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About Me

I am an oceanographer and climate scientist. My research is concerned with understanding how climate-relevant tracers, such as heat and carbon dioxide, are taken up by, stored within, and transported around the ocean. The uptake, transport and storage of these tracers is achieved by a combination of atmosphere-ocean exchange processes, the large-scale ocean circulation, turbulent ocean dynamics, and biogeochemical processes. I use a host of tools in my research, including large-scale numerical simulations, process models, theoretical ideas, trajectory analysis, and ocean observations. I did my PhD in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford, where I worked with Helen Johnson and David Marshall. In September 2018 I started as a post-doc at Princeton University, working with Jorge Sarmiento and Steve Griffies as part of the SOCCOM project.


ventilation location of north atlantic deep water

Ocean ventilation

Ventilation is the process by which water from the surface ocean is moved into and around its interior. It is a primary mechanism by which tracers such as carbon dioxide are taken out of contact with the atmosphere. I have investigated ventilation of the deep North Atlantic ocean using Lagrangian trajectory analysis.

chaotic ventilation pathways

Dynamical systems in oceanography

The turbulent ocean circulation bears many similarities to nonlinear dynamical systems. Analogies and ideas from this discipline has fostered understanding of many nonlinear ocean processes. I have used such understanding to investigate the role of turbulence in setting the distribution of tracers in the ocean interior.

polar southern ocean carbon schematic

Carbon cycling in the high-latitude oceans

The high-latitude oceans play a disproportionately important role in the uptake and deep-ocean sequestration of carbon dioxide. I have conducted observation-based budget analyses of the carbon system in the Artic Ocean and the polar Southern Ocean.



MacGilchrist, G.A. et al. (in prep) Characteristics and variability of deep North Atlantic ocean ventilation in an eddy-permitting numerical ocean circulation model, to be submitted.


MacGilchrist, G.A. et al. (2019) Reframing the carbon cycle of the subpolar Southern Ocean, Science Advances, 5(8), eaav6410. URL


van Sebille, E. et al. (2018) Lagrangian ocean analysis: Fundamentals and practices, Ocean Modelling, 121: 49-75. PDF


Naveira Garabato, A.C., MacGilchrist, G.A. et al. (2017) High latitude ocean ventilation and its role in Earth’s climate transitions, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 375: 20160324. PDF

MacGilchrist, G.A. et al. (2017) Characterizing the chaotic nature of ocean ventilation. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 122: 7577-7594. PDF


MacGilchrist, G.A. et al. (2014) Effect of enhanced pCO2 levels on the production of dissolved inorganic carbon and transparent exopolymer particles in short term bioassay experiments. Biogeosciences, 11: 3695-3706. PDF

MacGilchrist, G.A. et al. (2014) The Arctic Ocean carbon sink. Deep Sea Research I, 86: 39-55. PDF

Contact Me

Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ, U.S.A.