Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society

Dr Max Holloway

Research interests:

I am an environmental scientist with a decade of experience in environmental physics, climate and Earth systems science. My work focusses on combining observational data and numerical models, with a special interest in novel methods of model-data comparison to improve system understanding and prediction and communicating uncertainty through data visualisation. My current research at SAMS uses a combined model-data approach in understanding small-scale physical ocean processes to optimise the location of aquaculture sites. This involves observational physical oceanography data collection and high resolution, non-hydrostatic numerical ocean modelling.

Career history:

I gained a first class honours degree in Geography from the University of Portsmouth in 2011, followed by a distinction in the Oceanography MSc program at the University of Southampton in 2012. I gained my PhD in climate science and paleoclimate modelling at the British Antarctic Survey, based in Cambridge, and tied with the University of Bristol, in 2016.
I then spent 2-years as a postdoctoral researcher at the British Antarctic Survey in the Ice Dynamics and Paleoclimate Team. My responsibilities included building, running and analysing climate model simulations; managing team HPC resources; communicating scientific results via peer reviewed publication, international conference presentations and social media; mentoring and supervising PhD and summer placement students; and securing team funding. During this time I was also a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Darwin College, University of Cambridge, and an Honorary Research Associate in the School of Geographical Science, University of Bristol.
In 2018 I moved to the National Physical Laboratory to take up the role of Research Scientist in the Data Science Division. Here I worked on a variety of data science problems, from modelling photovoltaic technologies to prediction and optimisation of forge manufacturing quality.
In 2019 I began my current role at the Scottish Association for Marine Science as a Research Scientist in Coastal Physical Oceanography and Modelling. My current research uses a combined model-data approach in understanding small-scale physical ocean processes to optimise the location of aquaculture sites.

Active research projects:

Off-Aqua: Evaluating the Environmental Conditions Required for the Development of Offshore Aquaculture.

Currently most Scottish aquaculture production occurs in fjordic sea lochs that provides relatively sheltered conditions for the farms. The development of aquaculture in offshore environments offers a potential route for the sustainable expansion of the industry. More dispersive open environments offer the potential for larger farms with reduced interconnectivity and lower environmental impact.

However, these more exposed environments carry their own risks, for example in terms of potential storm damage. To proceed with the development of offshore aquaculture a better scientific understanding of its potential benefits is therefore required and the purpose behind the Off-Aqua project.

Recent publications:

Holloway, M.D., Sime, L.C., Singarayer, J.S., Tindall, J.C., Valdes, P.J. 2018. Simulating the 128 ka Antarctic climate response to Northern Hemisphere ice sheet melting using the isotope-enabled HadCM3. Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2018GL079647.
Holloway, M.D., Sime, L.C., Allen, C.S., Hillenbrand, C-D., Bunch, P., Wolff, E., Valdes, P.J. 2017. The spatial structure of the 128 ka Antarctic sea ice minimum. Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1002/2017GL074594.
Holloway, M.D., Sime, L.C., Singarayer, J.S., Tindall, J.C., Bunch, P., Valdes, P.J. 2016. Antarctic last interglacial isotope peak in response to sea ice retreat not ice sheet collapse. Nature Communications, 7:12293, doi:10.1038/ncomms12293.
Holloway, M.D., Sime, L.C., Singarayer, J.S., Tindall, J.C., Valdes, P.J. 2016. Reconstructing paleosalinity from δ18O: Coupled model simulations of the Last Glacial Maximum, Last Interglacial and Late Holocene. Quaternary Science Reviews, 131, 350-364, doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.07.007.
Fischer, H., Holloway, M.D. et al. 2018. Palaeoclimate constraints on the impact of 2 °C anthropogenic warming and beyond. Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/s41561-018-0146-0.
Glasser, N., Jansson, K., Duller, G., Singarayer, J., Holloway, M., Harrison, S. 2016. Glacial lake drainage in Patagonia (13-8 kyr) and response of the adjacent Pacific Ocean. Nature Scientific Reports, 6, doi:10.1038/srep21064.
Dalaiden, Q., Holloway, M. et al. 2020. How useful is snow accumulation in reconstructing surface air temperature in Antarctica? A study combining ice core records and climate models. The Cryosphere, 14, 1187-1207, doi:10.5194/tc-2019-111.

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