Physics of the Ocean Summer School

12.07 - 17.07.2020  
Bad Honnef, Germany
Contact person:
Victor Gomer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Summer School on "Physics of the Ocean" will be held from 12-17 July 2020 in Bad Honnef, Germany.


Physikzentrum Bad Honnef
Hauptstr. 5
53604 Bad Honnef, Germany


The Ocean Physics Summer School aims to provide a broader view of the ocean system from a physical perspective, encompassing a large range of scales and their interactions. Other than receiving lectures, the students will participate through various activities such as poster sessions, exercises, discussions and a field excursion.

There will be a set of "Super Problems" introduced at the beginning of the summer school; the students will work on these problems throughout the summer school and present their results/ solutions at the end.

Participants are urged to contribute to the summer school by presenting work of their own, generally in the form of posters and active participation in discussion and working sessions.

The summer school includes not only lectures on ocean physics, but also addresses its interaction with the global climate, marine biogeochemical and ecological systems, as well as overarching topics in marine research. This comprehensive and integrative approach shall provide the participants with the necessary basis to orient themselves in present and future large international research programs (e.g. WCRP - CLIVAR, IOC – GOOS, United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)), many of which specifically address the interfaces and interactions between the ocean physics and other environmental compartments. Moreover, the summer school is expected to advance the interaction and collaboration between young scientists active in this research area.

Environmental Physics is a rapidly growing research area, focusing on processes within our environment, i.e. in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, and biosphere. Physical ocean processes directly affect the global distribution and transports of ocean properties ranging from mass and temperature to the many dissolved substances (for example salt, nutrients, oxygen, CO2). Ocean processes are of particular relevance for the global and regional climate systems, and they set the stage for marine element cycling and the marine ecosystem as a whole. Oceanographers study the fluxes of energy and matter in the ocean using direct observation, modeling and theory.

The relevant scales range from vertical ocean mixing at the micro scale (cm) to mesoscale stirring (km) right up to the planetary scale of the global ocean circulation. From the regional to the local scale, coastal seas host a suite of physical processes relevant for understanding the effects of external pressures due to environmental change (from climate to population growth associated with eutrophication, dredging, and offshore constructions). A large part of the education and training in ocean physics is done in conjunction with related disciplines, such as meteorology, marine biogeochemistry, or geophysics.


Martin Visbeck (GEOMAR & Kiel University, Germany)
Sabrina Speich (Ecole Normale Supérieure - PSL, France)
David Marshall (Oxford University, UK)

The Summer School is run by the Bad Honnef Physics school, supported by the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus-Foundation.

Who can apply?

Young scientists - advanced master students, graduate students and first year postdocs - from all over Europe and beyond from all fields with an interest in physics who want to increase their knowledge about the ocean.

Presenters and topics

Lecturers and topics include:

Prof. Rym Msadek (CNRS/Cerfacs, Toulouse, France) - Climate, ocean-atmosphere and predictability
Dr. Marina Levey ( CNRS/LOCEAN-IPSL, Paris, France) - Ocean Ecosystem, Interactions with the Mesoscale and Submesoscale
Prof. Dr. Arne Biastoch (GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany) - Global and Regional Ocean Modeling
Prof. Brad deYoung (Memorial University, Canada) - Operational Oceanography
Prof. Ryan Abernathey (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, New York, USA) - Digital Oceanography / Big data
Prof. Dr. Peter Brandt (GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany) - Tropical Oceanography
Prof. Dr. Martin Visbeck (GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany) - Global Ocean Observing Systems
Prof. Dr. Sabrina Speich (Ecole Normale Supérieure - PSL, France) - Southern Ocean Circulation
Prof. Dr. David Marshall (Oxford University, UK) - Mesoscale Ocean Dynamics


Application deadline is 7 February 2020. Successful candidates will be informed on 17 February 2020.

Please register for the summer school and upload your CV and letter of motivation here:

Students will be selected based on their background and aspiration to enhance their career in marine sciences.

Applicants are expected to have at least a basic knowledge of one of the sub-disciplines of environmental physics or marine sciences and they usually will be active in a research field somewhat related to the topic of the summer school.

Further information

For questions please contact Sigrid Keiser: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Victor Gomer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Go to the official website: