Philip Gillibrand


Senior Research Fellow

E-Mail Address


2014 –                Senior Research Fellow, Environmental Research Institute, North Highland College UHI, Thurso, Scotland.


2010 – 2014.       Hydrodynamic Modeller, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.


2007 – 2010.       Senior Hydrodynamic Modeller, National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Christchurch, New Zealand.


2003 – 2007.       Physical Oceanographer/Hydrodynamic Modeller, Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), Oban, U.K.


1990 – 2003.       Physical Oceanographer, Fisheries Research Services (FRS), Aberdeen, U.K.



Ph.D. Physical Oceanography, University of Wales, Bangor, 1994

B.Sc. Mathematics & Physical Oceanography (Class I), University of Wales, 1988.


Gillibrand, P.A., Walters, R.A., McIlvenny, J., 2016. Numerical simulations of the effects of tidal energy arrays on near-bed velocity and local bed shear stress. Energies, 9(10), 852; doi: 10.3390/en9100852.


Gillibrand, P.A., B. Siemering, P.I. Miller & K. Davidson (2016). Individual-based modelling of the development and transport of a Karenia mikimotoi bloom on the north-west European continental shelf. Harmful Algae, DOI: 10.1016/j.hal.2015.11.011


McIlvenny, J. , Tamsett, D., Gillibrand, P.A. and Goddijn-Murphy, L. (2016). Sediment Dynamics in a Tidally Energetic Channel: The Inner Sound, Northern Scotland. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 4, 31; doi:10.3390/jmse4020031


Gillibrand, P.A. and M. Herzfeld (2016). A mass-conservating advection scheme for offline simulation of scalar transport in coastal ocean models. Ocean Modelling, 101, 1 – 16. DOI: 10.1016/j.ocemod.2016.02.008


Herzfeld, M. and P.A. Gillibrand, 2015. Active sea level forcing using dual relaxation time-scales in downscaled ocean models. Ocean Modelling, 89, 71-83. DOI 10.1016/j.ocemod.2015.02.004


Gillibrand, P.A., M.E. Inall, E. Portilla and P. Tett, 2013. A box model of seasonal exchange and mixing in restricted exchange environments: application to two contrasting Scottish inlets. Environmental Modelling and Software, 43, 144-159. DOI 10.1016/j.envsoft.2013.02.008


Power, W.L., X. Wang, E.M. Lane and P.A. Gillibrand, 2012. A probabilistic tsunami hazard study of the Auckland region, part I: propagation modelling and tsunami hazard assessment at the shoreline. Pure and Applied Geophysics, DOI 10.1007/s00024-012-0543-z


Lane, E.M., P.A. Gillibrand, W.L. Power and X. Wang, 2012. A probabilistic tsunami hazard study of the Auckland region, part II: inundation modelling and hazard assessment. Pure and Applied Geophysics. DOI 10.1007/s00024-012-0538-9


Stucchi, D.J., M. Guo, M. G. G. Foreman, Piotr Czajko, M. Galbraith, D. Mackas, P.A. Gillibrand, 2011. Modelling sea lice production and concentrations in the Broughton Archipelago, British Columbia. In: Jones, S. and R. Beamish (Eds.), “Salmon Lice: An Integrated Approach to Understanding Parasite Abundance and Distribution”, John Wiley and Sons, pp. 117-152.


Gillibrand, P.A., E.M. Lane, R.A. Walters and R.M. Gorman, 2011. Forecasting extreme sea surface height and coastal inundation from tides, surge and wave setup. Australian Journal of Civil Engineering, 9, 99-112.


Lane, E.M., P.A. Gillibrand, J. Arnold and R.A. Walters, 2011. Tsunami inundation modeling with RiCOM. Australian Journal of Civil Engineering, 9, 83-98.


Tett, P., E. Portilla, P.A. Gillibrand and M.E. Inall, 2011. Carrying and assimilative capacities: the ACExR-LESV model for sea-loch aquaculture. Aquaculture Research, 42, 51-67.


