Dr Neil Fraser

        Head and shoulder shot of physical oceanographer Neil Fraser outside with research vessel behind

Physical Oceanographer

I have a background in mathematical physics which I apply to dynamical fluid systems.

I am primarily interested in large-scale North Atlantic circulation and its role in climate. I also use analytical and observational approaches to study the dynamics of slope currents.

My other interests are polar oceanography, fjord-shelf exchange processes, inverse methods, numerical modelling and internal waves.

Contact details:
  • neil.fraser@sams.ac.uk
  • +44 (0)+44 (0) 1631 559 242
  • +44 (0)+44 (0) 7912 490 085

  • Orcid

I am a Postdoctoral Research Assistant and work on the following research projects:




Peer-reviewed publications


Fox AD, Handmann P, Schmidt C, Fraser N, Rühs S, Sanchez-Franks A, Martin T, Oltmanns M, Johnson C, Rath W, Holliday NP, Biastoch A, Cunningham SA, Yashayaev I (2022) Exceptional freshening and cooling in the eastern subpolar North Atlantic caused by reduced Labrador Sea surface heat loss. Ocean Sci., 18, 1507–1533, https://doi.org/10.5194/os-18-1507-2022 


Fraser, NJ and Cunningham SA (2021) 120 years of AMOC variability reconstructed from observations using the Bernoulli inverse. Geophysical Research Letters (accepted).

Li F, Lozier MS, Bacon S, Bower AS, Cunningham SA, de Jong MF, deYoung B, Fraser NJ, Fried N, Han G, Holliday NP, Holte J, Houpert L, Inall ME, Johns WE, Jones S, Johnson C, Karstensen J, Le Bras IA, Lherminier P, Lin X, Mercier H, Oltmanns M, Pacini A, Petit T, Rickart RS, Rayner D, Straneo F, Thierry V, Visbeck M, Yashayaev I & Zhou-Show C (2021) Subpolar North Atlantic western boundary desity anomalies and the Meridional Overturning Circulation. Nature Communications 12: 3002 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23350-2 


Houpert L, Cunningham S, Fraser NJ, Johnson CL, Holliday NP, Jones S, Moat B and Rayner D (2020) Observed variability of the North Atlantic Current in the Rockall Trough from four years of mooring measurements. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 125 (10): e2020JC016403 https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JC016403 

Huthnance, J, Inall, ME and Fraser, NJ. (2020) Oceanic density/pressure gradients and slope currents. Journal of Physical Oceanography 50 (6): 1643–1654 https://doi.org/10.1175/JPO-D-19-0134.1 

Skogseth, R, Olivier, L, Nilsen, F, Falck, E, Fraser, NJ, Tverberg, V, Ledang, AB, Vader, A, Jonassen, MO, Søreide, JE, Cottier, F, Berge, J, Ivanov, B and Falk-Petersen, S. (2020) Variability and decadal trends in the Isfjorden (Svalbard) ocean climate and circulation - an indicator for climate change in the European Arctic. Progress in Oceanography


Fraser, NJ, Inall, ME, Jones, SC, Magaldi, MG and Haine, TWN. Wintertime fjord-shelf interaction in Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord, Southeast Greenland. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 123 (12) https://doi.org/10.1029/2018JC014435 

Fraser, NJ, Skogseth, R, Nilsen, N and Inall, ME (2018) Circulation and exchange in a broad Arctic fjord using glider based observations. Polar Research, 37 (1) https://doi.org/10.1080/17518369.2018.1485417 

Fraser, NJ and Inall ME (2018) Influence of barrier wind forcing on heat delivery towards the Greenland Ice Sheet. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 123 (4) https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JC013464 

BSc (Hons) Marine Science

Module leader: 1st year 'Fundamentals of Marine Physics'

Module leader: 1st year 'Introduction to Maths and Data Science'

Lecturer: 2nd year 'Advanced Mathematics and Programming'

I previously provided tutorials for first year 'Fundamentals of Marine Physics'


Neil MacDougall Bursary for Practical Oceanography. SAMS 2012

Employment history

Since Jan 2018: Postdoctoral Research Associate. SAMS

Summer 2011 and 2012: Summer Intern. SAMS



2018 PhD 'Mechanisms for Wintertime Fjord / Shelf Heat Exchange in Greenland and Svalbard'. University of Edinburgh / SAMS

2013: MPhys Mathematical Physics. University of Edinburgh