In a former life, I was an oceanographer working at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), but now I work in IT as a UNIX/Linux systems administrator.

Most of my work at the moment revolves around installing, configuring and maintaining Linux servers, for the most part Red Hat Enterprise Linux. I use ansible for most of this along with a sprinkling of bash and python where necessary.

I’ve also dabbled in some webdev, mainly with Flask, creating APIs for my weather station as well as for a light sensor I use with Home Assistant.

I also use Red Hat OpenShift (Red Hat’s opinionated Kubernetes product) to deploy applications from source code through image building to deployment via CI/CD pipelines (mainly gitlab-runner).

During my time at PML, my research focus was on the application of unstructured grid modelling in coastal environments. The model I used for that was FVCOM (the Finite Volume Community Ocean Model). Coupled with FVCOM, the ERSEM ecosystem model was used to assess the impacts of marine renewable energy devices (e.g. tidal turbines and wave energy devices) on ecosystem dynamics. I was part of the ROSA aquaculture project in which changes in land use, farming practice and climate were assessed with FVCOM and ERSEM to generate inputs which were passed to individual farmers, allowing them to better manage their farms. More recently, I looked at impacts from carbon capture and storage (CCS)

The EU-funded STEMM-CCS project is a multi-disciplinary project which aims to deliver new approaches, methodologies and tools for offshore CCS. My role in this large project is to use FVCOM to model the propagation of potential releases of CO2 from the seabed in the northern North Sea.

A similar project (Pre-ACT) aims to assess the extent and magnitude of the impact of releasing hypersaline water in the northern North Sea. Some preliminary results are visualised in ParaView below.

Previous work focused on the impact of offshore wind turbine impacts on stratified shelf seas. In order to investigate the impacts at shelf scales, I built an FVCOM model of the Irish Sea, English Channel and southern North Sea. Including wind turbine monopiles as hexagonal islands within the unstructured grid meant I was able to assess their impacts over the entire domain. The wind turbines increase the stratified layer permeability with the onset of stratification in spring by inducing additional vertical flow in the vicinity of the wind turbine monopiles. The wind turbines also alter the distribution of the major diurnal tidal constituent (M2), particularly in the high flood risk regions along the eastern English coastline.

Work which is just beginning at the moment is the assessment of impacts from climate change scenarios on the aquaculture industry. The project, entitled ROSA (Risks and Opportunities for Sustainable Aquaculture – BBSRC/NERC reference BB/M026221/1), uses FVCOM coupled to ERSEM to drive a shellfish model (ShellSIM and ShellGIS) to predict changes in the dynamics of aquaculture practice in the UK.

My PhD was entitled Past and Present Sediment Transport of the North-west European Continental Shelf. My supervisors were Professor Justin K. Dix and Professor Lisa McNeill. The abstract to my thesis can be read here.

I focused on the quantitative analysis of bedforms from multibeam bathymetry data using a range of techniques, notably spectral analysis with a Discrete Fourier Transform. The results of this analysis formed the basis for the model inputs used to generate the sediment transport pathways over the continental shelf which surrounds the UK. Preliminary results obtained from the bedform analysis were presented at CARIS 2008 “Making a Spatial Connection” conference. The paper can be found here (pdf) and the presentation here (pdf). Final results of the analytical technique were presented at AGU Ocean Sciences 2010 in Portland, OR, USA. A copy of the poster can be found here (pdf). The technique to extract bedform measurements was published in 2012. A copy of the text can be found here.