Dr. Shiliang (Dan) Shan

Dr. Shiliang (Dan) Shan
BSc, MSc, PhD, Assistant Professor
S 5308
(613) 541-6000 ext 6414
(613) 541-6040
Department of Physics and Space Science

College Address

Royal Military College of Canada
PO Box 17000, Station Forces
Kingston, Ontario, CANADA
K7K 7B4


My research interests revolve around coastal and shelf dynamics, including tidal circulation, wind-driven circulation, and estuarine circulation. I have been devoted to the development of realistic ocean circulation models that can reproduce the observed physical state of the ocean, and I am keen on the ways in which these models could run operationally to make marine weather forecasts. Furthermore, I study the ocean from a Lagrangian point of view, using particle tracking models to quantify the flushing time of harbours and investigate the connectivity of Marine Protected Areas and the migration of marine animals (e.g., eels).

In addition, I have been actively involved in and always look forward to interdisciplinary research projects in which my specialization in physical oceanography and my rich experience in ocean modelling have contributed to breakthrough researches in marine biology (e.g. eel migration) and biogeochemistry (e.g. hydrogen and nitrogen cycles).

Specific research interests

  • Development of a nested-grid numerical circulation system for the Halifax Harbour
  • Development of a nested-grid numerical circulation system for the Sable Gully
  • Development of a high-resolution circulation model for the Gulf of Maine and Scotian Shelf by using NEMO
  • Development of a high-resolution circulation model for the Kitimat Fjord System by using FVCOM
  • Development of a bio-physical particle tracking model for the adult eel migration
  • Coastal upwelling on the Scotian Shelf
  • Shelf-slope water exchange on the Scotian Shelf
  • Fjord-shelf exchange
  • Tidal, wind-driven, and estuarine circulations in Fjord

Previous and ongoing projects

I am currently looking for talented graduate and undergraduate students to join my research group. If you would like to pursue training and research in Physical and Operational Oceanography at RMC, please contact me.

Recent Publications

  • Shan, S., Shore, J. A., & Spekkens, K. (2020), The Falling Rod Race, The Physics Teacher, 58(8), 596-598
  • Shan, S., Hannah, C. G., & Wu, Y. (2020), Response of sea level to tide, atmospheric pressure, wind forcing and river discharge in the Kitimat Fjord System, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 246, 107025
  • Shan, S., Hannah, C. G., & Wu, Y. (2019), Coupling of estuarine circulations in a network of fjords. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 124(10), 6809-6830
  • Wu, Y., Hannah, C., O’Flaherty-Sproul, M., MacAulay, P., & Shan, S. (2019), A modeling study on tides in the Port of Vancouver. Anthropocene Coasts, 2(1), 101-125
  • Moore R. M., I. Grefe, J. Zorz, S. Shan, K. R. Thompson, J. Ratten, and J. LaRoche (2018), On the relationship between hydrogen saturation in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and nitrogen fixation by the symbiotic diazotroph UCYN-A, Journal of Geophysical Research, 123, 2353-2362.
  • Béguer-Pon M., S. Shan, M. Castonguay, and J.J. Dodson (2017), Behavioural variability in the vertical and horizontal oceanic migrations of silver American eels, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 585:123-142.
  • Shan S., J. Sheng, K. Ohashi, and M. Dever (2016), Assessing the performance of a multi-nested ocean circulation model using satellite remote sensing and in-situ observations, Satellite Oceanography and Meteorology, DOI:10.18063/SOM.2016.01.004.
  • Béguer M., S. Shan, K. R. Thompson, M. Castonguay, J. Sheng, and J. J. Dodson (2016), Exploring the role of the physical marine environment on silver eel migration using a biophysical particle tracking model, ICES Journal of Marine Science, 73 (1): 57-74.
  • Béguer M., M. Castonguay, S. Shan, J. Benchetrit, and J.J. Dodson (2015), Direct observations of American eels migrating across the continental shelf to the Sargasso Sea, Nature Communications, 6, 8705.
  • Shan S., J. Sheng, and B. J. W. Greenan (2014), Modelling study of three-dimensional circulation and particle movement over the Sable Gully of Nova Scotia, Ocean Dynamics, 64, 117-142.
  • Shan S., J. Sheng, and B. J. W. Greenan (2014), Physical processes affecting circulation and hydrography in the Sable Gully of Nova Scotia, Deep-Sea Research II, 104, 35-50.
  • Shan S., and J. Sheng (2012), Examination of circulation, flushing time and dispersion in Halifax Harbour of Nova Scotia, Canada, Water Quality Research Journal of Canada, 47, 353-374.
  • Shan S., J. Sheng, K. R. Thompson, and D. A. Greenberg (2011), Simulating the three-dimensional circulation and hydrography of Halifax Harbour using a multi-nested coastal ocean circulation model, Ocean Dynamics, 61, 951-976.
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