Dr Robin Robertson

+61 2 6268 8289
+61 2 6268 8786

LOCATION

Room G17 PEMS South (Bldg 26) School of Physical, Environmental and Mathematical Sciences, UNSW Canberra, Australian Defence Force Academy, PO Box 7916, Canberra BC ACT 2610, AUSTRALIA

  • ABOUT
  • PUBLICATIONS

Dr Robin Robertson is a Senior Lecturer in the ADFA  School of Physical, Environmental and Mathematical Sciences (PEMS). Her research interests include:

  • Internal Tides and Internal Waves
  • Vertical Ocean Mixing Mechanisms
  • Indonesian Seas
  • Antarctic Seas
  • Acoustic Propagation in Australian Waters
  • Long-term Variability of the Deep Waters

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.

 

She is presently President of the Ocean Sciences Section of the Asia-Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS) and a Deputy Node Leader for the NSW node of the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS).

Book Chapters

You Y; Rossby T; Zenk W; Ilahude AG; Fukasawa M; Davis R; Hu D; Susanto D; Richardson PL; Villanoy C, 2010, 'Indonesian Throughflow: PACific Source Water INvestigation (PACSWIN) An international ocean climate program', in You Y; HendersonSellers A (ed.), CLIMATE ALERT: CLIMATE CHANGE MONITORING AND STRATEGY, SYDNEY UNIV PRESS, pp. 238 - 298

Robertson R, 2010, 'Are the deep waters of the Weddell Sea still warming?', in You Y; HendersonSellers A (ed.), CLIMATE ALERT: CLIMATE CHANGE MONITORING AND STRATEGY, SYDNEY UNIV PRESS, pp. 111 - 141

Journal articles

Roughan M; Keating SR; Schaeffer A; Cetina Heredia P; Rocha C; Griffin D; Robertson R; Suthers IM, 2017, 'A tale of two eddies: The biophysical characteristics of two contrasting cyclonic eddies in the East Australian Current System', Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, vol. 122, pp. 2494 - 2518, 10.1002/2016JC012241

Hibiya T; Ijichi T; Robertson R, 2017, 'The impacts of ocean bottom roughness and tidal flow amplitude on abyssal mixing', Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, vol. 122, pp. 5645 - 5651, 10.1002/2016JC012564

Robertson R; Dong J; Hartlipp P, 2017, 'Diurnal Critical Latitude and the Latitude Dependence of Internal Tides, Internal Waves, and Mixing Based on Barcoo Seamount', Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, vol. 122, pp. 7838 - 7866, 10.1002/2016JC012591

Robertson R; Hartlipp P, 2017, 'Surface wind mixing in the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS)', Geoscience Letters, vol. 4, 10.1186/s40562-017-0090-7

Schaeffer A; Roughan M; Austin T; Everett JD; Griffin D; Hollings B; King E; Mantovanelli A; Milburn S; Pasquer B, 2016, 'Mean hydrography on the continental shelf from 26 repeat glider deployments along Southeastern Australia', Scientific Data, vol. 3, 10.1038/sdata.2016.70

Boettger D; Robertson R; Rainville L, 2015, 'Characterizing the semidiurnal internal tide off Tasmania using glider data', Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, vol. 120, pp. 3730 - 3746, 10.1002/2015JC010711

Randall-Goodwin E; Meredith MP; Jenkins A; Yager PL; Sherrell RM; Abrahamsen EP; Guerrero R; Yuan X; Mortlock RA; Gavahan K, 2015, 'Freshwater distributions and water mass structure in the Amundsen Sea Polynya region, Antarctica', Elementa, vol. 3, 10.12952/journal.elementa.000065

Woodham RH; Alves O; Brassington GB; Robertson R; Kiss A, 2015, 'Evaluation of ocean forecast performance for Royal Australian Navy exercise areas in the Tasman Sea', JOURNAL OF OPERATIONAL OCEANOGRAPHY, vol. 8, pp. 147 - 161, 10.1080/1755876X.2015.1087187

Robertson RA, 2013, 'Tides, Critical Latitude, and their Effects on the Amundsen Sea Ice Shelves', CLIVAR Exchanges, vol. 18, pp. 31 - 32

Robertson R, 2013, 'Tidally induced increases in melting of Amundsen Sea ice shelves', Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, vol. 118, pp. 3138 - 3145, 10.1002/jgrc.20236

Woodham R; Brassington GB; Robertson R; Alves O, 2013, 'Propagation characteristics of coastally trapped waves on the Australian Continental Shelf', Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, vol. 118, pp. 4461 - 4473, 10.1002/jgrc.20317

Hibiya T; Furuichi N; Robertson R, 2012, 'Assessment of fine-scale parameterizations of turbulent dissipation rates near mixing hotspots in the deep ocean', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 39, 10.1029/2012GL054068

Robertson R, 2011, 'Interactions between tides and other frequencies in the Indonesian seas', OCEAN DYNAMICS, vol. 61, pp. 69 - 88, 10.1007/s10236-010-0343-x

Robertson R, 2010, 'Tidal currents and mixing at the INSTANT mooring locations', Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans, vol. 50, pp. 331 - 373, 10.1016/j.dynatmoce.2010.02.004

You Y; Rossby T; Zenk W; Gordon A; Ilahude AG; Suginohara N; Davis R; Hu D; Susanto D; Richardson PL, 2008, 'PACSWIN: A new international ocean climate programm in the Indonesian seas and adjacent regions', CLIVAR Exchanges, vol. 13, pp. 30 - 31

