Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Carlos E Del Castillo


Carlos E Del Castillo's Contact Card & Information.
Phone: 301.286.8787
Org Code: 616
Mail Code 616.2
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Brief Bio

Dr. Carlos E. Del Castillo is the Chief of the Ocean Ecology Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. He was previously a member of the Senior Professional Staff and Section Supervisor with the Space Department of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Dr. Del Castillo is an Associate Research Professor at the Johns Hopkins University Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Dr. Del Castillo started his career at the University of Puerto Rico studying the effects of oil pollution in tropical marine environments. Later, at the University of South Florida, he became interested in organic carbon biogeochemistry and the carbon cycle. This led him to study biogeochemical and physical processes in the oceans through a combination of remote sensing and field and laboratory experiments. While working at NASA as a researcher, Dr. Del Castillo served as Project Manager at Stennis Space Center, MS, and served twice as Program Scientist at NASA HQ (2004-2005; 2011). Dr. Del Castillo has chaired NASA and NSF workshops, served in several inter-agency working groups, NASA Senior Reviews for Continuation of Missions, the NASA’s Carbon Cycle and Ecosystem Management and Operations Working Group, and three National Research Council panels. Dr. Del Castillo chaired the Science Definition Team for a new NASA satellite mission, PACE, and was elected Chair for the Ocean Optics XXI Conference in Glasgow, Scotland (2012). Dr. Del Castillo has several well-cited publications, co-edited a book on the application of remote sensing techniques. He is a frequent reviewer for technical journals, and served as associate editor for the Journal of Geophysical Research. Dr. Del Castillo received the William Sackett Prize for Innovation and Excellence in Research from the University of South Florida (1999), the NASA Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2004), and the Emerald Honors Trailblazer Award (2007), and other awards.



Chief, Ocean Ecology Laboratory

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - Greenbelt, Maryland

2013 - Present

Associate Research Professor

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore, Maryland

2008 - Present

Researcher and Section Supervisor

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory - Laurel, Maryland

2012 - 2013

Program Scientist

NASA Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry Program - NASA Head Quarters, Washington DC

2011 - 2011

 IPA assignment

Senior Professional Staff - Research Scientist

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory - Laurel, Maryland

2005 - 2013

Program Scientist

NASA Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry Program - NASA Head Quarters, Washington DC.

2004 - 2005

Detail assignment from NASA Stennis Space Center

Research Scientist

NASA Applied Science Directorate - Stennis Space Center, Mississippi

2000 - 2005

Associate in Research

Department of Marine Science, University of South Florida - St. Petersburg, Florida

1999 - 2000

Teaching Experience

Laboratory Instructor of General Biology and Zoology – Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez, P.R. 1988-89.

High School teacher of Physical Sciences (9th grade) and Advance Physics (12th grade) 1992-1993 -Academia Inmaculada Concepción, Mayagüez, P.R.

General Oceanography –2008-2010- An introductory course offered to graduate and undergraduate students. Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University.

Remote Sensing of the Environment - Present -An advanced undergraduate –graduate course offered at the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University.

Advanced Remote Sensing – Present – An advanced seminar course offered to graduate students. Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University.

Graduate Committee Experience

As an adjunct faculty at the University Southern Mississippi, I supervised one master and one Ph.D student and served in the graduate committees of two other Ph.D students. At the Johns Hopkins University, I supervised one Ph.D student and served in the committee of five other Ph.D students.



1998 Ph.D. Oceanography, Department of Marine Science, University of South Florida (Optical Characteristics of the Colored Dissolved Organic Matter in the Eastern Caribbean, West Florida Shelf, and the Arabian Sea: Relationship Between Chemical Characteristics and Optical Response. Dr. P.G. Coble, advisor)

1991 M.S. Marine Chemistry, Department of Marine Science, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus (Accumulation and Depuration Rates of Hydrocarbons in the Mangrove Oyster Crassostrea rizophorae. Dr J.E. Corredor, advisor)

1987 B.S. Biology, Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus



2020. "Seasonal variations in dissolved carbon inventory and fluxes in a mangrove‐dominated estuary." Global Biogeochemical Cycles [10.1029/2019gb006515] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Correcting non-photochemical quenching of Saildrone chlorophyll-a fluorescence for evaluation of satellite ocean color retrievals." Optics Express 28 (3): 4274 [10.1364/oe.382029] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Is the Southern Ocean Getting Greener?." Geophysical Research Letters 46 (11): 6034-6040 [10.1029/2019gl083163] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Upper ocean cooling in a coupled climate model due to light attenuation by yellowing materials." Geophysical Research Letters 45 (12): 6134-6140 [10.1029/2018gl077297] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "Estimating the distribution of colored dissolved organic matter during the Southern Ocean gas exchange experiment using four-dimensional variational data assimilation." Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans [10.1002/2016jc012406] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "Interdecadal Trichodesmium variability in cold North Atlantic waters." Global Biogeochemical Cycles [10.1002/2015gb005361] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Multidecadal increase in North Atlantic coccolithophores and the potential role of rising CO2." Science 350 (6267): 1533-1537 [10.1126/science.aaa8026] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Uncertainty in Model Predictions of Vibrio vulnificus Response to Climate Variability and Change: A Chesapeake Bay Case Study." PLOS ONE 9 (5): e98256 [10.1371/journal.pone.0098256] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Calibration uncertainty in ocean color satellite sensors and trends in long-term environmental records." Ocean Sensing and Monitoring VI 9111 [10.1117/12.2053427] [Proceedings]

