Faculty of Science

UNSW School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Coastal and Regional Oceanography Lab

Towards an integrated understanding of boundary current systems

The Team


Prof. Moninya Roughan PhD

Group Leader

Dr Moninya Roughan's work focusing on improving dynamical understanding of the coastal ocean including physical forcings, nutrient enrichment processes and their biological impact. Moninya uses a combination of observations and numerical models to study the Oceanography of the East Coast Region and coordinates research in this field. She is also co-leader of the NSW node of Australia's Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) and oversees the Physical oceanography component of NSW-IMOS.

Moninya Roughan

Shane Keating PhD

Associate Professor

Shane's research combines applied mathematics, observations, and modelling to deepen our understanding of ocean eddies and their role in the Earth's climate and biosphere. His interests include ocean state estimation, satellite remote sensing, ocean eddy parameterization, and geophysical fluid dynamics.


Amandine Schaeffer PhD

Senior Lecturer

Amandine is interested in regional ocean dynamics. She currently focuses on marine heatwaves, frontal eddies, cross-shelf transport and upwelling along the Eastern Coast of Australia, predominantly from in situ observations, including ocean gliders, HF radars, moorings and ship-based samplings. She is now also teaching as a lecturer in the school of Maths. During her PhD at the Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography, she investigated the representation of meso/sub-mesoscale dynamics in a high resolution ocean model of the Gulf of Lions (Mediterranean Sea).

Dr Schaeffer

Colette Kerry PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Colette is interested in studying ocean dynamics through the combination of dynamical ocean modelling and ocean observations. She has expertise with the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) and its 4-Dimensional Variational (4D-Var) data assimilation tools. Colette began her career as a coastal engineer, conducting a variety of hydrodynamic and wave modeling studies for the oil and gas industry, government bodies and other clients. In 2010 she moved to the University of Hawaii to do her PhD in Physical Oceanography at the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology. She used ROMS to study the interactions between internal tides and the eddying ocean circulation and the implications for predictability in regions that contain significant energy at both dynamic scales. At UNSW, she is developing a data-assimilative model of the East Australian Current (EAC) region using ROMS and 4D-Var, and assimilating a variety of data sources including those collected as part of Australia's Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS). The project aims to advance our understanding of the dynamics of the EAC and identify how we can best observe this oceanic region to improve model estimates and predictions.


Michael Hemming PhD

Oceanographic Data Scientist

Michael works with IMOS ocean observations to create data products and investigate warming off SE Australia. Prior to working at UNSW, he completed his PhD jointly at the University of East Anglia and the Sorbonne University with a focus on physical and biogeochemical processes in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea using underwater glider measurements. He has seagoing experience in the Tasman Sea, Southern Ocean, Indian Ocean, Gulf of Oman, and the Mediterranean Sea.


Véronique Lago PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Véronique is a post-doctoral data scientist 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. Véronique also worked at the Australian Institute of Marine Science on a project to optimise interventions for the preservation of the great barrier reef. Véronique completed her PhD in a joint program between CSIRO and UTas in Hobart, Tasmania, decomposing the effect of surface forcing on the ocean interior. She also worked in Canada on the impact of Greenland's ice sheet melting on the deep water formation and subpolar circulation and worked at sea in the Canadian Arctic as part of the IPY-CFL and ArcticNet projects.


Daniel Hewitt PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Dan is a biological oceanographer working to predict the occurrence of bluebottles (Physalia physalis) on Australian beaches. 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. Broadly, his current interests include animal movement, statistical modelling and applied research. He is also an avid (albeit amateur) cook.


Marina do Valle Chagas Azaneu PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Marina is a physical oceanographer currently investigating the complex dynamics of eddies and their interactions, characterising the frontal-scale physical and biogeochemical processes within the East Australian Current system. Previously, Marina worked as a post-doctoral scientist at the University of East Anglia (UEA, UK) studying air-sea interaction and extreme precipitation events in the eastern Indian Ocean using models and ocean glider data. At UEA, Marina also completed her PhD investigating the dynamics of Antarctic coastal currents and their interaction with atmosphere and cryosphere. She completed her Bachelors and Masters degree in Brazil, at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande (FURG, Brazil), also studying the role of the Southern Ocean in the world's changing climate. As an observational oceanographer, Marina loves being at sea playing with new toys.