Walters, R.A., P.A. Gillibrand, R. Bell and E.M. Lane, 2010. A Study of Tides and Currents in Cook Strait, New Zealand. Ocean Dynamics, 60,1559-1580.


Embling, C.B., P.A. Gillibrand, J. Gordon, J. Shrimpton, P.T. Stevick, P.S. Hammond, 2010. Using habitat models to identify suitable sites for marine protected areas for harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena). Biological Conservation, 143, 267-279.


Inall, M.E. and Gillibrand, P.A., 2010. The Physics of mid-Latitude Fjords: A Review. In: Howe, J.A., Austin, W.E.N., Forwick, M. & Paetzel, M. (eds) Fjord Systems and Dynamics. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 344, 17-33.


Portilla, E., P. Tett, P.A. Gillibrand and M.E. Inall, 2009. Description and sensitivity analysis for the LESV model: water quality variables and the balance of organisms in a fjordic region of restricted exchange. Ecological Modelling, 220, 2187-2205 .


Lane, E.M., R.A. Walters, P.A. Gillibrand and M. Uddstrom, 2009. Operational forecasting of sea level height using an unstructured grid ocean model. Ocean Modelling, 28, 88-96.


Inall, M.E., P.A. Gillibrand, C.R. Griffiths, N. MacDougal and K. Blackwell, 2009. On the oceanographic variability of the North-West European Shelf to the West of Scotland. Journal of Marine Systems, 77, 210-226.


Gillibrand, P.A. and K.J. Willis, 2007. Dispersal of Sea Lice Larvae from Salmon Farms: A Model Study of the Influence of Environmental Conditions and Larval Behaviour. Aquatic Biology, 1, 73-75.


Gillibrand, P.A., and T.L. Amundrud, 2007. A numerical study of the tidal circulation and buoyancy effects in a Scottish fjord: Loch Torridon, J. Geophys. Res., 112, C05030, doi:10.1029/2006JC003806.


Murray, A.G. and P.A. Gillibrand, 2006. Modelling dispersal of larval salmon lice in Loch Torridon, Scotland. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 53, 128-135.


Willis, K.J, P.A. Gillibrand, C.J. Cromey and K.D. Black, 2005. Sea lice treatments on salmon farms have no adverse effect on zooplankton communities: A case study. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 50, 806 – 816.


Gillibrand, P.A., A. Cage and W.E.N. Austin, 2005. A preliminary investigation of bottom water response to climate forcing in a Scottish fjord: Evaluating the influence of the NAO. Continental Shelf Research, 25, 571-587.


Penston, M.J., M. McKibben, D.W. Hay and P.A. Gillibrand, 2004. Observations on open-water densities of sea lice larvae in Loch Shieldaig, Western Scotland. Aquaculture Research, 35, 793-805.


Gillibrand, P.A. and C.J. Cromey, 2002. Management of aquaculture in Scottish fjords. In: Aquaculture, Environment and Marine Phytoplankton. Ed. Ifremer, Actes Colloq., 34, pp. 217 – 229


Gillibrand, P.A., 2001. Calculating exchange times in a Scottish fjord using a two-dimensional laterally integrated numerical model. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 53, 437-449.


Turrell, W.R., G. Slesser, R.D. Adams, R. Payne and P.A. Gillibrand, 1999. Decadal variability in the composition of Faroe-Shetland Channel bottom water. Deep-Sea Research I, 46, 1-25.


Gillibrand, P.A. and P.W. Balls, 1998. Modelling salt intrusion and nitrate concentrations in the Ythan Estuary. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 47, 695-706.


Davies, I.M., P.A. Gillibrand, J.G. McHenery and G.H. Rae, 1998. Environmental risk of ivermectin to sediment dwelling organisms. Aquaculture, 163, 29-46.


Gillibrand, P.A. and W.R. Turrell, 1997. The use of simple models in the regulation of the impact of fish farms on water quality in Scottish sea lochs. Aquaculture, 159, 33-46.


