Dr Denise Fernandez

Physical Oceanographer


2022, NIWA Excellence award in Early Career Science (Runner-up)

2017, PhD Thesis Award, University of Auckland

2017, PhD, Environmental Sciences, Joint Graduate School in Coastal and Marine Science, University of Auckland

2012, MSc, Geophysics (1st Class Honours), Victoria University of Wellington

2010, BSc, Geophysics and Mathematics, Victoria University of Wellington

Science Centre

Contact Details


  • I use modern observations and model output to help interpret ocean processes at multiple time and spatial scales. My latest interests involve ocean dynamics and biogeochemistry, particularly I am investigating how the oxygen content in the ocean is changing in parallel with increasing ocean temperatures.
  • In my role as an Objective Leader for the Antarctic Science Platform I have produced a synthesis report on the currently available ocean observations and models in the Ross Sea. 
  • My most recent publications on New Zealand and Southern Ocean dynamics and change are:

    • Thomalla, S., Beadling, R.L., du Plessis, M., De Souza, E., Fernandez, D., Gille, S.T., Josey, S.A., MacGilchrist, G.M., Marouchos, A., McMahon, C.R., Pezzi, L, Schultz, C., Shi, J-R., Tripathy, S.C., Turner, K. (2024), State of the Climate in 2023. Chapter 6: Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (in press).


    • Robinson, N., Stevens, C., Rack, W., Bowen, M., Chapman, R., Cummings, V., Fernandez, D. ... & van Uitregt, V. (2023). The 2023 Aotearoa New Zealand Sea Ice Emergency Summit. New Zealand Science Review, 79


    • Silvano, A., Purkey, S., Gordon, A. L., Castagno, P., Stewart, A., Rintoul, S., ...Fernandez, D., … & Lee, W. S. (2023). Observing Antarctic bottom water in the Southern Ocean. Frontiers in Marine Science, 10.


    • Zilberman, N. V., Thierry, V., King, B., Alford, M., André, X., Balem, K., ... Fernandez D., … & Van Wijk, E. M. (2023). Observing the full ocean volume using Deep Argo floats. Frontiers in Marine Science, 10.


    • Fernandez, D., Bowen, M., & Sutton, P. (2022). South Pacific Ocean dynamics redistribute ocean heat content and modulate heat exchange with the atmosphere. Geophysical Research Letters, 49, e2022GL100965 https://doi. org/10.1029/2022GL100965

      See my google scholar link for more articles