I am an oceanographer interested in climate and the general circulation of the atmosphere and oceans, which I study through the development of mathematical and numerical models of key physical and biogeochemical processes.
I became interested in the field of meteorology and oceanography in the 1970s as an undergraduate student in Physics at Imperial College, London, where I subsequently became a faculty member. Since moving to MIT over 30 years ago, I have studied physical oceanography and, increasingly, the role of the ocean and ice in climate. I am attracted to the field because of its wonderful mix of empiricism, observation, theory and modeling. Furthermore, its ‘bottom-up’ nature allows scientists themselves to identify the problems to be solved, then organize and implement programs to do so. It still remains a field in which scientists working in small groups can make a huge impact. Of course, I am also motivated by the fact that understanding the climate, and the role of the ocean therein, is one of the greatest and most important intellectual challenges.