Profiles

Max Nikurashin

UTAS Home Dr Maxim Nikurashin

Maxim Nikurashin

Lecturer; ARC DECRA Fellow

Room 217.A, IMAS Hobart, Hobart CBD Campuses

+61 (3) 6226 8597 (phone)

maxim.nikurashin@utas.edu.au

Career summary

Qualifications

  • PhD (Physical Oceanography) (2009): Radiation and dissipation of internal waves generated by geostrophic motions impinging on small-scale topography. Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA
  • MSc (Applied Physics and Mathematics) (2002): Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Russia
  • BSc (Applied Physics and Mathematics) (2000): Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Russia

Languages (other than English)

Russian

Biography

Dr Maxim Nikurashin was awarded his PhD degree in Physical Oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Joint Program in the USA in 2009. His PhD work explored a novel mechanism for the maintenance of mixing in the deep Southern Ocean using computer simulations and theory. These results made a significant contribution to the interpretation of measurements from two recent observational campaigns in the Southern Ocean and to the development of a mixing parameterization for climate models. After graduation, Maxim was offered a Postdoctoral Fellowship jointly at Princeton University and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) in the USA, where he worked on a theory of the ocean overturning circulation and a problem of the ocean eddy energy dissipation. In 2012, Maxim took a Physical Oceanographer and a Lecturer position in the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) at UTAS. In this position, he continues his research on ocean mixing, eddies and their role for the ocean circulation and climate. In 2015, Maxim was awarded an ARC DECRA Fellowship to study turbulent mixing processes in the deep Southern Ocean using computer simulations and observations.

Research Themes

Maxim's research relates to the University's research theme of Marine, Antarctic and Maritime. His research interests span a wide range of problems in the area of Physical Oceanography ranging from oceanic internal waves and mixing at small scales to the dynamics of the global overturning circulation and its role for the carbon uptake and storage at large scales. In his work, Maxim uses a combination of theory, process-oriented and realistic global numerical simulations, and observations to understand fundamental physical processes in the ocean and their impact on the global circulation and climate.

Teaching

Teaching responsibility

Research Invitations

Workshops:

  • 2015 Energy transfers in Atmosphere and Oceans workshop, Hamburg, Germany
  • 2014 CLIVAR WGOMD Workshop on High Resolution Ocean Climate Modeling, GEOMAR, Kiel, Germany
  • 2013 Numerical modeling and theoretical challenges in atmosphere and ocean turbulence workshop, Lyon, France
  • 2013 Ocean Turbulence conference, Santa Fe, NM USA
  • 2013 Dynamics of the Southern Ocean workshop, MIT, Cambridge, MA USA
  • 2012 Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science workshop, Hobart, Australia
  • 2012 Conference on Connections between Rotating, Stratified Turbulence, and Climate: Theory, Observations, Experiments and Models. Boulder, CO USA
  • 2012 Climate Process Team meeting, Scripps, San Diego, CA USA

Invited seminars:

  • 2014 University of Toronto
  • 2013 Stockholm University
  • 2013 Caltech University
  • 2012 Australian National University (ANU)
  • 2012 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • 2012 Columbia University
  • 2011 University of New South Wales (UNSW)
  • 2011 Australian National University (ANU)
  • 2011 University of Hamburg
  • 2011 Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)
  • 2011 Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)
  • 2011 Scripps Oceanographic Institution (SIO)
  • 2011 Colorado State University
  • 2011 New York University
  • 2011 University of Southampton

View more on Dr Maxim Nikurashin in WARP

Expertise

  • Dynamics of the global ocean overturning circulation
  • Maintenance of the deep stratification
  • Dissipation of geostrophic eddy energy
  • Generation and dissipation of topographic internal waves
  • Ocean deep mixing and its impact on overturning circulation
  • The role of the overturning circulation for the uptake and storage of carbon in the ocean

Awards

2015 - 2018: Australian Research Council: Fellowship Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (ARC DECRA) - Turbulent mixing in the deep Southern Ocean

Collaboration

Maxim is currently involved in collaborative projects with MIT and WHOI in the USA and the National Oceanographic Centre (NOC) in the UK on mixing processes in the deep Southern Ocean and with the University of Exeter in the UK on the dynamics of the ocean overturning circulation and its role for the uptake of carbon.

