Dr Max Holloway


Coastal physical oceanographer

I am an environmental scientist with >8 years' experience in environmental physics, climate and Earth systems science.

I work with observational data and numerical models, with a special interest in model-data comparison, assessing uncertainty, and communicating uncertainty through data visualisation.

Check out my LOOP profile.

Contact details:

I am a physical data scientist; I objectively calculate odds, identify patterns and detect anomalies in large, complex datasets. My past research has included

  • >local topographic scale meteorology
  • >fluid dynamics
  • >global climate modelling
  • >ice core palaeoclimatology
  • >palaeoceanography
  • >ice sheet stability
  • >sea ice dynamics
  • >photovoltaic modelling
  • >data science methods in the field of networks and metrology

I currently work in observational physical oceanography and high resolution, non-hydrostatic numerical ocean modelling. I have a particular interest in developing novel methods to combine observational data with numerical models to improve our understanding of how these systems have varied in the past and how they may vary in the future.

My research at SAMS uses a combined model-data approach in understanding small-scale physical ocean processes to optimise aquaculture sites.


Current research project

Off-Aqua (Jan 2019-Jan 2021): collecting and analysing physical ocean data and conducting high-resolution modelling studies.

AGRI-SATT : enhancing natural micro-algae growth at the world-largest AI-automated zero-emission protein production site. Funded by INNOVATE UK. 2020-23

Peer-reviewed publications

Ellerhoff, B.Kirschner, M. J.Ziegler, E.Holloway, M. D.Sime, L., & Rehfeld, K. (2022). Contrasting state-dependent effects of natural forcing on global and local climate variabilityGeophysical Research Letters49, e2022GL098335. https://doi.org/10.1029/2022GL098335

Holloway, M.D., Sime, L.C., Singarayer, J.S., Tindall, J.C., Valdes, P.J. 2018. Simulating the 128 ka Antarctic climate response to Northern Hemisphere ice sheet melting using the isotope-enabled HadCM3. Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2018GL079647

Fischer, H., Holloway, M.D. et al. 2018. Palaeoclimate constraints on the impact of 2°C anthropogenic warming and beyond. Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/s41561-018-0146-0

Malmierca-Vallet, I., Holloway, M. et al. 2018. Simulating the Last Interglacial Greenland stable water isotope peak: the role of Arctic sea ice changes. Quaternary Science Reviews, 198, 1-14, doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.07.027

Holloway, S., Holloway, M., Thomas, S. 2018. A method for acquiring random range uncertainty probability distributions in proton therapy. Physics in Medicine and Biology, doi:10.1088/1361-6560/aa9502

Holloway, M.D., Sime, L.C., Allen, C.S., Hillenbrand, C-D., Bunch, P., Wolff, E., Valdes, P.J. 2017. The spatial structure of the 128 ka Antarctic sea ice minimum. Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1002/2017GL074594

Holloway, M.D., Sime, L.C., Singarayer, J.S., Tindall, J.C., Bunch, P., Valdes, P.J. 2016. Antarctic last interglacial isotope peak in response to sea ice retreat not ice sheet collapse. Nature Communications, 7:12293, doi:10.1038/ncomms12293

Holloway, M.D., Sime, L.C., Singarayer, J.S., Tindall, J.C., Valdes, P.J. 2016. Reconstructing paleosalinity from δ18O: Coupled model simulations of the Last Glacial Maximum, Last Interglacial and Late Holocene. Quaternary Science Reviews, 131, 350-364, doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.07.007

Glasser, N., Jansson, K., Duller, G., Singarayer, J., Holloway, M., Harrison, S. 2016. Glacial lake drainage in Patagonia (13-8 kyr) and response of the adjacent Pacific Ocean. Nature Scientific Reports, 6, doi:10.1038/srep21064


Other publications

Capron, E., Govin, A., Bakker, P., Hoffman, J., Holloway, M., Moseley, G. and Stone, E. 2016. Paving the road for improved integrative investigations of past Warm Extremes. PAGES MAGAZINE, 24, 34

Gowan, E.J., Dassié, E.P., Ait Brahim, Y., Holloway, M.D., X. Benito, X., Kuosmanen, N. 2017. Early-career paleoscientists meet in the mountains of Aragon. PAGES MAGAZINE, 25(2), 99, doi:10.22498/pages.25.2.99

Consultancy and industry experience

I have experience as a data science consultant, specifically using machine learning and data visualisation to extract the full potential and hidden insights from client datasets.


Accessing consultancy services from SAMS

SAMS consultancy work is delivered through its wholly owned commercial subsidiary, SAMS Research Services Ltd. (SRSL).

SRSL operates a comprehensive Quality Management System (QMS) that is accredited to ISO9001:2008 standard, guaranteeing that all projects deliver the best possible service to our customers. All SRSL projects are planned by a professional programme manager who oversees a team of dedicated project managers, all of whom are focussed specifically on client delivery, and have scientific experience and technical expertise in fields relevant to their assigned projects.

For further information concerning commercial enterprise opportunities at SAMS, please contact the SRSL team by email (info@srsl.com) or phone +44 (0) 1631 559 470.

Employment history

Since 2019: Postdoctoral Research Association Coastal Physical Oceanography and Modelling. SAMS

2018-19: Research Scientist. National Physical Laboratory, Data Science Department

2016-18: Ice core Paleoclimatologist. British Antarctic Survey, Ice Dynamics and Paleoclimate Team


Education qualifications

2016 PhD. University of Bristol

2012 MSc Oceanography. University of Southampton

2011 BSc (Hons) Physical Geography. University of Portsmouth