Dr. Ivy Frenger

Research Scientist at Research Unit Biogeochemical Modelling.


GEOMAR Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung Kiel
FB2 Biogeochemical Modelling
Wischhofstr. 1-3
24148 Kiel, Germany

Office: Building 5, Tower 5, Level 5, Room 5.517

Phone.: +49 431 600-4507
E-Mail:  ifrenger(at)geomar.de

Research Interests

  • The ocean in the climate system
  • Ocean mesoscale eddies
  • Carbon cycle


  • Since 2016 Research Scientist, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
  • 2014 - 2015 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Princeton University, US
  • 2013            Postdoctoral Researcher, ETH Zurich, Switzerland


  • 2013 Ph.D. ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2009 M.Sc. University of Hamburg & Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Germany
  • 2006           Visiting Student, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada
  • 2005 B.Sc. University of Hamburg, Germany


  • BMBF Project Humboldt-Tipping (2019 - 2023), PI Work Package 3: End-to-end ecosystem modelling of ecological tipping points in the Humboldt upwelling system.
  • BMBF Project CUSCO (2018 - 2022), PI Work Package 6: Spatially-explicit, individual-based modelling of trophodynamic processes in the Peruvian upwelling system; see also associated blog OCEANSTORIES.EBUS


  • Fundamentals in Marine Biogeochemical Modelling (2016 - 2021, co-lecturer)
  • Feedbacks in the Climate System: How to Make and Keep a Habitable Planet (2022, teaching assistant)
  • Climate Seminar (2022, co-lecturer)



Submitted or in review:

Xue, T., Frenger, I., Terhaar, J., Prowe, A.E.F., Frölicher, T., and A. Oschlies. Mechanisms regulating trophic transfer in the Humboldt Upwelling System differ across time scales. In review at Environmental Research Letters.

Xue, T., Frenger, I., Hauschildt, J., and A. Oschlies. Southern Ocean phytoplankton under climate change: Shifting balance of bottom-up and top-down control. In review at Biogeosciences.

Frenger, I., Landolfi, A., Kvale, K., Somes, C.J., Oschlies, A., Yao, W., Koeve, W. Misconceptions of the marine biological carbon pump in a changing climate - Thinking outside the "export" box". In review at Global Change Biology.


Seo, H., O'Neill, L. W.,  Bourassa, M. A.,  Czaja, A., Drushka, K., Edson, J. B., Fox-Kemper, B.,  Frenger, I., Gille, S. T., Kirtman, B. P., Minobe, S., Pendergrass, A. G., Renault, L.,  Roberts, M. J., Schneider, N.,  Small, R. J., Stoffelen, A., and Q. Wang (2023). Ocean mesoscale and frontal-scale ocean-atmosphere interactions and influence on large-scale climate: A Review. Journal of Climate, 36:1981-2013, doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-21-0982.1.


Atkins, J., Andrews, O. and I. Frenger (2022). Quantifying the contribution of ocean mesoscale eddies to low oxygen extreme events. Geophysical Research Letters, 49:e2022GL098672, doi.org/10.1029/2022GL098672.

Chien, C. T., Durgadoo, J. V., Ehlert, D., Frenger, I., Keller, D. P., Koeve, W., Kriest, I., Landolfi, A., Patara, L., Wahl, S. and A. Oschlies (2022). FOCI-MOPS v1 – Integration of marine biogeochemistry within the Flexible Ocean and Climate Infrastructure version 1 (FOCI 1) Earth system model. Geoscientific Model Development, 15:5987-6024, doi.org/10.5194/gmd-15-5987-2022.

Hill-Cruz, M., Frenger, I., Getzlaff, J., Kriest, I., Xue, T. and Y. J. Shin (2022). Understanding the drivers of fish variability in an end-to-end model of the Northern Humboldt Current System. Ecological Modelling, 472:110097, doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2022.110097.

Lovecchio, E., Gruber, N., Münnich, M. and I. Frenger (2022). On the processes sustaining biological production in the offshore propagating eddies of the northern Canary Upwelling System. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 127:e2021JC017691, doi.org/10.1029/2021JC017691.

Xue, T., Frenger, I., Oschlies, A., Stock, C. A., Koeve, W., John, J. G. and A. E. F. Prowe (2022). Mixed layer depth promotes trophic amplification on a seasonal scale. Geophysical Research Letters, 49:e2022GL098720, doi.org/10.1029/2022GL098720.

Xue, T., Frenger, I., Prowe, A. E. F., Jose, Y. S. and A. Oschlies (2022). Mixed layer depth dominates over upwelling in regulating the seasonality of ecosystem functioning in the Peruvian Upwelling System. Biogeosciences, 19:455-475, doi.org/10.5194/bg-19-455-2022.


Duteil, O., Frenger, I., & Getzlaff., J. (2021). The riddle of eastern tropical Pacific Ocean oxygen levels: The role of the supply by intermediate-depth waters. Ocean Science, 17, 1489–1507, https://doi.org/10.5194/os-17-1489-2021.


Frenger, I., Bianchi, D., Stührenberg, C., Oschlies, A., Dunne, J. , Deutsch, C., Galbraith, E., and F. Schütte (2018a). Biogeochemical role of subsurface coherent eddies in the ocean: Tracer cannonballs, hypoxic storms, and microbial stewpots? Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 32:226-249, doi.org/10.1002/2017GB005743.

Frenger, I., Gruber, N., and M. Münnich (2018b). Imprint of Southern Ocean mesoscale eddies on chlorophyll, Biogeosciences, 15:4781-4798, doi.org/10.5194/bg-15-4781-2018.

