Keynote Speakers

  SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAProf. Roland Gehrels, University of York, UK

MSc (VU Amsterdam, 1989), PhD (Maine, 1994)

Roland is a coastal Quaternary geologist specialising in sea-level studies. He was appointed as a Chair in Physical Geography at the University of York in June 2013. Prior to this he was for almost 18 years at Plymouth University where he  was awarded a Chair in 2007 and headed a research cluster in sea-level studies. His first endeavours in Holocene sea-level    research were in collaboration with the late Orson van de Plassche at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam where he completed an MSc in Applied Quaternary Geology. His PhD at the University of Maine (USA) investigated Holocene sea-level changes in the Gulf of Maine under the supervision of Daniel Belknap and Joseph Kelley. He worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Durham with Ian Shennan in 1994-95. Roland’s research is focused in several key areas: (i) Recent accelerations of sea-level rise; ii) Quantitative methods of sea-level reconstruction using microfossils (foraminifera, testate amoebae, diatoms); (iii) Spatial patterns of Holocene relative sea-level change; and (iv) Rapid sea-level change during interglacials. He uses salt-marsh sediments, and the fossils preserved within, to reconstruct sea-level changes over decadal, centennial and millennial timescales. Roland has worked along the coasts of Britain, eastern North America, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, New Zealand, Tasmania and the Falkland Islands. He is the President of the INQUA Commission on Coastal and Marine Processes and a contributing author to the sea-level chapter of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.


GW_2014Prof. Guy Woppelmann, University of La Rochelle, France

Dr. Guy Wöppelmann obtained his PhD at the Observatoire de Paris in 1997 and he is currently Professor at the University of La Rochelle, France. He works at the interface of geodesy and geophysics, using precise GNSS positioning to study the deformation of the Earth surface, in particular at the coast. His interests span the applications of these areas to improve our understanding of sea level change over multi-decadal to century timescales, the unification of vertical datums, and the investigation of modern technologies to observe sea levels. Prof. Wöppelmann was instrumental in setting up SONEL (, the French sea level observation system. SONEL federates the most relevant French institutions related to sea level monitoring and currently acts as the GNSS at tide gauge data assembly centre for the Global Sea Level Observing System (GLOSS) program, under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. Prof. Wöppelmann is the national representative of GLOSS and chair of the GLOSS science steering group.



 Prof. Chris W. Hughes, National Oceanography Centre, UK

   I am Professor of Sea Level Science at the University of Liverpool and the National Oceanography Centre. My interests are in what I call     geodetic oceanography, understanding the link between sea level, ocean bottom pressure, and ocean dynamics, through a combination of  theory,    observations and ocean model diagnostics.  I obtained my D.Phil. at Oxford in 1992, supervised by Peter Killworth, on The Effect of    Topography   on Ocean Flows, in which I worked to understand the dynamic of the Fine Resolution Antarctic Model. Following that, I moved to     Proudman      Oceanographic Laboratory in Bidston, near Liverpool. POL relocated to Liverpool in 2004, and became the National    Oceanography  Centre,    Liverpool in 2010. In 2013 I moved to the University of Liverpool, though I am still partly funded by NOC. In those 22 years I have  worked on a wide variety of problems including Southern Ocean dynamics, the North Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, ocean eddies, the mass balance of the ocean, and coastal mean sea level.


sally_photo_waveDr. Sally Brown, University of Southampton, UK

Dr Sally Brown is a Research Fellow at the University of Southampton, UK specialising in climate change impacts and adaptation at global and sub-global scales. Sally has a broad, multi-disciplinary background in geophysical sciences, and went onto study coastal engineering for her PhD in 2008. Since then, her research has involved the creation of global sea-level rise scenarios and modelling the impacts of sea-level rise at global and regional scales, using the DIVA model. She has assessed the impacts of flooding and erosion at local scales. More recently, her research has shifted towards the challenges of adaptation to climate change and sea-level rise, integrating multiple drivers of coastal change through different time and space scales. Her work has mostly focused on the coastlines of Europe, but also in the UK, Bangladesh and the Maldives.


