David Woolf

Associate Professor

+44 (0) 1856 850605
Old Academy, Back Road, Stromness, Orkney, KW16 3AW
Roles and responsibilities

Reader in Marine Physics

  • Marine renewable energy
  • Regional climate change; including prediction and impacts
  • Air-sea exchange of gases and particles
  • Global carbon cycle
  • Marine Earth observation
Selected publications


  1. Easton, M.C., D.K. Woolf and P.A. Bowyer. 2012. The dynamics of an energetic tidal channel, the Pentland Firth, Scotland, Continental Shelf Research, 48, 50-60. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.csr.2012.08.009
  2. Goddijn-Murphy, L., D.K. Woolf and C.A. Marandino. 2012. Space-based retrievals of air-sea gas transfer velocities using altimeters: Calibration for dimethyl sulphide. Journal of Geophysical Research 117, C08028, doi:10.1029/2011JC007535 .
  3. Goddijn-Murphy, L., D.K. Woolf and M.C. Easton. 2012. Current patterns in the Inner Sound (Pentland Firth) from underway ADCP data. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JTECH-D-11-00223.1
  4. Woolf, D.K. and Goddijn-Murphy L.  2012. The importance of whitecapping to air-sea interaction and earth observation approaches to its retrieval.  In “Earth Observation for Ocean-Atmosphere Interactions Science” Symposium Proceedings, SP-703 (CD), ESA.


  1. Easton, M.C., A. Harendza, D.K. Woolf and A.C. Jackson. 2011. Characterization of a Tidal Energy Site: Hydrodynamics and Seabed Structure, Proceedings of 9th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (EWTEC).
  2. Goddijn-Murphy, L., D.K. Woolf, A.H. Callaghan. 2011. Parameterizations and algorithms for oceanic whitecap coverage. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 41(4), 742-756, doi: 10.1175/2010JPO4533.1.
  3. Shields, M.A., D.K. Woolf, E.P.M. Grist, S.A. Kerr, A.C. Jackson, R.E. Harris, M.C Bell, R. Beharie, A. Want, E. Osalusi, S.W. Gibb and J. Side. 2011. Marine renewable energy: The ecological implications of altering the hydrodynamics of the marine environment, Ocean & Coastal Management, 54, 2-9. doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2010.10.036


  1. Easton, M.C., D.K. Woolf, and S. Pans. 2010. An Operational Hydrodynamic Model of a key tidal-energy site: Inner Sound of Stroma, Pentland Firth (Scotland, UK). Proceedings of 3rdInternational Conference on Ocean Energy, 6 October, Bilbao.
  2. Jeffery, C.D, I.S. Robinson and D.K. Woolf. 2010. Tuning a physically-based model of the air-sea gas transfer velocity. Ocean Modelling, 31(1-2), 28-35. doi: 10.1016/j.ocemod.2009.09.001


  1. Smith, L., D.Woolf and D. Mackay. 2009. Turning marine energy into reality: the Scottish experience. Proceedings of the ICE - Maritime Engineering, 162(4), 197-201.
  2. Brooks, I. M., M. J. Yelland, R. C. Upstill-Goddard, et al, 2009: Physical Exchanges at the Air-Sea Interface: Field Measurements from UK-SOLAS. Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc., 90, 629-644. doi: 10.1175/2008BAMS2578.1
  3. M.A Shields, L.J.Dillon, D.K. Woolf and A.T. Ford. 2009. Strategic priorities for assessing the ecological impact of marine renewable devices in the Pentland Firth (Scotland, UK). Marine Policy, doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2008.12.013  
  4. Goddijn-Murphy, L. and D.K. Woolf. 2009.  “Advantages of high resolution mapping of tidal currents in the Pentland Firth, using underway ADCP measurements”. ADCPs in Action, San Diego, California, 5-7 October 2009, Proceedings CD.


  1. Fangohr, S., D. K. Woolf, C. D. Jeffery, and I. S. Robinson. 2008. Calculating long-term global air-sea flux of carbon dioxide using scatterometer, passive microwave, and model reanalysis wind data, J. Geophys. Res., 113, C09032, doi:10.1029/2005JC003376.
  2. Hydes, D.J., M.S. Hartmann, C.P. Bargeron, J.M. Campbell, M.S. Curé and D.K. Woolf. 2008. A study of gas exchange during the transition from deep winter mixing to spring bloom (2007) in the Bay of Biscay measured by continuous observation from a ship of opportunity. Operational Oceanography, 2008(2), 41-50.
  3. Jeffery, C.D, I.S. Robinson, D.K. Woolf and C.J. Donlon. 2008. The response to phase-dependent wind stress and cloud fraction of the diurnal cycle of SST and air-sea CO2 exchange. Ocean Modelling, 23, 33-48. doi:10.1016/j.ocemod.2008.03.003
  4. Woolf, D.K. and C. Gommenginger. 2008. Radar altimetry: Introduction and application to air-sea interaction. In Remote Sensing of the European Seas, edited by Vittorio Barale and Martin Gade. Springer Verlag,  Heidelberg, Germany, pp.283-294. ISBN: 978-1-4020-6771-6
  • 1984: BA (Hons) Physics, University of Oxford.
  • 1989: PhD Physical Oceanography, National University of Ireland.
  • Oct 1984-Mar 1986: Postgraduate Research Student/Research Assistant: Department of Oceanography, University College Galway, Galway, Ireland.
  • Mar 1986-Oct 1988: Graduate Student/Research Assistant: Marine Sciences Institute, University of Connecticut, Avery Point, Connecticut, USA.
  • Jan 1989-Jan 1992: Junior Research Fellow, Department of Oceanography, University of Southampton, UK.
  • Feb 1992-Feb 1999: Research Fellow, Department of Oceanography (latterly School of Ocean and Earth Science), University of Southampton, UK.
  • Oct 1999-Aug 2006: Senior Research Fellow, James Rennell Division (latterly Ocean Observing & Climate Group), Southampton Oceanography Centre (latterly National Oceanography Centre) University of Southampton, UK.
  • Aug 2006-Feb 2012: Senior Research Fellow, Environmental Research Institute, UHI-North Highland College.
  • Feb 2012-Sep 2012: Reader, Environmental Research Institute, UHI-North Highland College.
  • Oct 2012-Present: Reader, ICIT, Heriot Watt University.