Current projects

Topographic internal waves and mixing

Turbulence in the ocean interior greatly enhances mixing of heat, carbon and other tracers and hence plays an important role for the ocean circulation and climate. Observations indicate that turbulent mixing is enhanced in abyssal ocean above rough topography. Enhanced mixing is associated with internal wave breaking and, in many regions of the ocean, has been linked to breaking of internal tides. Maxim's research showed that the deep ocean mixing can be also very effectively generated by oceanic fronts and eddies impinging on rough topography. To understand the physical processes leading to wave breaking and mixing, Maxim studies the generation, radiation and breaking of internal waves using a combination of available observations and high-resolution numerical simulations.

Dissipation of oceanic eddy energy

Oceanic eddies are the most energetic features of the ocean circulation. However, the ultimate fate of this energy in the ocean remains unknown. Using computer simulations at a very high resolution, Maxim investigates routes to energy dissipation for oceanic eddy energy. His results show that rough bottom topography effectively catalyzes the transfer of eddy energy to smaller scale motions, including internal waves that radiate away from topography and sustain turbulence and mixing in the ocean interior.

Meridional Overturning Circulation

Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) is a planetary-scale circulation that plays a crucial role in climate. Its dynamics have long been debated, but they remain poorly understood. Maxim explores the dynamics of the deep stratification and overturning circulation using a combination of theory and idealized and realistic numerical simulations. He has developed a novel theory of the MOC that describes both its lower and upper overturning cells. In addition to being a simple conceptual framework to describe the MOC, the theory represents a fully-dynamic, low-cost model of MOC and, as such, is an innovative tool for paleo-oceanographic studies.

Fields of Research

  • Physical Oceanography (040503)
  • Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (040403)
  • Climate Change Processes (040104)
  • Fluid Physics (020303)
  • Atmospheric Sciences (040199)
  • Atmospheric Dynamics (040102)

Research Objectives

  • Climate Change Models (960303)
  • Climate Variability (excl. Social Impacts) (960304)
  • Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water in Marine Environments (961104)
  • Marine Oceanic Processes (excl. climate related) (969902)
  • Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Oceanography (969901)
  • Expanding Knowledge in the Information and Computing Sciences (970108)
  • Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences (970105)
  • Global Effects of Climate Change and Variability (excl. Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the South Pacific) (excl. Social Impacts) (960310)

Publications

Maxim has published in high-impact peer-reviewed journals. His papers span a broad range of topics, ranging from turbulence at small-scales to overturning circulation at large-scales, and a broad range of tools, including observations, theory, and models.

Maxim is a reviewer for top-ranked journals, including Journal of Climate, Journal of Marine Research, Journal of Physical Oceanography, Nature Geoscience, Ocean Modelling, Deep-Sea Research, Physical Review Letters, and Journal of Geophysical Research as well as a proposal assessor for the NSF in the USA, NERC in the UK, and NCERC in Canada funding agencies.

Total publications

18

Journal Article

(17 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2017Mashayek A, Salehipour H, Bouffard D, Caulfield CP, Ferrari R, et al., 'Efficiency of turbulent mixing in the abyssal ocean circulation', Geophysical Research Letters, 44, (12) pp. 6296-6306. ISSN 0094-8276 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1002/2016GL072452 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1

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2016Ferrari R, Mashayek A, McDougall TJ, Nikurashin M, Campin J-M, 'Turning ocean mixing upside down', Journal of Physical Oceanography, 46 pp. 2239-2261. ISSN 0022-3670 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1175/JPO-D-15-0244.1 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 5Web of Science - 5

