Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Cecile Severine Rousseaux


Cecile Severine Rousseaux's Contact Card & Information.
Phone: 301.614.5750
Org Code: 616
Mail Code 616
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Brief Bio

Cécile S. Rousseaux graduated from the University of Namur (Belgium) and received a Masters Degree in Biology of Organisms (University of Namur) and another one in Oceanography (University of Liege). She then did her PhD in Environmental Engineering at the University of Western Australia. In 2011, she started working at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as a Research Scientist. Cécile S. Rousseaux started as a Research Scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in 2011.

Research Interests

Using ocean biogeochemical model to improve our understanding of oceans and preparing for upcoming missions.

Earth Science: Ocean Biochemistry

Her research focuses on the role of oceans in the carbon cycle, the effects of climate variability and trends in the ocean biogeochemical cycle, and the support of upcoming field and satellite missions. She was a Principal Investigator on the first PACE Science Team (2015-2018). She was Principal Investigator on an Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry proposal to provide support for the EXPORTS field campaign. She was also a PI on a Modeling, Analysis, and Prediction proposal to develop a seasonal forecast of ocean biogeochemistry at the global scale. Dr. Cécile S. Rousseaux works on the effects of climate variability on phytoplankton using a satellite data assimilating global biogeochemical model (NOBM, In 2014 and 2020, she was selected as Principal Investigator to be on the first and second PACE Science Team. As part of this work she developed a simulated hyperspectral dataset in preparation for PACE. As part of the second Science Team, she developed the assimilation framework to assimilate hyperspectral water leaving radiances from PACE in an Earth System Model to generate Level 4 data. Finally, Dr. Rousseaux is also an active member of the Carbon Monitoring System (, an initiative to characterize, quantify, understand and predict the evolution of global carbon sources and sinks. As part of this program she works as PI and Co-I on projects aimed at improving the ocean estimate of carbon dioxide fluxes with the atmosphere.


Research Oceanographer

Ocean Ecology Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - Greenbelt, MD

January 2022 - Present

Senior Scientist

UMBC - Greenbelt, MD

December 2021 - January 2022

Senior Scientist, Group Lead

USRA - Greenbelt, MD

2017 - 2021

Research Scientist

USRA - Greenbelt, MD

2012 - 2017

Postdoctoral Researcher

USRA - Greenbelt, MD

2011 - 2012


2007-2011: PhD, Thesis title: “Quantifying the impact of the Leeuwin Current on the ecology and biogeochemistry of the Ningaloo Reef”, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

2005-2006: Masters Degree, Oceanology, Thesis title: “Impact of climate changes on the dynamics of plankton in the Bay of Calvi, Corsica”, University of Liege (Ulg), Liege, Belgium

2004-2005: Masters Degree, Biological Sciences, Thesis title : “A study on the effects of microzooplankton grazing in the diurnal vertical migration of the toxic dinoflagellates Gymnodinium catenatum in the Huon Estuary (Tasmania)”, Faculte Universitaire Notre-Dame de la Paix (FUNDP), Namur, Belgium

2001-2003: Bachelor Degree, Biological Sciences, Faculte Universitaire Notre-Dame de la Paix (FUNDP), Namur, Belgium


2016 USRA Presidential Award
2013 NASA/GMAO Award for Outstanding Contribution by a new GMAO member
2011 World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) Presentation award
2010 Western Australian Marine Science Institute (WAMSI) award for best science based work
2009 Finalist of the IOC/UNESCO Awards
2009 American Society for Limonology and Oceanography (ASLO) Outstanding student presentation award
2008 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Flagship
2008 WAMSI Node 3 top-up scholarship
2008 WAMSI Node1 top-up scholarship
2008 BHP-Billiton scholarship
2007 Biological Oceanography Scholarship
2006 Marie-Curie Studentship
2006 Docquier Grant


Advancing satellite-constrained modeled air-sea CO2 fluxes with a focus on the strength of the Southern Ocean carbon sink

Carbon Monitoring System Program - NASA (NNH22ZDA001N-CMS) - Awarded: 2023-03-23

Dates:  - 

Coverage: 0.1

Integrating lateral carbon fluxes into CMS ocean carbon estimates

Carbon Monitoring System Program - NASA (NNH22ZDA001N-CMS) - Awarded: 2023-03-23

Dates:  - 

Coverage: 0.3

Phytoplankton Algorithms and Data Assimilation: Preparing a Pre-launch Path to Exploit PACE Spectral Data

