Dr Alex Nimmo Smith
Profiles

Dr Alex Nimmo Smith

Associate Professor (Reader) in Marine Physics

School of Biological & Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science & Engineering)

Role

Alex is an Associate Professor (Reader) in Marine Physics at Plymouth University, and is part of the Marine Physics Research Group (MPRG). His research interests are focussed around suspended particle dynamics, both in terms of how particles (plankton, sediment, bubbles, droplets) behave in a natural, turbulent environment, and also in the use of particles as tracers of turbulent flows. He has developed several in situ optical systems to directly image particles for measurement and identification, and visualise 3D turbulence structure.

Qualifications

  • Feb 2005: Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, University of Plymouth, UK
  • 2010 - present: Associate Professor (Reader) in Marine Physics, Plymouth University, UK
  • 2003 - 2010: Lecturer in Marine Physics, School of Marine Science and Engineering, University of Plymouth, UK
  • 2000 - 2002: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of MechanicalEngineering, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA."PIV measurements in the bottom-boundary layer of the coastal ocean"
  • 1996 - 2000: PhD, School of Ocean and Earth Science, SouthamptonOceanography Centre, Southampton, UK. "Dispersion of material by windand tide in shallow seas"
  • 1993 - 1996: BSc (Hons), Marine Biology and Oceanography, School of Ocean Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor, UK

Professional membership

  • Member of the Challenger Society for Marine Science
  • Member of the American Geophysical Union
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Teaching interests

  • Physical Oceanography (shelf sea, coastal and estuarine)
  • Optical Oceanography (underwater optics and imaging)

Research interests

  • Suspended particle dynamics
  • Turbulence, mixing and dispersion
  • Breaking waves and Langmuir circulaton
  • Boundary layers dynamics and coherent structures
  • Flow visualisation, optical and acoustic measurement techniques
For further details, please refer to the Marine Physics Research Group website.

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

George Graham - "The effect of vegetation on sediment deposition in salt marshes" - NERC
Oct 2004 - Sept 2008 (Drs Russell (DoS), Nimmo Smith, Bass & Manning)

Susan Kay - "Sun-glint correction of marine satellite imagery by radiative transfer model inversion" - GWR
Sept 2008 - Dec 2011 (Dr Hedley (DoS, Univ Exeter), Drs Lavender (ARGANS) & Nimmo Smith)

Jaimie Cross - "Dynamics of suspended particles in seasonally stratified shelf seas" - NERC
Oct 2008 - Feb 2013 (Drs Nimmo Smith (DoS), Hosegood, Torres (PML) & Prof Huntley)

Emlyn Davies - "Scattering signatures of suspended sediments" - NERC (in collaboration with Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory & Sequoia Scientific Inc)
October 2009 - Mar 2013 (Drs Nimmo Smith (DoS), Souza (POL), Agrawal (Sequoia) & Prof Huntley)

Edward Steele - "3D turbulence structure in the ocean" - Univ Plymouth
Oct 2010 - Mar 2014 (Drs Hosegood, Nimmo Smith (DoS) & Vlasenko)


Rebecca Ross - "Investigating the applications of biophysical modelling in deep-sea dispersal studies" - NERC 
Oct 2012 - (Drs Howell (DoS), Nimmo Smith & Vlasenko)

Grants & contracts

"FASTNEt: Fluxes Across Sloping Topography of the North East Atlantic" - NERC - £600,000
Plymouth team: Dr Phil Hosegood & Dr Vasiliy Vlasenko

"Measurement of the abundance and optical significance of sub-micron sized particles in the ocean" - NERC - £395,000
In collaboration with Drs Bowers (PI) and Jago (Bangor University) & Dr McKee (University of Strathclyde)

"Turbulence, Sediment Stratification and Altered Resuspension under Waves (TSSAR Waves)" - NERC - £447,185
In collaboration with Dr Daniel Conley (PI)

"Dynamic response to Energy Extraction and Mixing (DREEM)" -SWRDA/PRIMaRE ~ £184,000
In collaboration with Dr Phil Hosegood (PI)

"Wave Hub Impacts on Seabed & Shoreline Processes (WHISSP)" -
SWRDA/PRIMaRE ~ £550,000

"The application of remote sensing to the measurement of marine particle size and their relation to turbulence" - NERC - £307,434
In collaboration with Drs Bowers (PI) & Jago and Prof Simpson, University of Wales, Bangor
To provide high-quality in situ suspended particle size information using a submersible holographic particle imager.

"Form and dynamics of coherent vortical structures in the bottom boundary layer of the coastal ocean"
- NERC - £50,841
Provide detailed observations and analysis of coherent vortical structures in the bottom boundary layer of the coastal ocean using an upgraded 3D-PTV system.

