CV Contact

Erik van Sebille, oceanographer and climate scientist at Utrecht University

  • Investigating the time scales and pathways of the global ocean circulation using Lagrangian trajectories, with particular interest in plastic pollution, inter-ocean exchanges and marine connectivity.

Scientific interests (or click on the wordle on the left for a high-res version)

  • The use of (numerical) Lagrangian trajectories to track the global ocean circulation.
  • The way ocean currents carry heat, nutrients, plankton and plastic around the world.
  • The impact of ocean plastic pollution and climate change on marine ecosystems.

Postdoc and PhD positions available in Lagrangian modelling of ocean plastic litter

Marine litter video

Interview for the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition stand "Plastic not fantastic in our ocean".

Marine litter tracking site

Two websites at and on ocean circulation and marine litter.

Climate change video

Video by the Australian Climate Council explaining the results of the 2013/2014 IPCC AR5 reports.

Peer-reviewed articles in press (see Google Scholar for citation counts)

  1. Everett, Van Sebille, Taylor, Suthers, Setio, Cetina-Heredia, and Smith (2017), Fisheries Oceanography, in press.
    Dispersal of Eastern King Prawn larvae in a western boundary current: new insights from particle tracking [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Krüger, Ramos, Xavier, Grémillet, González-Solís, Kolbeinsson, Militão, Navarro, Petry, Phillips, Ramiírez, Reyes-González, Ryan, Sigurosson, Van Sebille, Wanless, and Paiva (2017), Animal Conservation, in press.
    Identification of candidate pelagic marine protected areas through a seabird seasonal-, multispecific- and extinction risk-based approach
    [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Coleman, Cetina-Heredia, Roughan, Feng Van Sebille, and Kelaher (2017), Global Change Biology, in press.
    Anticipating changes to future connectivity within a network of marine protected areas [ pdf @ publisher ]

2017 Peer-reviewed articles

  1. Cózar, Martí, Duarte, García-de-Lomas, Van Sebille, Ballatore, Eguíluz, González-Gordillo, Pedrotti, Echevarría, Troublè, Irigoien (2017), Science Advances, 3, e1600582.
    The Arctic Ocean as a dead end for floating plastics in the North Atlantic branch of the Thermohaline Circulation [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Hardesty, Harari, Isobe, Lebreton, Maximenko, Potemra, Van Sebille, Vethaak, and Wilcox (2017), Frontiers in Marine Science, 4, 30.
    Using numerical model simulations to improve the understanding of microplastic distribution and pathways in the marine environment
    [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Turney, Fogwill, Palmer, Van Sebille, Thomas, McGlone, Richardson, Wilmshurst, Fenwick, Zunz, Goosse, Wilson, Carter, Lipson, Jones, Harsch, Clark, Marzinelli, Rogers, Rainsley, Ciasto, Waterman, Thomas, and Visbeck (2017), Climate of the Past, 13, 231-248.
    Tropical forcing of increased Southern Ocean climate variability revealed by a 140-year subantarctic temperate reconstruction
    [ pdf @ publisher ]

2016 Peer-reviewed articles

  1. Hellweger, Van Sebille, Calfee, Chandler, Zinser, Swan, and Fredrick (2016), PLoS ONE, 11, e0167010.
    The role of ocean currents in the temperature selection of plankton: Insights from an agent-based model [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Fogwill, Van Sebille, Cougnon, Turney, Rintoul, Galton-Fenzi, Clark, Marzinelli, Rainsley, and Carter (2016), The Cryosphere, 10, 2603.
    Impacts of a developing polynya off Commonwealth Bay, East Antarctica, triggered by grounding of iceberg B09B [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Qin, Menviel, Sen Gupta, and Van Sebille (2016), Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 9843-9851.
    Iron sources and pathways into the Pacific Equatorial Undercurrent [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Teske, Sandoval-Castillo, Van Sebille, Waters, and Beheregaray (2016), Sci. Rep., 6, 34205 .
    Oceanography promotes self-recruitment in a planktonic larval disperser [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Grist, Josey, Jacobs, Marsh, Sinha, and Van Sebille (2016), Clim. Dyn., 46, 4027-4045.
    Extreme air-sea interaction over the North Atlantic subpolar gyre during the winter of 2013-14 and its sub-surface legacy [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Doblin and Van Sebille (2016), Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 113, 5700-5705.
    Drift in ocean currents impacts intergenerational microbial exposure to temperature [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Yit Sen Bull and Van Sebille (2016), J. Geophys. Res., 121, 1626-1639.
    Sources, fate and pathways of Leeuwin Current water in the Indian Ocean and Great Australian Bight: A Lagrangian study in an eddy-resolving ocean model [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Sen Gupta, McGregor, Van Sebille, Ganachaud, Brown, and Santoso (2016), Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 1667-1678.
    Future changes to the Indonesian Throughflow and Pacific circulation: the differing role of wind and deep circulation changes
    [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Ypma, Van Sebille, Kiss, and Spence (2016), J. Geophys. Res., 121, 758-774.
    The separation of the East Australian Current: a Lagrangian approach to potential vorticity and upstream control [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Schuyler, Wilcox, Townsend, Wedemeyer-Strombel, Balazs, Van Sebille, and Hardesty (2016), Glob. Change Biol., 22, 567-576.
    Risk analysis reveals global hotspots for marine debris ingestion by sea turtles [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Sherman and Van Sebille (2016), Environ. Res. Lett, 11, 014006.
    Modeling marine surface microplastic transport to assess optimal removal locations [ pdf @ publisher ]

