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Phil Richardson

Dr. Philip L. Richardson

Senior Scientist Emeritus
Physical Oceanography Department

Contact Information:
Work: 508-540-2648

Building: Clark 308

Mailing Address:
266 Woods Hole Road, MS #21
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, MA 02543

Research Interests

The dynamic soaring of albatrosses and autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles; the general ocean circulation and its low-frequency variability; Gulf Stream, Equatorial Currents, Agulhas-Benguela Current system, Deep-Western Boundary Currents, Ocean eddies and current rings; historical aspects of oceanography.

Recent Publications

Richardson, P. L., 2022. High Speed Dynamic Soaring. The New RC Soaring Digest, December 2022, Vol. 37, No. 12. This paper was originally published in April 2012 RC Soaring Digest and appears here with new photos.

Richardson P. L., Wakefield E. D., 2022. Observations and models of across-wind flight speed of the wandering albatross. Royal Society Open Science 9: 211364.

Richardson, P. L., 2018. Leonardo da Vinci’s discovery of the dynamic soaring by birds in wind shear. Royal Society Notes & Records, doi:10.1098/rsnr.2018.0024.

Richardson, P. L., Wakefield. E. D., Phillips, R. A., 2018. Flight speed and performance of the wandering albatross with respect to the wind. Movement Ecology 6:3,

Richardson, P. L. and Adams, N. T., 2018. Uncharted Waters--Nantucket Whalers and the Franklin-Folger chart of the Gulf Stream. Historic Nantucket 68(1), 17-24.

Richardson, P. L., 2017. Da Vinci’s observations of soaring birds. Physics Today 70 (11), 78-79.

Richardson, P. L., 2015. Upwind dynamic soaring of albatrosses and UAV’s. Progress in Oceanography 130, 146-156.

Richardson, P. L., 2012. High-speed robotic albatross: Unmanned aerial vehicle powered by dynamic soaring. Radio-Controlled Soaring Digest 29, 4-18.

Richardson, P. L., 2011. How do albatrosses fly around the world without flapping their wings? Progress in Oceanography 88, 46-58.

Richardson, P. L., 2008. On the history of meridional overturning circulation schematic diagrams. Progress in Oceanography 76, 466-486.

Richardson, P. L., 2007. Agulhas leakage into the Atlantic estimated with subsurface floats and surface drifters. Deep-Sea Research I 54, 1361-1389.



B.S., Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 1964.

M.S., Physical Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, 1970.

Ph.D., Physical Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, 1974.