Physical oceanographer Paul Myers appointed senior associate dean research (strategic initiatives)

Myers brings considerable experience and a passion for collaboration to new leadership role.

Donna McKinnon - 10 May 2023

Get to know Faculty of Science leadership team member Paul Myers as he steps into the new role of senior associate dean research (strategic initiatives).

Get to know Faculty of Science leadership team member Paul Myers as he steps into the new role of senior associate dean research (strategic initiatives).

Paul Myers has been appointed senior associate dean, research (strategic initiatives) in the Faculty of Science, alongside Lisa Stein, associate dean (mentorship & awards) and Jon Veinot, associate dean research (grants & innovation).

Myers has worked as a physical oceanographer in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences for 22 years, researching the ocean's role in climate systems (past and present) primarily in the Arctic and Canadian north. The ocean is in his blood, with family ties to seagoing and fishing. 

“I grew up listening to my grandfather telling me stories about fishing in high-latitude ocean locations I now study and model,” said Myers.

Serving as associate dean since 2021, in this new role Myers will build on previous efforts to foster national and international interdisciplinary collaborations — to carry out ‘world leading research’. 

In coordination with other planning groups at the University of Alberta including VPRI and CNAS, Myers will be responsible for strategic planning as it pertains to research initiatives at the faculty level. He will also provide support to major grant and research activities, infrastructure initiatives, as well as research collaborations including the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). As Sr. AD, Myers will lead international research activities and partnerships, and oversee faculty level support for centres and institutes and the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) — including GlycoNet and the Canadian Mountain Network.

Learn more about Myers and his work below.

What excites you most about taking on this new role, particularly as it’s focused on strategic initiatives? 

Although basic research by individual researchers is the cornerstone for scientific development,

and will always be encouraged in the Faculty of Science, the present funding landscape is also

pushing for the development of larger and, often, interdisciplinary projects. Thus, being able to assist in bringing together science researchers with those in other departments (as well as across the college and university) in building large national and international initiatives to carry out world leading research is most exciting.

Although it’s early days, what are the expectations for this position and what are the challenges, and/or what do you hope to achieve over the next few years?

To my mind, the number one expectation and goal of the position is to support science researchers in all their endeavors. What I would like to see moving forward are increased

numbers of science researchers being able to be involved with, and indeed, leading, major research programs on cutting edge topics of value to Canada, while at the same time supporting those researchers who want to carry out small but focussed research programs on topics fundamental to their discipline. 

Please describe your current research. 

I'm a physical oceanographer who does computational geophysical fluid dynamics to study

the ocean's role in the climate system. Geographically, I mainly focus on the Arctic, sub-Arctic

and the Canadian north. Much of my research is involved in building models that push the bounds of available computational infrastructure to understand processes, while small scale, have an integrated effect on the large scale circulation, and the ocean's biogeochemistry, so that they can be properly represented in coarser resolution climate models. 

What drew you to this area of research?


On one hand, one side of my family were fishermen and sailors, so I grew up learning

about the ocean. And then as an applied math student, I was drawn into the areas of fluid dynamics and numerical analysis. And then a lucky encounter in 4th year led to me being able to combine those interests going into graduate school.

What do you do for fun, outside of work?

I enjoy food and cooking, travel, reading (especially historical fiction, scifi and fantasy),

computer games that require thinking, and sports like curling. Although given the present timing, I have to add, “Go Oilers” :-)

Faculty of Science community members can contact Paul at