2015 Peer-reviewed articles

  1. Biastoch, Durgadoo, Morrison, Van Sebille, Weijer, and Griffies (2015), Nature Communications, 6, 10082.
    Atlantic multi-decadal oscillation covaries with Agulhas leakage [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Van Sebille, Wilcox, Lebreton, Maximenko, Hardesty, Van Franeker, Eriksen, Siegel, Galgani, and Law (2015), Environ. Res. Lett., 10.
    A Global Inventory of Small Floating Plastic Debris [ pdf @ publisher | data @ figshare]
  1. Van Sebille, Waterman, Barthel, Lumpkin, Keating, Fogwill and Turney (2015), J. Geophys. Res., 120, 6769-6781.
    Pairwise surface drifter separation in the Western Pacific Sector of the Southern Ocean [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Cetina-Heredia, Roughan, Van Sebille, Feng, and Coleman (2015), Glob. Change Biol., 21, 4377-4386.
    Strengthened currents override the effect of warming on lobster larval dispersal & survival [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Wilcox, Van Sebille, and Hardesty (2015), Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 112, 11899-11904.
    Threat of plastic pollution to seabirds is global, pervasive, and increasing [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Froyland, Horenkamp, Rossi, and Van Sebille (2015), Chaos, 25, 083119.
    Studying an Agulhas ring's long-term pathway and decay with finite-time coherent sets [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Garzoli, Dong, Fine, Meinen, Perez, Schmid, Van Sebille, and Yao (2015), Deep Sea Res. I, 103, 125-136.
    The fate of the Deep Western Boundary Current in the South Atlantic [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Teske, Sandoval-Castillo, Van Sebille, Waters, and Beheregaray (2015), Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 532, 1-12.
    On-shelf larval retention limits population connectivity in a coastal broadcast spawner [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Graham, De Boer, Van Sebille, Kohfeld, and Schlosser (2015), Deep Sea Res. I, 104, 9-25.
    Inferring source regions and supply mechanisms of iron in the Southern Ocean from satellite chlorophyll data [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Peña-Izquierdo, Van Sebille, Pelegrí, Sprintall, Mason, Llanillo, and Machín (2015), J. Geophys. Res., 120, 3350-3372.
    Water mass pathways to the North Atlantic Oxygen Minimum Zones [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Evans, Young, Nicol, Kolody, Allain, Bell, Brown, Ganachaud, Hobday, Hunt, Innes, Sen Gupta, Van Sebille, Kloser, Patterson, and Singh (2015), Mar. Policy, 59, 94-104.
    Optimising fisheries management in relation to tuna catches in the western central Pacific Ocean: A review of research priorities and opportunities [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Qin, Sen Gupta, and Van Sebille (2015), J. Geophys. Res., 120, 3113-3128.
    Variability in the origins and pathways of Pacific Equatorial Undercurrent water [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Van Sebille, Scussolini, Durgadoo, Peeters, Biastoch, Weijer, Turney, Paris, and Zahn (2015), Nature Communications, 6, 6521.
    Ocean currents generate large footprints in marine palaeoclimate proxies [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Sen Gupta, Brown, Jourdain, Van Sebille, Ganachaud, and Vergés (2015), Deep Sea Res. II, 113, 59-72.
    Episodic and non-uniform migration of thermal habitats in a warming ocean [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Van Sebille (2015), Physics Today, 68, 60-61.
    The oceans’ accumulating plastic garbage [ pdf @ publisher ]

