It’s important that you work on things that you care about …

Don’t be afraid to get involved.

—Walter Munk


Leonel Romero

Research Scientist

University of California, Santa Barbara


Leonel Romero is an Assistant Researcher of Oceanography at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his Ph.D. in Oceanography from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 2008.

His research combines field observations and numerical modeling to study upper-ocean processes, surface waves, coastal circulation, and air-sea interaction. His main objectives are to improve understanding of wave-current interactions and their impacts on wave breaking, air-sea fluxes, and remote sensing. Other research interests include the transport and dispersion of tracers over the inner-shelf and the underlying driving processes such as winds, waves, fronts, eddies, and Langmuir circulation.


  • Upper Ocean Processes
  • Surface Waves
  • Air-Sea Interaction
  • Coastal Circulation


  • PhD in Oceanography, 2008

    Scripps Institution of Oceanography

  • BSc in Physics, 2002

    University of California, San Diego



Assistant Researcher

Earth Research Institute, UCSB

Nov 2015 – Present California
Responsibilities include:

  • Field Experiments
  • Modeling
  • Model Development
  • Data Analysis

Project Scientist

Earth Research Institute, UCSB

Jun 2011 – Nov 2015 California

Postdoctoral Scholar

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD

Jun 2008 – May 2011 California


  • Inner-shelf dispersion experiment (ISDEX)

  • Wave-current interactions in the presence of submesocale ocean features

  • Modulation of bubble mediated gas transfer due to wave-current interactions

Recent Publications

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Submesoscale current effects on surface waves

Coincident Observations of Dye and Drifter Relative Dispersion over the Inner Shelf

Similarity Theory in the Surface Layer of Large-Eddy Simulations of the Wind-, Wave-, and Buoyancy-Forced Southern Ocean

Observation-Based Source Terms in the Third-Generation Wave Model WAVEWATCH III: Updates and Verification


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