Robin Robertson

Contact Information:


    School of Physical, Environmental

           and Mathematical Sciences

    UNSW@ADFA

    Australian Defence Force Academy

    Canberra  ACT 2600

    Australia

 

  r.robertson@adfa.edu.au
  phone (office) 61 2 626 88289
  phone (cell)    61 4 16776588

  phone (home) 61 2 6255 6023

 

Dr. Robin Robertson collected XBT and CTD profiles on the AnSlope III field program in the Ross Sea.  Here, she is aboard the RVIB Nathaniel B. Palmer launching an XBT with the mascot of the 6th grade class at George Grant Mason Elementary School, Tuxedo, NY.  She is now is at the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy where she further investigates vertical mixing mechanisms, particularly internal tides and waves, in the Ross, Weddell, and Indonesian Seas, along with teaching oceanography to the cadets.

 

Profile

Publications

Appointments and Employment

Hobbies

Conference Presentations

Professional Development

 

Research

Internal Tides and Waves

Barotropic and baroclinic (internal) tides have been simulated for various regions of the world using a primitive equation, sigma-coordinate model, the Regional Ocean Model System (ROMS).

I am interested in applying the model to different regions and investigating the internal tidal fields there.  If you have a region of interest that you would like to collaborate with me on, please contact me.

Indonesian Seas

Ross Sea

Weddell Sea

Antarctic Research

Tidal Effects on Sea Ice

Katabatic Winds

Variability of Deep Waters

Other Topics

Vertical Mixing

ROMS Performance

Sensitivity study for Fieberling Guyot using ROMS

 

Future Directions: My internal tide research continues in applying the model to different regions, performing higher resolution simulations on regions of interest, interpreting the model results to estimates of circulation and mixing, and in improving the simulations and model performance. I am also collaborating with Bruno Tremblay of McGill University on sea ice applications of ROMS and with Xiaojun Yuan of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Bruno Tremblay on investigating the effects of katabatic winds on sea ice, polynyas, and deep water formation.

Students and Post-docs Opportunities: If you are a graduate student or post-doc interested in pursuing research in any of these areas, please contact Dr. Robertson.  Funding may be possible for qualified students.

 

    

 Publications:

1.     Robertson, R., Modeling Baroclinic Tides: Resolution, Parameterization, and Performance , Ocean. Dynamics, doi 10.1007/s10236-006-0062-5, 2006.

2.     Robertson, R. and A. Ffield, M2 baroclinic tides in the Indonesian Seas, Oceanography, 18, 62-73, 2005.

3.     Ffield, A. and R. Robertson, Indonesian Seas finestructure variability, Oceanography, 18, 108-111, 2005.

4.     Robertson, R., Profile of Robin Robertson: Women in Oceanography,Oceanography, 18, 200, 2005.

5.     Robertson, R., Barotropic and baroclinic tides in the Weddell Sea, Antarctic Science, 17, 461-474, 2005.

6.     Robertson, R., Barotropic and Baroclinic tides in the Ross Sea, Antarctic Science, 17, 107-120, 2005.

7.     Robertson, R., A. Beckmann, and H. Hellmer, M2 Tidal dynamics in the Ross Sea, Antarctic Science, 15, 41-46, 2003.

8.     Robertson, R., M. Visbeck, A. L. Gordon, and E. Fahrbach, Long term temperature trends in the deep waters of the Weddell Sea, Deep-Sea Research, 49, 4791-4806, 2002.

9.     Robertson, R., Internal tides and baroclinicity in the southern Weddell Sea: Part I: Model description, and comparison of model results to observations , J. Geophys. Res., 106, 27,001-27,016 2001a.

10.  Robertson, R., Internal tides and baroclinicity in the southern Weddell Sea: Part II: Effects of the critical latitude and stratification , J. Geophys. Res., 106, 27,017-27,034, 2001b.

11.  Robertson, R., L. Padman, and M. D. Levine, A correction to the baroclinic pressure gradient term in the Princeton Ocean Model , J. Atmos. Ocean. Tech., 18, 1068-1075, 2001.

12.  Robertson, R., Mixing and heat transport mechanisms for the upper water column in the Weddell Sea, Ph.D. Dissertation, College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, 1999.

