Yan Li


Associate Professor , Fluid Mechanics


Department of Mathematics

Research groups


On-going research areas:

Fluid dynamics

  • ocean surface gravity waves;
  • wave-current interaction;
  • wave-bathymetry interaction;
  • wave statistics;
  • wave-turbulence interaction;


  • Ocean wave modeling;
  • Ocean circulation;
  • wave-driven flows;

Offshore engineering

  • Sea loads;
  • Met-ocean; 
  • Offshore wind (hydrodynamics); 

Honors (selected):


  • "Water wave modulation and wave forces with sheared currents" funded by the Research Council of Norway. Click here for the project description and updates. 

  • Experimental study on the evolution of a narrow-banded wavepacket propagating over a step (UK & China Center for Offshore Renewable Energy Flexible Funding / UK EPSRC- NERC) 


Job advertisement:  a new PhD in the subfield of fluid Mechanics, expected starting date in August/September 2024. 

University of Bergen/Faculty of mathematics and natural science/News: Predicting “freak waves”




Ph.D. candidates: 

  • 2021-2026, Zirui Xin (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, SJTU), together with Prof. Xin Li, Topic: coupled effects of wave-current interaction on offshore bottom-fixed and floating wind turbines. 
  • 2021-2026, Jianhong Zhang (SJTU), together with Prof. Wenyue Lu, Topic: Evolution of directional-spreading steep wave groups in deep water
  • 2019-2023, Zibo Zheng (NTNU), together with Prof. Simen Ellingsen, Topic: Wave statistics in a vertically sheared current. 

Master students: 

  • 2023-2024 Sindre Lund Lomås (UiB)
  • 2022-2023 Liangfu Wu (SJTU), Topic: the numerical study of the nonlinear evolution of wave spectrum in a background current.  



MAT 253: Fluid Mechanics (Post-graduate level) 

MAT 213: Functions of a Complex Variable 

Academic article
Academic literature review
Academic chapter/article/Conference paper
Doctoral dissertation

See a complete overview of publications in Cristin.


  • Li, Yan; Chabchoub, Amin (2024). How currents trigger extreme sea waves. The roles of Stokes drift, Eulerian return flow, and a background flow in the open ocean. Geophysical Research Letters. (In production)

  • Ellingsen, S.Å.; Zheng, Z; Abid, M; Kharif, C; Li, Yan (2024). Dispersive Wave Focusing on a Shear Current: Part 1—Linear Approximations. Water Waveshttps://doi.org/10.1007/s42286-024-00085-3


  • Li, Yan (2023). On coupled envelope evolution equations in the Hamiltonian theory of nonlinear surface gravity waves. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 960, A33. doi:10.1017/jfm.2023.205

  • Li, Yan; Chabchoub, Amin (2023). On the formation of coastal rogue waves in water of variable depth. Cambridge Prisms: Coastal Futures 2023 ; Vol. 1.(e33). https://doi.org/10.1017/cft.2023.21.

  • Zheng, Zibo; Li, Yan;  Ellingsen, Simen Andreas Ådnøy (2023). Statistics of weakly nonlinear waves on currents with strong vertical shear. Physical Review Fluids. 8, 014801. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevFluids.8.014801.

  • Tang, Tianning; Moss, Charlotte; Draycott, Samuel; Bingham, Harry B.; Van Den Bremer, Ton S.; Li, Yan; Adcock, Thomas A.A.(2023).The influence of directional spreading on rogue waves triggered by abrupt depth transitions. Journal of Fluid Mechanics (Rapids); Vol. 972. https://doi.org/10.1017/jfm.2023.737 

  • Xin, Zirui; Li, Xin; Li, Yan (2023). Coupled effects of wave and current interaction on loads on a bottom-fixed vertical slender cylinder.  Coastal Engineering. 183. 104304. doi.org/10.1016/j.coastaleng.2023.104304

  • Li, Yan; Xin, Zirui; Li, Xin (2023). Exponential integrator for nonlinear surface gravity-capillary waves. Submitted to OMAE-2023 (in press) 







Doctoral Thesis

  • Li, Yan. (2017) Surface water waves on depth dependent flows. 2017. ISBN 978-82-326-2461-4.

Paper(s) in Conference proceedings:


Paper(s) in Conference proceedings:

Paper(s) in Conference proceedings:

Journal paper in Chinese:


2019-2022. FRINATEK Mobility Grant (project number 287389, 3.3 Million NOK): "Water wave modulation and wave forces with sheared currents" funded by Reserach Council of Norway. Role: PI. Click here for the project description and updates. 

2023-2023. POS-ERC (Project number 342480, 464k NOK): "A bridge to ocean coupling" funded by Reserach Council of Norway. Role: PI.