"Three-dimensional visualisation of coherent flow structures in the bottom boundary-layer of the coastal ocean"
- The Nuffield Foundation - £3,500
Contribution for the field deployment of the 3D-PTV system.

"3-D Flow Visualisation in the Ocean"
- The Royal Society - £14,247
Development of a 3D Particle Tracking Velocimetry (PTV) system to study the form and dynamics of coherent vortical structures in the bottom boundary layer of the coastal ocean.

Research groups

  • Marine Physics Research Group

Key publications are highlighted

Journals
Articles
Bowers DG, McKee D, Jago CF & Nimmo-Smith WAM 2017 'The area-to-mass ratio and fractal dimension of marine flocs' Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 189, 224-234 , DOI
stashchuk N, vlasenko V, Hosegood PJ & nimmo smith W 2017 'Tidally induced residual current over the Malin Sea continental slope' Continental Shelf Research , DOI PEARL
Vlasenko A, Steele ECC & Nimmo-Smith WAM 2016 'Corrigendum: A physics-enabled flow restoration algorithm for sparse PIV and PTV measurements (2015 Meas. Sci. Technol . 26 065301)' Measurement Science and Technology 27, (6) 069502-069502 , DOI
Steele ECC, Nimmo-Smith WAM & Vlasenko A 2016 'Direct measurement of hairpin-like vortices in the bottom boundary layer of the coastal ocean' Geophysical Research Letters 43, (3) 1175-1183 , DOI PEARL
Ross RE, Nimmo-Smith WAM & Howell KL 2016 'Increasing the Depth of Current Understanding: Sensitivity Testing of Deep-Sea Larval Dispersal Models for Ecologists' PLOS ONE 11, (8) Author Site , DOI PEARL
Lefering I, Bengil F, Trees C, Röttgers R, Bowers D, Nimmo-Smith A, Schwarz J & McKee D 2016 'Optical closure in marine waters from in situ inherent optical property measurements' Optics Express 24, (13) 14036-14036 , DOI
Vlasenko A, Steele ECC & Nimmo-Smith WAM 2015 'A physics-enabled flow restoration algorithm for sparse PIV and PTV measurements' Measurement Science and Technology 26, (6) 065301-065301 , DOI PEARL
Davies EJ, Buscombe D, Graham GW & Nimmo-Smith WAM 2015 'Evaluating Unsupervised Methods to Size and Classify Suspended Particles Using Digital In-Line Holography' Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology 32, (6) 1241-1256 , DOI PEARL
Cross J, Nimmo-Smith WAM, Hosegood PJ & Torres R 2015 'The role of advection in the distribution of plankton populations at a moored 1-D coastal observatory' PROGRESS IN OCEANOGRAPHY 137, 342-359 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Davies EJ, McKee D, Bowers D, Graham GW & Nimmo-Smith WAM 2014 'Optically significant particle sizes in seawater' APPLIED OPTICS 53, (6) 1067-1074 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Cross J, Nimmo-Smith WAM, Hosegood PJ & Torres R 2014 'The dispersal of phytoplankton populations by enhanced turbulent mixing in a shallow coastal sea' JOURNAL OF MARINE SYSTEMS 136, 55-64 Author Site , DOI
Macdonald RG, Bowers DG, McKee D, Graham GW & Nimmo-Smith WAM 2014 'Vertical migration maintains phytoplankton position in a tidal channel with residual flow' MARINE ECOLOGY PROGRESS SERIES 509, 113-126 Author Site , DOI
Cross J, Nimmo Smith WAM, Torres R & Hosegood PJ 2013 'Biological controls on resuspension and the relationship between particle size and the Kolmogorov length scale in a shallow coastal sea' Marine Geology 343, 29-38 , DOI
Bowers DG, Macdonald RG, McKee D, Nimmo-Smith WAM & Graham GW 2013 'On the formation of tide-produced seiches and double high waters in coastal seas' ESTUARINE COASTAL AND SHELF SCIENCE 134, 108-116 Author Site , DOI
Braithwaite KM, Bowers DG, Smith WAMN & Graham GW 2012 'Controls on floc growth in an energetic tidal channel' JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS 117, Author Site , DOI
Graham GW, Davies EJ, Nimmo-Smith WAM, Bowers DG & Braithwaite KM 2012 'Interpreting LISST-100X measurements of particles with complex shape using digital in-line holography' JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS 117, Author Site , DOI
Davies EJ, Nimmo-Smith WAM, Agrawal YC & Souza AJ 2012 'LISST-100 response to large particles' MARINE GEOLOGY 307, 117-122 Author Site , DOI