2014 Peer-reviewed articles

  1. Van Sebille (2014), J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol., 461, 317-322. - a free, quick and easy tool to quantitatively study planktonic surface drift in the global ocean [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Hellweger, Van Sebille, and Fredrick (2014), Science, 345, 1346-1349.
    Biogeographic patterns in ocean microbes emerge in a neutral agent-based model [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Froyland, Stuart, and Van Sebille (2014), Chaos, 24, 033126.
    How well-connected is the surface of the global ocean? [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Cetina-Heredia, Roughan, Van Sebille, and Coleman (2014), J. Geophys. Res., 119, 4351-4366.
    Long term trends in the East Australian Current separation latitude and eddy driven transport [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Vergés, Steinberg, Hay, Poore, Campbell, Ballesteros, Heck, Booth, Coleman, Feary, Figueira, Langlois, Marzinelli, Mizerek, Mumby, Nakamura, Roughan, Van Sebille, Sen Gupta, Smale, Tomas, Wernberg, and Wilson (2014), Proc. Royal Soc. B, 281, 20140846.
    The tropicalisation of temperate marine ecosystems: climate-mediated changes in herbivory cause community phase shifts
    [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Rosso, Hogg, Strutton, Kiss, Matear, Klocker, and Van Sebille (2014), Ocean Model., 80, 10-23.
    Vertical transport in the ocean due to sub-mesoscale structures: Impacts in the Kerguelen region [pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Van Sebille, Sprintall, Schwarzkopf, Sen Gupta, Santoso, England, Biastoch, and Böning (2014), J. Geophys. Res., 119.
    Pacific-to-Indian Ocean connectivity: Tasman leakage, Indonesian Throughflow and the role of ENSO [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Qin, Van Sebille, and Sen Gupta (2014), Ocean Model., 76, 20-30.
    Quantification of errors induced by temporal resolution on Lagrangian particles in an eddy-resolving model [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Caley, Peeters, Biastoch, Rossignol, Van Sebille, Durgadoo, Malaize, Giraudeau, Arthur, and Zahn (2014), Geophys. Res. Lett., 41.
    Quantitative estimate of the palaeo-Agulhas leakage [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Spence, Van Sebille, Saenko, and England (2014), J. Phys. Oceanogr., 44, 662-675.
    Using Eulerian and Lagrangian approaches to investigate wind-driven changes in the Southern Ocean abyssal circulation [ pdf @ publisher]
  1. Den Toom, Dijkstra, Weijer, Hecht, Maltrud, and Van Sebille (2014), J. Phys. Oceanogr., 44, 464-481.
    Response of a strongly eddying global ocean to North Atlantic freshwater perturbations [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Palmer, Turney, Hogg, Hilliam, Watson, Van Sebille, Cowie, Jones, and Petchey (2014), J. Archaeol. Sci., 42, 435-441.
    The discovery of New Zealand’s oldest shipwreck – possible evidence of further Dutch exploration of the South Pacific [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Weijer and Van Sebille (2014), J. Clim., 27, 101-110.
    Impact of Agulhas Leakage on the Atlantic overturning circulation in the CCSM4 [ pdf @ publisher ]

2013 Peer-reviewed articles

  1. Scussolini, Van Sebille, and Durgadoo (2013), Clim. Past, 9, 2631-2639.
    Paleo Agulhas Rings enter the subtropical gyre during the penultimate deglaciation [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Wilkins, Van Sebille, Rintoul, Lauro, and Cavicchioli (2013), Nature Communications, 4, 2457.
    Advection shapes Southern Ocean microbial assemblages independent of distance and environment effects [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Rossi, Van Sebille, Sen Gupta, Garçon, and England (2013), Deep Sea Res I, 80, 37-46.
    Multi-decadal projections of the pathways and dilution of the Fukushima Cesium-137 radioactive plume [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Van Sebille, Spence, Mazloff, England, Rintoul, and Saenko (2013), Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 2177-2182.
    Abyssal connections of Antarctic Bottom Water in a Southern Ocean State Estimate [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Paris, Helgers, Van Sebille, and Srinivasan (2013), Environ. Modell. Softw., 42, 47-54.
    Connectivity Modeling System: A probabilistic modeling tool for the multi-scale tracking of biotic and abiotic variability in the ocean
    [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Meinen, Johns, Garzoli, Van Sebille, Rayner, Kanzow, and Baringer (2013), Deep Sea Res. II, 85, 154-168.
    Variability of the Deep Western Boundary Current at 26.5°N during 2004-2009 [ pdf @ publisher ]

