Eilean MacDonald

Eilean MacDonald


I have been interested in the natural world from a young age often falling behind on walks after I found something interesting to look at. I was lucky enough to foster this passion and graduated from the University of Southampton in 2022 with a first-class honours in MSci Oceanography.

My interests lie primarily in physical oceanography, with strengths in physics, maths, and computational data analysis. I enjoy topics of research that not only investigate the mechanisms of processes and phenomena but also consider the wider implications on our climate and society as a whole. During my degree I found topics around the deep ocean, polar regions, and vulnerable coastal communities particularly engaging. My dissertation was titled “Investigating The Spatial and Temporal Variation of Tropical Cyclone Characteristics Over Vietnam from 1980-2020” and looked into how climatic oscillations impacted these variations of Tropical Cyclones.


Eilean MacDonald

PhD title: Can extreme internal waves trigger turbidity currents and carbon transport in submarine canyons?

My PhD project is focused on the question “Can extreme internal waves trigger turbidity currents and carbon transport in submarine canyons?”. Submarine canyons are important systems for sediment and carbon transport from shelf seas to the deep ocean. They act as conduits, funnelling cold-salty density currents and sediment-laden turbidity currents down continental slopes. The causation of these sporadic currents and their triggering processes are not well understood hence their contributions to the global sediment and carbon budgets are uncertain. A proposed triggering mechanism of these currents are large-amplitude internal waves, generated by ocean tides and focused on these canyons. Particularly energetic internal wave events may resuspend enough sediment to form turbidity currents.


  • Presented at the 2021 European Paediatric Rheumatology (PReS) Congress on behalf of the European Network for Children with Arthritis (ENCA) Presented at the CLUSTER Consortium Launch Event in 2019

Awards and prizes

University of Southampton – Oceanography Part 4 Prize for Best Graduating MSci Oceanography Student

University of Southampton – Nominated for the Greenwich Forum Prize for Best Undergraduate Oceanography Dissertation

Other information

Patient Representative for the CLUSTER Consortium

Council of Reference member for the JAR Project