NASA PACE Science Team - NASA (NNH19ZDA001N-PACESAT) - Awarded: 2020-02-05

Dates: 2020-05-01  - 2023-04-30

Seasonal Forecast of Ocean Biogeochemistry using GEOS-5

Modeling, Analysis, and Prediction - NASA (NNH16ZDA001N-MAP) - Awarded: 2016-10-01

Dates:  - 

Observation-System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs) and seasonal forecasts to support EXPORTS

Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry (NNH15ZDA01N-OBB) - NASA (NNH15ZDA01N-OBB) - Awarded: 2016-10-01

Dates: 2019-09-30  - 

Coverage: 0.3

Amount 250K/year

Global modeling of nitrous oxide and its isotopologues in the GEOS-5 atmosphere-ocean model

Modeling, Analysis, and Prediction - NASA (NNH16ZDA001N-MAP) - Awarded: 2016-10-01

Dates:  - 

Integrating remote sensing observations with NASA’s GEOS-5 modeling framework in support of retrospective analyses and seasonal prediction of biosphere-atmosphere CO2 flux

Interdisciplinary Science - NASA (NNH16ZDA001N-IDS) - Awarded: 2016-10-01

Dates:  - 

 Combining Data Assimilation with an algorithm to Improve the Consistency of VIIRS Chlorophyll: Toward a Multidecadal, Multisensor Global Record

Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) Science Team and Science Investigator-led Processing Systems for Earth System Data Records From Suomi NPP - NASA (13-SNPP13-0038) - Awarded: 2014-08-01

Dates: 2014-10-01  - 2017-09-30

Coverage: 0.4

 Phytoplankton Composition algorithms for PACE

PACE Science Team - NASA (13-PACEST13-0007) - Awarded: 2014-09-12

Dates: 2014-10-01  - 2017-09-30

Coverage: 0.5

 GEOS-Carb II: Delivering Carbon Flux and Concentration Products Based on the GEOS Modeling System

Carbon Monitoring System: Continuing Prototype Product Development, Research, and Scoping - NASA (NNH14ZDA001N-CMS) - Awarded: 2014-07-17

Dates:  - 

Coverage: 0.3

Feedbacks, Processes and Impacts of Contemporary Changes in the Arctic

A.31 Interdisciplinary Research in earth Science - NASA (NNH12ZDA001N-IDS) - Awarded: 2013-08-01

Dates: 2013-10-01  - 2016-09-30

Coverage: 0.2

 Variation in phytoplankton composition associated with ENSO diversity in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean

Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry - NASA (NNH12ZDA001N-OBB) - Awarded: 2012-09-01

Dates: 2012-10-01  - 2015-09-30

Coverage: 0.2

GEOS-Carb: A framework for Monitoring Carbon Concentrations and Fluxes

Carbon Monitoring System (NNH11ZDA001N-CMS) - NASA (NNH11ZDA001N-CMS) - Awarded: 2012-10-01

Dates:  - 



2024. "Phytoplankton composition from sPACE: Requirements, opportunities, and challenges." Remote Sensing of Environment 302 (1): 113964 [10.1016/j.rse.2023.113964] [Journal Article/Letter]