Ffield A; Robertson R, 2008, 'Temperature finestructure in the Indonesian seas', Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, vol. 113, 10.1029/2006JC003864

Robertson R; Ffield A, 2008, 'Baroclinic tides in the Indonesian seas: Tidal fields and comparisons to observations', Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, vol. 113, 10.1029/2007JC004677

Robertson R, 2006, 'Modeling internal tides over Fieberling Guyot: Resolution, parameterization, performance', Ocean Dynamics, vol. 56, pp. 430 - 444, 10.1007/s10236-006-0062-5

Ffield A; Robertson R, 2005, 'Indonesian seas fine structure variability', Oceanography, vol. 18, pp. 108 - 111, 10.5670/oceanog.2005.11

Robertson R, 2005, 'Baroclinic and barotropic tides in the Weddell Sea', Antarctic Science, vol. 17, pp. 461 - 474, 10.1017/S0954102005002890

Robertson R, 2005, 'Baroclinic and barotropic tides in the Ross Sea', Antarctic Science, vol. 17, pp. 107 - 120, 10.1017/S0954102005002506

Robertson R, 2005, 'M2 baroclinic tides in the Indonesian seas', Oceanography, vol. 18, pp. 62 - 73

Robertson R; Ffield A, 2005, 'M 2 baroclinic tides in the Indonesian seas', Oceanography, vol. 18, pp. 62 - 73

Robertson R; Beckmann A; Hellmer H, 2003, 'M2 tidal dynamics in the Ross Sea', Antarctic Science, vol. 15, pp. 41 - 46, 10.1017/S0954102003001044

Robertson R; Visbeck M; Gordon AL; Fahrbach E, 2002, 'Long-term temperature trends in the deep waters of the Weddell Sea', Deep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, vol. 49, pp. 4791 - 4806, 10.1016/S0967-0645(02)00159-5

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

Robertson R, 2001, 'Internal tides and baroclinicity in the Southern Weddell Sea 2. Effects of the critical latitude and stratification', Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, vol. 106, pp. 27017 - 27034

Robertson R, 2001, 'Internal tides and baroclinicity in the southern Weddell Sea 1. Model description', Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, vol. 106, pp. 27001 - 27016

Robertson R, 1998, 'Tides in the Weddell Sea in Ocean, Ice, and Atmosphere: Interactions at the Antarctic Continental Margin, Antarctic Research Series,', Ocean, Ice, and Atmosphere: Interactions at the Antarctic Continental Margin, Antarctic Research Series,, vol. 75, pp. 341 - 369

Robertson R, 1998, 'Tides in the Weddell Sea', Ocean, Ice, and Atmosphere: Interactions at the Antarctic Continental Margin, vol. 75, pp. 341 - 368, http://agu/

Conference Papers

Robertson R; Hartlipp P, 2015, 'Acoustic propagation over the continental slope and deep basin off eastern Australia', in Acoustics 2015 Hunter Valley, presented at

Clements J; Robertson R, 2014, 'Acoustic ray propagation in the waters off eastern Australia using ocean glider data', in INTERNOISE 2014 - 43rd International Congress on Noise Control Engineering: Improving the World Through Noise Control, presented at

Robertson R; Hartlipp P, 2014, 'Tidal effects on acoustic propagation off eastern Australia', in INTERNOISE 2014 - 43rd International Congress on Noise Control Engineering: Improving the World Through Noise Control, Australian Acoustical Society, Melbourne, presented at Inter.noise 2014, Melbourne, 16 - 19 November 2014

Robertson R, 2010, 'Tides, the PIG, and "warm" water', in 17TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE AUSTRALIAN METEOROLOGICAL AND OCEANOGRAPHIC SOCIETY, IOP PUBLISHING LTD, Australian Natl Univ (ANU), Canberra, AUSTRALIA, presented at 17th National Conference of the Australian-Meteorological-and-Oceanographic-Society, Australian Natl Univ (ANU), Canberra, AUSTRALIA, 27 - 29 January 2010, 10.1088/1755-1315/11/1/012002

Robertson R, 2010, 'Modeling tides and vertical tidal mixing: A reality check', in 17TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE AUSTRALIAN METEOROLOGICAL AND OCEANOGRAPHIC SOCIETY, IOP PUBLISHING LTD, Australian Natl Univ (ANU), Canberra, AUSTRALIA, presented at 17th National Conference of the Australian-Meteorological-and-Oceanographic-Society, Australian Natl Univ (ANU), Canberra, AUSTRALIA, 27 - 29 January 2010, 10.1088/1755-1315/11/1/012035

Robertson RA, (ed.), 2006, 'Internal Tides and Mixing in the Indonesian Seas', in International Symposium on Statified Flows, International Symposium on Statified Flows, Perth, WA, pp. 288 - 293, presented at International Symposium on Statified Flows, Perth, WA, 11 - 14 December 2006

Theses / Dissertations

Boettger D, 2016, Observations of the Semidiurnal Internal Tide in the Coral and Tasman Seas, thesis, UNSW, UNSW Canberra

Woodham RH, Predicting the Oceanic Mesoscale Dynamics in the Australian Region, thesis, UNSW

Bell M, Seasonal Variability of Internal Tides off New South Wales, thesis, UNSW

Cooper JE, An Investigation into the effects of Internal Tides on Acoustic Propagation in the Indonesian Seas, thesis, UNSW Canberra

Ellicott DJ, Antarctic Bathymetry: An Assessment and Assimilation of Publically Available Datasets, thesis, UNSW Canberra, UNSW Canberra