Hill A.E., K.J. Horsburgh, R.W. Garvine, P.A. Gillibrand, G. Slesser, W.R. Turrell and R.D. Adams, 1997. Observations of a density-driven recirculation of the Scottish coastal current in the Minch. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science, 45, 473-484.


Turrell, W.R., G. Slesser, R. Payne, R.D. Adams, P.A. Gillibrand, 1996. The hydrography of the East Shetland basin in relation to decadal North Sea variability. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 53, 899-916.


Gillibrand P.A., W.R. Turrell, R.D. Adams and D.C. Moore, 1996. Bottom water stagnation and oxygen depletion in a Scottish sea loch. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 43, 217-235.


Gillibrand P.A., W.R. Turrell and A.J. Elliott, 1995. Deep water renewal in the upper basin of Loch Sunart, a Scottish fjord. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 25, 1488-1503.


Elliott A.E., P.A. Gillibrand and W.R. Turrell, 1992:”Tidal mixing near the sill of a Scottish sea loch”. In Dynamics and exchanges in estuaries and the coastal zone, Coastal and Estuarine Studies, 40, D. Prandle (ed.), American Geophysical Union, Washington D.C., pp 35 56.


I am a Senior Research Fellow at the Environmental Research Institute at North Highland College, UHI, Thurso.
I am a physical oceanographer with interests in hydrodynamic and bio-physical modelling of the coastal zone, and the application of these models, together with observational data, to understand the dynamics and behaviour of coastal systems. I have published papers on the circulation, exchange and deep water renewal of Scottish fjords; the Scottish coastal current; the environmental impacts of finfish aquaculture; and tsunami inundation and coastal oceanography in New Zealand.

After graduating from the University of Wales, Bangor, I joined the staff at the Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen, and worked mainly on research driven by the burgeoning aquaculture industry in Scotland at the time, modelling the exchange and ventilation of fjordic sea-lochs and developing modelling tools to predict the dispersion of contaminants and parasites from salmon farms. I then moved to the Scottish Association for Marine Science in Oban, and continued research with a coastal modelling and management theme.

Relocating to Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2007, I joined the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). Here I worked on predicting potential inundation of coastal settlements from incident tsunami and storm surges using a highly-resolved unstructured-grid finite-element model. The same model was also utilised to address more general questions of coastal oceanography (tidal flows, inshore exchange) in Cook Strait.

After a spell with the Coastal Environmental Modelling Team at the CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research laboratory in Hobart, where I used a 3-D hydrodynamic model to investigate coastal and estuarine dynamics in Australian waters including the Great Barrier Reef, I joined ERI in May 2014 to work on questions relating to interactions between marine renewable energy developments and the environment.

All my work to date has involved adapting and applying hydrodynamic models to address specific aspects of coastal oceanography. In addition to using hydrodynamic models, I have in the past developed a number of simpler modelling tools designed to predict the dispersion of soluble emissions and waste products from fish farms in order to facilitate sustainable regulation and management of aquaculture in Scotland.

Current graduate students
Matteo Marasco: Structure and Coherence of Flow through a Tidally Energetic Channel measured by HF Radar (co-supervised by Dr Bill Turrell and Dr Bee Berx, Marine Scotland Science).
Ian Campbell: An Examination of the Hywind Scotland Floating Offshore Wind Farm as a Vector for the Spread of Invasive Non-Native Species in Scottish Territorial Waters (Director of Studies Dr Jen Loxton, UHI, co-supervised by Dr Liz Cook, UHI, and Dr Andrew Blight, University of St Andrews)

Professional Associations
I am a member of the European Geophysical Union, the American Geophysical Union, the Scottish Association for Marine Science and the Challenger Society for Marine Science.

Current Research Interests

Marine renewable energy and the environment
Physical oceanography of inshore and coastal waters.
Development and application of coastal hydrodynamic and bio-physical models.
Numerical modelling of coastal processes including: tides, waves, baroclinic circulation, coastal inundation, estuarine circulation, storm surge, tsunami.
Transport and dispersion of pelagic biota and contaminants.
Deep water renewal and flushing of fjords.
Modelling the environmental effects of aquaculture.