Sophie Durston

Sophie Durston


I graduated from the University of Plymouth in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Ocean Science and Marine Conservation. For my undergraduate dissertation I studied the effect of tidally induced internal waves, produced southwest of Plymouth, on fish school behaviour and distribution.

In October 2020, I joined the SENSE Earth Observation CDT to start my PhD. Although registered at the University of Leeds, I am based at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in Liverpool as part of the Marine Systems Modelling Group. My PhD focuses on the cause of the large blooms of Sargassum (a large seaweed) in the Atlantic Ocean that has been washing up on beaches in the Caribbean. The project will utilise regionally ocean models and satellite data to monitor the Sargassum movement and research the reason for the recent blooms. It will be under the supervision of Dr Judith Wolf (NOC), Dr Dan Grosvenor (UoL), Prof. Ken Carslaw (UoL), and Dr Christine Gommenginger (NOC). 

This project will also work closely with my CASE partner, Pixalytics, with Dr Sam Lavender. 


Research interests

  • Sargassum 
  • Ocean Modelling 
  • Earth Observation 
  • Ocean Currents 
  • Physical Oceanography (coastal)


  • BSc (hons) Ocean Science and Marine Conservation, University of Plymouth

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science