Laurence (“Laurie”) Padman joined ESR in 1997 after 11 years as a research professor at Oregon State University (OSU), College of Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences. His PhD in Oceanography from the University of Sydney (1987) involved the study of mixing in a freshwater lake. A postdoc at OSU led to a career focus on the oceanography of high-latitude seas. He made two field trips to the Arctic, carrying out science from camps set up on the floating and drifting sea ice. His first Antarctic field trip was on an ice camp in the western Weddell Sea in 1992, closely following the 1915 drift of Shackleton’s ill-fated Endurance. He has been involved in three other Antarctic cruises since then.
Laurie’s present research interests include the prediction of tides in both the Antarctic and Arctic, and the effect of tides on the ice shelves surrounding Antarctica. A recent project (“AnSlope”) involves the study of how dense water from the Ross Sea gets into the deep ocean. Laurie’s work includes: field measurements of ocean currents, temperature and salinity; numerical modeling of ocean tides; and the use of satellite altimetry to measure the variability of ice shelf heights caused by ocean tides and by atmospheric pressure.