Stefan RahmstorfProf. Stefan Rahmstorf, Postdam University, Germany

Stefan Rahmstorf is chair of the Earth System Analysis department  at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany and teaches Physics of the Oceans as a professor at Potsdam University. Rahmstorf is a member of the Academia Europaea and served from 2004-2013 in the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU). He was also one of the lead authors of the 4th Assessment Report of the IPCC. In 2007 he became an Honorary Fellow of the University of Wales and in 2010 a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. He has published over 90 scientific papers (including over 20 on sea level) and co-authored four books. Available in English is Our Threatened Oceans (2009, with Katherine Richardson) and The Climate Crisis (2010, with David Archer).


MerrifieldProf. Mark Merrifield, University of Hawaii, USA

Mark is the director of the Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (JIMAR), an institution created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  He is also the director of the University of Hawaii Sea level Center (UHSLC) and Professor at the Department of Oceanography in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology of the University of Hawaii (SOEST). His research interest comprise coastal oceanography, surface and internal ocean waves and sea level variability.


RackMultipart20131126-32571-1rtzao5Prof. Charitha Pattiaratchi, University of Western Australia, Australia

Prof. Charitha Pattiaratchi holds Bachelors, Masters and PhD degrees from the University of Wales, UK. He has been at the University of Western Australia for over 25 years and currently holds the position of Winthrop Professor of Coastal Oceanography. Prof. Pattiaratchi has supervised over 40 PhD students and 130 honours students and has published over 300 articles/reports on coastal oceanography, which include over 125 in peer-reviewed international journals. Prof. Pattiaratchi’s research interests are in coastal physical oceanography and coastal sediment transport, with emphasis on field experiments and numerical modelling. He has played an active role in examining climate change effects in coastal regions of Western Australia and particularly in terms ocean currents, wind and wave climate, sea level variability, coastal flooding and beach stability.



Prof. Jonathan Gregory, University of Reading, UK

Since 2003, Jonathan Gregory has been at the Department of Meteorology of the University of Reading, where he is a senior research scientist of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science and a professor in the department. He also works as a Met Office Research Fellow in climate change at the Hadley Centre, which he first joined in 1990. He is a lead author of the chapters covering sea level projections in the IPCC Third (2001), Fourth (2007) and Fifth Assessment (2013) Reports. His recent interests include ocean heat uptake, climate sensitivity and radiative forcing, land ice response to past and future climate change, changes in the Atlantic thermohaline circulation, and Earth system modelling.


Dr. Begoña Pérez Gómez, Puertos del Estado, SpainBegoña Pérez

MSc (Madrid, Complutense University, 1991)

PhD (University of Cantabria, 2014)

Begoña Pérez Gómez is a physicist with more than 20 years of experience in physical oceanography, mainly focused on sea level measurements and forecasts as well as on operational monitoring of all frequency ranges of the sea level processes: tsunamis, seiches, tides, storm surges or mean sea levels. Working at Puertos del Estado since 1991, she has been responsible of the REDMAR SpanishTide Gauge Network since 1992, and has participated on the development of the Nivmar Sea level forecasting system, the first storm surge forecasting system established in the South of Europe in 1998. She maintains a regular collaboration with the Global Sea LevelObserving System (GLOSS) through its Group of Experts and is co-chair, since 2006, of the Working Group 3 (Sea level data exchange and offshore instrumentation for Tsunami Detection) of the North East Atlantic, Mediterranean and adjacent seas Tsunami Warning System (NEAMTWS, IOC/UNESCO Intergovernmental Coordination Group). She has participated in several major European Projects related to operational oceanography and sea level applications, particularly aimed to sea level related hazards, such as: ESEAS-RI, TRANSFER, ECOOP, JERICO and MyOcean


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