Dr Clare Johnson

        Dr Clare Johnson during an outreach event

Observational Physical Oceanographer

I am an observational oceanographer with expertise in the large scale circulation and water masses of the subpolar North Atlantic.

I have participated in numerous research cruises and have published several peer-reviewed publications.

Contact details:

I am an observational oceanographer with an expertise in the large scale circulation and water masses of the subpolar North Atlantic.

Although the focus of my research is from a physical oceanography standpoint, I often work at the interface between marine physics and chemistry. I use both contemporary and historical mooring and hydrographic data including that from the OSNAP, ATLAS and Extended Ellett Line projects.

Recently I have been calculating fluxes of physical and chemical parameters in the region between Iceland and Scotland. I have participated in numerous research cruises and am also a pilot for the SAMS glider fleet.

Current research activity

ATLAS - A Trans-Atlantic assessment and deep-water ecosystem-based spatial management plan for Europe: I am delivering the PDRA work package 1: Ocean dynamics driving ecosystem response. Funded by EU Horizon 2020. 2016-20

Past research projects

NACLIM North Atlantic Climate. Funded by EU FP7. 2012-17

EEL - Extended Ellett Line. Funded by NERC National Capability. Ongoing

Peer-reviewed publications

Crocket, K., E. Hill, R. Abell, C. Johnson, S. Gary, T. Brand and E. Hathorne (2018) Rare Earth Element Distribution in the NE Atlantic: Evidence for benthic sources, longevity of the seawater signal, and biogeochemical cycling. Frontiers in Marine Science, 5, https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2018.00147 

Gary, S. F., Cunningham, S. A., Johnson, C., Houpert, L., Holliday, N. P., Behrens, E., … Böning, C. W. (2018). Seasonal cycles of oceanic transports in the Eastern Subpolar North Atlantic. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 123. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JC013350

H. Hátún, J. Ólafsson, K. Azetsu-Scott, R. Somavilla, F. Rey, C. Johnson, M. Mathis, U. Mikolajewicz, P. Coupel, J-É. Tremblay, S. Hartman, S.V. Pacariz and I. Salter (2017) The subpolar gyre regulates silicate concentrations in the North Atlantic. Nature Scientific Reports. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-14837-4 

Johnson, C., T. Sherwin,. S. Cunningham, E. Dumont, L. Houpert, N. Holliday, 2017, Transports and pathways of overflow water in the Rockall Trough, Deep Sea Research I, 122, 48-59, doi:10.1016/j.dsr.2017.02.004

Pacariz, S., H. Hjalmar, A. Jacobsen, C. Johnson and F. Rey, 2016, Nutrient-driven poleward expansion of the NorthEast Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus) stock: a new hypothesis, Elementa, 4, doi:10.12952/journal.elementa.000105.

Holliday, N., S. Cunningham, C. Johnson, S. Gary, C. Griffiths, J. Read and T. Sherwin, 2015, Multi-decadal variability of potential temperature, salinity and transport in the sub-polar North Atlantic, JGR Oceans, 120, doi:10.1002/2015JC010762.

Johnson, C., M. Inall, and S. Hakkinen, 2013, Declining nutrient concentrations in the northeast Atlantic as a result of a weakening Subpolar Gyre, Deep Sea Research I, 82, 95-107, doi:10.1016/j.dsr.2013.08.007.

Sherwin, T., J. Read, N. Holliday, and C. Johnson, 2012, The impact of changes in North Atlantic Gyre distribution on water mass characteristics in the Rockall Trough, ICES Journal of Marine Science, 69, 751-757, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsr185.

Johnson, C., T. Sherwin, D. Smythe-Wright, T. Shimmield, and W. Turrell, 2010, Wyville Thomson Ridge Overflow Water: Spatial and temporal distribution in the Rockall Trough, Deep Sea Research I, 57, 1153-1162, doi:10.1016/j.dsr.2010.07.006.


Other publications

Johnson, C., 2012, Tracing Wyville Thomson Ridge Overflow Water in the Rockall Trough, PhD thesis, University of Aberdeen, available http://digitool.abdn.ac.uk


BSc Marine Science - lecturing on year 3 'Ocean, Circulation and Climate'

BSc Marine Science - supervision on year 3 'Literature Review'

BSc Marine Science - supervision on year 4 'Dissertation'

Prizes / awards

Johanna Fehling Memorial Prize for best postgraduate research paper, SAMS, 2012

SEPA award for best presentation, Scottish Marine Group meeting, 2008

Neil MacDougall Bursary for practical oceanography, SAMS, 2003

Highest graduating mark, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, 2003

Research expeditions

Numerous hydrographic and mooring research cruises to the subpolar North Atlantic as well as several trips in Scottish coastal waters.

Paper reviewing

Reviewer for Deep Sea Research; Geophysical Research Letters; Weather

Outreach / public engagement

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) ambassador

Development and provision of interactive displays at science outreach events (Dundee, Edinburgh, Oban)

Delivery of general marine science CPD day for primary school teachers

Employment history

2017-present: PDRA physical oceanography (part-time) ATLAS project. SAMS

2013-17: PDRA physical oceanography (part-time) NACLIM project. SAMS

2012-13: PDRA physical oceanography (part-time) EEL project. SAMS



2012 PhD (part-time) Tracing overflow water in the Rockall Trough. University of Aberdeen in conjunction with University of the Highlands and Islands

2003 BSc (Hons 1st class) Environmental Sciences with a year in North America. University of East Anglia