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Felicity McCormack

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Felicity Graham

Felicity McCormack

Ice Sheet Modeller

Room Level 3, desk 317.19, IMAS Hobart, Hobart CBD Campuses

(03) 6226 6971 (phone)

felicity.mccormack@utas.edu.au

Dr Felicity McCormack is a researcher at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies and a 2018 Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar. She is an ice sheet modeller employed as part of the ARC Special Research Initiative for the Antarctic Gateway Partnership. Dr McCormack’s research focusses on Antarctic ice sheet dynamic processes, anisotropy in ice sheet flow, and interactions between the ice sheet, ocean, and solid Earth. Her modelling work, along with existing observations, will help guide future field campaigns in Antarctica, such as the quest for oldest ice.

Biography

Felicity completed her PhD through the University of Tasmania and CSIRO, evaluating models of the oceanic processes underlying El Nino-Southern Oscillation. She has also collaborated with researchers from CSIRO and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, USA, and spent much of her PhD at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

Following her PhD, Felicity transitioned to her current role in ice sheet modelling in 2015. Her research is focussed on the contribution of Antarctica to global sea level rise, through investigating ice sheet dynamic processes. In 2018 she was awarded a Fulbright Postdoctoral Award to work in collaboration with scientists at the University of California, Irvine. For this award she will be investigating ice sheet-ocean processes governing ice sheet dynamics in East Antarctica. In 2012 she was selected to participate in the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Fellowship Program at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, USA.

As an early career researcher, Dr McCormack has a strong record of academic achievement with 10 papers, 1 book chapter, 35 co-authors, and over 70 citations. She has been awarded over $3.67M in competitive funding (Australian Antarctic Science, National Computing Infrastructure).

Career summary

Qualifications

PhD

Modelling El Nino-Southern Oscillation: the utility of contemporary diagnostic frameworks

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, UTAS; CSIRO

2015

BSc/BA (1st Class Hons in BSc - mathematics)

Quantifying the non-conservative production of Conservative Temperature, potential temperature, and entropy

UTAS

2011

Memberships

Professional practice

  • 2017-present European Geophysical Union
  • 2015-present International Glaciological Society
  • 2011-present Golden Key Society

Research Appointments

  • 2019 Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar, UTAS & University of California, Irvine
  • 2015-present Postdoctoral research fellow, UTAS

View more on Dr Felicity McCormack in WARP

Expertise

    • Reducing uncertainty in the Antarctic Ice Sheet contribution to sea level through improving simulations of ice flow in numerical ice sheet models, including flow relations for anisotropic ice
    • Investigating the impact of topography on ice sheet model dynamics
    • Interactions between subglacial hydrological system and ice sheet flow
    • Impact of ocean processes on ice sheet dynamics and variability

Research Themes

Felicity's research aligns to the University's research theme of Marine, Antarctic, and Maritime, under the key research area of Southern Ocean and Cryospheric Change. Her research interests include advancing understanding of the processes at the base of East Antarctic ice sheets through improved modelling of basal conditions. Felicity's research into basal processes will guide assessment of the risk of rapid retreat of East Antarctic ice sheets due to warming and atmospheric/oceanic changes.

Collaboration

Felicity currently collaborates with national and international researchers, including from the University of California, Irvine, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the University of Waterloo. During her PhD, Felicity collaborated with researchers from a range of national and international institutes, including Monash University and UNSW in Australia, and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, USA. Felicity's research project at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Geophysical Fluid Dynamics program was undertaken in collaboration from scientists at University of California, Los Angeles, and University of Colorado, Boulder.

