Dr. Ivy Frenger

Research Scientist at Research Unit Biogeochemical Modelling.

Room: 20-210
Tel.: +49 431 600-4027
Fax: +49 431 600-4469
E-Mail: ifrenger(at)geomar.de

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
Düsternbrooker Weg 20
D-24105 Kiel

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. Southern Ocean phytoplankton under climate change: Shifting balance of bottom-up and top-down control. 

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".


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 QualityAssuranceofMirco-ScaleMeteorologicalModels, 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.