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Dr Jayasankar Pillai

Research Fellow

Department: Geography and Environmental Sciences

At Northumbria University, I work with Prof. Adrian Jenkins on a project (see Research Interests) where the main objective is to improve the representation of ice-sheet-ocean interactions in the coupled models that are used to project future ice sheet evolution. 

During my PhD I studied 1) the coupled dynamics of the Indo-Pacific Ocean using regional ocean modelling; 2) the Indian Ocean deep Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC); and 3) the  Atmosphere-Ocean contribution to the equatorial Pacific sea surface temperatures (drivers of ENSO events). The study was motivated by the growing influence of the rapidly warming Indian Ocean on the Pacific Ocean and the overwhelming influence of the Pacific Ocean on the global climate.

Jayasankar Pillai

The project I am currently involved in is known as ‘PROjecTing sEa-level rise: from iCe sheets to local implicaTions (PROTECT)’. The research involves the Investigation of the potential future sea level contribution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet.  The main aim of the work is to improve the representation of ice-sheet-ocean interactions in the coupled models that are used to project future ice sheet evolution. This involves development, implementation and evaluation of algorithms that facilitate the passing of key variables between the ocean and ice sheet component models. 

My other research interests are the future of Deep Meridional Overturning Circulations (MOCs) and El Niño Southern Oscillations (ENSO) in a warming climate. I am also interested in regional climate impact assessment studies.  


  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Physically-based distributed modelling of the hydrology and soil erosion under changes in landuse and climate of a humid tropical river basin, Sreedevi, S., Eldho, T., Jayasankar, T. 1 Oct 2022, In: Catena
  • Inconsistent Atmosphere‐Ocean Dynamics and Multidecadal Zonal SST Gradient Trends Across the Equatorial Pacific Ocean in Reanalysis Products, Jayasankar, T., Murtugudde, R., Eldho, T. 1 Sep 2020, In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
  • Assessment of the interannual variability of local atmospheric and ITF contribution to the subsurface heat content of southern tropical Indian Ocean in GECCO2 and ORAS4 using ROMS, Jayasankar, T., Eldho, T., Ghosh, S., Murtugudde, R. 1 Oct 2019, In: Global and Planetary Change
  • Multiobjective sensitivity analysis and model parameterization approach for coupled streamflow and groundwater table depth simulations using SHETRAN in a wet humid tropical catchment, Sreedevi, S., Eldho, T., Madhusoodhanan, C., Jayasankar, T. 1 Dec 2019, In: Journal of Hydrology
  • The Indian Ocean Deep Meridional Overturning Circulation in Three Ocean Reanalysis Products, Jayasankar, T., Murtugudde, R., Eldho, T. 16 Nov 2019, In: Geophysical Research Letters
  • Evaluation of Extreme Sea Levels and Their Impacts — An Overview of Indian Coastal Regions, Jayasankar, T., Eldho, T. Aug 2018, Advances in Coastal Hydraulics, Singapore, World Scientific

I, Me, Myself

I started my career as a Structural Engineer (Bachelors in Civil Engineering) and later, I did a Masters in Offshore Structures. My master’s thesis was on ship dynamics and that's how I started exploring the possibilities of scientific programming (C, Maltab and Python) and simulations. I was fortunate to have used it for various projects such as ship traffic simulations; cyclone genesis and track generation; conceptual design of ships etc. While working in a Marine consultancy firm, I had the opportunity to be involved in diverse projects (field work to design and estimation) such as port planning, environmental impacts assessment studies and coastal modelling (Storm Surge, Tsunami). That's how I realised that exploring new areas and learning are not really bad things to do. Hence, the decision to do a PhD in Climate Science was quite easy. In between, I also had the opportunity to teach C programming to undergrad students for a semester. Recently, just like everyone else on this planet, I also have explored Machine/Deep Learning and I just hope that it will come handy one day. In short, I  am all ears when the discussion is on science/engineering.

PhD August 23 2020

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