My name is Andrew Twelves and I am currently a final year PhD student in the School of Geosciences at the University of Edinburgh.  I spend my working hours implementing and modifying existing models of ocean physics and biology to try and understand what is going on in one of the worlds fastest changing environments, West Antarctica.

In particular I am interested in the gaps in seasonal sea ice cover (polynyas) which are observed around the coast of Antarctica.  These are dynamically linked to atmospheric conditions such as temperature, humidity and irradiance, and to the circulation and heat content of the upper ocean.  Every year these polynyas play host to blooms of microscopic algae (phytoplankton) which form the basis of the marine Antarctic ecosystem, as well as regulating fluxes of carbon dioxide between the ocean and atmosphere.  Numerical models such as those I am using can help explain the variations in biological productivity between different polynyas, and predict how these ecosystems might evolve as a result of future climate change.

I use the MIT general circulation model (MITgcm) and the Biology Light Iron Nutrient and Gas model (BLING) in my research, and make use of data both from satellites and ship surveys to validate my model results.  You can find me on ResearchGate, or email me at