13.  Robertson, R., L. Padman, and G. D. Egbert, Tides in the Weddell Sea, in Ocean, Ice, and Atmosphere: Interactions at the Antarctic Continental Margin, Antarctic Research Series, 75, 341-369, 1998.

14.  Padman, L., R. Robertson, and K. Nicholls, Modeling tides in the southern Weddell Sea: Updated model with new bathymetry from ROPEX , Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf Programme Report No. 12, Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany, 1998.

15.  Robertson, R., L. Padman, and M. D. Levine, Fine structure, microstructure, and vertical mixing processes in the upper ocean in the western Weddell Sea , J. Geophys. Res., 100, 18517-18535, 1995.

16.  Robertson, R. and M. Spaulding, A three-dimensional numerical dispersion model for acid-iron waste disposal, in Wastes in the Ocean: Volume 5: Deep sea waste disposal, Wiley Interscience, D. R. Kester, P. K. Park, P. H. Ketchum, and I. W. Duedall (eds.), 125-145, 1985.

17.  Robertson, R. A Monte Carlo model of particle dispersion due to wave motion, M. S. Thesis, Department of Ocean Engineering, University of Rhode Island, March, 1982.
 

Conference Presentations:

1.     Robertson, R., Baroclinic tides in the Weddell Sea, SCAR meeting, 12-14 July, 2006, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 2006.

2.     Robertson, R., and A. Ffield, Internal Tides in the Indonesia Seas: A Simulation, Ocean Sciences Meeting: February 20-24, 2006 Honolulu, Hawaii, 2006.

3.     Robertson, R., Baroclinic tides in the Ross Sea, 3rd  International Conference on the Oceanography of the Ross Sea Antarctica, 10-14 October 2005 in Venice, Italy, 2005.

4.     Robertson, R., Modeling Baroclinic Tides: Resolution, Parameterization, and Performance, Colloquium on Tides in honour and memory of Christian Le Provost, March 10-11, 2005, Toulouse, France, 2005.

5.     Robertson, R., Modeling internal tides in the Ross Sea, Ocean Sciences Meeting: January 26-30, 2004 Portland, OR, 2004.

6.     Robertson, R.,  Recent Temperature Trends in the Deep Waters of the Weddell Sea,7th Conference on Polar Meteorology and Oceanography, Joint Symposium on High-Latitude Climate Variations, 12-16 May, Hyannis, MA, 2003.

7.     Robertson, R., Vertical mixing parameterizations and their effects on the skill of baroclinic tidal modeling, 2003 Terrain-Following Ocean Models Users Workshop, 4-6 August 2003, PMEL/NOAA, Seattle WA, 2003.

8.     Robertson, R., Modeling Internal tides in the Ross Sea, 2003 Terrain-Following Ocean Models Users Workshop, 4-6 August 2003, PMEL/NOAA, Seattle WA, 2003.

9.     Robertson, R., Baroclinic tides at Fieberling Guyot: Evaluating the Ability to Simulate Velocities, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, December 6-10, 2002, San Francisco, CA, 2002

10.  Robertson, R., H. Hellmer, and. A. Beckmann, Tidal dynamics and mixing in the Ross Sea, American Geophysical Union Ocean Sciences Meeting, Feb. 11-15, 2002, Honolulu, HI, 2002.

11.  Robertson, R., H. Hellmer, and. A. Beckmann, Tidal dynamics and mixing in the Ross Sea, Conference on Oceanography of the Ross Sea, October 14-20, 2001, Ischia, Italy, 2001.

12.  Robertson, R., A. Beckmann, A Comparison of POM and ROMS for Modeling Internal Tides in Weak Stratification, Terrain-following modeling communities workshop, August 20-22, 2001, Boulder, CO, 2001.

13.  Robertson, R., L. Padman, and M. D. Levine, Internal tides in the southern Weddell Sea: The effects of the critical latitude and shelf/slope fronts, presentation at American Geophysical Union Ocean Sciences meeting, 2000, San Antonio, TX, EOS, 80, No. 49, OS184, 1999.

14.  Robertson, R., M. Visbeck and A. Gordon, The 1999 CORC southern Weddell Sea observational program, presentation at CORC meeting, Sept., 1999, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, NY, 1999.

