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

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.

Vacancy: Three 2-year postdoc positions in Physical Oceanography

March 2023

We are offering three postdoc positions in oceanography at UNSW Sydney Australia.

Observational Physical Oceanography - Multi-scale eddy interactions in the East Australian Current

Observational Physical Oceanography - Dynamics and dispersal pathways in the East Australian Current

Environmental Data Scientist - Predicting Bluebottle transport and beachings

Close 29th March 2023.

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

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!

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

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.