2024. "The increasing importance of satellite observations to assess the ocean carbon sink and ocean acidification." Earth-Science Reviews 104682 [10.1016/j.earscirev.2024.104682] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "Ocean carbon from space: Current status and priorities for the next decade." Earth-Science Reviews 240 104386 [10.1016/j.earscirev.2023.104386] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "Impact of Pacific Ocean heatwaves on phytoplankton community composition." Communications Biology 6 [10.1038/s42003-023-04645-0] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "The Marine Biodiversity Observation Network Plankton Workshops: Plankton Ecosystem Function, Biodiversity, and Forecasting—Research Requirements and Applications." Limnology and Oceanography Bulletin [10.1002/lob.10479] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Oceanic and Atmospheric Correlations to Cetacean Mass Stranding Events in Cape Cod Massachusetts, USA." Geophysical Research Letters [10.1029/2021gl093697] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Compound high-temperature and low-chlorophyll extremes in the ocean over the satellite period." Biogeosciences 18 (6): 2119-2137 [10.5194/bg-18-2119-2021] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Sensing the ocean biological carbon pump from space: A review of capabilities, concepts, research gaps and future developments." Earth-Science Reviews 103604 [10.1016/j.earscirev.2021.103604] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Assessing the Skills of a Seasonal Forecast of Chlorophyll in the Global Pelagic Oceans." Remote Sensing 13 (6): 1051 [10.3390/rs13061051] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "A global compilation of in situ aquatic high spectral resolution inherent and apparent optical property data for remote sensing applications." Earth System Science Data 12 1123-1139 [10.5194/essd-12-1123-2020] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Space‐Based Observations for Understanding Changes in the Arctic‐Boreal Zone." Reviews of Geophysics 58 (1): 2019RG000652 [10.1029/2019rg000652] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Satellite sensor requirements for monitoring essential biodiversity variables of coastal ecosystems." Ecological Applications 28 (3): 749-760 [10.1002/eap.1682] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "An overview of approaches and challenges for retrieving marine inherent optical properties from ocean color remote sensing." Progress in Oceanography 160 186–212 [10.1016/j.pocean.2018.01.001] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "Forecasting Ocean Chlorophyll in the Equatorial Pacific." Frontiers in Marine Science 4 [10.3389/fmars.2017.00236] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "Global trends in ocean phytoplankton: a new assessment using revised ocean colour data." Remote Sensing Letters 8 (12): 1102-1111 [10.1080/2150704x.2017.1354263] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "Simulating PACE Global Ocean Radiances." Frontiers in Marine Science 4 [10.3389/fmars.2017.00060] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "Directional and Spectral Irradiance in Ocean Models: Effects on Simulated Global Phytoplankton, Nutrients, and Primary Production." Frontiers in Marine Science 3 [10.3389/fmars.2016.00240] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Recent decadal trends in global phytoplankton composition." Global Biogeochemical Cycles 29 (10): 1674–1688 [10.1002/2015GB005139] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Toward connecting subtropical algal blooms to freshwater nutrient sources using a long-term, spatially distributed, in situ chlorophyll-a record." Catena 133 119–127 [Full Text] [10.1016/j.catena.2015.05.001] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Climate variability drives plankton community composition changes: the 2010–2011 El Niño to La Niña transition around Australia." J. Plankton Res. 37 (5): 966-984 [10.1093/plankt/fbv069] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Assessing the magnitude of CO2 flux uncertainty in atmospheric CO2 records using products from NASA's Carbon Monitoring Flux Pilot Project." Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres 120 734-765 [doi:10.1002/2014JD022411] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Decadal Trends in Global Pelagic Ocean Chlorophyll: A New Assessment Integrating Multiple Satellites, In Situ Data, and Models." Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 119 (9): 5921–5933 [10.1002/2014JC010158] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Sensitivity of simulated global ocean carbon flux estimates to forcing by reanalysis products." Ocean Modelling 80 24-35 [10.1016/j.ocemod.2014.05.002] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Interannual Variation in Phytoplankton Primary Production at A Global Scale." Remote Sensing 6 (1): 1-19 [10.3390/rs6010001] [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "Satellite views of global phytoplankton community distributions using an empirical algorithm and a numerical model." Biogeosciences Discussions 10 (1): 1083-1109 [10.5194/bgd-10-1083-2013] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "The role of the Leeuwin Current and mixed layer depth on the autumn phytoplankton bloom off Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia." Continental Shelf Research 32 22-35 [10.1016/j.csr.2011.10.010] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "An extreme climatic event alters marine ecosystem structure in a global biodiversity hotspot." Nature Climate change 3 (1): 78-82 [10.1038/nclimate1627] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Climate variability and phytoplankton composition in the Pacific Ocean." J. Geophys. Res. 117 (C10): C10006 [10.1029/2012JC008083] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Consistent abundance distributions of marine fishes in an old, climatically buffered, infertile seascape." Global Ecology and Biogeography 21 (9): 886-897 [10.1111/j.1466-8238.2011.00734.x] [Journal Article/Letter]

. "In situ high spectral resolution inherent and apparent optical property data from diverse aquatic environments." PANGAEA Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science [] [Dataset]


2023. "Reports from EXPORTS modeling and data-mining activities." Technical Memorandum [Report]

2014. "The Power of Three [in "Beyond 9 billion"]." International Innovation 155 [Full Text] [Magazine]

2014. "The effects of chlorophyll assimilation on carbon fluxes in a global biogeochemical model." NASA Technical Report Series on Global Modeling and Data Assimilation 33 [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "Global Surface Ocean Carbon Estimates in a Model Forced by MERRA." NASA Technical Report Series on Global Modeling and Data Assimilation 31 39 [Report]