Professor Vernon Squire is Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) at the University of Otago. He joined the University of Otago as Professor of Applied Mathematics in 1987 from the UK, where he had graduated a PhD at Cambridge and then continued to be employed by that University for several years.
Current research interests of Professor Squire relate to modelling environmental phenomena, especially processes that occur in the polar regions. A recent focus has been to understand sea-ice in relation to the climate of the Southern Ocean, with some effort being put into explaining how ocean waves interact with sea-ice and especially how the ice breaks up. This includes modelling single ice floes, icebergs, heterogeneous and imperfect ice sheets, and research on scattering in random media. The work has been supported by a sequence of grants, including two Marsden Grants of which the latest concentrates on large amplitude (nonlinear) behaviour and on propagation through sea-ice that has irregularities present such as pressure ridges and leads. Unusually for a Department of Mathematics and Statistics, theoretical work is often supported by fieldwork in Antarctica. The work is highly collaborative, involving several New Zealand institutions funded under the same overarching grants, and many scientists from organizations abroad.