Oceanographer Trevor McDougall is a leading figure worldwide in the thermodynamics of seawater, which involves the movement of energy through the oceans. He has improved our understanding of how seawater mixes under different conditions — crucial when studying how our climate changes over time.
One of Trevor’s key achievements was the development of an algorithm for defining neutral density surfaces. These are the surfaces along which swirling ocean eddies — that are 10–500 kilometres wide and persist for days to months — mix. He has also made crucial contributions to incorporating the concepts of mixing and heat into ocean models.
Trevor is one of Australia’s most awarded scientists, with recent accolades including his fellowship of the Royal Society and the Prince Albert I Medal of the International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Oceans. He is a key figure in the cutting-edge study of the ocean’s role in climate and is currently Scientia Professor of Ocean Physics at the University of New South Wales, Australia.