Emeritus Professor of Ocean Physics
Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
and Visiting Professor, Politecnico di Torino, Italy.
Peter Wadhams is the UK’s most experienced sea ice scientist, with 40 years of research in sea ice and ocean processes in the Arctic and the Antarctic. He is Emeritus Professor of Ocean Physics and is the author of numerous publications on dynamics and thermodynamics of sea ice, sea ice thickness, waves in ice, icebergs, ocean convection and kindred topics. His current main topics of research are sea ice properties, dynamics and distributions in thickness and concentration, as well as the broad scale implications of sea ice retreat on global climate change. His book on sea ice and climate change, “A Farewell to Ice” (New York, Oxford University Press) has won several scientific awards and has been translated into seven languages (Dutch, German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Mandarin, Korean).
He has led 55 research expeditions to the polar seas, working from ice camps, icebreakers and aircraft, and has also worked extensively from Arctic submarines where he has used multibeam sonar to measure ice topography. He is a pioneer in the use of AUVs (autonomous underwater vehicles) under sea ice.
He was coordinator of several European Union international research projects (e.g. GreenICE, CONVECTION and the European Subpolar Ocean Program) and served for eight years on the Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency. In 1990 he received the Italgas Prize for Environmental Sciences, and he has also been awarded the Polar Medal (UK) and the W.S. Bruce Prize of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. As well as being Professor at Cambridge he has been an Associate Professor at the Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche, run by Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, and is a Visiting Professor at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona as well as in Turin. He is a member of the Finnish Academy.
He has always maintained close links with Scripps and with Walter Munk personally. He served for two years as Green Scholar at IGPP (1987 and 2017) during which time he had the honor of working with Munk on ocean acoustics and tomography in ice-covered seas, and on wave generation.