Dr Downes started her oceanography research career during her Honours year at UNSW, followed by a PhD in Quantitative Marine Science at University of Tasmania. During her PhD, Dr Downes focused on climate model projections of the ocean circulation associated with the uptake and storage of anthropogenic carbon.
Dr Downes spent her first postdoctoral post at Princeton University diagnosing how different ocean layers interact in climate models. She also used biogeochemical tracers to describe the pathways of a Southern Ocean deep water mass that formed at hydrothermal vents.
Dr Downes later joined the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at ANU, focusing her research on the latest international multi-model efforts, and co-leading the Southern Ocean evaluation of CORE-II climate models.
Snow, A. McC. Hogg, S. M. Downes, B. Sloyan, M. L. Bates and S. M. Griffies (2014). Sensitivity of abyssal water masses to overflow parameterisations. Ocn Modell., 89, 84-103.
Downes, S. M., N. L. Bindoff and S. R. Rintoul (2009). Impacts of climate change on the subduction of mode and intermediate water masses in the Southern Ocean. J. Climate, 22 (12), 3289-3302.
Downes, S. M., N. L. Bindoff and S. R. Rintoul (2010). Changes in the subduction of Southern Ocean water masses at the end of the 21st century in eight IPCC models. J. Climate, 23(24), 6526-6541.
Griffies, S. M., M. Winton, L. J. Donner, L. W. Horowitz, S. M. Downes, R. Farneti, A. Gnanadesikan, W. J. Hurlin, H.-C. Lee, Z. Lang, J. B. Palter, B. L. Samuels, A. T. Wittenberg, B. L. Wyman, J. Yin, and N. Zadeh (2011). The GFDL CM3 coupled climate model: characteristics of the ocean and sea ice simulations. J. Climate, 24(13), 3520–3544.
Downes, S. M., A. S. Budnick, J. L. Sarmiento and R. Farneti (2011). Impacts of wind stress on ACC fronts and subduction. Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L11605, doi:10.1029/2011GL047668.
Downes, S. M., A. Gnanadesikan, S. M. Griffies, J. L. Sarmiento (2011). Water mass exchange in the Southern Ocean in coupled climate models. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 41(9), 1756-1771.
Downes, S. M., R. M. Key, A. H. Orsi, K. G. Speer and J. H. Swift (2012). Tracing dense Circumpolar Deep Water in the South Pacific using potential vorticity and Helium-3. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 42, 2153-2168.
E. Y. Kwon, S. M. Downes, J. L. Sarmiento, R. Farneti and C. Deutsch (2013). Role of the seasonal cycle in the subduction rates of upper Southern Ocean waters. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 43(6), 1096-1113.
Downes, S. M. and A. McC. Hogg (2013). Saturation and compensation: Southern Ocean circulation in CMIP5 models. J. Climate, Vol. 26(18), 7198-7220.
Downes, S. M., W. Weijer, N. Jeffery, M. Mazloff and J. Russell (2015). Southern Ocean dynamics and biogeochemistry in a changing climate: introduction and overview. Deep-Sea Research II special issue, accepted.