Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Lionel A. Arteaga


Lionel A. Arteaga 's Contact Card & Information.
Phone: 301.614.5843
Org Code: 610.1
Mail Code 610.1
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Brief Bio

Dr. Arteaga is an oceanographer and Earth scientist primarily working on ocean carbon fluxes and the connection between marine ecosystems and climate. He graduated as a biologist from Universidad Simón Bolívar, Venezuela, and continued his studies in oceanography and biogeochemical modeling in Germany and Australia, and received his Masters degree and PhD from the GEOMAR | Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel. Prior to joining GMAO, Dr. Arteaga was a Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate Research Scholar in Prof. Jorge L. Sarmiento's group at Princeton University, working primarily on Southern Ocean biogeochemical dynamics within the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM) project. Presently, his research centers on the development of models and data assimilation systems that support NASA’s EXPORTS and PACE missions, with particular focus on forecasting oceanic carbon fluxes and ecosystem identification from space.


Associate Research Scientist

GESTAR-II (UMBC) - GMAO - NASA Goddard Flight Space Center, Greenbelt, MD

December 2023 - Present

Assistant Research Scientist

GESTAR II (USRA / UMBC) - GMAO - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

September 2020 - November 2023

  • Development of models and data assimilation systems to support NASA’s EXPORTS and PACE missions on the forecasting of oceanic carbon fluxes and ecosystem identification from space.

Associate Research Scholar

Princeton University - Princeton, NJ

July 2018 - August 2020

  • Analysis of bio-optical information (satellite and BGC-Argo) to characterize oceanic bloom dynamics in the Antarctic Ocean.
  • Analysis of robotic profiling systems (BGC-Argo) to quantify carbon sequestration in the Antarctic Ocean.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Princeton University - Princeton, NJ

November 2015 - June 2018

  • Evaluation of multivariate regression models applied to satellite data to estimate biological carbon export in the Antarctic Ocean.


  • Ph.D Ocean Biogeochemistry, 2015. GEOMAR | University of Kiel (Germany). Thesis title: Combining model and satellite analyses to describe phytoplankton growth. Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Andreas Oschlies and Dr. Markus Pahlow.
  • M.Sc. Biological Oceanography, 2011. IFM-GEOMAR | University of Kiel (Germany). Thesis title: Evaluation of regional patterns of light and nutrient colimitation in the global ocean. A modelling approach.
  • Lic. Biology, 2008. Universidad Simón Bolívar (Venezuela). Thesis title: Description of the Venezuelan gulf upwelling system using satellite remote sensing.

Teaching Experience

  • Spring, 2020: Teaching contributor, Princeton University. Lead the ocean ecology and biogeochemistry lectures of the course GEO521-AOS521 S2020: Southern Ocean Seminar, dictated by Prof. Daniel M. Sigman.
  • 2017 – 2020: Coordinator of the PEI internship program for the Sarmiento group, Princeton University. Recruitment and coordination of summer students for the Sarmiento group in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences program.
  • Summer, 2018 and 2019: Supervisor of summer interns for the Princeton Environmental Institue (PEI) internship program, Princeton University. Scientific mentoring of the project: Correlations between surface ocean pCO2 and lidar-based phytoplankton biomass estimates (2018) and Interannual variation in Southern Ocean phytoplankton inferred from space-based lidar (2019).
  • Spring, 2017: Teaching assistant, Princeton University. Grader and assistant of the course Geo-202: Ocean, Atmosphere and Climate, dictated by Prof. Jorge L. Sarmiento.
  • Spring, 2013: Teaching assistant, University of Kiel (Germany). Assistant of the course MNF- bioc-335 : Biogeochemical Modeling, dictated by Prof. Andreas Oschlies and Dr. Markus Pahlow.
  • 2007 - 2008: Teaching assistant, Universidad Simón Bolívar (Venezuela). Teaching and support activities on expeditions of the practical course of Ecology II, within the curriculum in Biology.


  • 2019 Visiting Scholarship at the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), University of Tasmania, Australia.
  • Prof. Dr. Werner Petersen-Stiftung prize for outstanding doctoral thesis 2014/2015.
  • ISOS Integrated School of Ocean Sciences Kiel PhD miniproposal award 2014: Ocean Biogeochemistry under Changing Climate with a Phytoplankton Optimality-based model.


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

NASA ROSES-2022 A.6 Carbon Monitoring System - NASA - Awarded: 2023-05-01

Dates:  - 

GEOS-Carb IV: Delivering low-latency carbon flux and concentration datasets in support of NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System.

NASA ROSES-2020 A.6 Carbon Monitoring System - NASA - Awarded: 2021-06-01

Dates:  - 

Determination of the relationship between primary production and net community production in the Southern Ocean through the use of profiling floats, satellite data, and ecosystem models.

NASA ROSES-2016 A.5 Carbon Cycle Science - NASA - Awarded: 2016-05-12

Dates: 2017-03-01  - 2020-03-01



2023. "The Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM) project: A review." Progress in Oceanography 103130 [10.1016/j.pocean.2023.103130] [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. "Vertical structure in phytoplankton growth and productivity inferred from Biogeochemical-Argo floats and the Carbon-based Productivity Model ." Global Biogeochemical Cycles 36 (8): e2022GB007389 [10.1029/2022GB007389] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Seasonal modulation of phytoplankton biomass in the Southern Ocean." Nature Communications 11 [10.1038/s41467-020-19157-2] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Optimality-Based Non-Redfield Plankton-Ecosystem Model (OPEMv1.0) in the UVic-ESCM 2.9. Part I: Implementation and Model Behaviour." Geoscientific Model Development 13 4663--4690 [10.5194/gmd-13-4663-2020] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Nutrient controls on export production in the Southern Ocean." Global Biogeochemical Cycles 33 942-956 [10.1029/2019GB006236] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Assessment of export efficiency equations in the Southern Ocean applied to satellite-based net primary production." Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 123 2945-2964 [10.1002/2018JC013787] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "Modeled Chl:C ratio and derived estimates of phytoplankton carbon biomass and its contribution to total particulate organic carbon in the global surface ocean." Global Biogeochemical Cycles 30 1791-1810 [10.1002/2016GB005458] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Global monthly sea surface nitrate fields estimated from remotely sensed sea surface temperature, chlorophyll, and modeled mixed layer depth." Geophysical Research Letters 42 (4): 1130--1138 [10.1002/2014GL062937] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Global patterns of phytoplankton nutrient and light colimitation inferred from an optimality-based model." Global Biogeochemical Cycles 28 (7): 648--661 [10.1002/2013GB004668] [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "Nitrogen cycling driven by organic matter export in the South Pacific oxygen minimum zone." Nature Geoscience 6 (3): 228--234 [10.1038/ngeo1739] [Journal Article/Letter]


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

2022. "CbPM code for BGC-Argo floats." Zenodo [10.5281/zenodo.6599224] [Other]