Dr Marie Porter

        Physical oceanographer Marie Porter with a pink seaglider opened up for technology check

Physical Oceanographer

A physical oceanographer working with gliders, drifters, AUVs and RPAs.

My work focusses on vertical and horizontal mixing and exchanges within shelf sea and shelf edge systems. I am particularly interested in the impact of these exchanges on nutrient pathways and the ecological response.

Contact details:

My research focusses on the physical oceanography of the shelf seas, particularly shelf edge exchange and both horizontal and vertical mixing.

I use robotic platforms such as gliders for high resolution sustained observations to study the seasonality of shelf processes. This seasonality has traditionally been hard to observe due to the difficulties involved in collecting data during winter. These platforms not only allow us to collect data during difficult times of the year but also in extreme and remote environments. I am interested in the use of gliders and AUVs on the Arctic shelves for sustained observations of the water column near to the sea ice edge throughout the seasons.

I think it is important that these observational oceanography studies are not seen in isolation and consequently I am interested in the links with nutrient dynamics and the use of the observations in model development.


Current project

Arctic Productivity in the Seasonal Ice Zone (Arctic PRIZE). Funded by NERC. 2017-20


Highlight past projects

Fluxes Across Sloping Topography in the North East Atlantic (FASTNEt): Funded by NERC. 2012-16

Peer-reviewed publications

Davidson K, Whyte C, Aleynik D, Kurekin A, Gontarek S, McNeill S, Miller PI, Porter M, Saxon R, Swan S (2021) HABreports: Online early warning of harmful algal and biotoxin risk for the Scottish shellfish and finfish aquaculture industries. Frontiers in Marine Science https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2021.631732

Kostakis I, Röttgers R, Orkney A, Bouman HA, Porter M, Cottier F, Berge J, McKee D (2020) Development of a bio-optical model for the Barents Sea to quantitatively link glider and satellite observations.  Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 378: 20190367. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2019.0367

Henley SF, Porter M, Hobbs L, Braun J, Guillaume-Castel R, Venables EJ, Dumont J, Cottier F (2020) Nitrate supply and uptake in the Atlantic Arctic sea ice zone:seasonal cycle, mechanisms and drivers. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 378: 20190361. https://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2019.0361 

Porter M, Henley SF, Orkney A, Bouman HA, Hwang B, Dumont E, Venables EJ, Cottier F (2020) A polar surface eddy obscured by thermal stratication. Geophysical Research Letters 47e2019GL086281. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GL086281

Jones, S.C., Inall, M.E., Porter, M., Graham, J.A., Cottier, F. (2020) Storm-driven across-shelf oceanic flows into coastal waters. Ocean Science 16(2) 389-403. https://doi.org/10.5194/os-16-389-2020 

Marsh, R., Haigh, I., Cunningham, S., Inall, M., Porter, M. & Moat, B  (2017) Large-scale forcing of the European Slope Current and associated inflows to the North Sea, Ocean Science, 13, 315-335, doi:10.5194/os-13-315-2017

Porter, M., Inall, M., Palmer, M., Hopkins, J., Dale, A., Aleynik, D., Smeed, D. Barth, J. and C. Mahaffey (2016)  Enhanced deep water upwelling in a shelf break canyon: a seasonally rectified carbon pump, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. 10.1002/2016JC012087

Porter, M., Inall, M., Green, J., Simpson, J. and Dale, A. (2016) Drifter observations in the summer time Bay of Biscay slope current, Journal of Marine Systems. Vol: 157 965-74

Aleynik, D., Davidson, K., Dale, A., and Porter, M. (2016) Hydrodynamic Modelling and HAB Monitoring on the West Coast of Scotland, Harmful Algae. Vol:53 p102-117

Vlasenko, V., Stashchuk, N., Inall, M., Porter, M. and Aleynik, D (2016) Focusing of baroclinic tidal energy in a canyon, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. Vol: 121 p2824-2840


Other publications

Aleynik D, Adams T, Davidson K, Dale A, Porter M, Black K, Burrows M (2018) Biophysical modeling of marine organisms: fundamentals and applications to management of coastal waters.  Environmental Management of Marine Ecosystems. Edited by Md. Nazrul Islam & Sven Erik Jorgensen CRC press ISBN 9781498767729  pp 65-98

Research expeditions

D321 - RRS Discovery, 2007 - Ellett line, NE Atlantic

D340 – RRS Discovery, 2009 – Ellett line, NE Atlantic

D376 – RRS Discovery, 2012 – FASTNEt, Celtic Sea

JC88 – RRS James Cook, 2013 – FASTNEt, Malin Shelf

0514S - RV Scotia, 2014 – FASTNEt, Faroe-Shetland Channel



2007 Neil MacDougall Bursary


Professional memberships

MASTS Dynamics and Properties of Marine Systems theme: Member of steering committee

Challenger Society

European Geoscience Union

Employment history

2017-present Postdoctoral Research Associate in Arctic PRIZE. SAMS

2012-17 Postdoctoral Research Associate in FASTNEt. SAMS



2012 PhD 'Linking surface fluctuations of terrestrial ice masses to variability within the mixed layer of the surrounding oceans'. The University of Aberdeen

2008 BSc (Hons) Meteorology and Oceanography. The University of East Anglia