2012 Peer-reviewed articles

  1. Van Sebille, England, and Froyland (2012), Environ. Res. Lett., 7, 044040.
    Origin, dynamics and evolution of ocean garbage patches from observed surface drifters [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Van Sebille, Johns, and Beal (2012), J. Geophys. Res., 117, C05037.
    Does the vorticity flux from Agulhas rings control the zonal pathway of NADW across the South Atlantic? [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Weijer, Sloyan, Maltrud, Jeffery, Hecht, Hartin, Van Sebille, Wainer, and Landrum (2012), J. Clim., 25, 2652-2675.
    The Southern Ocean and its climate in CCSM4 [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Van Sebille, England, Zika, and Sloyan (2012), Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L06601.
    Tasman leakage in a fine-resolution ocean model [ pdf @ publisher ]

2011 Peer-reviewed articles

  1. Van Sebille, Baringer, Johns, Meinen, Beal, De Jong, and Van Aken (2011), J. Geophys. Res., 116, C12027.
    Propagation pathways of classical Labrador Sea Water from its source region to 26°N [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Lee, Park, Van Sebille, Baringer, Wang, Enfield, Yeager, and Kirtman (2011), Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L17607.
    What caused the significant increase in Atlantic Ocean heat content since the mid-20th century? [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Van Sebille, Beal, and Johns (2011), J. Phys. Oceanogr., 41, 1026-1034.
    Advective time scales of Agulhas leakage to the North Atlantic in surface drifter observations and the 3D OFES model [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Van Sebille, Kamenkovich, and Willis (2011), Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L02606.
    Quasi-zonal jets in 3-D Argo data of the northeast Atlantic [ pdf @ publisher ]

2010 Peer-reviewed articles

  1. Van Sebille, Beal, and Biastoch (2010), Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L09610.
    Sea surface slope as a proxy for Agulhas Current strength [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Van Sebille, Van Leeuwen, Biastoch, and De Ruijter (2010), Deep Sea Res. I, 57, 319-327.
    Flux comparison of Eulerian and Lagrangian estimates of Agulhas leakage: A case study using a numerical model [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Van Sebille, Van Leeuwen, Biastoch, and De Ruijter (2010), J. Geophys. Res., 115, C03010.
    On the fast decay of Agulhas rings [ pdf @ publisher ]

2009 Peer-reviewed articles

  1. Van Sebille, Barron, Biastoch, Van Leeuwen, Vossepoel, and De Ruijter (2009), Ocean Sci., 5, 511-521.
    Relating Agulhas leakage to the Agulhas Current retroflection location [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Van Sebille, Van Leeuwen, Biastoch, Barron, and De Ruijter (2009), Ocean Model., 29, 269-276.
    Lagrangian validation of numerical drifter trajectories using drifting buoys: Application to the Agulhas system [ pdf @ publisher ]
  1. Van Sebille, Biastoch, Van Leeuwen, and De Ruijter (2009), Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L03601.
    A weaker Agulhas Current leads to more Agulhas leakage [ pdf @ publisher ]

2007 Peer-reviewed articles

  1. Van Sebille and Van Leeuwen (2007), J. Phys. Oceanogr., 37, 2305-2315.
    Fast northward energy transfer in the Atlantic due to Agulhas rings [ pdf @ publisher ]

Other publications

  1. Amaral-Zettler, Andrady, Dudas, Fabres, Galgani, Hardesty, Hidalgo-Ruz, Hong, Kershaw, Lebreton, Lusher, Narayan, Pahl, Potemra, Rochman, Sherif, Seager, Shim, Sobral, Takada, Ten Brink, Thiel, Thompson, Turra, Van Cauwenberghe, Van Sebille, Vethaak, Watkins, Wyles, Wilcox, Zettler and Ziveri (2017), IMO/FAO/UNESCO-IOC/UNIDO/WMO/IAEA/UN/UNEP/UNDP Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (Kershaw and Rochman, eds), GESAMP study No 93, 220 pp.
    Sources, fate and effects of microplastics in the marine environment: part two of a global assessment [ pdf ]
  1. Van Sebille, Spathi and Gilbert (2016), Grantham Briefing Paper 19, Grantham Institute, Imperial College London, 16 pp.
    The ocean plastic pollution challenge: towards solutions in the UK [ pdf ]
  1. Van Sebille (2009), PhD dissertation, Utrecht University, 176 pp.
    Assessing Agulhas leakage [ summary | pdf ]
  1. Van Sebille (2007), Master thesis, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Utrecht University, 80 pp.
    Fast response of the Meridional Overturning Circulation to Agulhas Leakage Perturbations [ abstract | pdf ]