Awards

  • 2018 Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholarship
  • 2012 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Fellow

Current projects

    • Improving understanding of processes at the base of Antarctic ice sheets using observations and modelling
    • Advancing knowledge of contribution of melting/freezing at the base of Antarctic ice sheets to mass balance, sea level budgets
    • Evaluating the sensitivity of ice flow in Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM) to basal processes, including basal stresses, hydrology, and geothermal heat flux
    • Generating synthetic whole-of-Antarctica terrain for high-resolution modelling
    • Investigating sensitivity of ice flow and hydrology to bed elevation resolution

Fields of Research

  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (091501)
  • Glaciology (040602)
  • Physical Oceanography (040503)

Research Objectives

  • Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Environments (excl. Social Impacts) (960306)
  • Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences (970102)
  • Climate Variability (excl. Social Impacts) (960304)

Publications

Felicity has a range of publications in the field of physical oceanography, for both specialist and non-specialist audiences. She is lead author on four peer-reviewed published articles, and has collaborated on a further three articles.

Total publications

29

Highlighted publications

(4 outputs)
YearTypeCitationAltmetrics
2014Journal ArticleGraham FS, Brown JN, Langlais C, Marsland SJ, Wittenberg AT, et al., 'Effectiveness of the Bjerknes stability index in representing ocean dynamics', Climate Dynamics, 43, (9-10) pp. 2399-2414. ISSN 1432-0894 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s00382-014-2062-3 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 19Web of Science - 19

Co-authors: Holbrook NJ

Tweet

2013Journal ArticleGanachaud A, Sen Gupta A, Brown JN, Evans K, Maes C, et al., 'Projected changes in the tropical Pacific Ocean of importance to tuna fisheries', Climatic Change, 119, (1) pp. 163-179. ISSN 0165-0009 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s10584-012-0631-1 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 28Web of Science - 25

Tweet

2013Journal ArticleGraham FS, Mcdougall TJ, 'Quantifying the nonconservative production of conservative temperature, potential temperature, and entropy', Journal of Physical Oceanography, 43, (5) pp. 838-862. ISSN 0022-3670 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1175/JPO-D-11-0188.1 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 19Web of Science - 19

Tweet

2012Journal ArticleBrown JN, Maes C, Sen Gupta A, Matear R, Cravatte S, et al., 'Reinvigorating research on the Western Pacific warm pool - first workshop', CLIVAR Exchanges, 59, (8) pp. 34-35. ISSN 1026-0471 (2012) [Non Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Journal Article

(10 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2018Graham FS, Morlighem M, Warner RC, Treverrow A, 'Implementing an empirical scalar constitutive relation for ice with flow-induced polycrystalline anisotropy in large-scale ice sheet models', The Cryosphere, 12 pp. 1047-1067. ISSN 1994-0432 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.5194/tc-12-1047-2018 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 3Web of Science - 3

Co-authors: Warner RC; Treverrow A

Tweet

2017Burton-Johnson A, Halpin JA, Whittaker JM, Graham FS, Watson SJ, 'A new heat flux model for the Antarctic Peninsula incorporating spatially variable upper crustal radiogenic heat production', Geophysical Research Letters, 44, (11) pp. 5436-5446. ISSN 0094-8276 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1002/2017GL073596 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 5Web of Science - 4

Co-authors: Halpin JA; Whittaker JM; Watson SJ

Tweet

2017Graham FS, Roberts JL, Galton-Fenzi BK, Young D, Blankenship D, et al., 'A high-resolution synthetic bed elevation grid of the Antarctic continent', Earth System Science Data, 9 pp. 267-279. ISSN 1866-3508 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.5194/essd-9-267-2017 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 3Web of Science - 3

Co-authors: Roberts JL; Galton-Fenzi BK

Tweet

2017Graham FS, Wittenberg AT, Brown JN, Marsland SJ, Holbrook NJ, 'Understanding the double peaked El Nino in coupled GCMs', Climate Dynamics, 48, (5) pp. 2045-2063. ISSN 0930-7575 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s00382-016-3189-1 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 6Web of Science - 6

Co-authors: Holbrook NJ

Tweet

2016Roberts J, Curran M, Poynter S, Moy A, van Ommen T, et al., 'Correlation confidence limits for unevenly sampled data', Computers and Geosciences, 104 pp. 120-124. ISSN 0098-3004 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.cageo.2016.09.011 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1

