Daniel Atwater
PhD Student

E: daniel.atwater@utas.edu.au

Date Commenced: 03.05.2021

Accurate simulation of Antarctic landfast sea ice and its impacts

Project 6: Sea Ice

This PhD project aims to model fast ice in the East Antarctic which will elucidate the primary mechanism for the observed variation and changes of the continental shelf sea-ice mass while laying the ground work for building a forecasting model. The focus of this project will be to re-design an existing ice-ocean model to include realistic Antarctic fast ice. Then using this new East Antarctic Fast Ice Model, I will perform a series  of synthetic experiments to determine the drivers of this fast ice and the role of dense water formation along the continental shelf. This should elucidate the recent shift in sea-ice mass extent and allow for future models to better incorporate sea-ice into Earth system models with a higher degree of confidence. 

More about the Project & Daniel


Alexander Fraser (IAAPP)
Will Hobbs (AAPP)
Phil Reid (BoM)
Wilma Huneke (ANU)
Paul Sandery (CSIRO)


I am a graduate of the University of California Santa Cruz Institute of Marine Science, where I completed a Masters of Ocean Science investigating the wave dynamics of Monterey Bay in relation to coastal geometry as measured from coastal ocean radars. Before this, as an undergraduate at California State University Monterey Bay, I completed an honours project (Capstone Thesis) on a Miniaturised System for Particle Exposure Assessment. This was built on work completed during a year-long Fellowship at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

I have served in two militaries, with a combined service experience of nine years. In my late teens, I gained over 1000 hours as a flight deck fire fighter aboard a nuclear aircraft carrier on operations in the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean Sea. More recently, in the RAN, I led small teams on the bridge of a guided missile frigate (and other vessels) with over 3,500 hours and over 30,000 nautical miles travelled in this capacity.

I am currently employed as a Meteorological & Oceanographic (METOC) Officer in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) charged with providing International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) compliant aviation forecasts as well as tactical ocean forecast summaries and daily forecast briefs to both military and civilian stakeholders and decisions-makers.

On the other side of my professional experience, I have been employed as a researcher and lecturer for positions in five universities with over fifteen years as a certified radar technician, project manager, computer programmer, data manager and coastal oceanographer.

Photo of myself

Camilla (Millie) Crockart
PhD Student

E: camilla.crockart@utas.edu.au

Date Commenced: 01.10.2020

Developing palaeoclimate records to interrogate Indian Ocean continent climate coherencies from East Antarctic ice core records

Project 1: Atmosphere
Project 2: Ice Cores

The PhD project aim is to develop ice core records of climate from the southern Indian Ocean to explore signals and causes of hydroclimate coherencies between Australia and southern Africa. I will use ice core records of aerosols (representing Southern Ocean wind variability) and snowfall accumulation (precipitation) from two coastal East Antarctic ice cores: Mount Brown South and Law Dome. I will explore the atmospheric dynamics controlling the teleconnections between Mount Brown South/Law Dome and southern Africa/Australia using atmospheric reanalyses and climate model outputs to determine drivers of climate variability in the recent era and millennium. 

More about the Project & Millie

Supervisors :

Tessa Vance (IMAS/AAPP)
Alexander Fraser (IMAS/AAPP)
Taryn Noble (IMAS)
Nerilie Abram (ANU)
Andrew Klekociuk (AAD/AAPP)

AAPP Objective:

The project aligns with the AAPP Objective as it will help to better constrain regional climate variability over the last 1,000-2,000 years in the southern Indian Ocean (including links to Australia and southern Africa) using ice cores, atmospheric reanalyses and climate model outputs


I recently started a Ph.D. (University of Tasmania, with Tessa Vance, Alexander Fraser, Taryn Noble, Nerilie Abram and Andrew Klekociuk), working on developing records of climate in the southern Indian Ocean using high-resolution ice cores collected from East Antarctica. I have a particular intertest in southern African and Australian rainfall variability over the past millennium. In 2018, I completed a B.S. (Marine Science major, University of Western Australia), and in 2020 I completed  a Masters of Marine and Antarctic Science (University of Tasmania, with Tessa Vance and Alexander Fraser). My Masters project involved the preliminary analysis of a new East Antarctic ice core collected from Mount Brown South. During this time I worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Tasmania, which involved operating and developing methods for a line-scanner machine that produces high-resolution scans of ice cores, and contributed to the routine preparation of trace chemistry clean ice core samples for analysis. In February 2020, I presented a talk at the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (AMOS) Conference in Perth. I also received the AMOS Regional Award for Academic Achievement for my Masters Thesis.

