Clifford Watkins

Graduate Student

71 Dudley Rd
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Room 103I 

Clifford Watkins Clifford Watkins Clifford Watkins

Research Interests

I like the mathematics behind ocean dynamics. Fundamentally, water is the thing that makes the ocean such a rich area of study and such a challenge. Equations of state and equations of motion are highly nonlinear. We have developed tools to simulate some patterns of behavior, but one of the great limitations with computational models is understanding the output and knowing when an anomalous result proceeds from the model or from an interesting and physically viable phenomena. At Rutgers, I look forward to utilizing the  visualization and mathematics of Lagrangian Coherent Structures and dynamical systems to explore the phenomena where our gliders and models find the unexpected. 

Short History

I grew up bouncing around the Eastern half of Pennsylvania and after graduating from High School joined the US Navy. Due to having zero concept of what I was signing up for, I served for four years on a nuclear submarine (USS HOUSTON SSN-713) stationed in Guam. Between surfing and spending an inordinate amount of time in a steel womb, the intricacies and dynamics of the ocean became a source of unlimited intellectual curiosity. After the Navy, I utilized the GI bill to go back to school, where I focused on Mathematical Physics. At Rutgers, I eagerly anticipate using the rich combination of resources at DMCS, my personal history living within the ocean, and mathematical tools to expand the understanding of ocean dynamics. I spend my time outside of work riding my bicycle and reading about the history/dynamics of cities.


  • 2014, B.A., Physics, St. Olaf College
  • 2016, M.S., Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawaii
  • 2016-present, PhD Student, Graduate Program in Oceanography, Rutgers University