Song, H., Long, M. C., Gaube, P., Frenger, I., Marshall, J., and D. J. McGillicuddy Jr. (2018). Seasonal variation in the correlation between anomalies of sea level and chlorophyll in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (2018), Geophysical Research Letters, 45:5011–5019, doi.org/10.1029/2017GL076246.

Tarshish, N., Abernathey, R., Zhang, C., Dufour, C., Frenger, I., and S. Griffies (2018). Identifying Lagrangian coherent vortices in a mesoscale ocean model, Ocean Modelling, 130:15-28, doi.org/10.1016/j.ocemod.2018.07.001.

Yamamoto, A., Palter, J., Dufour, C., Griffies, S., Bianchi, D., Claret, M., Dunne, J., Frenger, I., and E. Galbraith (2018). Roles of the ocean mesoscale in the lateral supply of mass, heat, carbon and nutrients to the Northern Hemisphere subtropical gyres, Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans, 123:7016–7036, doi.org/10.1029/2018JC013969.


Dufour, C., Morrison, A., Griffies, S., Frenger, I., Zanowski, H. and M. Winton (2017). Preconditioning of the Weddell Sea polynya by the ocean mesoscale and dense water overflows, Journal of Climate, 30:7719-7737, doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0586.1.


Byrne, D., Münnich , M., Frenger, I., and N. Gruber (2016). Mesoscale atmosphereocean coupling enhances wind energy transfer, Nature Communications, 7:ncomms11867, doi.org/10.1038/ncomms11867.

Haumann, A., Gruber, N., Münnich, M., Frenger, I., and S. Kern (2016). Salinity changes in the Southern Ocean through sea-ice transport, Nature, 537(7618):89-92, doi.org/10.1038/nature19101. 


Byrne, D., Papritz, L., Frenger, I., Münnich, M., and N. Gruber (2015). Atmospheric response to mesoscale sea surface temperature anomalies: Assessment of mechanisms and coupling strength in a high resolution coupled model over the South Atlantic, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 72:1872–1890, doi.org/10.1175/JAS-D-14-0195.1.

Dufour, C., Griffies, S., de Souza, G., Frenger, I., Morrison, A., Palter, J., Sarmiento, J., Galbraith, E., Dunne, J., Anderson, W., and R. Slater (2015). Role of mesoscale eddies in cross-frontal transport of heat and biogeochemical tracers in the Southern Ocean, Journal of Physical Oceanography, 45:3057–3081, doi.org/10.1175/JPO-D-14-0240.1.

Faghmous, J., Frenger, I., Warmka, R., Lindel, A., Yao, Y., and V. Kumar (2015). A daily global mesoscale ocean eddy dataset from satellite altimetry, Scientific Data, 2:150028, doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2015.28.

Frenger, I., Münnich , M., Gruber, N., and R. Knutti (2015). Phenomenology of Southern Ocean eddies, Journal of Geophysical Research – Oceans, 120:7413-7449, doi.org/10.1002/2015JC011047.


Frenger, I., Gruber, N., Knutti, R., and M. Münnich (2013). Imprint of Southern Ocean eddies on winds, clouds and rainfall, Nature Geoscience, 6:698-612, doi.org/10.1038/ngeo1863.


Groeskamp, S., de Lavergne, C.,  Holmes, R., Tamsitt, V.,  Frenger, I., Chapman,  C.C., Newsom, E., and G.J. Stanley (2019). Climate recorded in seawater: A workshop on water-mass transformation analysis for ocean and climate studies. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-19-0153.1 

Dufour, C., Frenger, I., Frölicher, T., Gray, A., Griffies, S., Morrison, A., Sarmiento, J., and S. Schlunegger (2015). Anthropogenic carbon and heat uptake by the ocean: Will the Southern Ocean remain a major sink? Ocean Carbon & Biogeochemistry, joint US CLIVAR & OCB newsletter, fall edition.

Frenger, I. (2013). On Southern Ocean eddies and their impacts on biology and the atmosphere. PhD thesis, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, doi:10.3929/ethz-a-009938120.

Frenger, I. (2008). Investigation of the impact of land surface changes in West Africa on regional climate: Simulations with the regional climate model REMO (original in German). Master's thesis, University of Hamburg, Germany (library sig.: Dipl.-Arb. MI388).

Frenger, I. (2005). The Database ValiData, Proc. COST-ESF Workshop Quality Assurance of Mirco-Scale Meteorological Models, Hamburg, Germany, 150p.

Frenger, I. (2005). Evaluation and processing of in-situ measurements of the project VALIUM (original in German). Bachelor's thesis, University of Hamburg, Germany (library sig.: BSC Met 003).


See also OceanRep.

Data & Software


Frenger, I., Münnich, M., and N. Gruber (2018). Southern Ocean mesoscale eddies; doi:10.3929/ethz-b-000238826; data access.

Haumann, F. A., Gruber, N., Münnich, M., Frenger, I., and S. Kern (2016). Antarctic sea-ice freshwater fluxes associated with freezing, transport, and melting; EnviDat. doi:10.16904/8; data access.

Faghmous, J. H., Frenger, I., Yao, Y., Warmka, R., Lindell, A., Kumar V. (2015). Data from: A daily global mesoscale ocean eddy dataset from satellite altimetry; doi:10.5061/dryad.gp40h; data access.


Ocean eddy tracking code (Matlab based) available here.