Staff and students set sail on East Coast research trip

Date: 

Wednesday, 27th May 2015



Members of staff and students of the School are embarking on a research trip off the Eastern coast of Australia, setting sail on the CSIRO's shiny new research vessel, the Investigator.

The ship, equipped to support atmospheric, oceanographic, biological and geoscience research, departed Sydney earlier this month en route to Brisbane for the month-long voyage.

The passengers on board for the first leg of the journey include members of UNSW's Moninya Roughan's oceanography group: Tim Austin (UNSW), Stuart Milburn (UNSW), UNSW PhD student Nina Ribbat, along with Anthony Gramoulle and Eduardo Quieroz. The lead Chief Investigator for this expedition is Dr Bernadette Sloyan, CSIRO.

When the Investigator departs Brisbane for Sydney next week, there will be a switch-over of staff. The ship will gain several UNSW Mathematics and Statistics researchers including Moninya Roughan, Shane Keating, Amandine Schaeffer, our PhD student Carlos Rocha, and Paulina Cetina-Herida (formerly of UNSW Maths, now based at UNSW's CCRC). The lead Chief Investigator overseeing this stage of the trip will be Iain Suthers (UNSW BEES). 

The focus of investigation is the East Australian Current, in particular ocean eddies spanning 30-70 kilometres in diameter that form in the region where the East Australian Current separates from the coast and moves into the Tasman Sea. It is believed that these eddies act as “nurseries” for plankton and larval fish, thus playing an important role in the productivity of fisheries along the coast of South East Australia. The team will utilise numerical models, satellite data, and applied mathematical methods to locate and study these eddies. 

The voyage has generated media coverage, highlighting that findings stemming from the trip will feed into important climate science research.

(Pictured from top: the Investigator, Moninya Roughan; Shane Keating)