during SOCLIM kickoff ....

  • Sabrina SPEICH - Interview SOCLIM Kick Off

Sabrina Speich is Professor of Geosciences at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France. She studied Physics in Italy at the University of Trieste (Italy), at the CERN in Geneva (Switzerland), and at the University of Paris 6. She received a PhD in Physical Oceanography from the University of Paris 6 (France) in 1992, then was postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA, USA) from 1992 to 1994. She was researcher at the CNRS (Paris, France) in 1995, then became Professor at University of Brest (France) until 2013. She was invited Professor at the University of Cape Town (South Africa) in 2001.

Prof. Speich' research interests concern the uncovering and understanding of ocean dynamics and its role on climate variability and change. She is a world-recognized expert in ocean modelling as well as in organizing wide programs of in situ observations. She is recently focusing her research on scale-interactions in ocean dynamics and how they affect the global ocean circulation, air-sea interactions and ecosystems. She initiated and led many field experiments to study ocean processes as well as ocean variability and changes. She pioneered the use of Argo floats to observe the ocean.

Prof. Speich has co-authored 60 publications in top-tier peer-reviewed journals (h-index=21 and 1230 citations as of December 2013), has given over 30 invited lectures and seminars, and contributed to more than 150 presentations at national and international meetings. He has supervised 15 graduate students and post-graduate fellows and teaches Physical Oceanography and Climate Sciences at the undergraduate and graduate level. Prof. Speich is currently co-chairing and has chaired or co-chaired some international programs within the CLIVAR program, The International Polar Year initiative and the European Research Projects framework and ANR. She has been serving on a number of national and international committees and review panels. She has been convener, organizer, or program committee member for many international scientific meetings.


Stéphane Blain has published 50 papers, which have been cited 2204 times. His h-index is 23.

  • Meinen, C. S., S. Speich, R. C. Perez, S. Dong, A. R. Piola, S. L. Garzoli, M. O. Baringer, S. Gladyshev, and E. J. D. Campos, Temporal variability of the Meridional Overturning Circulation at 34.5°S: Results from two pilot boundary arrays in the South Atlantic, J. Geophys. Res., 118 (12), 6461-6478, doi:10.1002/2013JC009228, 2013
  • Rusciano, E., S. Speich and M. Ollitrault, 2012 : Antarctic Intermediate Water dynamics, budget and fluxes. Interocean exchanges South of Africa. J. Geophys. Res. doi:10.1029/2012JC008266, in press
  • Swart, S., S. Speich, 2010: A satellite altimetry based Gravest Empirical Mode South of Africa. Part II: 1992-2008 Heat, Salt andMass Transport variability and changes. J. Geophys. Res., 115, C03003, doi:10.1029/2009JC005300
  • Speich, S., B. Blanke, et G. Madec, 2001 : Warm and cold water paths of a GCM thermohaline conveyor belt. Geophys. Res. Lett., 28, 311-314
  • Speich, S., B. Blanke, and W. Cai, 2007: Atlantic Meridional Overturning and the Southern Hemisphere Supergyre. Geophys. Res.Lett., VOL. 34, L23614, doi:10.1029/2007GL031583
  • Speich, S., H. Dijkstra, M. Ghil, 1995 : Successive bifurcations in a shallow-water modelapplied to the wind-driven ocean circulation.Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics, Vol. 2, pp 241-268

Since Jan. 2014: CLIVAR Atlantic Panel member

Since 2012: SCAR Panel member

2005-2012: Southern Ocean CLIVAR/CliC/SCAR Panel member

2013: Guest Editor of Journal of Marine Science special issue for Tracers of physical and biogeochemical processes, past changes and ongoing anthropogenic impacts: 43rd International Liege Colloquium on Ocean Dynamics

2010‐2012: Guest Editor for OceanSciences special issue for the BONUS-GoodHope International Polar Year Project

2007-2014: Co-organizer of seven international meetings on the South Atlantic and Southern Ocean research

2008-2014 Co-convener of various conferences sessions for the AGU, SCAR sessions

Since 2004, PI of 150 Argo floats deployment, validation and calibration of profiles data

Supervision 21 students and 7 post‐docs

PI of the Clivar GoodHope Project (since 2003) and BONUS-GoodHope (50 days, 72 scientists) cruises

Co-PI of the Clivar SAMOC program (since 2007)


Since the early 2000s, Sabrina Speich started to coordinate the scientific observing efforts in the Southern Ocean. In 2001, she spent one year at the University of Cape Town, South Africa as invited professor. This visit led to the construction of the CLIVAR GoodHope project strategy and objectives. The project started officially in 2003. Prof. Speich was then invited to be part of the Southern Ocean CLIVAR/CliC/SCAR scientific panel to help coordinate the observing activity in the Southern Ocean. This led to a very organized and coordinated observing effort within the International Polar Year (2008-2009), during which Prof. Speich led one of the most complete observing project of the Southern Ocean, BONUS-GoodHope. This project federated 27 international research units and institutes. It gathered more than one hundred scientists from different scientific fields of Oceanography, Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysics.

In 2007 Prof. Speich initiated together with Drs S. Garzoli (NOAA, USA) and AL. Piola (SNHA, Argentina) a new international initiative dedicated to build an integrated observing system for the South Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean, SAMOC. This initiative evolved successfully and today is almost completed in terms of deep mooring arrays and repeated observations. SAMOC has been approved by CLIVAR and the Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS). This initiative gathers many institutions from many countries (France, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, USA, Russia, Spain, Germany, United Kingdom).

This year Prof. Speich has integrated the Atlantic CLIVAR Panel.

Within the Laboratoire de Physique de l’Océan (LPO) in Brest, Prof. Speich was leading one of the three teams of the laboratory.

Prof. Speich is highly concerned by outreach and science dissemination to a wider audience. In addition to her teaching activity within the Brest University and the Ecole Normale, she gave many talks for the large public; participated to the making of a documentary on the ocean’s currents (Voyage au centre de la mer; Directed by M. Jampolski. Produced by MC4, Arte and Radio Canada), and she wrote or collaborated in the writing of numerous outreach articles.

Thanks to a network of oceanographic autonomous observations and within the framework of international collaborations, novel data may contribute to cutting-edge scientific advances.