15.  Robertson, R., and L. Padman, Sigma coordinate pressure gradient errors and internal tides near the critical latitude, presentation at Sigma Coordinate Users Meeting, Sept., 1999, Bar Harbour, ME, 1999.

16.  Robertson, R., L. Padman, and M. Levine, Effects of the critical latitude and fronts on internal tides in the southern Weddell Sea, presentation at iAnZone workshop, Sept., 1999, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, NY, 1999.

17.  Robertson, R., L. Padman, and G. D. Egbert, Tidal currents in the Weddell Sea, American Geophysical Union Fall meeting, 1996, San Francisco, CA, EOS, 77, No. 46, F412, 1996.

18.  Robertson, R., G. D. Egbert, and L. Padman, Tidal currents in the Weddell Sea, American Geophysical Union Ocean Sciences meeting, 1996, San Diego, CA, EOS, 77, No. 3, 86, 1996.

19.  Robertson, R., L. Padman, M. D. Levine, R. D. Muench, M. G. McPhee, Internal waves in the eastern Weddell Sea during AnzFlux, IAPSO Proceedings No. 19, XXIst General Assembly, Honolulu, HI, 148, 1995.

20.  Stanton, T. P., M. G. McPhee, L. Padman, and R. Robertson, R., Turbulent heat fluxes near the base of the mixed layer in the Weddell Sea, IAPSO Proceedings No. 19, XXIst General Assembly, Honolulu, HI, 149, 1995.

21.  Robertson, R. and O. Shemdin, Short wave spectra modulation obtained using stereophotography, American Geophysical Union Ocean Sciences meeting, 1990, New Orleans, LA, EOS, 71, No. 2, 82, 1990.

22.  Robertson, R., A Monte Carlo model of particle dispersion due to wave motion, Oceans ’83 Proceedings, San Francisco, CA, AB1064, 988-992, 1983. \

23.  Robertson, R. and M. Spaulding, A three dimensional numerical model of dispersion in the presence of a warm core ring, American Geophysical Union Spring Meeting, Baltimore, MD, EOS, 64, No. 8, 251, 1983.

 

Profile: (as published in Oceanography)

Modelers and observationalists often operate in different circles.  I try to operate at the intersection.  As a modeler, I simulate realistic scenarios, incorporating real data and verifying the results against observations.  In turn, my simulations suggest where certain processes may be observed. I also collect data in field experiments, which is used for model verification.  Field work reminds me how complex the real ocean is and what the models are still missing.

Although much of my career has been involved with waves of some sort, vertical mixing mechanisms in the polar regions became my broad interest in the early 1990’s and more recently my primary focus became tides.  Tides are believed to be a major vertical mixing mechanism throughout the world ocean.  Much of the mixing is believed to occur through interactions of the barotropic tide with the continental slope or rough topography generating internal tides.  To determine the role of tides in vertical mixing, I model the tidal fields in various regions in 3-D.  Presently, I am simulating internal tides not only in the Antarctic Seas (Ross and Weddell), but also in the Indonesian Seas.

My career path has not been the standard, direct, one discipline approach, but rather has combined oceanography and ocean engineering, academia and industry, and field work, data analysis, and modeling.  My first modeling projects were done as an ocean engineering student, simulating oil dispersion due to wave motion and the dispersion of pollutants.  At the time, I and four other women were the first to be admitted to the Ocean Engineering Department at the University of Rhode Island. 

So how did a modeler start doing field work, especially in those days when many people felt that women should not go to sea?  When I finished my Masters, things looked grim for an inexperienced, ocean engineer, due to a glut of unemployed, experienced ocean engineers when oil prices dropped.  After I was hired by SAIC, I was soon actively involved in their environmental monitoring field program.  This was fortunate, because suddenly I became a modeler with field experience.  This would later open doors for me, for instance at Ocean Research and Engineering, where I ran a field program to measure surface waves using stereo photography.

I earned my PhD at Oregon State University modeling tides, while working with an observationalist and going to sea.  In 1999, I joined Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) of Columbia University.  LDEO has strong observational and climate programs, which allows me to concentrate on the modeling aspect of my work, as well as participating in field work and discussing the relevance of the results to the climate community.

