Robert B. Scott, UTIG Research Scientist
Robert B. Scott, UTIG research scientist

Robert B. Scott

Research Scientist

Ph.D., McGill (1999)

Telephone: 512-471-0375
email: rscott at

Rob is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at the Laboratoire de Physique des Oceans, University of Brest. webpage

Research Interests
I use theory, observations, and analytical and numerical models to pursue research in mesoscale to large scale geophysical fluid dynamics, especially ocean dynamics and climate dynamics. See the publications below for specific examples. Most recently I've started working on mesoscale atmospheric turbulence.

I'm interested in theory insofar as it makes predictions that can be observed. The excuse "but this is highly idealized so we cannot observe this in nature" makes the theory, or idealized model results, rather uninteresting to me.

Some questions I'm interested in are:
- What aspects of two-dimensional turbulence are present in the real ocean and the atmosphere?
- What drives interannual and longer timescale climate variability?
- What data analysis tools are best used to reveal mechanisms of variability?

I've used analytical techniques to address the generality of the inverse energy cascade. I'm especially interested in using satellite altimeter data to see whether the upper ocean behaves like a 2D turbulent flow. See Scott and Wang 2005 below for results from this effort.

Stochastic climate models can be particularly helpful in gaining an understanding of how the upper ocean responds to atmospheric forcing. Simple stochastic models can be solved analytically (Barsugli and Battisti, 1998; Saravanan and McWilliams 1998; Bretherton and Battisti, 2000; Scott 2002a,b) and are useful for revealing novel mechanisms and also for making sense of data analysis tools. It is also part of my research goal to clarify what data analysis techniques are really telling us.

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