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Rui Caldeira

Rui Caldeira Papers

A ‘wordle' created from the ‘abstracts' of all my peer-reviewed articles, discerns my preferred research topics. The most common words are displayed in larger font size related to its higher frequency.

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Research interests:

Originally trained as a physical oceanographer, I am currently interested in studying boundary layer processes in geophysical fluids i.e. ocean and atmosphere. In recent years, I have focused on the study of island-induced boundary layer perturbations i.e. wakes. Island wakes generate a rich variety of (sub-) mesoscale systems such as eddies, fronts, upwelling cells, filaments and jets ( I am also involved in studies of the lower atmospheric boundary layer and its response to ocean feedbacks. An ongoing study of the Douro river plume is proving new opportunities to explore the interactions between local atmospheric forcing, waves and ocean currents in the coastal boundary layer. I am fond of a multiplatform, multidisciplinary approach. This approach out bounds the classical modus operandi, often forcing me to become involved in the construction of my own research tools, including High Performance Computational platforms, numerical models and laboratory setting, and in the design and undertaking of in-situ and airborne campaigns. For fun, I like to challenge my working tools testing its forecasting capabilities ( Forecasts are valuable products to private and public organisations and thus I have been making complementary efforts to deliver this information in near-real time via the web and/or via mobile platforms. In my view, only good quality scientific products can adequately assist the decision making process!


1997-2002: PhD. University of California, Los Angeles, USA. Multidisciplinary oceanographic studies of an island in the Southern California Bight (SCB).

1995-1996: M.Sc. Applied Marine Sciences, University of Plymouth / Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), UK.

1993-1995: B.Sc. (Hons.) Ocean Science, University of Plymouth, UK.


1998-2002: Teaching Assistant / Associate, University of California, Los Angeles, U.S.A.

2002-2003: Research Associate, Level A, UNSW-School of Geography & Oceanography, Australia.

2003-2007: Post-Doctoral researcher, (IST) Lisbon Technical University, Portugal.

2003-2007: Board member, Center for Macaronesian Studies, University of Madeira, Portugal.

2007-2012: Guest Lecturer at the Dept. of Physics, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.

2008-2013: Research Associate, CIIMAR – Center of Interdisciplinary Marine & Environmental Research, University of Porto, Portugal.

2008-2013: Researcher at Center of Mathematical Sciences (CCM), University of Madeira, Portugal.

2013-present: Post-doctoral fellow, CIIMAR – Center of Interdisciplinary Marine & Environmental Research, University of Porto, Portugal.

2013-present: Professor of Physical oceanography at ICBAS – Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar (U.Porto).


1997-2002: Fisheries research project to study squid habitat off Southern California Bight. Funded by Caifornia Fish and Game award. Participant (FG7334MR).

2002-2003: Australian Research Council Grant to model ocean currents around the Abrolhos Islands, Australia. Team member (DP0208659).

2006-2009: FCT research project to study Island Wakes onset to dissipation. A case study in the Madeira Arquipelago. Principal Investigator (POCI/MAR/57265/2004).

2006-2007: Projecto Ciencia viva: Oceanografia do intertidal rochoso: uma associação entre ecologia e oceanografia costeira. Team member (CV/PVI/0871).

2008 HYDRALAB-III, FP6 funded initiative project: TIRIS – Three dimensional vortex street Instability at high Reynolds number around IslandS. Principal Investigator. (

2010: Principal Investigator. Transnational Access project EUFAR-European Facility for Airborne Research project: Island-induced wake dynamics (i-WAKE).

2011: (Co)Principal Investigator. ICOVBIO-Intense COastal Vortices and their BIOlogical impacts (CNRS project AO2011- 643255 – ICOVBIO).

2009-2014: Team member. RAIA & Observatory of the Iberian margin. Interreg IV-A (North Portugal & Galicia, Spain).

2012-2014: Project coordinator. RAIA.DA – Data Assimilation in RAIA with Luc Vandenbulcke. PEOPLE – Marie Curie Actions. FP7 – Intra-European Fellowships (IEF).