Gaby Mayorga Adame PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Gaby's research focuses on coastal ocean dynamics and bio-physical interactions in a changing ocean. Her expertise is the application of Lagrangian particle tracking models to study marine connectivity, applied to a variety of environmental issues including plastics pollution, invasive species dispersal, marine ecosystems resilience and the optimization of marine protected area networks. Before joining our group, Gaby was a research scientist at the Marine Systems Modelling group of the National Oceanography Centre in Liverpool, UK. She got a PhD in biological oceanography and a MSc in physical oceanography from Oregon State University, USA, and a BSc in oceanology from Universidad Autónoma de Baja California in Ensenada, México. As part of her bachelor's degree she completed an exchange year studying marine biology at James Cook University in Townsville, AU.


Cuong Tran PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Cuong is a physical oceanographer working on coastal ocean dynamics. His research involves using observations, including in-situ measurements, HF radars, in coupled with modeling output to explain the key processes that drive the changes in the ocean and to assess their impacts on the biogeochemical and environmental processes. He earned his PhD at the University of Littoral Cote d'Opale where he focused on investigating the dynamics of the Gulf of Tonkin and evaluating the effect of fine-scale processes on particulate material and phytoplankton distribution.



Tim Austin PhD

Ocean Research Technical

Tim Austin

Tim looks after the NSW-IMOS Moored Scientific Arrays at Solitary Islands Marine Park and Batemans Marine Park and manages upkeep of electronic scientific equipment. Tim handles ADCP, Acoustic Release and Tracker technicals and is responsible for data processing, QC and uploading.


Stuart Milburn MSc DipSci

Ocean Research Technical

Stuart works with the NSW-IMOS Technical Team looking after NSW-IMOS Moored Scientific Arrays . He specialises in operational oceanography and provision of Metocean data for environmental observation and monitoring using instrumentation including Teledyne RDI, Aquatec, Seabird, Zebra-tech, Xylem systems. Current and past projects include Moorings Facility and QA/QC, Sydney Harbour Marine Observatory, Numerical Modelling, Australian Ocean Gliders, Moana Project.

Zac Anderson MSc

Ocean Research Technical

Tim Austin

Zac is 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.


Connor Henderson

PhD candidate

Connor completed his Masters at UBC where he studied how varying the eddy generation mechanisms in a western boundary current impacted eddy effects. At UNSW he is studying the mechanisms behind eddy tilting and how they interact with the EAC and the shelf. Eddy tilting is thought to play an important role in coastal dynamics on Australia's most populous coast.


Fernando Sobral

PhD candidate

Fernando completed his Masters at Federal University of Rio Grande (FURG - Brazil) studying beach morphodynamics mostly using remote sensing and observations. He then decided to explore a wide range of areas in physical oceanography, including numerical modelling and as a member of the Brazilian coastal monitoring system. In industry, he was responsible for real-time data processing and operational forecast system maintenance. Now as a PhD student, he is aiming to understand better the heat transport driven by eddies along the EAC system from observational data and modelling outputs.


Luke Matisons

PhD candidate

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). As a PhD student, 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.


Xiaowen Zhu

PhD candidate

From Ocean University of China, Xiaowen is currently at the Coastal and Regional Oceangraphy as part of her PhD. Her primary focus is on ocean data processing and the large-scale effects of ocean waves. Her work includes high-resolution processing of ocean wave model data and utilizes non-stationary sea surface temperature (SST) data to predict wave patterns. During her time at UNSW, she will concentrate on identifying mesoscale eddies and addressing energy-related issues.


Siyi Song

PhD candidate

Siyi completed her bachelor's degree at Ocean University of China, where she participated in and completed a Student Research Development Program (SRDP). In the SRDP project, Siyi focused on the variability of the Arctic melting point. In her underground thesis project, she retrieved Melt Pond Fraction (MPF) based on Tanaka et al. (2016,2020)'s Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR) algorithm. She also compared and analyzed the correlation between different AMSR MPF data and the MPF from visible light data. Finally, she used the sea ice concentration (SIC) data to correct the AMSR MPF results. At UNSW, she will focus on issues related to the generation mechanism, seasonal variations, and interactions of mesoscale eddies.



