A.G. HUNTSMAN AWARD

FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE MARINE SCIENCES

 
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TREVOR McDOUGALL (2005)

Dr. Trevor J. McDougall, of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Australia, for his leading role in developing a practical understanding of important thermodynamic and dynamic processes in the ocean, which are a key to the determination of the mixing motions that so strongly influence ocean circulation and heat transport.

Dr. McDougall is a Chief Research Scientist in the Division of Marine Research and Leader of the Climate Research Group at CSIRO in Hobart, Australia. He holds an Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Adelaide, a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics from Cambridge University, and a Graduate Diploma in Economics from the Australian National University. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, and recipient of the Frederick White Prize awarded by the Australian Academy of Science, and the Banks Medal from the Royal Society of Tasmania.

Dr. McDougall has used a combination of physical insight and mathematical formalism to elucidate fundamental effects associated with nonlinearities in the relationship between sea water density and temperature, salinity and pressure, and to bring order and rigour to the study of a range of complex ocean processes that had defied previous efforts. His work has covered ocean processes on spatial scales ranging from centimeters to hundreds of kilometers. At the smallest scales, Dr. McDougall has used laboratory experiments, theory and ocean observations to understand and reveal the links between turbulence, "double diffusion", "cabbeling", entrainment and subtle thermodynamic effects. On larger scales, he has defined the "neutral density surfaces" along which energetic mesoscale eddies mix in the ocean, and he has developed dynamically consistent parameterizations to represent mesoscale mixing processes in ocean models. Many aspects of his work have become basic building blocks in state-of-the-art ocean general circulation models. His truly original contributions are having major influences on ocean studies ranging from the smallest-scale mixing processes to the understanding of global ocean climate and its implications.