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Contact detailsPete Russell Image

Office Office 310 Castle Street, room 150

Academic qualifications

BSc (Physics), Otago
MSc (Electronics), Otago
PhD (Oceanography), Otago

Research interests

My primary research interests are in physical processes that support marine ecosystems. I integrate a number of research areas, including:

  • Coastal and estuarine processes
  • Tropical cyclone generated primary production
  • Putahitanga – Intersection of Mātauranga and oceanography
  • Sea ice physics

I am also a member of the Coastal People: Southern Skies collaboration that connects communities with world-leading, cross-discipline research to rebuild coastal ecosystems.
Coastal People: Southern Skies

Current funded research

  • Coastal People: Southern Skies CORE – Co PI for Understanding Local and Regional Thermal Regimes to Prepare for Climate Change. (Co PI Rob Smith, Otago). This project investigates potential climate refuges along the East Otago and Stewart Island coasts
  • Marsden fund - AI on Crossing the Dimensional Divide: Non-linear Interaction between Sub-mesoscale eddies and Turbulence. (PI Craig Stevens, NIWA). This project investigates Sub-mesoscale eddies in Cook Strait through measurements and modelling


  • MARI 201 Oceanography: The Physical Ocean
  • MARI 301 Marine Ecology and Ecosystems
  • MARI 322 Coastal and Shelf Seas Oceanography
  • AQFI 301 Field Methods in Applied Marine Science
  • AQFI 421 Advanced Aquaculture and Fisheries

Current postgraduate students

  • Bridgit Smerdon, MSc: Drivers of temperature variability in Southern New Zealand forests of giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera


Russell, P., & Horvat, C. (2023). Extreme South Pacific phytoplankton blooms induced by tropical cyclones. Geophysical Research Letters, 50, e2022GL100821. doi: 10.1029/2022GL100821 Journal - Research Article

Richter, M. E., Smith, I. J., Everts, J. R., Russell, P., Langhorne, P. J., & Leonard, G. H. (2023). The effect of pseudofrazil particle entrainment on salinity measurements. Earth & Space Science, 10, e2022EA002564. doi: 10.1029/2022EA002564 Journal - Research Article

Russell, P., & Vennell, R. (2019). High resolution observations of an outer-bank cell of secondary circulation in a natural river bend. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 04019012. doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)HY.1943-7900.0001584 Journal - Research Article

Russell, P., & Vennell, R. (2017). High-resolution observations of secondary circulation and tidally synchronised upwelling around a coastal headland. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 122(2), 890-913. doi: 10.1002/2016JC012117 Journal - Research Article

Russell, P., & Vennell, R. (2014). Distribution of vertical velocity inferred from secondary flow in a curved tidal channel. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 119(9), 6010-6023. doi: 10.1002/2014JC010003 Journal - Research Article

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