Neil Malan PhD

Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW

Neil focusses on using various combinations of observations and modelling to study Western Boundary Current dynamics, and particularly in how they scale down to impact the continental shelf. He completed his PhD at the University of Cape Town, South Africa on the impact of the Agulhas Current on shelf circulation and has also worked on tropical cyclones and subsurface intensified eddies in the Indian Ocean. His current interests include accurately quantifying cross-shelf exchanges at EAC separation zone, analytical modelling of submesoscale dynamics, and disentangling the various modes of the EAC and their impact on biophysical interactions.


David Gwyther PhD

University of Queensland

David has a wide range of experience in numerical and observational oceanography. After completing his PhD at the University of Tasmania, he took up a postdoc exploring interactions between the Southern Ocean and Antarctica's ice shelves. He has experience with ocean simulations, climate variability, tidal analysis, glaciology and remote sensing, and has field work experience in the Southern Ocean and East Antarctica. His current research interests include improving the predictability of the EAC, including the drivers of change in WBC separation latitude and eddy shedding as well as the 3D representation of eddies in numerical models.


Junde Li PhD

HoHai University China

Junde obtained his PhD degree in physical oceanography from the Ocean University of China. He is interested in using the ROMS to study the dynamical process in the tropical ocean, polar ocean and coastal ocean. He has investigated the relationship between sea surface salinity anomalies, equatorial undercurrent anomalies and the Indian Ocean Dipole. Within the framework of COAWST, he has coupled ROMS with CICE and configured this model in the Arctic Ocean. He also explored the wave-ice interactions with ROMS-Budgell model by including the wave-induced mixing and sea ice break-up. At UNSW, He focusses on the eddy-mean flow interactions in the East Australian Current system.


Paulina Cetina PhD

Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education at Ensenada (CICESE) Mexico

Paulina studied Oceanography (B.Sc) at UABC, Ensenada, BC, Mexico; obtained a M.Sc degree in Physical Oceanography from CICESE, Ensenada, BC, Mexico; and completed her PhD under the supervision of Professor Sean Connolly at James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia. She is interested in the influence of ocean dynamics on ecological processes. Her PhD research investigated the transport of larvae along the Great Barrier Reef focusing on the effect of lee-reef eddies and organism’s life traits on the retention and supply of larvae close to reefs. Methods involved combining the use of hydrodynamic models and numerical experiments with theory and empirical data to disentangle physical mechanisms that drive larval transport. Paulina's work establishes mechanistic links between circulation patterns and the dispersal of larvae to envisage implications on population dynamics under different oceanic environmental conditions. Currently working as a Post- Doctoral Research Associate with Dr. Moninya Roughan, Dr. Erik van Sebille and Dr. Melinda Coleman exploring the long-term variability of the Eastern Australian Current and using a Lagrangian approach to determine how it shapes larval dispersal patterns.


Maxime Arnaud (2023)
Taku Wagawa (2022-2023)
Natacha Bourg (2019, 2023, 2024)
Quintin Baumard (2019-2020)


Youstina Elzahaby - PhD (2019-2023)
Calvin Quigley - PhD (2019-2023)
Daniel Lee - PhD (2019-2022)
Eduardo Queiroz - PhD (2017-2021)
Carlos Rocha - PhD (2017-2021)
Adil Siripatana - Postdoc (2019-2020)
Steefan Contractor - Postdoc (2019-2020)
Nina Ribbat - PhD (2014-2019)
Louise Castro - MPhil (2018-2019)
Matt Archer - postdoc (2016-2018)
Amandine Schaeffer - Postdoc (2011-2017)
Shivanesh Rao - Postdoc (2015-2017)
Anthony Gramoulle - Intern (2015 - 2016)
Linda Armbrecht - PhD Candidate (2011-2015)
Dana White - Summer Intern (2013)
Julie Wood - PhD Candidate (2010 - 2013)
Sotiris Kioroglou - Data Scientist (2012-2013)
Vincent Rossi - Postdoc (2010 - 2012)
Helen Macdonald - PhD Candidate (2008-2012)
Bradley Morris - NSW-IMOS Moorings Operations Manager (2009-2012)
Gordon Macdonald - Electronics Technician (UNSW/UTS) (2011-2012)
Guillaume Galibert - Data Scientist/Programmer (UTas) (2011-2012)
Stuart Milburn - Masters Student (2010-2011)
Brett Hallam - Vacation Student (2007-2008)
Matthew Perrett - Vacation Student (2007-2008)
Tess Pritchard - Undergraduate Project (S1 2007)
Jeremy Badcock - Vacation Student (2006-2007, 2007-2008)