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2015Mashayek A, Ferrari R, Nikurashin M, Peltier WR, 'Influence of enhanced abyssal diapycnal mixing on stratification and the ocean overturning circulation', Journal of Physical Oceanography, 45, (10) pp. 2580-2597. ISSN 0022-3670 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1175/JPO-D-15-0039.1 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 9Web of Science - 11

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2015Melet A, Hallberg R, Adcroft A, Nikurashin M, Legg S, 'Energy flux into internal lee waves: sensitivity to future climate changes using linear theory and a climate model', Journal of Climate, 28, (6) pp. 2365-2384. ISSN 0894-8755 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00432.1 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 6Web of Science - 5

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2015Watson AJ, Vallis GK, Nikurashin M, 'Southern Ocean buoyancy forcing of ocean ventilation and glacial atmospheric CO2', Nature Geoscience, 8, (11) pp. 861-864. ISSN 1752-0894 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2538 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 14Web of Science - 14

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2014Melet A, Hallberg R, Legg S, Nikurashin M, 'Sensitivity of the ocean state to lee wave-driven mixing', Journal of Physical Oceanography, 44, (3) pp. 900-921. ISSN 0022-3670 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1175/JPO-D-13-072.1 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 15Web of Science - 15

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2014Nikurashin M, Ferrari R, Grisouard N, Polzin N, 'The impact of finite-amplitude bottom topography on internal wave generation in the Southern Ocean', Journal of Physical Oceanography, 44, (11) pp. 2938-2950. ISSN 0022-3670 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1175/JPO-D-13-0201.1 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 8Web of Science - 7

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2013Melet A, Nikurashin M, Muller C, Falahat S, Nycander J, et al., 'Internal tide generation by abyssal hills using analytical theory', Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 118, (11) pp. 6303-6318. ISSN 2169-9275 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1002/2013JC009212 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 15Web of Science - 15

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2013Nikurashin M, Ferrari R, 'Overturning circulation driven by breaking internal waves in the deep ocean', Geophysical Research Letters, 40, (12) pp. 3133-3137. ISSN 0094-8276 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1002/grl.50542 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 38Web of Science - 38

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2013Nikurashin M, Vallis GK, Adcroft A, 'Routes to energy dissipation for geostrophic flows in the Southern Ocean', Nature Geoscience, 6, (1) pp. 48-51. ISSN 1752-0894 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1038/NGEO1657 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 55Web of Science - 54

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2012Nikurashin M, Vallis G, 'A Theory of the Interhemispheric Meridional Overturning Circulation and Associated Stratification', Journal of Physical Oceanography, 42 pp. 1652-1667. ISSN 0022-3670 (2012) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1175/JPO-D-11-0189.1 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 44Web of Science - 43

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2011Nikurashin M, Ferrari R, 'Global energy conversion rate from geostrophic flows into internal lee waves in the deep ocean', Geophysical Research Letters, 38 Article L08610. ISSN 0094-8276 (2011) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1029/2011GL046576 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 77Web of Science - 77

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2011Nikurashin M, Legg S, 'A Mechanism for Local Dissipation of Internal Tides Generated at Rough Topography', Journal of Physical Oceanography, 41, (February) pp. 378-395. ISSN 0022-3670 (2011) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1175/2010JPO4522.1 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 34Web of Science - 30

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2011Nikurashin M, Vallis G, 'A Theory of Deep Stratification and Overturning Circulation in the Ocean', Journal of Physical Oceanography, 41, (March) pp. 485-502. ISSN 0022-3670 (2011) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1175/2010JPO4529.1 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 47Web of Science - 46

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2010Ferrari R, Nikurashin M, 'Suppression of eddy diffusivity across jets in the Southern Ocean', Journal of Physical Oceanography, 40, (July) pp. 1501-1519. ISSN 0022-3670 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1175/2010JPO4278.1 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 106Web of Science - 100