Co-authors: Roberts J; Curran M; Moy A; van Ommen T; Vance T; Tozer C; Plummer C; Pedro J

Tweet

2015Graham FS, Brown JN, Wittenberg AT, Holbrook NJ, 'Reassessing conceptual models of ENSO', Journal of Climate, 28, (23) pp. 9121-9142. ISSN 0894-8755 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00812.1 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 3Web of Science - 3

Co-authors: Holbrook NJ

Tweet

2014Graham FS, Brown JN, Langlais C, Marsland SJ, Wittenberg AT, et al., 'Effectiveness of the Bjerknes stability index in representing ocean dynamics', Climate Dynamics, 43, (9-10) pp. 2399-2414. ISSN 1432-0894 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s00382-014-2062-3 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 19Web of Science - 19

Co-authors: Holbrook NJ

Tweet

2013Ganachaud A, Sen Gupta A, Brown JN, Evans K, Maes C, et al., 'Projected changes in the tropical Pacific Ocean of importance to tuna fisheries', Climatic Change, 119, (1) pp. 163-179. ISSN 0165-0009 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s10584-012-0631-1 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 28Web of Science - 25

Tweet

2013Graham FS, Mcdougall TJ, 'Quantifying the nonconservative production of conservative temperature, potential temperature, and entropy', Journal of Physical Oceanography, 43, (5) pp. 838-862. ISSN 0022-3670 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1175/JPO-D-11-0188.1 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 19Web of Science - 19

Tweet

2012Brown JN, Maes C, Sen Gupta A, Matear R, Cravatte S, et al., 'Reinvigorating research on the Western Pacific warm pool - first workshop', CLIVAR Exchanges, 59, (8) pp. 34-35. ISSN 1026-0471 (2012) [Non Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Chapter in Book

(1 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2014Graham FS, Brown JN, 'El Nino, La Nina, and the Southern Oscillation', Encyclopedia of Natural Resources, CRC Press Inc., Y Wang (ed), United States ISBN 9781439852583 (2014) [Other Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.1081/E-ENRA-120047617 [eCite] [Details]

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Conference Publication

(15 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2018Burton-Johnson A, Halpin JA, Whittaker J, Graham F, Watson S, 'A new heat flux model for the Antarctic Peninsula incorporating variable crustal radiogenic heat production', TACtical Workshop: Taking the Temperature of the Antarctic Continent Abstract book, 21-23 March, Hobart, Tasmania (2018) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Halpin JA; Whittaker J; Watson S

Tweet

2018Graham F, Gwyther D, Galton-Fenzi B, 'The impact of intrinsic ocean variability on the Totten Glacier's contribution to sea level rise', Geophysical Research Abstracts, 08-13 April, Vienna, Austria, pp. EGU2018-1598. ISSN 1029-7006 (2018) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Gwyther D; Galton-Fenzi B

2017Dow C, Graham F, Young D, Greenbaum J, Roberts J, et al., 'Water flux through Aurora Subglacial Basin and its impact on Totten Glacier stability', Proceedings of the Buffalo Symposium: Timescales, Processes and Glacier Dynamics, 04-08 June, Buffalo, New York, USA, pp. 78A2802. (2017) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Roberts J

Tweet

2017Graham F, 'Oceanic melting driving East Antarctic ice sheet dynamics', Proceedings from the Theo Murphy Australia Frontiers of Science Symposium on The Antarctic Frontier: Developing Research in an Extreme Environment, 13-15 September 2017, Hobart, Australia (2017) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

2017Graham F, Morlighem M, Warner R, Treverrow A, 'The effect of anisotrophy on simulated ice dynamics: an idealised ice shelf example using the ice sheet system model', Geophysical Research Abstracts, 23-28 April 2017, Vienna, Austria, pp. 1. (2017) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

2017McCormack F, 'What the models tell us: ice', Hobart for the Elizabeth and Frederick White Conference workshop, 05-07 July 2017, Hobart, Australia (2017) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

