May 20, 2022

Megan O’Hara

Megan O'Hara

PhD: What drives cold pulses at remote tropical reefs? 

Location: Menai Bridge, Anglesey. SOS Bangor University.

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I’m currently studying a PhD in Physical Oceanography at Bangor University titled “What drives cold pulses at remote tropical reefs?”. I hope to evidence that upwelling events recorded in the Pacific are internal waves by modelling the M2 tidal constituent with MITcgm. After this I plan to look into how these internal waves are affected by ENSO and what changes we are likely to experience due to climate change. With this information I will hopefully be able to predict how remote reefs in the Pacific, such as Palmyra atoll, will fare with changing conditions.

I completed my BSc (Geological Oceanography) and MSc (Physical Oceanography) at Bangor University, and clearly don’t have plans to leave any time soon! Not only are the staff helpful and engaging, but the location is second to none… except maybe the tropical Pacific. I learnt about internal waves as an undergraduate and built on this knowledge whilst doing my masters. I completed both of my previous dissertations on this topic so I’m really excited to be able to continue this work in more detail.

I’m not sure where I want to be when I’ve graduated but I currently love the idea of being a researcher and hopefully one day a lecturer. I feel so lucky to have been influenced by the academics I am currently working with and so I would love to be as influential to upcoming students in my career. I think my research topic is really interesting from a physical oceanography perspective but it also allows me to work with ecologists which is something I don’t have a lot of experience in. I’m excited to merge the two disciplines in order to get a more integrated answer regarding how reefs will cope with upcoming climate change.