Member Profile

Claire Rocuet

Honours student

Climate Change Research Centre
University of New South Wales


Claire completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in Physical Oceanography at UNSW in 2020 and is currently undertaking her honours through the Climate Change Research Centre at UNSW. Claire's main area of interest is extreme weather and climate events such as marine and terrestrial heatwaves. During my Bachelor, she came across the importance of good science communication, even more so when it comes to climate change. Claire hopes that furthering her studies in climate science will provide her with the information, credibility and tools to efficiently collaborate with other scientists, lay experts and the public.

THESIS: Drivers and links of extreme marine heatwaves in North and SouthAtlantic

In the last decade, a growing scientific interest and research in marine heatwaves (MHWs) has led to a better understanding of their characteristics, drivers and impacts. However, knowledge of MHWs is still emerging compared to terrestrial heatwaves and other extreme weather events. There is room for further investigation into their drivers, with a view to ultimately being able to make predictions for when they might occur. The honours project I am undertaking this year will focus on specific extreme MHWs which co-occurred around tropical regions of the North and South Atlantic in 2009-2010 as identified by recent studies (Sen Gupta et al., 2020). The project’s aim will be to identify the local and remote physical processes that triggered, and later on, suppressed these MHWs. In addition, the research project will investigate the potential connection between these two events and their links, if any, to climate change. The projected output is to present more information on MHWs that have not yet been extensively studied and participate in the climate scientists’ global effort to better understand and predict these events. Ultimately, the project falls in line with the Centre's goal as it will refine our understanding of past and present extreme MHW events in the tropical regions of the North and South Atlantic by investigating what causes them, what maintains them, and what enhances them. By providing a better understanding of MHWs, reliable detection and monitoring of MHWs can be put in place as well as assist the development of efficient modelling systems to accurately predict future events. These predictions and monitoring could allow management and recovery actions to salvage environments affected by MHW and inform appropriately the actions to manage the increase in extreme MHWs now and in the future.