Kay S, Hedley J, Lavender S & Nimmo-Smith A 2011 'Light transfer at the ocean surface modeled using high resolution sea surface realizations' OPTICS EXPRESS 19, (7) 6501-6512 Author Site , DOI
Davies EJ, Nimmo-Smith WAM, Agrawal YC & Souza AJ 2011 'Scattering signatures of suspended particles: an integrated system for combining digital holography and laser diffraction' OPTICS EXPRESS 19, (25) 25488-25499 Author Site , DOI
Bowers DG, Braithwaite KM, Nimmo-Smith WAM & Graham GW 2011 'The optical efficiency of flocs in shelf seas and estuaries' ESTUARINE COASTAL AND SHELF SCIENCE 91, 341-350 , DOI
Braithwaite KM, Bowers DG, Smith WAMN, Graham GW, Agrawal YC & Mikkelsen OA 2010 'Observations of particle density and scattering in the Tamar Estuary' MARINE GEOLOGY 277, 1-10-10 , DOI
Graham GW & Smith WAMN 2010 'The application of holography to the analysis of size and settling velocity of suspended cohesive sediments' LIMNOLOGY AND OCEANOGRAPHY-METHODS 8, 1-15 Author Site
Bowers DG, Braithwaite KM, Nimmo-Smith WAM & Graham GW 2009 'Light scattering by particles suspended in the sea: The role of particle size and density' CONTINENTAL SHELF RESEARCH 29, (14) 1748-1755 , DOI
Smith WAMN 2008 'A submersible three-dimensional particle tracking velocimetry system for flow visualization in the coastal ocean' LIMNOLOGY AND OCEANOGRAPHY-METHODS 6, 96-104 Author Site
Thorpe SA, Green JAM, Simpson JH, Osborn TR & Smith WAMN 2008 'Boils and turbulence in a weakly stratified shallow tidal sea' JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL OCEANOGRAPHY 38, (8) 1711-1730 , DOI
Burchard H, Craig PD, Gemmrich JR, van Haren H, Mathieu P-P, Meier HEM, Smith WAMN, Prandke H, Rippeth TP & Skyllingstad ED 2008 'Observational and numerical modeling methods for quantifying coastal ocean turbulence and mixing' PROGRESS IN OCEANOGRAPHY 76, 399-442 , DOI
Luznik L, Gurka R, Nimmo Smith WAM, Zhu W, Katz J & Osborn TR 2007 'Distribution of energy spectra, Reynolds stresses, turbulence production, and dissipation in a tidally driven bottom boundary layer' Journal of Physical Oceanography 37, (6) 1527-1550
Graham GW, Bass SJ, Smith WAMN & Manning AJ 2007 'Exploring Marsh Surface Canopy Dynamics - A Discussion of Laboratory Methods' JOURNAL OF COASTAL RESEARCH 778-783 Author Site
Smith WAMN, Katz J & Osborn TR 2007 'The effect of waves on subgrid-scale stresses, dissipation and model coefficients in the coastal ocean bottom boundary layer' JOURNAL OF FLUID MECHANICS 583, 133-160 , DOI
Nimmo Smith 2005 'On the structure of turbulence in the bottom boundary layer of the coastal ocean' Journal of Physical Oceanography 35 (1), 72-93 , DOI
Nimmo Smith WAM, Atsavapranee P, Katz J & Osborn TR 2002 'PIV measurements in the bottom boundary layer of the coastal ocean' Experiments in Fluids 33, (6) 962-971
Nimmo Smith WAM & Thorpe SA 1999 'Dispersion of buoyant material by Langmuir circulation and a tidal current' MARINE POLLUTION BULLETIN 38, (9) 824-829 Author Site , DOI
Nimmo Smith WAM, Thorpe SA & Graham A 1999 'Surface effects of bottom-generated turbulence in a shallow tidal sea' NATURE 400, (6741) 251-254 Author Site
Simpson JH, Green JAM, Rippeth TP, Osborn TR & Nimmo-Smith WAM 0 'The structure of dissipation in the western Irish Sea front' JOURNAL OF MARINE SYSTEMS 77, {428-440}-{428-440} , DOI
Conference Papers
Conley DC, Buscombe D & Nimmo-Smith WAM 2012 'Use of digital holographic cameras to examine the measurement and understanding of sediment suspension in the nearshore' //0 //0
Smith WAMN & IEEE 2007 '3D flow visualization in the bottom boundary layer of the coastal ocean' //0 //0 1202-1208
Luznik L, Gurka R, Nimmo Smith WAM, Zhu W, Katz J & Osborn TR 2005 'Wave phase based conditional sampling of Reynolds stresses in the coastal ocean bottom boundary layer' //0 //0 367-372
Nimmo Smith WAM, Atsavapranee P, Zhu W, Luznik L, Baldwin DR, Katz J & Osborn TR 2001 'PIV measurements in the bottom boundary layer of the coastal ocean' //0 //0 413-422

Links

For further details of my research interests, please go to:
http://www.marinephysics.org/