Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Phone number
+31 (0)222 36 9354
  • Physical oceanography of coastal ocean processes
  • Coral reef ecosystem functioning
  • Numerical modelling of coastal geomorphological and oceanographic processes
  • Machine learning applied to marine science and environment reconstruction
  • Geophysical environmental fluid dynamics and application of new, novel mathemati

Dr. Adam Candy


Research interests

I develop new numerical methods based on solid, rigorous mathematical theory for seamless highly multi-scale anisotropically-unstructured mesh finite element models. Together with collaborators from Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), and Utrecht University, I am involved in a large modelling effort from global climate scales down to seagrass ecosystems of the bays of the Dutch Antilles, to analyse the Stability of Caribbean coastal Ecosystems uNder future Extreme Sea level changes (NWO SCENES). In addition, I am developing a new adaptive non-hydrostatic model of ice shelf ocean cavities, with an application to Pine Island Glacier, to accurately evaluate melt distribution and forming processes in acutely narrow networks of basal channels close to the grounding line.

Contributing to the EU 7th Framework Programme grant PEARL, I recently published a new numerical method enabling, for the first time, modelling of flood inundation fully in 3D, that is efficient over a large range of scales from the globe down to the human scales of an urban environment – for significantly increased accuracy in the modelling of tsunamis and their local effects, for example.

Current research interests  

Computational fluid dynamics; ocean energy; geophysical fluid dynamics; oceanography and the cryosphere; coastal and global ocean modelling; multi-scale modelling and parameterisation; numerical regularisation and closure schemes; mixed and stabilised finite elements for advection dominated flows; turbulence and subgrid-scale modelling; geohazards including tsunamis and storm surge; adjoint based uncertainty quantification and sensitivity analysis; adaptive algorithms for anisotropic unstructured mesh discretisations; moving mesh methods; coupling of numerical models — to enable new approaches to answering current, important and open questions in science and better understand how our local environment and Earth systems behave.



2019 – present: NWO-I Research Scientist, Coastal Ocean SystemsRoyal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, The Netherlands 

2018 – present: Ocean Energy Platform Steering Board, TU Delft, The Netherlands

2015 – 2018: NWO Research Scientist, Environmental Fluid Mechanics, TU Delft, The Netherlands

2014: J. Tinsley Oden Faculty Research Fellowship, Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES), University of Texas in Austin, USA. Part of fellowship spent at Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS), MIT visiting Prof. Patrick Heimbach.

2010 – 2015: NERC Research Associate, Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London, UK

2009 – 2010: James Martin Research Fellow, 21st Century Ocean Institute, University of Oxford, UK Research Scholarship, University College, University of Oxford, UK

2004: Research Assistant, Ocean group, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, UK

2001 – 2003: Teacher of English and Mathematics under the Japanese government JET Programme Ōfunato Board of Education, Japan — 大船渡市教育委員会、大船渡市、岩手県、日本



Candy A.S. and Pietrzak J.D. (2017) Shingle 2.0: generalising self-consistent and automated domain discretisation for multi-scale geophysical models, arXiv:1703.08504, Geosci. Model Dev., in press.

Candy A.S. (2017) A consistent approach to unstructured mesh generation for geophysical models, project pages:, In Review.

Pelupessy I., van Werkhoven B., van Elteren A., Viebahn J., Candy A.S., Portegies Zwart S., Dijkstra, H. (2017) The Oceanographic Multipurpose Software Environment (OMUSE v1.0), Geosci. Model Dev., 10, 3167-3187.

Candy A.S. (2017) An implicit wetting and drying approach for non-hydrostatic baroclinic flows in high aspect ratio domains, Advances in Water Resources, 102, 188-205.

Please find my complete list of publications on:

Google Scholar




Professional education

2010: PhD, Doctor of Philosophy in Computational Physics Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London, UK. Thesis: Regularisation of Sub-grid Scale Information in the Modelling of Transport Processes. Janet Watson Research Scholarship + Industrial CASE award with AWE.  Awarded a prestigious invitation to the Physical Oceanography Dissertation Symposium in Hawaii, a biennial meeting for ~15 future leaders in physical ocean and Earth hydrodynamics.

2001: MMath, Certificate of Advanced Study in Mathematics (Tripos Part III). DAMTP, University of Cambridge, UK Dissertation: Numerical Solutions to Incompressible Driven Cavity Flow (with Prof. John Hinch FRS)

2000: MA Hons. Mathematical Sciences (Part I & Part II option B, Research Path) DAMTP, University of Cambridge, UK


Awards and Prizes

2010: Janet Watson Research Scholarship + Industrial CASE award with AWE.  Awarded a prestigious invitation to the Physical Oceanography Dissertation Symposium in Hawaii, a biennial meeting for ~15 future leaders in physical ocean and Earth hydrodynamics.



For further details and updates of current projects please visit the pages on:

NIOZ publications

  • 2023
    Candy, A.S.; Taylor Parkins, S.K.; van Duyl, F.C.; Mueller, B.; Arts, M.G.I.; Barnes, W.; Carstensen, M.; Scholten, Y.; El-Khaled, Y.C.; Wild, C.; Wegley Kelly, L.; Nelson, C.E.; Sandin, S.A.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Rohwer, F.; Picioreanu, C.; Stocchi, P.; Haas, A.F. (2023). Small-scale oxygen distribution patterns in a coral reef. Front. Mar. Sci. 10.
  • 2020
    Keyzer, L.M.; Herman, P.M.J.; Smits, B.; Pietrzak, J.D.; James, R.K.; Candy, A.S.; Riva, R.E.M.; Bouma, T.J.; van der Boog, C.G.; Katsman, C.A.; Slobbe, D.C.; Zijlema, M.; van Westen, R.M.; Dijkstra, H.A. (2020). The potential of coastal ecosystems to mitigate the impact of sea-level rise in shallow tropical bays. Est., Coast. and Shelf Sci. 246: 107050.
    Philippart, C.J.; Ballesta-Artero, I.; Candy, A.S.; van Leeuwen, S.; Stocchi, P.; Elschot, K.; van Puijenbroek, M.E.B. (2020). Factors underlying the recovery potential of littoral seagrass in the Dutch Wadden Sea. Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ)/Wageningen Marine Research: Yerseke. 109 pp.