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2010Nikurashin M, Ferrari R, 'Radiation and Dissipation of Internal Waves Generated by Geostrophic Motions Impinging on Small-Scale Topography: Theory', Journal of Physical Oceanography, 40, (May) pp. 1055-1074. ISSN 0022-3670 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1175/2009JPO4199.1 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 69Web of Science - 68

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2010Nikurashin M, Ferrari R, 'Radiation and Dissipation of Internal Waves Generated by Geostrophic Motions Impinging on Small-Scale Topography: Application to the Southern Ocean', Journal of Physical Oceanography, 40, (September) pp. 2025-2042. ISSN 0022-3670 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1175/2010JPO4315.1 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 62Web of Science - 60

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Conference Publication

(1 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2010Griffies SM, Adcroft AJ, Banks H, Boninng CW, Chassignet EP, et al., 'Problems and Prospects in Large-Scale Ocean Circulation Models', Proceedings of the OceanObs'09 Conference: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society, 21-25 September 2009, Venice, Italy, Volume 2, pp. 1-24. (2010) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Grants & Funding

Funding Summary

Number of grants

9

Total funding

$23,885,484

Projects

How does a standing meander southeast of Tasmania brake the Antarctic Circumpolar Current? (2018)$0
Description
Request for 32 days at sea on the Marine National Facility RV Investigator to conduct physical oceanography observations to investigate why the Antarctic Circumpolar Current transport has not increased despite a 20-year trend of increasing westerly winds over the Southern ocean. This voyage is to support the pending ARC Discovery Project DP170102162 submitted by Bindoff and colleagues.
Funding
CSIRO-Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation ($0)
Scheme
Grant-Marine National Facility
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Phillips HE; Bindoff NL; Nikurashin M
Year
2018
How does topography brake the Antarctic Circumpolar Current? (2017 - 2020)$783,000
Description
The aim of this project is to observe and simulate the mechanisms that put the brakes on the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. The Southern Ocean winds have increased over the last two decades while the transport of the worlds largest current remains steady or slightly decreasing. This is a perplexing observation. New negative feedback mechanisms between the winds and transport of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current have been advanced. This proposal addresses this critical issue in the momentum and energy balance of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current by directly observing how the eddies carry momentum from the wind down to the sea floor and accelerate the deep currents that drag against the rough bottom to put the brakes on this current.
Funding
Australian Research Council ($783,000)
Scheme
Grant-Discovery Projects
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Bindoff NL; Phillips HE; Nikurashin M; Rintoul SR; Donohue K; Watts D; Polzin K
Period
2017 - 2020
Grant Reference
DP170102162
An Australian Consortium for Eddy-Resolving Global Ocean-Sea Ice Modeling (2016 - 2019)$598,000
Description
Describe your project: A new high-resolution global ocean model configuration will be developed. The model will be founded on existing nationwide partnerships, and will be customised to Australian requirements. The new configuration will be internationally competitive, and will be released nationwide to Australian researchers. It will be used, collaboratively, across the sector for a range of applications, included ocean forecasting and reanalysis. This model will permit investigation into fine-scale ocean processes, such as eddies and jets, that are unfeasible with current models but have significance for the ocean state and climate change.
Funding
Australian Research Council ($598,000)
Scheme
Grant-Linkage Projects
Administered By
Australian National University
Research Team
Hogg A; England MH; Brassington G; Heil P; Oke PR; Spence JP; Nikurashin M
Period
2016 - 2019
Grant Reference
LP160100073
Turbulence and mixing in the Southern Ocean (2015)$0
Description
