A picture of Dr David Griffin.

CSIRO Wealth from Oceans National Research Flagship scientist, Dr David Griffin.

Dr David Griffin: observing and forecasting our oceans

Dr David Griffin is a physical oceanographer specialising in phenomena including eddies, fronts and boundary currents such as the East Australian Current.

  • 23 September 2010 | Updated 14 October 2011

Current activities

Dr Griffin's research interests include:

  • observing, modelling and forecasting ocean conditions and processes associated with mesoscale (days to weeks, tens to hundreds of kilometres) processes
  • using ocean models and observations in fisheries, defence, industry, ocean racing and maritime safety applications
  • ocean renewable energy from currents and waves
  • data assimilation and satellite remote sensing (particularly altimetry) techniques.


Before joining CSIRO in 1994, Dr Griffin worked at Dalhousie University's Department of Oceanography in Nova Scotia, Canada, where he co-developed a data-assimilating circulation model for the Scotian shelf.

Dr Griffin leads CSIRO’s contribution to BLUElink – a joint project with the Bureau of Meteorology and the Royal Australian Navy to develop the first operational ocean forecasting system for the Australian region.

Using BLUElink, he assisted in the successful searches for the HMAS Sydney in 2008 and the AHS Centaur in 2009–10, helping define the search area for both and schedule the search itself for the latter.

Dr Griffin built and maintains a popular public website that updates daily to provide information on ocean surface currents.

Dr Griffin also contributed the marine component of the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts' Renewable Energy Atlas of Australia, and conducted a pilot investigation of the origins and pathways of marine debris found in Australia’s northern marine environment.

He constructed a bio-physical model of Western, Tropical and Southern Rock Lobster larval transport processes, which helped authorities decide management strategies for those fisheries.

Dr Griffin built and maintains a popular public website that updates daily to provide high-resolution information on ocean surface currents derived from satellite observations of sea-level (altimetry) and sea-surface-temperature imagery.

Site users include industry (e.g. fisheries, oil and gas and shipping), individuals (e.g. yachtsmen, open-ocean rowers and recreational fishers), government (e.g. Australian Maritime Safety Authority, fisheries management authorities, environmental protection agencies, transport departments and police), MetOcean consultants, students and marine scientists.

Academic qualifications

Dr Griffin was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Physics (Honours) from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, where he also earned his Doctor of Philosophy in 1987, studying mesoscale coastal ocean dynamics.

Professional memberships

Dr Griffin is a member of the:

  • NASA/Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) Ocean Surface Topography Science Team, 2008–present
  • CNES/Indian Space Research Organisation AltiKA Science Team, 2010–present.

He has also published more than 75 research papers, reports, book chapters and conference papers.

Learn more about BLUElink: reliable ocean forecasting.