Bruce Sutherland, PhD

Professor, Faculty of Science - Physics


Professor, Faculty of Science - Physics
(780) 492-0573
3-269 Centennial Ctr For Interdisciplinary SCS II
11335 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H5




  • BMath (1983-1987), Applied and Pure Mathematics, University of Waterloo
  • MSc Physics (1987-1988), Dept Physics, University of Toronto
  • PhD Physics (1988-1994), Dept Physics, University of Toronto
  • Research Associate (1995-1997), Dept Applied Mathematics & Theoretical Physics, U. Cambridge
  • Asst/Assoc/Full Professor (1997-2007), Dept Mathematical & Statistical Sciences, U. Alberta
  • Professor (2007-), Dept of Physics and of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, U. Alberta

Other Positions

  • Director (2012-2018), Institute for Geophysical Research, U. Alberta
  • Associate Editor (2014-2016), Physics of Fluids
  • Editorial Committee Member (2015-2020), Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics
  • Associate Editor (2016-), Physical Review Fluids


  • McCalla Research Professorship (2006-2007)
  • Killam Annual Professor (2010-2011)
  • Gledden Visiting Senior Fellowship (2012)
  • Churchill Overseas Fellowship (2012)
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society (elected 2016)



  • atmospheric, oceanic and environmental fluid dynamics
  • stratified flows, internal waves, plumes and gravity currents
  • particle-bearing and particle-laden flows


  • laboratory experiments, numerical simulations and mathematical theory

Climatological, Environmental and Industrial Applications

  • particle transport in rivers and the ocean (clays and microplastics)
  • collective particle settling and turbulent resuspension with impact upon off-shore oil and marine biology
  • clay - plastic interactions including flocculation and diffusion-limited aggregation
  • transport and mixing by oceanic internal waves

Lab - Environmental and Industrial Fluids Laboratory

3-257 CCIS

This interdisciplinary experimental laboratory brings together researchers in Atmosphere-Ocean Dynamics, Physics, Engineering and Mathematics. Wide-ranging problems are studied from the Earth's circulation, to waves in the atmosphere and ocean, plumes, gravity currents, particle transport, percolation flows, viscous flows, etc.

Collaborator: Morris Flynn

Scholarly Activities

Research - Internal Gravity Waves, Stratified Flows

Research - Microplastic Transport, Dispersion, Sedimentation and Resuspension

Research - Plumes, Gravity Currents and Sediment Transport


The Evolution of Superharmonics Excited by Internal Tides in Non-uniform Stratification

Author(s): L.E. Baker and B.R. Sutherland
Publication Date: 5/20/2020
Publication: J. Fluid Mech.
Volume: 891
Page Numbers: R1:1-13
External Link:

Triad Resonant Instability of Horizontally Periodic Internal Modes

Author(s): B.R. Sutherland and Riley Jefferson
Publication Date: 3/19/2020
Publication: Phys. Rev. Fluids
Volume: 5
Page Numbers: 034801:1-20
External Link:

Particle Transport and Resuspension by Shoaling Internal Solitary Waves

Author(s): D. Deepwell, R. Sapede, L. Buchart, G.E. Swaters and B.R. Sutherland,
Publication Date: 2/9/2020
Publication: Phys. Rev. Fluids
Volume: 5
Page Numbers: 054303:1-21
External Link:

Damping of Surface Waves by Floating Particles

Author(s): B. R. Sutherland and N. J. Balmforth
Publication: Physical Review Fluids
Volume: 4
External Link:

Particle-Bearing Currents in Uniform Density and Two-Layer Fluids

Author(s): B. R. Sutherland, M. K. Gingras, C. Knudson, L. Steverango and C. Surma
Publication: Physical Review Fluids
Volume: 3
Page Numbers: 023801:1-15
External Link:

Lagrangian Transport by Vertically Confined Internal Gravity Wavepackets

Author(s): T. S. van den Bremer, H. Yassin and B. R. Sutherland
Publication: Journal of Fluid Mechanics
External Link: