The Marine Institute celebrates the diversity of its people. In the video animations and Q&A profile, our people share their study and career paths, the work they do at the Marine Institute and the important contribution their work delivers.
Diego Pereiro Rodriguez
What is your current role at the Marine Institute and what's involved in your daily work?
I am working as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Ocean Climate and Information Services team at the Marine Institute. My work focuses on ocean modelling and data analysis. Ocean modelling consists of simulating the dynamics of the ocean (e.g. currents, sea level, temperature and salinity distributions), based on a description of the depth and shape of the seafloor, the multiple air-sea interactions (fluxes of mass, radiation and momentum), the freshwater inputs from rivers and an initial state. This is interesting because it allows to obtain short-term or long-term (such as climate projection studies) forecasts of the ocean state and to produce three-dimensional visualisations of the sea, thus complementing observations. Ocean modelling can be applied in many ways, such as predicting the path of a missing person in the sea by looking at models of ocean currents, determining areas of suitability for oyster growth based on the distribution of temperature and salinity, or analysing the frequency, duration and intensity of marine heat waves. These three example are directly related to my current role at the Marine Institute.
What did you study and why?
I studied Marine Sciences in the University of Vigo in Spain, because I have always had an interest in natural sciences. During the last course, I started learning about ocean modelling and computer programming. I completed a Master's Degree in Oceanography and later did a PhD on the modelling of floating litter in the ocean. It was towards the end of my PhD that I joined the Marine Institute.
What are you interests and passions?
I like chess, cycling, hiking and sky watching.
What is the best thing about working in the Marine Institute? What do you enjoy most about your job?
I like that my work is oriented towards services that are helpful to people and that the tasks have a well-defined purpose. For example, I have contributed to search and rescue operations for people missing in the sea by running particle-tracking models that predict the movement of a floating body on the sea surface. I am now involved in a project to help the oyster farming sector in Galway Bay to find areas suitable for oyster growth based on environmental conditions. It is quite satisfactory to know that other people find your work helpful.
What is something you think everyone should know about the ocean?
I think it is important to increase general awareness about the implications of seawater pollution. It is surprising to see how much litter is still left along the coastline. The impact of marine pollution affects not only the marine environment, but also human health.