John Siddorn

Ocean Modelling group scientific lead, undertaking ocean model research and development.

Current activities

John's role is to lead the scientific development, implementation and assessment of the standard ocean modelling configurations used by the Met Office. Ocean modelling, in this context, includes open ocean and tidal seas physical modelling at space scales ranging from that required for global earth-systems modelling to that required to provide shelf-scale applications and across all timescales, including short-range forecasting, seasonal forecasting and for climate prediction and impacts.

His group is responsible for developing the  NEMO ocean model and associated software required to implement that capability. John is a member of the NEMO Developers Committee that coordinates the work of the NEMO partners:  CNRS (France),  Mercator-Ocean (France), NERC (UK), Met Office (UK) and since 2011  CMCC (Italy), and  INGV (Italy). Members of his team form the Met Office contribution to the  NEMO systems team which maintains and develops the NEMO ocean modelling code.

John's group lead on process based "bottom up" evaluation of the Met Office standard ocean configurations and contribute to "top down" evaluation of the systems using those configurations. A key partnership has been formed between NERC and the Met Office in the Joint Weather and Climate Research Programme ( JWCRP). As part of JWCRP the Joint Ocean Modelling and Joint Coastal Ocean Modelling Programmes (JOMP and JCOMP) have been been formed. The Met Office contribution to these joint programmes comes from the Ocean Modelling group, with John leading the JOMP. The JOMP is also a working group of the National Centre for Ocean Forecasting ( NCOF) and so John is also an NCOF Working Group Chair.

Career background

John has had a management role in the Ocean Forecasting research and development area since the summer of 2007, and has several closely-related management roles during a period when the Ocean Forecasting area went through significant change.

Prior to taking on management responsibilities John worked as Coastal Ocean Modelling Scientist (July 2003 to May 2007), with responsibilities for preparing developments to the suite of marine models run for the North West European shelf. John implemented, tested and transitioned to operations the ecosystem component  ERSEM of the MRCS North-West Shelf model and had primary responsibility for the research and development, monitoring and maintenance of the ocean shelf ecosystem and sediment short-term forecasting systems. John was also involved in the transitioning of the  POLCOMS physical ocean model from POL3DB to a new Fortran :90 version of the code. John worked on the EU Mersea and MarCoast projects to develop the underpinning operational systems, as well as to prepare services based on the operational products, and was involved in the EU Mersea and Marcoast projects and UK-funded SWAPP (now  AlgaRisk).

John originally joined the Met Office in March 2002 as a research scientist working on the environmental stresses project, concentrating initially on issues related to water resources. The aim of the work was to develop products to inform policy makers of regions which may experience changing levels of environmental stress, and hence social and political instability, due to a changing climate.

John joined the Natural Environmental Research Council as a Mathematical Modeller at  Plymouth Marine Laboratory in November 1998. John joined the ecosystem modelling team with the primary responsibility for implementing marine dynamical models and coupling them to ERSEM. In this period he gained experience working with  POM, POLCOMS and  GOTM physical modelling systems.

John studied for an  MSc in Applied Physical Oceanography (1997/8) at the  University of Wales Bangor, School of Ocean Sciences where he was awarded the Darbyshire prize. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Marine Environmental Chemistry at the  University of Southampton (1991-1994).

John also spent a brief period as a research technician in the  Greenpeace Research Labs at Exeter University, looking at plasticizer (phthalate esther) contents in children's toys.

External recognition

  • John is on the  NOOS Steering Committee.
  • John chairs the Joint (NERC-Met Office) Ocean Modelling Programme (JOMP).
  • John is a member of the Joint (NERC-Met Office) Coastal Ocean Modelling Programme (JCOMP)
  • John is on the EU FP7 GMES MyOcean Executive Committee.
  • John co-chaired the  ICESWorkshop on Operational Oceanographic Products  WKOOP.
  • John was chair of the  UKMMASAd-hoc Working Group on Ocean Processes that resulted in the formation of the Ocean Processes Evidence Group, on which he now sits.
  • John was briefly a member of the  GODAE steering team.

Last updated: 4 April 2014

About John Siddorn

John Siddorn

John leads Marine Dynamics group.

Areas of expertise:

  • Shelf seas dynamical modelling.

  • Shelf seas ecosystem modelling.

  • Marine forecasting.

Publications by John