sydney Harbour - Estuarine Shelf Exchange, links into this project.

IMOS formally recognised as GOOS Regional Alliance.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Australias Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) has been formally recognised by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a Regional Alliance to the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS).

Figure. GOOS Regional Alliances Map. Courtesy GOOS Website

Link to a more in-depth article on the IMOS site.

ABC Catalyst television feature on Southern Surveyor.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

A very nice feature on the ABC's Catalyst program on the Southern Surveyor Research Vessel which will be retired at the end of this year and a tantalising glimpse of her replacement, the RV Investigator currently being built in Singapore. A deepwater flux mooring deployment was shown and there are several good interviews with a number of researchers including Tim Moltmann from IMOS and Ron Plashcke from Marine National Facility at CSIRO.


Links to the article on the ABC Site, the RV Investigator blog and site on the CSIRO website, and to IMOS Deepwater Moorings

Rossi et al (2013) paper featured in EOS Research Spotlight.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

A research paper written by Vincent Rossi, Moninya Roughan and others was featured in todays edition of the Earth Ocean Science Research Spotlight. Congratulations to Vincent on receiving this accolade!


Link to the EOS article here and as a pdf

Seaglider retrieval in Narooma News

Monday, 29 July 2013

The Narooma News today featured an article covering the retrival of a Slocum Seaglider codenamed "Dory 5" by Amandine Schaeffer and Stuart Milburn from the Coastal and Regional Oceanographic Lab. The Shoalhaven trawler was commisioned to help retrieve the Glider which had almost lost power and was floating unassisted approximately 130 Nautical Miles offshore.


Link to the Narooma News article here

UNSW Ocean Science Symposium a success.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

A wide range of talks were well received during the 2013 UNSW Ocean Science Symosium yesterday. Talks covered a range of topics including ocean mixing and turbulence, neutral surfaces, data collection, modelling of nutrients, larval transport and ocean waves. It is clear there is a rich variety of current research in Ocean Physics and Coastal and Regional Oceanography, and that UNSW continues to be a dynamic research environment.


Link to the UNSW news article here

Oceanography symposium to be held at UNSW.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

A symposium will be held next week, Tuesday, 18 June 2013 9am-4pm, at UNSW hosted by Sci. Prof, Trevor McDougall and Dr Moninya Roughan. Current research will be showcased by Ocean scientists and students of the School of Mathematics, Faculty of Science, UNSW.

Glider Recovery in Narooma News.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

A Slocum Glider codenamed 'Nemo' was recovered off Narooma a week ago by Dr Robin Robertson and her team. An article in the Narooma News (link below) discusses the recovery and the two Batesman Marine Park moorings operated by the Coastal and Regional Oceanography Lab at UNSW.

See the original article in the Narooma News.

Near real time glider data can be accessed through Australian National Facility for Ocean Gliders site.

Dr Moninya Roughan interviewed on SBS television about 'Papa Mau'.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

As part of a television item regarding the voyage of 'Papa Mau' Dr Moninya Roughan was interviewed about the scientific capabilities of the Liquid Robotics Wave Glider and its potential for applications here.

See the footage on SBS website here or here.


UNSW Oceanography to be part of 'Papa Mau' Celebrations.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Representatives from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Oceanographic Department will take part in celebrations to mark the arrival of 'Papa Mau' to Australia following a historic and record breaking 9000 nautical mile (16668 km) voyage across the Pacific. During its voyage the Wave Glider collected a large amount of data which Liquid Robotics are providing as open access. Congratulations to Liquid Robtics and 'Papa Mau'!

See the Press Release from Liquid Robotics here


'Papa Mau' Robotic Vessel reaches Australia after historic Pacific crossing.

Thursday, 28 November 2012

The first Wave Glider (and indeed Vessel) ever to cross the Pacific unassisted arrived in Australia today and was recovered off Bundaberg in 2-3m seas. This marks the end of a historic voyage and the longest ever conducted by a robotic vehicle anywhere. The Wave Glider built by Liquid Robotics based in California has travelled solo across the Pacific using Wave Power for Propulsion and Solar Power for its Scientific Instruments. Liquid Robotics were assisted by Underwater Video Systems based in Newcastle in the retrieval off the Glider near Hervey Bay. It is truly a great achievement and perhaps the beginning of a new era for Ocean Observing Systems and Oceanography.


Australian Coastal and Oceans Modelling and Observations Workshop.

   Friday, 28th September 2012


Wed, 03/10/2012 (All day) - Thu, 04/10/2012 (All day)


The Shine Dome, Canberra

This is expected to be the first in a series of national workshops that, over time, will contribute to the co-evolution of an integrated national marine observing and modelling capability for Australia that is appropriate to our status as a ‘marine nation’.

This meeting will primarily be focused on ocean to coastal modeling; but we will introduce issues around biogeochemical and near shore modeling.

The Australian Coastal and Oceans Modelling and Observations Workshop (ACOMO) 2012 is organised by IMOS (Integrated Marine Observing System).  The School of Mathematics and Statistics, UNSW is one of the sponsors of the workshop, and Dr Moninya Roughan is a member of the Organising Committee.

More information can be found on the IMOS website.

The 12th issue of Marine Matters is now up on the IMOS website.

Monday, 3rd September 2012

IMOS News: � Coffs radar installation completes the IMOS ocean radar facility � IMOS OceanCurrent: surface current data from coastal radar is now available � New EAC mooring array completes the IMOS bluewater observing system � IMOS welcomes Commander Robyn Phillips to the IMOS Advisory Board � Sharing ocean research and data across the Tasman � New IMOS Ocean Portal launched in April � Senator the Hon. Chris Evans opens the new SIMS research facilities � Warming is altering ocean salinity and water cycle � Bass Strait's meandering currents revealed by ocean gliders � New eyes on northern waters � Australia leads on Southern Ocean carbon dioxide monitoring � IMOS at the Annual AMSA conference � The Continuous Plankton Recorder goes global � Launch of the Australian-Canadian ocean tracking collaboration � How IMOS is monitoring ecosystem responses - Student profiles- Charlotte Robinson and Daniel Bongiorno


Available for download here.

The day the EAC vanished.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

An article on the mid-August disappearance of the East Australian Current surface expression is available on the IMOS Oceancurrent news site here.

Dr Moninya Roughan interviewed on ABC radio about Marine Science Forum.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

In April, 2012, Moninya took part in the 4th Marine Science Forum themed "Sea Connections" at the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery centre. An interview with Moninya and other participating scientists has recently been broadcast on ABC radio. A link to the ABC site and audio broadcast is available here.

UNSW Oceanography features on SBS News.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) and Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) were both featured during a news broadcast on SBS Television News looking at the last 50 years being the hottest in Australian records (link to footage no longer available).

Leading oceanographer Professor Trevor McDougall joins UNSW.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

One of the world's most eminent oceanographers, Trevor McDougall, has been appointed as Professor of Applied Mathematics in the School of Mathematics and Statistics.

More info

Dr. Moninya Roughan interviewed on ABC National.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

UNSW Coastal and Regional Oceanography Lab group leader Dr. Moninya Roughan was interviewed on ABC Radio National on Thursday, 26 April 2012.

More info

News Clip from NSW Scientific Research Cruise

Thursday, 11 October 2006

Moninya Roughan, Iain Suthers and Jason Middleton return from a scientific research cruise investigating the oceanography and biology of NSW waters. This ABC newsclip showcases some of the research.