Dr. Petra Heil

Research Scientist, Co-Theme Lead (AAPP: Theme 3: Sea Ice, Krill and Ecosystems); Act Program Leader (AAD: East Antarctic Monitoring Program)
University of Tasmania


Petra is a sea-ice physicist working across observations (in situ, autonomous, aerial, satellite-borne) to numerical modelling of the ocean-ice-BGC-atmosphere system. Her scientific interest is to understand how short-term processes (incl. synoptic-scale systems, tides) affect the sea-ice characteristics, and how the sea ice responds to these stressors. Together with her national and overseas colleagues she is working on various aspects to derive increased knowledge of the ocean-ice-atmosphere interactions with view to better understand the Earth system and to contribute to numerical modelling efforts (incl. data assimilation). She recently worked as the inaugural Program Leader for the Australian East Antarctic Monitoring Program, and she is the Chief Investigator on a number science projects, including the lead of the Marginal Ice Zone Study, approved for 4 years from 2022 – 2026. Petra engages with researchers and operationally-focussed colleagues on a range of issues, including the COSIMA model analyses; instrument development and deployment (incl. with ANU [Au]; UAdelaide [Au]; UMelbourne [Au]; Polar Research Institute of China [China]; Masdar Institute [UAE]), field projects (incl. AWI [Germany]; Univ Capetown [Sth Africa], Otago University [NZ]; NASA [USA]), Best Practices in data acquisition and analyses (incl. SCAR/ASPeCt; SCAR/AFIN; IPAB; WMO’s Global Cryosphere Watch; WCRP WDAC; ESA; International Ice Charting Working Group).