2016Dow CF, Werder MA, Graham F, Roberts JL, Walker RT, et al., 'The impact of subglacial lakes on catchment-scale drainage dynamics in East Antarctica', American Geophysical Union, Fall General Assembly 2016, 11-15 December 2016, California, United States of America (2016) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

2016Graham F, Roberts J, Young D, Blankenship D, Siegert M, 'A synthetic high-resolution bedrock topography dataset for investigating resolution dependence of numerical ice-sheet model simulations', Proceedings from the International Symposium on Interactions of Ice Sheets and Glaciers with the Ocean, 10-15 July 2016, California, USA, pp. 74A2046. (2016) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Roberts J

2014Brown JN, Langlais C, Maes C, Sen Gupta A, Graham F, 'Simulations of the edge of the Western Pacific Warm Pool in CMIP5, and the implications for climate change and ENSO dynamics', Ocean Sciences Meeting, 23-28 February, Honolulu, Hawaii (2014) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Langlais C

2014Graham FS, Brown JN, Marsland SJ, Wittenberg AT, Holbrook NJ, 'Mistaking the cold tongue bias for a central Pacific El Nino: a case study using ACCESS-CM1.3', Ocean Science Conference, 23-28 February, Honolulu, Hawaii (2014) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Holbrook NJ

2014Graham FS, Brown JN, Marsland SJ, Wittenberg AT, Holbrook NJ, 'How coupled models alter El Nino ocean dynamics: a case study using the ACCESS coupled model', Centre of Excellence for Climate Systems Science workshop, 24-27 November, Pokolbin, NSW, Australia (2014) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Holbrook NJ

2013Graham F, Brown JN, Holbrook NJ, Marsland S, Langlais C, et al., 'Effectiveness of the Bjerknes Stability (BJ) index in representing ocean dynamics', Tropical Weather and Climate Dynamics Workshop, 09-11 October, Honolulu, Hawaii (2013) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Holbrook NJ

2012Graham F, Brown JN, Wittenberg A, Holbrook NJ, 'Application of the ENSO Unified Oscillator theory to an ocean-only model', Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Annual Meeting Book of Abstracts, 31 January - 03 February, University of New South Wales, pp. 216-217. (2012) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Holbrook NJ

2012Graham FS, 'Equatorial quasi-geostrophy', 2012 Program in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics - Proceedings, July, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Woods Hole, pp. 307-333. (2012) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

2011Graham F, McDougall T, 'Conservative temperature as the embodiment of the First Law of Thermodynamics: quantifying the error in treating potential temperature as 'heat content'', IUGG General Assembly Program, 28 June - 07 July, Melbourne, Australia (2011) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Other Public Output

(3 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2017Gwyther DE, Cook S, Galton-Fenzi B, Fraser A, Graham F, et al., 'Position analysis: the Antarctic ice sheet and sea level', Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, Hobart, Tasmania (2017) [Government or Industry Research]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Gwyther DE; Cook S; Galton-Fenzi B; Fraser A; Kusahara K; Treverrow A; Jong LM; Roberts J; Rintoul S; Worby A; van Ommen T

Tweet

2016Dow C, Graham F, Cook SJ, 'What lies beneath Antarctica's ice? Lakes, life and the grandest of canyons', The Conversation, The Conversation Media Group, Victoria, Australia, 18 July (2016) [Magazine Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Cook SJ

Tweet

2016Graham F, Gwyther D, Jong L, Cook S, 'Tipping point: how we predict when Antarctica's melting ice sheets will flood the seas', The Conversation, 14 March (2016) [Magazine Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Gwyther D; Jong L; Cook S

Tweet

Grants & Funding

Felicity has secured research funding from a national and international funding agencies. Since commencing her postdoctoral research fellowship with the Antarctic Gateway Partnership, Felicity has been awarded a total of $3.68M (in-kind) and $23 000 (cash).

