Dr Stephen R. Rintoul AO AAM FAA is a physical oceanographer and climate scientist at CSIRO Environment and the Australian Antarctic Program Partnership in Hobart. His research is focused on the role of the ocean in the climate system. He has a particular fascination for the Southern Ocean, where his work has led to a deeper appreciation of the influence of the region on global climate, biogeochemical cycles, and the vulnerability of Antarctic ice shelves. He uses observations from ships, floats, moorings, seals and satellites to investigate the dynamics of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, the overturning circulation, and ocean – ice shelf interaction. He has led 15 expeditions to the Southern Ocean. Dr Rintoul has coordinated major international Southern Ocean climate research programs, including the Southern Ocean component of WOCE, CLIVAR and the IPY. He organised a meeting in Hobart in 2006 that seeded the idea of a Southern Ocean Observing System and led the writing of the first SOOS science plan in 2010. His scientific achievements have been recognised by many national and international awards, including the Martha T Muse Prize, the Australian Antarctic Medal, and election as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.