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Dr Steve Rintoul

CSIRO Fellow and Research Team Leader

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Dr Stephen Rintoul is a physical oceanographer with a long-standing interest in the Southern Ocean and its role in the earth system. His research has contributed to a deeper appreciation of the influence of the Southern Ocean on regional and global climate, biogeochemical cycles and biological productivity. Born in the USA, he did his graduate studies at the MIT-WHOI Joint Program and postdoctoral work at Princeton before moving to Australia to take up a position at the CSIRO. His scientific interests include the dynamics of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, the Southern Ocean overturning circulation, water mass formation, and the influence of Southern Ocean currents on biology and biogeochemistry. Primarily an observational oceanographer, he has led 15 expeditions to the Southern, Indian and Pacific Oceans. Over the last twenty years, Dr Rintoul has co-chaired international panels responsible for each of the major climate research programs carried out in the Southern Ocean. More recently, he led the Climate of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean program of the International Polar Year and the development of international plans for a Southern Ocean Observing System. He was a Coordinating Lead Author of the Oceans chapter in the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). His scientific achievements have been recognised by many national and international awards.

Fields of Research

Current Roles

  • Project Leader
    Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC

  • Research Team Leader
    Southern Ocean Team

  • Project Leader
    National Environmental Science Program, Earth System and Climate Change Hub

  • Project Leader
    Centre for Southern Hemisphere Oceans Research

Academic Qualifications

  • 1982

    AB (Honors)
    Harvard College USA

  • 1988

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program, USA

Professional Experiences

  • 2016-2017

    Interim Director, CSIRO Climate Science Centre

  • 2015-present

    Adjunct Senior Lecturer
    University of Tasmania

  • 2014-present

    Co - Leader, Bluewater and Climate Node
    Integrated Marine Observing System

  • 2014-present

    Research Team Leader
    CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere Flagship

  • 2003-present

    Program Leader
    Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre

  • 2010-2014

    Coordinating Lead Author
    IPCC 5th Assessment Report

  • 2007-present

    CSIRO Fellow

  • 2009

    Acting Chief
    CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research

  • 2004-2005

    Theme Leader
    CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship

  • 2002-2007

    Senior Principal Research Scientist
    CSIRO Marine Resarch

  • 2003-2004

    Climate Research Group Leader
    CSIRO Marine Research

  • 1997-2002

    Principal Research Scientist
    CSIRO Marine Research

  • 1992-1997

    Senior Research Scientist
    CSIRO Marine Research

  • 1990-1992

    Research Scientist
    CSIRO Division of Oceanography

  • 1988-1990

    Postdoctoral Visiting Scientist
    Princeton University

Achievements and Awards

  • 1999

    Priestley Medal
    Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society

  • 2003

    M R Banks Medal
    Royal Society of Tasmania

  • 2005

    Georg Wust Prize
    German Society for Marine Research

  • 2006

    Australian Academy of Science

  • 2007

    CSIRO Fellow

  • 2010

    Highly Cited Researcher
    Institute for Scientific Information

  • 2010

    Antarctic Science Lecturer
    Scientific Committe on Antarctic Research

  • 2010

    W. S. Jardetzky Medal and Lecturer
    Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, USA

  • 2010

    Finalist, Eureka Prize for Environmental Resarch
    Australian Museum

  • 2010

    Reg Sprigg Lecture
    South Australian Museum

  • 2012

    Martha T Muse Prize for Antarctic Science and Policy
    Tinker Foundation

  • 2012

    Australian Antarctic Medal
    Australian Commonwealth Government

  • 2013

    Oceanography Award
    Society for Underwater Exploration, London

  • 2015

    S T Lee Lecture
    Victoria University, Wellington, NZ

  • 2015

    Malcolm McIntosh Lecture

Other highlights

  • 1984

    RV Knorr, AJAX Expedition, South Atlantic/Weddell Sea

  • 1986

    RV Lynch, Gibraltar Experiment, Strait of Gibraltar

  • 1991

    RSV Aurora Australis, Chief Scientist, WOCE: Tasmania-Antarctica

  • 1993

    RV Franklin, WOCE: Tasman Sea

  • 1993

    RSV Aurora Australis, Chief Scientist, WOCE SR3: Tasmania-Antarctica

  • 1995

    RSV Aurora Australis, Chief Scientist, WOCE SR3: Tasmania-Antarctica

  • 1996

    RSV Aurora Australis, Chief Scientist, WOCE SR3: Tasmania-Antarctica

  • 1998

    FRV Southern Surveyor, Chief Scientist, Subantarctic Front Meader Survey

  • 2000

    RV Franklin, Chief Scientist, Indian Ocean Deep Ocean Time Series Section

  • 2001

    RSV Aurora Australis, Chief Scientist, CLIVAR SR3 repeat section

  • 2005

    RSV Aurora Australis, Chief Scientist, CLIVAR I9 and Princess Elisabeth Trough repeat sections and Kerguelen Deep Western Boundary Current mooring array

  • 2008

    RSV Aurora Australis, Co - Chief Scientist, CEAMARC and CASO programs of the International Polar Year, Adelie and George V Land shelf

  • 2008

    RSV Aurora Australis, Chief Scientist and Voyage Leader, CASO program of the International Polar Year, WOCE/CLIVAR SR3 line

  • 2008

    RSV Aurora Australis, Chief Scientist and Voyage Leader, Mertz polynya region and SR3 repeat

  • 2012

    RSV Aurora Australis, Chief Scientist and Voyage Leader, WOCE/CLIVAR I9S repeat and mooring recovery

  • 2015

    RSV, Aurora Australis, Chief Scientist, Totten and Mertz Glaciers

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2001-2012

    Co-Chair, Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR) – Climate and the Cryosphere (CliC) – Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Southern Ocean Implementation Panel

  • 2011-2014

    CLIVAR Science Steering Group

  • 2004-2010

    Meteorology and Oceanography of the Southern Hemisphere Committee, American Meterological Society

  • 1992-2001

    Co-Chair, World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) Core Project 2: the Southern Ocean

  • 1996-1998

    WOCE Synthesis and Modelling Working Group

  • 1999-2000

    Climate Variability and Predictability Program (CLIVAR) Decadal to Centennial Variability Implementation Plan committee

  • 2008-2010

    Leader, Climate of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, International Polar Year

  • 2006-2013

    Chair, Southern Ocean Observing System

  • Editorial Board, Journal of Marine Research

  • Editorial Board, Ocean Dynamics



We have publications by Dr Steve Rintoul
For more publications, please see Google Scholar: MhIN3HcAAAAJ Researcher ID: A-1471-2012 ORCID: 0000-0002-7055-9876