Research interests:.


       • Ocean dynamics     

       • Ocean carbon cycle     

       • Climate change

Learn about our work on climate change: (short animations):

What happens to emitted carbon?

Paris or Bust?

Carbon emissions and surface warming

YouTube video on why science innovation is needed to reach net zero.

Recent Thought pieces on:

Postcard from Florida Straits, University of Liverpool, 23 August 2023.

COP27 and warming targets, University of Liverpool, 9 November 2022.

Extreme heat warning for the UK and climate change University of Liverpool, 18 July 2022.

The IPCC climate report is a stark warning - we need to act now University of Liverpool, 10 August 2021.

“Why the ocean matters in climate negotiations’, C. Turley et al. COP26 Universities Network Briefing, June 2021, 12p.

To reach net zero carbon we need sustained action that goes beyond behavioural change, as the first lockdown showed”. LSE, 4 December 2020.

“Why clouds are the missing piece in the climate change puzzle”,  The Conversation article by Paulo Ceppi & Ric Williams, 11 September 2020.


• Teach on “Climate, Atmospheres and Oceans”

   Sir Alistair Pilkington award in July 2022 for Net zero carbon group work

Present responsibilities:

• co-chair University research theme “Climate Futures”

• Science Advisor for Ocean Systems Research Area, Scottish Association for Marine Science (from  2022).

Prior responsibilities:

• Chair of NERC directed programme panel CCROC, July 2023.

• Co-chair University internal NERC peer-review college” (2016 to 2023)

• Research Excellence Framework 2021 panel member (criteria setting and assessment)

  University Research & Innovation team prize for REF work in July 2022

• Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Impact for Science and Engineering

• Member of the University Research and Impact Committee, Research & Impact Strategic Committee, 

  Faculty of Science & Engineering Senior Management Team

• Chair for Natural Environmental Research Council, Peer Review College, 2017-2021

• University lead for a NERC PhD Training Programme: Understanding the Earth, Atmosphere and Ocean

• Research champion for University of Liverpool research theme “Living with Environmental Change”

• Director of Research Centre in Marine Sciences and Climate Change


1983 - 1987 PhD in Physical Oceanography, University of East Anglia

1982 - 1983 MSc in Atmospheric Physics and Dynamics, Imperial College

1979 - 1982 BSc in Physics, Bristol University

Current and previous posts:

2021-2022          national REF 2021 panel

2016-2021          Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Impact for the Faculty of Science & Engineering 

2014-2016          Research & Impact lead for the Faculty of Science & Engineering     

2004-present      Professor in Ocean Sciences  (University of Liverpool)

2008                    Visiting Professor (Duke University, USA)

2003-2004          Reader (University of Liverpool)

2000-2003          Senior Lecturer (University of Liverpool)

1993-2000         Lecturer  (University of Liverpool)

1991-1993          NOAA UCAR Research Fellow (MIT, USA)

1987-1991         Research Associate  (Imperial College)


Sir Alistair Pilkington award in July 2022 for Net zero carbon group work in July 2022, University of Liverpool.

University Research & Innovation team prize for REF work in July 2022.

Inspirational member of staff in School of Environmental Sciences, June 2022.

Prof Ric Williams

room 207 Nicholson building

0151 794 5136

email: ric(at)

ORCID 0000-0002-3180-7558

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