EGS Young Scientists' Publication Awardee - 1997

Wolf-Gerrit Früh

for his publication in Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics: "Low order models of wave interactions in the transition to baroclinic chaos"


After his undergraduate course in Physics at the University of Freiburg in Germany in 1985 to 1988, Wolf-Gerrit Früh spent one year as a visiting student on the ERASMUS programme at the University of Sussex in the UK. There he developed his interest in geophysics, where he worked on a project on thermoluminescence, a technique widely used for geological and archaeological dating.

The following year he moved to Oxford for his postgraduate studies in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics. His doctoral work used a combination of laboratory experiments and low-order numerical models to investigate transitions to chaos in baroclinic fluids. He found that the nonlinear dynamics of baroclinic waves may result in very low frequency behaviour. These dynamics may be an important factor in the observed variability of the atmosphere, and a contributing factor in limiting the predictability of weather.

In 1993 he took up a postdoctoral research position at the same institution, continuing the work on baroclinic waves, as well as developing a new experiment on vortices in a barotropic shear layer. From 1994 to 1996 he also held a Junior Research Fellowship at Linacre College, Oxford. Since January 1997 he has been based in the Departments of Physics and Astronomy at the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. His research interests are fluid instabilities, nonlinear dynamics, and nonlinear time series analysis.