Faculty of Science

School of Mathematics and Statistics

Coastal and Regional Oceanography Lab

Towards an Integrated Dynamical Understanding of Coastal Marine 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

Senior Lecturer

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


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

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Michael is responsible for developing NSW-IMOS oceanographic data products, which involves data processing and analysis, quality control, and data dissemination. He is particularly interested in producing climatologies using measurements off the eastern coast of Australia observed at moorings, by underwater gliders and ship. Prior to working at UNSW, he completed his PhD jointly at the University of East Anglia, UK and University Pierre et Marie Curie, France. His PhD involved the calibration and analysis of experimental underwater glider pH sensor measurements, and the investigation of biogeochemical and physical variability using glider, buoy, and ship measurements in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. He completed a masters degree in Integrated Climate System Science at the University of Hamburg, Germany, and prior to this, a bachelors degree in Oceans, Climate, and Physical Geography at the University of Liverpool, UK. He has seagoing experience in the Southern Ocean, Indian Ocean, Gulf of Oman, and the Mediterranean Sea.


Neil Malan PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

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.


Junde Li PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

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.


David Gwyther PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

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.


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 manages NSW-IMOS Ocean Gliders, Aqualoggers and our realtime Sydney Harbour Marine Observatory (SHMO) at Sow and Pigs Reef as well as working on the NSW-IMOS Moored Scientific Arrays. Stuart also looks after web development and is involved in Sydney Harbour in-situ research, ROMS Modelling, connectivity research and development.



Daniel Lee

PhD candidate

Daniel completed his Honours at UNSW, finding a theoretical model for the drifting dynamics of the Bluebottle under the supervision of Amandine Schaeffer.

His current research is an extension of this project; using his theoretical model combined with Lagrangian particle tracking to simulate Bluebottle pathways and determine the origin of their beachings. He hopes that his work encourages new research in this area and helps in the future development of a forecasting tool that can prevent tens of thousands of beachgoers from experiencing painful Bluebottle stings.


Youstina Elzahaby

PhD candidate

In her Masters degree in Mathematics at UNSW, under the supervision of Amandine Schaeffer, Youstina researched the depth extent of marine heatwaves and associated drivers in the Tasman Sea. She is now expanding on her research by looking at the predictability of these events through dynamical process analysis and machine learning. This would further the understanding of these extreme events.


Calvin Quigley

PhD candidate

Supervisors Prof. Jonathan Gardner & Prof. Moninya Roughan

Calvin studied his BSc in Conservation Biology at Brigham Young University in the US and is currently a PhD student at Victoria University of Wellington as part of the Moana Project. He is using Lagrangian particle tracking and population genetics to examine the extent to which oceanography can be used to predict patterns of gene flow in green mussels. This approach could be applied to detect source/sink dynamics among populations and identify areas for conservation priority.



Eduardo Queiroz

PhD candidate

Eduardo is currently researching the characteristics of the strength and variability of internal waves along the East coast of Australia. Studying the modulation of internal waves in a mesocale circulation such as the Eastern Australian Current and its eddy field allows to better understand the distribution and predictability of internal tide mixing. This research is part of the Australia's Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) project and aims to investigate the origin of the internal tides, the propagation on the shelf and the mechanisms of variability.


Adil Siripatana PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Adil studied Computational Science (B.Sc.) at Walailak University, Thailand; received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Earth Science and Engineering under the supervision of professor Ibrahim Hoteit and Professor Omar Knio at KAUST, Saudi Arabia. He is interested in uncertainty quantification and data assimilation for coastal ocean forecasting. His Ph.D. thesis focuses on developing uncertainty reduction and parameter estimation techniques for coastal ocean model, using Bayesian inference and Spectral methods such as Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF), Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC), and Polynomial Chaos (PC) expansion.


Steefan Contractor PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Steefan completed his PhD in Climate Science at the Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW where he created and analysed the longest running global dataset of daily precipitation observations. In this way Steefan helped further the understanding of the changes and variability of precipitation and its extremes with climate change in the last century. Steefan has also co-created isithotrightnow.com, a website that shows how real-time air temperatures compare to historical observations to identify extremes, thus helping to raise climate change literacy.


Paulina Cetina PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

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.


Carlos Rocha PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Carlos is interested in the use of numerical ocean models (especially ROMS) as research tools in the study of bio-physical coupled processes, such as the influence of ocean dynamics in key biogeochemical parameters and particle transport. As a research fellow at University of Aveiro (Portugal), he participated in the creation of an operational ROMS configuration for the NW Iberian Shelf, being also responsible for the implementation of a biogeochemical (NPZD) module and the development of an interactive application for particle tracking. In his PhD, Carlos aims to advance our understanding of the role of eddies on the biogeochemical dynamics in Australia's SE coast region, with special focus on the BGC response to the entrainment of coastal waters into these structures, implications of CCE/WCE presence on the shelf and in providing insight into future scenarios.

Matt Archer PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Matt's research focuses on western boundary currents in shelf seas. He works primarily with high frequency (HF) radar, in addition to in-situ data and satellite imagery. HF radar is a powerful tool that provides high resolution 2-D coverage of surface current velocity, enabling us to study in detail the spatio-temporal variability of the currents � important for understanding transport and dispersion of tracers such as fish larvae, or pollutants. Matt joined UNSW in June 2016 from the University of Miami, where he obtained his PhD studying the Florida Current mean jet structure and instabilities. At UNSW, Matt will be working with the IMOS HF radar array in NSW to investigate the dynamics of the East Australian Current.


Eduardo Queiroz - PhD (2017-2021)
Nina Ribbat - PhD (2014-2019)
Louise Castro - MPhil (2018-2019)
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)