University of Tasmania, Australia

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Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies

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Helen Phillips

Helen Phillips

Dr Helen E. Phillips

Research Fellow

PhD, Grad. Dip. Comp. Sci., BSc (HONS-I)


Contact Details

Contact Campus Hobart CBD Campuses
Building IMAS Hobart Waterfront Building
Room Reference 213.10
Telephone +61 3 6226 2994
Fax +61 3 6226 2973

General Responsibilities

Research Fellow in Physical Oceanography - Research and Postgraduate Supervision

Teaching Responsibilities

I have delivered lectures into

KSA205 Introduction to Oceanography

QMS511 Physical Oceanography

QMS517 Data Analysis Methods

In 2011, I developed a new 5-day course of lectures in Physical Oceanography that I delivered to Masters students at Shanghai Ocean University in November 2011.


  • 2014             Christopher Roach (Ekman currents in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. PhD Thesis, University of Tasmania, 203 pp.)
  • 2013             Amelie Meyer (Diapycnal mixing and the internal wave field north of the Kerguelen Plateau. PhD Thesis, University of Tasmania. 170 pp.)
  • 2010             Paul Durack, Oceanic Influence on the Global Hydrological Cycle
  • 2014-now      Earl Duran, Honours, Identifying source waters and fate of the  Leeuwin Undercurrent
  • 2014             Moru Yao (Momo), 3rd Year student from Shanghai Ocean University, The hydrographic signature of near surface eastward flows in the South Indian Ocean.
  • 2013-2014    Earl Duran, QMS Summer Fellow, Interaction of physics and biology in Leeuwin Current eddies
  • 2013-2014    Sylvia Pump, QMS Summer Fellow, Interaction of physics and biology in Leeuwin Current eddies
  • 2013-2014    Kevin Guerreiro, French Masters Internship project, Interaction of near-surface eastward flows in the South Indian Ocean with the Leeuwin Current System
  • 2012             Thomas Jaud, French Masters Internship project, Investigating the use of rapid response temperature loggers on seals for estimating ocean mixing.
  • 2010             Mana Inoue, Honours – First Class
  • 2009             Chris Roach, Honours – First Class


Selected Publications:

Phillips, H. E. and N. L. Bindoff, 2014: On the non-Equivalent Barotropic structure of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current: An observational perspective. Journal of Geophysical Research. 2013JC009516. Accepted.

Menezes, V. V., H. E. Phillips, A. Schiller, C. Domingues, N. L. Bindoff, 2013: Salinity dominance on the Indian Ocean Eastern Gyral Current. Geophysical Research Letters. Vol. 40, 1–6, doi:10.1002/2013GL057887.

Phillips, H.E., S.E. Wijffels and M. Feng, 2005.  Interannual variability in the freshwater content of the Indonesian-Australian Basin.  Geophysical Research Letters. .  Vol. 32, L03603, doi:10.1029/2004GL021755

Phillips, H.E. and S.R. Rintoul, 2002.  A mean synoptic view of the Subantarctic Front south of Australia.  Journal of Physical Oceanography.  Vol. 32, No. pp 1536-1553.

Phillips, H.E. and S.R. Rintoul, 2000.  Eddy variability and energetics from direct current measurements in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current south of Australia.  Journal of Physical Oceanography.  Vol. 30, No. 12, pp 3050-3076.

Full List of Publications


Elected to the International CLIVAR/IOC-GOOS Indian Ocean Panel, 2014-2016

Additional Information


I am a Physical Oceanographer who is interested in the role of ocean circulation in the climate system. I use novel instruments to measure fine detail in the currents not able to be seen with traditional observing methods, and not resolved in global climate models. In this detail is information about how the ocean absorbs heat from the atmosphere, mixes it, moves it from one place in the ocean to another, and releases some of it back to the atmosphere. Understanding these small-scale processes is a vital step in both understanding how the ocean influences climate, and in making more robust predictions of the future climate.


Research Assistant at CSIRO Division of Oceanography, PhD at University of Tasmania investigating the role of eddies in the Southern Ocean heat and momentum balances, Postdoctoral positions at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and CSIRO, Research Fellow position at Institute for Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies, which became IMAS in 2010.