An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Dr Vanessa Hernaman

Current activities

Vanessa is a member of the Ocean Forecasting team responsible for the maintenance and development of OSTIA, the Operational Sea Surface Temperature and Ice Analysis system. Near real-time OSTIA products are distributed via the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) and are used for a wide range of applications, including numerical weather prediction and climate monitoring.  

The team also produces GMPE, the Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (GHRSST) Multi-Product Ensemble. Vanessa is working on incorporating new analyses into GMPE, and is also contributing to the Horizon 2020 project AtlantOS.

Career background

Vanessa studied for a BSc Honours degree in Marine Biology and Oceanography at Bangor University, and was awarded a Commonwealth Postgraduate Scholarship to undertake her PhD in Marine Science at the University of Otago in collaboration with James Cook University. Her PhD focused on tropical reef fish population dynamics and the associated influence of seasonality in biophysical processes. This was followed by a research role at Victoria University of Wellington investigating biophysical processes relevant to larval fish recruitment in temperate (New Zealand) and tropical (French Polynesia) reef systems.

Vanessa has worked in the climate arena since 2008, first as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Queensland studying ocean acidification and warming, and then as a Principal Scientist with the Queensland Climate Change Centre of Excellence, a climate science research centre in Australia which undertook research to inform Queensland's response to climate change, climate variability, and climate extremes. Vanessa worked on a range of projects including investigating observed and projected change in the marine environment at various spatial and temporal scales, marine hydrodynamic modelling to investigate coastal inundation due to future increases in sea level and cyclone intensity, and working with various sectors on better understanding sector-specific climate impacts and adaptation.

Prior to joining the Met Office in 2015, Vanessa worked on a project investigating spatial and temporal variability in surface ocean measurements across the Northwest European shelf break (with the University of Exeter), and as a technical marine data analyst and advisor with Natural England as part of the marine conservation zone designation process.