Dr Sarah Bass

Dr Sarah Bass

Lecturer in Marine Physical Science

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

Dr Sarah Bass can be contacted through arrangement with our Press Office, to speak to the media on these areas of expertise.
  • Underwater acoustics
  • Sediment transport
  • Estuarine dynamics


MSci Ocean Science Programme Manager
School Equality and Diversity Lead


2000-present: Lecturer in Marine Physical Science, Plymouth University

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Certificate of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

1996-2000: Ph.D., University of Cambridge, UK. Commonwealth Scholar

1994-1996: MSc., Physical Oceanography, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. NSERC Scholar

1989-1993: BSc (Hons.) Physics, Summa Cum Laude, University of Ottawa, Canada. NSERC Scholar

Professional membership

Member of the American Geophysical Union



Research interests

Coastal and shelf sea oceanography

Cohesive and non-cohesive sediment dynamics


For further details, please refer to the Marine Physics Research Group website (http://www.marinephysics.org/).

Other research


Nunny R, Graham E and Bass S. 2005. Do sea turtles use acoustic cues when nesting? 25th Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation, International Sea Turtle Society. Savannah, Georgia USA 16 - 22 January 2005 (submitted).

Bass, S.J. 2004. Characterising the Surf Zone Wave-Breaking Environment Using Passive Acoustics. Proceedings, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, USA (accepted).

Manning, A.J., and Bass, S.J., 2004. Experimental and predictive modelling observations of cohesive sediment settling fluxes in high energy tidal estuarine environments, Oral presentation at Tidalites International Conferences on Tidal Sedimentology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, August 2004.

Bass, S.J., Manning, A.J. and Dyer, K.R. (2003). Tidal cycles in flocculating suspension charactersistics. Proceedings INTERCOH-2003, Virginia, USA.

Manning, A.J., Bass, S.J. and Dyer, K.R. (2003). In-situ floc spectra observations in the Tamar Estuary, UK. Proceedings INTERCOH-2003, Virginia, USA.

Bass, S.J., McCave, I.N., Rees, J.M. and Vincent, C.E., (2002). Mud and sand transport paths outside of the Wash embayment, eastern England. Proceedings, Coastal and Shelf Sediment Transport Meeting, British Geological Society, London, UK.

Bass, S.J., Aldridge, J.N., McCave, I.N. and Vincent, C.E., (2001). Modelling temporal patterns of fine sediment suspensions. Proceedings, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, USA.

Bass, S.J., Aldridge, J.N., McCave, I.N. and Vincent, C.E., (2001). Fine sediment suspension patterns: a simple modelling approach. Proceedings, European Geophysical Society Conference, Nice, France.

Bass, S.J., McCave, I.N. and Vincent, C.E., (1998). Observations of mud and sand suspensions in the North Sea. Proceedings, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, USA.

Bass, S.J., McCave, I.N., Rees, J.M. and Vincent, C.E., (1998). Observations of suspension events at tidal frequencies in the North Sea. Conference Proceedings, UK Oceanography, Southampton, October 1998.

Bass, S.J. and Hay, A.E., (1995). Ambient Noise in the Surf Zone. Proceedings, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, USA.

Grants & contracts

NERC (12/11-06/15) 

'Realistic sedimentary bedform prediction: incorporating physical and biological cohesion (COHBED)'

NERC (04/08-04/11) £572,300 total £183686 to UoP
 ‘Acoustic and Optical Backscatter from flocculating sediments (FLOCSAM)’

NERC New Investigators Grant (02/03-02/04) £50,000
'Cycles in estuarine hydrodynamic conditions in relation to cycles in near-bed flocculating suspensions'.

Nuffield Foundation Award for New Lecturers (03/02-03/04) £6,000
'The acoustic noise generated by breaking waves in surf conditions'.



Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Malarkey J, Baas JH, Hope JA, Aspden RJ, Parsons DR, Peakall J, Paterson DM, Schindler RJ, Ye L & Lichtman ID (2015) 'The pervasive role of biological cohesion in bedform development' Nat Commun 6, Author Site , DOI Open access
Bass SJ (2013) 'Ambient noise and wave breaking on a sandy beach: energy dissipation estimates' JOURNAL OF COASTAL RESEARCH 1721-1726 Author Site , DOI
Bass SJ, McCave IN, Rees JM & Vincent CE (2007) 'Sand and mud flux estimates using acoustic and optical backscatter sensors: measurements seaward of the Wash, southern North Sea' 25-35 , DOI
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
Graham GW, Bass SJ, Nimmo Smith WAM & Manning AJ (2007) 'Flow modification by Spartina anglica' Journal of Coastal Research S150, 778-783
Manning AJ, Bass SJ & Dyer KR (2006) 'Floc properties in the turbidity maximum of a mesotidal estuary during neap and spring tidal conditions' Marine Geology 235, (1-4) 193-211
Manning AJ & Bass SJ (2006) 'Variability in cohesive sediment settling fluxes: Observations under different estuarine tidal conditions' Marine Geology 235, (1-4) 177-192
Bass SJ, Aldridge JN, Mccave IN & Vincent CE (2002) 'Phase relationships between fine sediment suspensions and tidal currents in coastal seas' Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans 107, (C10)
Bass SJ, Aldridge JN, McCave IN & Vincent CE (2001) 'Modelling temporal patterns of fine sediment suspensions' EOS Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement 82 (47), OS12A-0398 (abs)
Conference Papers
Bass SJ, McCave IN, Rees JM & Vincent CE (2003) 'Estimating Fine Sediment fluxes in coastal seas: validity of point measurements' in CD-ROM Proceedings of the International Conference on Coastal Sediments 2003. World Scientific Publishing Corp. and East Meets West Productions, Corpus Christi, Texas