Relevant Publications:

16. Rui Caldeira, Xavier Couvelard, Rui Vieira, Carlos Lucas, Iria Sala & Ignasi Vallès Casanova (2016): Challenges of building an operational ocean forecasting system for small island regions: regional to local, Journal of Operational Oceanography. DOI: 10.1080/1755876X.2016.1205304

15. Vanda Grubišić, Johannes Sachsperger, and Rui M. A. Caldeira. (2015). Atmospheric Wake of Madeira: First Aerial Observations and Numerical Simulations. J. Atmos. Sci., 72, 4755–4776. DOI: 10.1175/JAS-D-14-0251.1

14. Iria Sala, Cheryl S. Harrison, Rui M.A. Caldeira. (2015). The role of the Azores Archipelago in capturing and retaining incoming particles, Journal of Marine Systems, Volume 154, Part B: 146-156. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmarsys.2015.10.001.

13. Ana M. Correia, Paola Tepsich, Massimiliano Rosso, Rui Caldeira and Isabel Sousa-Pinto (2015). Cetacean occurrence and spatial distribution: Habitat modelling for offshore waters in the Portuguese EEZ (NE Atlantic). 143: 73–85. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmarsys.2014.10.016

12. Casella, E., Tepsich, P., Couvelard, X., Caldeira, R., & Schroeder, K. (2014). Ecosystem dynamics in the Liguro-Provençal Basin: the role of eddies in the biological production. Mediterranean Marine Science. DOI: 10.12681/mms.520

11. Caldeira, R. M. A., A. Stegner, X. Couvelard, I. B. Araujo, P. Testor, and A. Lorenzo (2014), Evolution of an oceanic anticyclone in the lee of Madeira Island: In situ and remote sensing survey, J. Geophys. Res. Oceans,119, DOI: 10.1002/2013JC009493.

10. Lazar, A., A. Stegner, R. Caldeira, C. Dong, H. Didelle, S. Viboud. (2013). Inertial Instability of Intense Stratified Anticyclones. Part II: Laboratory experiments. J. Fluid Mech., vol. 732, pp. 485–509. DOI: 10.1017/jfm.2013.413

9. R.M.A. Caldeira and R. Tomé (2013). Wake response to an ocean-feedback mechanism: Madeira Island case study. Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 148:419–436. DOI: 10.1007/s10546-013-9817-y

8. Sala, I., R.M.A. Caldeira, S. Estrada-Allis, E. Froufe, X. Couvelard (2013). Lagrangian transport pathways in the northeast Atlantic and their environmental impact. Limnology and Oceanography: Fluids and Environments, 3: 40–60. DOI: 10.1215/21573689-2152611

7. X. Couvelard, R.M.A. Caldeira, I.B. Araújo, R. Tomé, (2012). Wind mediated vorticity-generation and eddy-confinement, leeward of the Madeira Island: 2008 numerical case study, Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans, Volume 58, Pages 128-149, ISSN 0377-0265. DOI: 10.1016/j.dynatmoce.2012.09.005.

6. Caldeira, R., Sangra, P., (2012). Complex geophysical wake flows. Ocean Dynamics 62, 785–797. DOI: 10.1007/s10236-012-0528-6

5. Caldeira, R. M. A., P. Marchesiello, N. P. Nezlin, P. M. DiGiacomo, and J. C. McWilliams (2005), Island wakes in the Southern California Bight, J. Geophys. Res., 110, C11012, DOI: 10.1029/2004JC002675.

4. Caldeira, R.M.A. and Marchesiello, P. (2002). Ocean response to wind sheltering in the Southern California Bight. Geophysical Research Letters. 29(13). DOI: 10.1029/2001GL014563.

3. Caldeira, R.M.A., S. Groom, P. Miller, N. Nezlin, (2002). Sea-surface signatures of the island mass effect phenomena around Madeira Island, Northeast Atlantic. Remote Sensing of the Environment, 80: 336-360. DOI: 10.1016/S0034-4257(01)00316-9

2. DiGiacomo, P. , W. Hamner, P. Hamner, R. Caldeira, (2002). Phalaropes feeding at a coastal front in Santa Monica Bay, California. Journal of Marine Systems. 37(1-3): 199-212. DOI: 10.1016/S0924-7963(02)00202-6

1. Caldeira, R.M.A., P. Russell, and A. Amorim, (2001). Evidence of an unproductive coastal front in Baia D’Abra, an embayment on the South East of Madeira Island, Portugal. Bulletin of Marine Science, 69(3): 1057-1072.