Cecilie Mauritzen is New GoMRI Research Board Member

Dr. Cecilie Mauritzen during the Kon Tiki 2 Expedition.  (Photo provided by Dr. Mauritzen)

(Click to enlarge) Dr. Cecilie Mauritzen during the Kon Tiki 2 Expedition. (Photo provided by Dr. Mauritzen)

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative welcomes Dr. Cecilie Mauritzen as the newest member of its Research Board, an independent and academic board of twenty science, public health, and research administration experts.  The GoMRI Research Board is the program’s decision-making and oversight body, responsible for ensuring its intellectual quality, research effectiveness, and independence.

 Dr. Mauritzen, Chief Scientist for Water and Climate at the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, brings a wealth of experience in physical oceanography and is an expert on carbon cycling. She has an extensive background as an academic and industry scientist and is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, the Norwegian Scientific Academy for Polar Research, and the Norwegian Board of Technology. 

 “We are delighted that Dr. Mauritzen has agreed to join the GoMRI Board.  Her breath and depth of experience in physical oceanography will compliment and add to an already excellent team of professionals in guiding GoMRI over the next five years,” said Dr. Rita Colwell, Chair of the Research Board.

A physical oceanographer by training, Dr. Mauritzen is a specialist in large-scale ocean circulation and state changes in the deep ocean. Her career includes exploring the Atlantic Ocean from the equator to the Arctic to infer ocean circulation and working with modern autonomous platforms to observe the ocean in remote areas. She has expertise in synthesizing large datasets and in using field data for operational forecasts of sea ice and ocean currents.

Her interests include the full climate system. She began working on the Earth’s energy budget and state changes in the deep ocean after joining the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group in 2004. Mauritzen authored the IPCC 4th Assessment Report on Climate Change 2007 (chapter 1) and the IPCC 5th Assessment Report on Climate Change 2013 (chapter 3).

Realizing the importance of involving industry, Dr. Mauritzen joined the Det norske Veritas – Germanischer Lloyds (DNV-GL) in 2014, leading a research think-tank on the Low Carbon Future and focusing on energy transformation. She successfully employed system dynamics models as a tool for engineers, military strategists, philosophers, natural scientists and economists to work together.

Dr. Mauritzen returned to the ocean in 2015 after accepting an invitation to head the research program of a balsa raft expedition from South America to Easter Island, known as the Kon-Tiki2 Expedition. The expedition coincided with the climate summit in Paris, inspiring her to write the speech What the Ocean Would Have Said. After returning from the Kon Tiki 2 Expedition, she joined the Norwegian Research Institute for Water as Chief Scientist for Water and Climate.

Dr. Mauritzen obtained her MS degree from the University of Bergen and Ph.D. from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Massachusetts Institute of Technology Joint Program in Oceanography. She worked as an oceanographer at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the French Navy Hydrographic Service, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. She advised many University of Oslo graduate students.

The GoMRI science community extends a warm welcome to Dr. Cecile Mauritzen.


The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) is a 10-year independent research program established to study the effect, and the potential associated impact, of hydrocarbon releases on the environment and public health, as well as to develop improved spill mitigation, oil detection, characterization and remediation technologies.  An independent and academic 20-member Research Board makes the funding and research direction decisions to ensure the intellectual quality, effectiveness and academic independence of the GoMRI research.  All research data, findings and publications will be made publicly available.  The program was established through a $500 million financial commitment from BP.  For more information, visit https://gulfresearchinitiative.org/.

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