2013. "Influence of the Orinoco River on the primary production of eastern Caribbean surface waters." Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 118 (9): 4617-4632 [10.1002/jgrc.20342] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Examining organic carbon transport by the Orinoco River using SeaWiFS imagery." J. Geophys. Res 117 (G03022): [10.1029/2012JG001986] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "An Assessment of Optical Properties and Primary Production Derived from Remote Sensing in the Southern Ocean (SO GasEx)." JGR-Oceans 116 (C00F03): [10.1029/2010JC006747] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Ocean State Estimation in the Southern Ocean Gas Exchange Experiment Region Using 4DVAR." JGR-Oceans 116 (C00F02): [10.1029/2009JC005615] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Horizontal and Vertical Distribution of Colored Dissolved Organic Carbon During the Southern Ocean GasEx Expedition." Journal of Geophysical Research -Oceans 116 (C00F07): [10.1029/2010JC006781] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "A portable fiber optic system for measuring particle absorption using the quantified filter technique (QFT)." Limnology and Oceanography: Methods 9 554-564 [10.4319/lom.2011.9.554] [Journal Article/Letter]

2008. "On the use of ocean color remote sensing to measure the transport of dissolved organic carbon by the Mississippi River Plume." Remote Sensing of Environment 112 (3): 836–844 [10.1016/j.rse.2007.06.015] [Journal Article/Letter]

2006. "Optically determined sources of allochthonous organic matter and metabolic characterizations in a tropical oligotrophic river and associated lagoon." Journal of the North American Benthological Society 25 (1): 185-197 [10.1899/0887-3593(2006)25[185:ODSOAO]2.0.CO;2] [Journal Article/Letter]

2006. "An Assessment of Short-term Physical Influences on the Bio-optical Properties and Ocean Color Algorithms in Coastal Waters Influenced by the Mississippi River." Applied Optics 45 (28): 7410-7428 [Journal Article/Letter]

2005. "Marine proteomics: generation of sequence tags for dissolved proteins in seawater using tandem mass spectrometry." Marine Chemistry 95 (3-4): 183-198 [10.1016/j.marchem.2004.09.004] [Journal Article/Letter]

2005. "NASA Space Systems Enable Science for Society." Earth Observation Magazine 24 (3): [Journal Article/Letter]

2005. "In-pixel variations of chl a fluorescence in the Northern Gulf of Mexico and their implications for calibrating remotely sensed chl a and other products." Continental Shelf Research 25 (15): 1894–1904 [10.1016/j.csr.2005.06.003] [Journal Article/Letter]

2004. "Performance and Calibration of the WetLabs SAFIre in-situ Fluorometer." Continental Shelf Research 24 (3): 431-442 [Journal Article/Letter]

2002. "Determining CDOM absorption spectra in diverse coastal environments using a multiple pathlength, liquid core waveguide system." Continental Shelf Research 22 (9): 1301–1310 [10.1016/S0278-4343(02)00009-2] [Journal Article/Letter]

2002. "New Evidence for the West Florida Shelf Plume." Continental Shelf Research 22 (17): 2479–2496 [10.1016/S0278-4343(02)00102-4] [Journal Article/Letter]

2001. "Multispectral in situ measurements of organic matter and chlorophyll fluorescence in seawater: Documenting the intrusion of the Mississippi River plume in the West Florida Shelf." Limnology and Oceanography 46 (7): 1836-1843 [10.4319/lo.2001.46.7.1836] [Journal Article/Letter]

2000. "Seasonal Variability of the Colored Dissolved Organic Matter During the 1994-95 NE and SW Monsoons in the Arabian Sea." Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography 47 (7-8): 1563-1579 [10.1016/S0967-0645(99)00154-X] [Journal Article/Letter]

2000. "On the dispersal of riverine colored dissolved organic matter over the West Florida Shelf." Limnol. Oceanogr 45 (6): 1425-1432 [10.4319/lo.2000.45.6.1425] [Journal Article/Letter]

1999. "Analysis of the Optical Properties of the Orinoco River Plume by Absorption and Fluorescence Spectroscopy." Marine Chemistry 66 (1-2): 35–51 [10.1016/S0304-4203(99)00023-7] [Journal Article/Letter]

1998. "Distribution of CDOM in the Arabian Sea During the 1995 Southwest Monsoon." Deep Sea Research Part II 45 2195-2223 [10.1016/S0967-0645(98)00068-X] [Journal Article/Letter]

1994. "Petroleum Pollution and Mutations in Mangroves." Marine Pollution Bulletin 28 (3): 166-169 [10.1016/0025-326X(94)90393-X] [Journal Article/Letter]

1992. "Accumulation and Depuration of Hydrocarbons in the Mangrove Oyster Crassostrea rhizophorae." 2. Conference Internationale sur la Purification des Coquillages, Rennes (France), 6-8 Apr 1992 93-96 [Full Text] [Journal Article/Letter]

1990. "Persistence of Spilled Crude Oil in a Tropical Intertidal Environment." Marine Pollution Bulletin 21 (8): 385-388 [10.1016/0025-326X(90)90647-Q] [Journal Article/Letter]


2014. "Experimental Design and Quality Assurance: In situ Fluorescence Instrumentation." Aquatic Organic Matter Fluorescence [Article in Book]

2013. "Landsat and Beyond: Sustaining and Enhancing the Nation’s Land Imaging Program." National Research Council. Landsat and Beyond: Sustaining and Enhancing the Nation's Land Imaging Program [Report]

2011. "Assessing Requirements for sustained Ocean Color Research and Operations." National Research Council. Assessing Requirements for Sustained Ocean Color Research and Operations. [Report]

2011. "Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions." National Research Council. Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions [Report]

2004. "Remote Sensing of Colored Dissolved Organic Matter in Coastal Environments." Remote Sensing of Aquatic Coastal Environments [Article in Book]