Pat is a professor in Department of Physics at the University of Otago.
The major ice shelves of Antarctica buffer the land-based continental ice sheets. Under natural circumstances melting occurs deep in the ice shelf cavity; this less saline water rises to the surface, becoming supercooled on the way, and spills out under the coastal sea ice. The ice crystals contained within it accumulate and grow in a low porosity layer at the interface. As this layer freezes it contains a signature of processes that took place in the ice shelf cavity.
Pat examines the physical and isotopic properties of the sea ice cover and its crystallographic structure, concurrently with measurements of the upper ocean, then models of these processes. This work has been carried out in partnership with NIWA and Callaghan Innovation.