Laura Dalman head shot

Laura Dalman
PhD Student

E: laura.dalman@utas.edu.au

Date Commenced: 15.11.2020

Physical controls of Southern Ocean ice-associated primary production

Project 6: Sea Ice

This PhD project aims to understand the physical influences on the spatial and temporal variability of ice algae and phytoplankton in the Southern Ocean. Linking existing ship-based underway data with satellite-derived sea-ice concentration data and using novel data streams from under-ice BGC floats, this project aims to detect and investigate drivers of the spatial distribution and temporal development of under-ice phytoplankton blooms off East Antarctica. This study will also provide the first time-series of ice algal accumulation for Antarctic land-fast sea ice, which will improve our parameterization of ice algal dynamics into global productivity models.

More about the Project & Laura

Supervisors and their affiliation:

Christina Schallenberg1; Klaus Meiners2,3; Sophie Bestley1; Alex Fraser3

1 Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia

2 Australian Antarctic Division, Antarctic Climate Program, Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

3 Australian Antarctic Program Partnership, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia

AAPP Objective:

This project contributes to address AAPP objectives on the effects of sea-ice change on primary productivity and biogeochemical processes in the Southern Ocean by combining quantitative analyses of ship-based and BGC-Argo data, remote sensing products, and newly collected in-situ data.


I am interested in how physical and biological processes influence the magnitude, composition, and phenology of marine primary production and nutrient dynamics. I completed my BSc hons (Dalhousie University) in 2015 and successfully defended my MSc (University of Manitoba) in 2018. My masters focused on how natural physical gradients influence sea ice algal communities in the Arctic, particularly how under-ice currents and riverine input can influence nutrient dynamics and ice algal biomass. For this work, I received the Weir Award for the most outstanding master’s thesis and a Fellowship in Arctic Research for leadership and excellence in Arctic research. I have been fortunate to participate in several field campaigns in the Arctic, including leading a successful one-month-long ice camp with our international collaborators while a graduate student. Since then, I have worked as a research associate at the Centre for Earth Observation Science (University of Manitoba), examining how biological processes are affected by freshwater input into the marine system before starting my Ph.D. at the University of Tasmania


Chris Traill
PhD Student

E: christopher.traill@utas.edu.au

Date Commenced: 02.08.2021

Coupling biogeochemical cycling of iron and carbon in the Indian sector of the Southern Ocean

Project 5: Biogeochemistry

This PhD project fits into AAPP Theme 2, project 5: biogeochemistry.

By investigating the coupling between iron supply and distribution with carbon drawdown and distribution, we aim to quantitatively identify the magnitude at which iron acts as a control point in Southern Ocean productivity across spatial and temporal scales. Elucidation of the interactions between nutrient supply and carbon distributions may help to explain the variability in Southern Ocean CO2 uptake. These aims will provide a basis with which to examine future changes to Southern Ocean biogeochemistry with climate change.

More about the Project & Chris

Supervisors and their affiliation:

Andrew Bowie1,3; Elizabeth Shadwick2,3; Tyler Rohr3

1 Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia

2 CSIRO, Hobart, Australia

3 Australian Antarctic Program Partnership, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia


Hailing from a background in medical research, organic chemical synthesis, and analytical chemistry (University of Melbourne, Bio21 Institute, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute), my research interests have shifted from addressing the health of human populations to the health of the earth’s climate systems after employment in both research and private industries. Formally trained as a chemist, my masters completed at IMAS in 2021 continued to use chemical tools to focus on marine trace metal chemistry and biogeochemistry. Here, lithogenic particles were used to estimate dust deposition to the subantarctic Southern Ocean and investigate links between atmospheric nutrient supply and productivity. My research interests involve the use of chemical tools to elucidate the biogeochemical processes involved in Southern Ocean nutrient supply, nutrient limitation (particularly iron), carbon cycling, carbon storage, and the effect of these processes in climatic feedback loops.