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Photo of Dr Ian  Ashton

Dr Ian Ashton

Senior Lecturer in Offshore Technology

 01326 255765


Ian is a physical oceanographer, and wave analyst with expertise in wave measurement technology, satellite earth observation, air-sea gas exchange and marine renewable energy. 

Accurate measurements of waves and currents are critical when operating offshore and in coastal locations. Combining offshore, in-situ field measurements with satellite data and innovative analysis tools, Ians research is aimed at improving the information available about the physical oceanographic conditions to create better operational and design procedures. 

Ians PhD looked into the spatial properties of ocean waves and subsequent research has covered the spatial variability of waves for marine energy, the accuracy of wave and current monitoring and detailed proocedures for wave assessment. I was previously working as principal researcher for the FabTest marine energy test site situated in Falmouth Bay. This included research to develop innovative wave and current monitoring in response to requirements from developers of operational wave energy projects.

Research projects:


Using machine learning to develop accurate real-time wave measurements for offshore wind farms  

European Space Agency, AMT4OceanSatFlux

Using in-situ and satellite data to estimate the air-sea flux of CO2 

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)

Coordinating field trials to develop environmentally and commercially sustainable seaweed cultivation in the UK and analysing social implications of the industry development

EU Interreg, TIGER

providing met-ocean data support as part of the €47.5m Tiger tidal energy demonstrator project

EU Interreg, FanBest

Supporting blue growth in the marine sector

ERDF, Marine I (1&2)

Supporting innovative marine technologies in Cornwall, UK


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Copyright Notice: Any articles made available for download are for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the copyright holder.

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  • Ashton IGC, Shutler JD, Land PE, Woolf DK, Quartly GD. (2016) A sensitivity analysis of the impact of rain on regional and global sea-air fluxes of CO2, PLoS One.


  • Ashton I, Morvan A, Cazenave P, Hardwick J, Johanning L. (2015) The influence of tidal flows on wave modelling: A marine energy sensitivity analysis, European Wave and Tidal Conferemce, Nantes, France, 6th - 10th Sep 2015, EWTEC2015.
  • Ashton I, Johanning L. (2015) On errors in low frequency wave measurements from wave buoys, Ocean Engineering, volume 95, pages 11-22, DOI:10.1016/j.oceaneng.2014.11.033.



  • Mackay EBL, Ashton I. (2013) Sampling Variability and Performance Assessment of WECs, 10th European Wave & Tidal Energy Conference EWTEC 2013, Aalborg, Denmark.
  • Ashton IGC, Saulnier J-B, Smith GH. (2013) Spatial variability of ocean waves, from in-situ measurements, Ocean Engineering, pages 83-98, DOI:10.1016/j.oceaneng.2012.08.010. [PDF]



  • Saulnier J-B, Maisondieu C, Ashton IGC, Smith GH. (2011) Wave Hub Test Facility: Sea State Directional Analysis from an Array of 4 Measurement Buoys, European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference, Southampton, 5th - 9th Sep 2011.


  • Barrett S, Ashton IGC, Lewis T, Smith GH. (2009) Spatial & Spectral Variation of Seaways, European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference, Uppsala.
  • Ashton I, Johanning L, Linfoot B. (2009) Measurement of the Effect of Power Absorption in the Lee of a Wave Energy Converter, 28th Int. Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering, Honolulu, Hawaii, 31st May - 5th Jun 2009, OMAE 2009, volume OMAE2009-79793.


  • Smith GH, Ashton IGC, Evans MJ. (2008) Spatial variation of wave parameters at site specific scale, ICOE, Brest, France, 15th - 17th Oct 2008.


  • Challenor PG, Wimmer W, Ashton IGC. (2005) Climate change and extreme wave heights in the North Atlantic, European Space Agency (Special Publication), pages 1253-1257.
  • Challenor PG, Wimmer W, Ashton I. (2005) Climate change and extreme wave heights in the North Atlantic, European Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP, no. 572, pages 1253-1257.

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