 

Professional Development:
    Florida Institute of Technology (Melbourne, Florida)      B.S.          Chemical Oceanography         1977
    University of Rhode Island (Kingston, Rhode Island)      M.S.         Ocean Engineering                  1982
    Oregon State University (Corvallis, Oregon)                  Ph.D.         Physical Oceanography          1999
    Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (Palisades,NY)      post-doc    Physical Oceanography          1999-2000, 2001
   
Alfred-Wegener Institute (Bremerhaven, Germany)         post-doc    International Research Fellow 2001

 

 

Appointments and Employment:
University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, ACT, Australia Lecturer (3-06 to present);

Teaching a variety of oceanographic topics, including internal waves, regional oceanography, and ocean dynamics.  Modeling the internal tides in the Ross and Weddell Seas and other location.  Investigating the impacts of internal tides on dynamics and mixing.          

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, New York. Doherty Associate Research Scientist(10-02 to 3-06); Adjunct Associate Research Scientist ( 3-06 to present);
Modeling the internal tides in the Ross and Weddell Seas and other location.  Investigating the impacts of internal tides on dynamics and mixing.  Participated in the CORC project both in data analysis and field operations.  Participated in the Anslope III cruise. 

Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, New Jersey. Adjunct Instructor

(9-02-present);

Teaching a basic introductory undergraduate course on Oceanography with both a lecture and a lab.

Alfred-Wegener Institut fuer Polar- und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven, Germany. Post-doctoral Researcher
(1-01 to 11-01)
Modeled the internal tides in the Ross Sea and compared the performance of the ROMS and POM models.

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, New York. Postdoctoral Research Scientist
(3-99 to 1-01 and 12-01 to 10-02 );
Modeling the internal tides in the Weddell Sea.  Participate in the CORC project both in data analysis and field operations.  Responsibilities included functioning as team leader on a research cruise collecting CTD data and placing moorings in the Antarctic, and collecting and analyzing historical CTD data to determine temporal and spatial changes in the Warm Deep Water and Weddell Sea Deep and Bottom Waters.

College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.  Graduate Student
(9-91 to 2-99);
Investigated various mechanisms, which affect mixing and heat transport in the upper ocean for the Weddell Sea.  A two-dimensional barotropic model was developed for the Weddell Sea and used to estimate the energy loss to the baroclinic tides.  A three-dimensional baroclinic model was used to determine the internal wave field generated through interactions of the barotropic tide and topography.  The mixing and heat transport resulting from this internal tidal field were estimated.  Observational data from the AnZone and AnzFlux experiments were analyzed for heat fluxes attributable to double-diffusion, shear instabilities, and surface mixing.  The internal wave field during AnzFlux was characterized.  I also participated in an ice camp data collection experiment (AnzFlux).

Ocean Research and Engineering, Pasadena, California.  Ocean Engineer
(7-89 to 2-91);
Investigated surface waves using stereophotography.  The project responsibilities included conducting two field experiments, processing and analyzing data, and presenting results.

Tekmarine, Inc., Pasadena, California.  Ocean Engineer
(2-88 to 5-89);
Evaluated the physical oceanographic impact of ocean discharges for various clients.  Performed analysis to determine circulation patterns and effluent transport.  Participated in various field projects determining sediment budgets and beach erosion.  Managed a Micro VAX II system.

Areté Associates, Sherman Oaks, California.  Analyst/Programmer
(5-84 to 2-88) and (6-89 to 7-89);
Investigated phenomenological explanations for anomalous wave data observations.  Analyzed remotely sensed oceanographic data, including satellite data (SEASAT).  Headed a group, which developed diagnostics and software for quality assessment of oceanographic data.  Participated in a shipboard data collection experiment.

Science Applications International Corp., Newport, Rhode Island.  Programmer/Field Researcher
(3-82 to 5-84) and (9-80 to 2-81);
Developed software for a state-of-the-art navigation and data acquisition system.  Participated in environmental monitoring cruises.  Evaluated a navigational error analysis model.  Developed software for analysis of bathymetric and photometric data.

Department of Ocean Engineering, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island.
(2-81 to 1-82);
Evaluated the dispersion of acid-iron waste at a deep water dumpsite in the North Atlantic using a numerical model.


Hobbies: rock climbing, backpacking, whitewater kayaking, knitting, quilting