Dr Kieran O’Driscoll

Dr Kieran O’Driscoll Image

University of Gibraltar:

Senior Research Associate
Natural Sciences & Environment


Kieran initially trained as a mechanical engineer in Ireland, working both there and in New York. He completed a degree in mathematics at Lehman College, City University of New York. He worked as research assistant in oceanography at Oregon State University before completing an MS in oceanography there. Kieran worked as oceanographer at the Naval Oceanographic Office, performing tasks on various aspects of operational and predictive oceanography, including ocean forecasting and model development, data analysis, ocean observations, etc. For the PhD, he developed a regional model of the Indonesian seas circulation based on the POM which he defended at The University of Southern Mississippi. At the University of Hamburg, Kieran developed models for studying the impacts of pollution on ocean systems, including organic pollutants and climate change. He continued this work at Queens University Belfast, where he developed and presented numerous undergraduate and graduate courses and modules. STEM NI Ambassador.


  • PhD Oceanography ‘A 3D regional model of the Indonesian seas circulation’ – The University of Southern Mississippi, 2007
  • MS Oceanography – Oregon State University, 1999
  • BA Mathematics – Lehman College, City University of New York, 1992
  • PGCHET – Queen’s University Belfast, 2014

Research Background

Dr. Kieran O’Driscoll BA (Hons.), MSc, PhD has a broad background in theoretical and observational oceanography, including modelling and analysis of ocean circulation and man-made pollution, such as the fate and cycling of chemicals and plastics and impacts of climate change on regional and coastal ocean systems. His recent research has been concerned with developing regional ocean circulation models for mass and temperature flux studies, including earth climate studies; shallow sea/basin and localised models for coupled hydrodynamic-chemical-ecosystem-sediment models for toxic persistent organic pollutant (POP), microplastic cycling and ecosystem uptake studies; contemporary and climate studies; and marine and ocean renewable energy systems and studies.
Services including
  • Editorial Board Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews
  • Reviewer for various journals
  • Proposal reviewer, panel member various international funding agencies

Research Interests

  • Ocean circulation: modelling, processes, analysis.
  • Modelling the fate, cycling and transport of pollutants in coastal and ocean ecosystems.
  • Climate change.
  • UXOs.
  • Develop/create integrated coupled ocean modelling systems for process studies (high-resolution pollutant/chemical-hydrodynamic-sediment-ecosystem numerical models).
  • Pollutant uptake and exchange in ocean ecosystems.
  • Ocean Pollution impacts on human health: food safety and security.
  • Risk prediction and assessment.

Teaching Experience

Kieran has designed, developed and delivered many courses over the years, including: Oceanography; Marine Science; Climate Change and Ocean Processes; Geophysical Fluid Dynamics; Coastal Ocean Science; Advanced Engineering Science; Engineering Measurements; Mathematics; Senior Thesis; Supervision of graduate students: MSc and PhD.

Selected Publications

O’Driscoll, K. and V. Kamenkovich. 2009. Dynamics of the Indonesian seas circulation. Part I – The influence of bottom topography on temperature and salinity distributions. J. Mar. Res., 67, 119 – 157.
Kamenkovich, V.M., K.T.A. O’Driscoll and D.A. Nechaev. 2009. Dynamics of the Indonesian Seas. Part II – The role of pressure head. J. Mar. Res., 67, 159 – 184.
Alheit, J., T. Pohlmann, M. Casini, W. Greve, R. Hinrichs, M. Mathis, K. O’Driscoll, R. Vorberg, C. Wagner, 2011. Climate variability drives anchovies and sardines into the North and Baltic Seas, Progress in Oceanography, 96, 128-139, doi: 10.1016/j.pocean.2011.11.015
O’Driscoll, K., B. Mayer, T. Ilyina, T. Pohlmann, 2013. Modelling the cycling of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the North Sea system: fluxes, loading, seasonality, trends. J. Mar. Syst., 111-112, 69-82.
O’Driscoll, K., B. Mayer, J. Su, M. Mathis, 2014. The effects of global climate change on the cycling and processes of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the North Sea. Ocean Sci., 10, 397–409, doi:10.5194/os-10-397-2014.
Chen, X.P., Liu, C.Y., O’Driscoll, K., Mayer, B., Su, J., Pohlmann T., 2013. On the nudging terms at open boundaries in regional ocean models. Ocean Modelling, 66, 14-25,
O’Driscoll, K., Robinson, J., Chiang, W-.S., Chen, Y.-Y., Kao, R-C., Doherty, R. 2016. The environmental fate of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in western Taiwan and coastal waters: evaluation with a fugacity-based model Env. Sci. Poll. Res., 23, 13222-13234, doi: 10.1007/s11356-016-6428-4
O’Driscoll, K. & M.D. Levine. 2017. Simulations and observation of nonlinear internal waves on the continental shelf: Korteweg–de Vries and extended Korteweg–de Vries solutions. Ocean Sci., 13, 749–763,
Chen X, Foley, Zhang, Wang, O’Driscoll K. 2019. An assessment of wind energy potential in the Beibu Gulf considering the energy demands of the Beibu Gulf Economic Rim, Renew. Sust. En. Revs.,
Coyle, R., Hardiman, G., O’Driscoll K. 2020. Microplastics in the Marine Environment: A Review of their Sources, Distribution Processes and Uptake and Exchange in Ecosystems. Case Studs. Chem. Env. Eng.
Full Publications List