The Southern Ocean plays a key role in the global ocean circulation and climate. This is, to a large extent, owing to turbulent motions at a wide range of scales from mesoscale eddies at 10-100 km to internal wave breaking at 10-100 m scales. Turbulent motions enhance stirring and mixing of tracers and hence facilitate the uptake, transport, and storage of heat, carbon, and nutrients in global ocean. Topographic features, such as ridges and abyssal hills, effectively catalyse the generation of turbulent motions, creating localised hot spots of eddy stirring and turbulent mixing. The Southern Ocean turbulent processes remain poorly understood and inadequately represented in global models.The goal of this project is to explore turbulent processes in regions of major topographic features in the Southern Ocean and to improve their representation in global ocean and climate models.
Funding
National Computational Infrastructure ($0)
Scheme
Merit Allocation Scheme
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Bindoff NL; Nikurashin M; Klocker A
Year
2015
Connecting big data with high performance computing for climate science (2015)$490,000
Funding
Australian Research Council ($490,000)
Scheme
Grant-Linkage Infrastructure
Administered By
University of New South Wales
Research Team
Pitman A J; Holbrook NJ; Bindoff NL; Nikurashin M
Year
2015
Grant Reference
LE150100089
Turbulent mixing in the deep Southern Ocean (2015 - 2017)$373,484
Description
Mixing in the Southern Ocean strongly affects the transport and storage of heat, carbon, and nutrients in the global ocean and hence climate itself. Yet processes generating mixing in the Southern Ocean remain poorly understood and inadequately represented in present ocean and climate models. The aims of this project are twofold. First, to understand mixing processes based on an innovative approach combining sparse observations and computer simulations. Second, to implement this understanding into a state-of-the-art climate model to study mixing impacts on the ocean circulation and climate. This project will lead to substantial improvements in climate models and allow Australia to predict and respond more effectively to climate change.
Funding
Australian Research Council ($373,484)
Scheme
Fellowship-Discovery Early Career Researcher Award
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Nikurashin M
Period
2015 - 2017
Grant Reference
DE150100937
Earth Systems Hub (2014 - 2020)$21,621,000
Funding
Department of Environment and Energy (Cwth) ($21,621,000)
Scheme
Grant-National Environmental Science Prgm (NESP)
Administered By
CSIRO-Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation
Research Team
Cleugh H; Bindoff NL; Holbrook NJ; Domingues CM; Hobbs WR; Nikurashin M; George SE; Power S; Colman R; Jakob C; Wijffels S; Karoly D; Hendon H; Roderick M; Bates B; Timbal B; McInnes K; Sherwood S; Arblaster J; Hirst T; Hennessy K; Cai W; Wang YP; Clarke J; Gerbing C; England MH
Period
2014 - 2020
Turbulence and mixing in the Southern Ocean (2014)$0
Description
The Southern Ocean plays a key role in the global ocean circulation and climate. This is, to a large extent, owing to turbulent motions at a wide range of scales from mesoscale eddies at 10-100 km to internal wave breaking at 10-100 m scales. Turbulent motions enhance stirring and mixing of tracers and hence facilitate the uptake, transport, and storage of heat, carbon, and nutrients in global ocean. Topographic features, such as ridges and abyssal hills, effectively catalyse the generation of turbulent motions, creating localised hot spots of eddy stirring and turbulent mixing. The Southern Ocean turbulent processes remain poorly' understood and inadequately represented in global models.The goal of this project is to explore turbulent processes in regions of major topographic features in the Southern Ocean and to improve their representation in global ocean and climate models.
Funding
National Computational Infrastructure ($0)
Scheme
Merit Allocation Scheme
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Nikurashin M; Klocker A
Year
2014
Turbulent mixing processes in the southern Ocean from observations and models (2013)$20,000
Funding
University of Tasmania ($20,000)
Scheme
Grant-Research Enhancement (REGS)
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Nikurashin M; Phillips HE
Year
2013

Research Supervision

If you are interested in Physical Oceanography and have a background in Physics and Maths, please email Maxim directly to ask about project opportunities.

Current

4

Current

DegreeTitleCommenced
PhDVariability and dynamics of the Indonesian Throughflow2014
PhDClosing the Energy Cycle in Global Ocean Models2015
PhDInternal Waves and Mixing in the Southern Ocean2015
PhDHow do Standing Meanders Brake the Antarctic Circumpolar Current?2016