Funding Summary

Number of grants

3

Total funding

$14,993

Projects

Improving the description of ice flow in numerical models of Antarctica and Greenland (2016)$14,993
Description
Sea level rise is one of the great challenges facing society, with a projected increase of up to 0.98 m in mean sea level by the end of the 21st century (Church et al., 2013). The largest source of uncertainty in sea level rise projections is in the estimate of ice mass loss from the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. This is in part due to overly simplified numerical descriptions of ice dynamic processes in ice sheet models, which can lead to underestimates of ice velocities by up to an order of magnitude (Treverrow et al., 2015). This project aims to improve the numerical description of ice flow in three state-of-the-art ice sheet models. We will use an ice flow relation that has been developed from extensive laboratory testing and that characterises all regimes of ice flow (Budd et al., 2013). We will compare the improved ice flow relation with the formulation currently implemented in most leading ice sheet models over idealised and realistic domains, the results of which will form the basis for two scientific papers. This work is of international significance as the results will be incorporated into three ice sheetmodels widely used by the international research community. An important consequence of our study is an advancement in ourunderstanding of estimates of ice mass loss through a more complete characterisation of ice dynamic processes. Through this improved understanding of ice mass loss, our work will lead to a reduction in the uncertainties associated with the contribution of Antarctica and Greenland ice mass loss to future sea level rise - one of the greatest climate change issues impacting humankind.
Funding
University of Tasmania ($14,993)
Scheme
Grant-Research Enhancement (REGS)
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
McCormack F; Treverrow A; Jong LM; Roberts JL; Phipps SJ
Year
2016
Assessing the sensitivity of ice sheet mass flux to high resolution bed topography (2016 - 2017)$0
Description
Over the past decade, ice mass has been discharging from the Antarctic ice sheets at an increasing rate, contributing to global sea level rise. The sensitivity of processes driving mass flux from the Antarctic ice sheets is relatively poorly understood, despite improvements in the capabilities of ice flow models in capturing ice sheet dynamics. This is partly because input parameters to ice flow models, such as bed topography, are of too low resolution to adequately resolve processes that contribute to mass flux. This project will investigate the sensitivity of ice sheet mass flux to bed topography resolution and basal traction. Bed topography data from a recently generated high resolution digital elevation model of the Totten Glacier will be subsampled in a series of perturbation experiments using a state-of-the-art ice sheet model designed for parallel performance. The results will inform our understanding of basal processes in ice sheets, ultimately reducing uncertainty associated with the contribution of Antarctic ice sheets to future projections of sea level rise.
Funding
National Computational Infrastructure ($0)
Scheme
Merit Allocation Scheme
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
McCormack F
Period
2016 - 2017
ICECAP II (2015)$0
Description
This airborne geophysics and oceanography project explores the Antarctic ice sheet structure, bedrock and changing ice volume to answer key questions about Antarctica and current and future sea-level rise. Primarily, we will investigate one of the key drivers of rapid Antarctic Ice Sheet change: interaction between the ice shelves and the surrounding ocean. We will also investigate the stability of the interior for regions of enhanced basal force, factors leading to this enhancement, and conversely for areas particularly susceptible to rapid retreat of the ice sheet.
Funding
Department of Environment and Energy (Cwth) ($0)
Scheme
Grant-Australian Antarctic Science
Administered By
Department of Environment and Energy (Cwth)
Research Team
Roberts JL; Blankenship D; Carson C; Galton-Fenzi B; Rintoul SR; Treverrow A; van Ommen TD; Warner RC; Watson CS; Young D; Greenbaum J; McCormack F
Year
2015

Research Supervision

Please contact Felicity if you’re thinking of undertaking a PhD. There are lists of potential PhD topics listed on the IMAS and Antarctic Gateway Partnership websites. Felicity is actively recruiting, but applicants must have a strong track record (Australia/NZ: 1st class honours; overseas: MSc or journal paper in English and very good overall English).

Current

2

Current

DegreeTitleCommenced
PhDThe Temperature Distribution Within the East Antarctic Ice Sheet2017
PhDThe Influence of Marine Ice on Ice Shelf Dynamics and Stability2018