Science Team

Veronica Nieves

Principal Investigator & Academic Supervisor

Veronica Nieves is the head of the AI4OCEANS Research Unit. She is based at the University of Valencia in Spain, where she joined the Image Processing Lab as a distinguished researcher in 2020. Her current research focuses on understanding the ocean’s role in the global climate system under global climate change via artificial intelligence. She is lead developer / contributor of several models and techniques for: identifying regional coastal sea level variability and change; extracting salinity / freshwater content information; tracking ocean currents; characterizing eco-hydro-geomorphological processes across scales. She combines the modeling with both in situ and satellite-based measurements. She has a background in climate, physical oceanography, and Earth system modelling. She has previously worked at the University of California Irvine, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory / California Institute of Technology and the University of California Los Angeles. She was a member of the NASA Sea Level Change Team.

Extended Bio

Dr. Nieves received her B.S. degree in Physics in 2002, and the M.S. degree in Meteorology and Climatology in 2003, both from the University of Barcelona. In 2008, she earned her Ph.D. degree in Applied Physics and Scientific Simulation from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia while working at the Institute of Marine Sciences, CSIC. In her research, she worked on the development and application of innovative multifractal-based models to characterize ocean currents and coherent structures (jets, eddies, and filaments). Before completion of her Ph.D., she was awarded by the EU Socrates programme with a six-month research visit at the University of Toulon et du Var, and also held a short-term appointment at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. In 2009 and 2010, she was awarded a Balsells Postdoctoral Fellowship to pursue research in the Hydroclimatology Group at the University of California, Irvine. During that time, she was actively involved in the development of a unified framework for characterizing multi-scaling behavior of environmental conditions, e.g., rainfall, soil moisture and topography, in terms of macroscale properties. In 2011, she was awarded by NASA with the NASA Postdoctoral Fellowship and joined the NASA’s Sea Level and Ice Group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). From 2011 to 2014, she worked on a number of projects on Earth’s global heat and freshwater budgets at NASA’s JPL and the California Institute of Technology. From 2014 to 2019, she held a joint position with the University of California, Los Angeles, at the Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering first as an assistant researcher, then as associate project scientist. Since 2018, she is a member of the Pool of Experts of the United Nations Regular Process for assessing the state of the marine environment. She also is a management committee member and expert of the European COST Action CA19139 (Process-based models for climate impact attribution across sectors). Over the past years, she has participated as a member of the scientific committee of several US CLIVAR sessions, and as an expert assessor in decadal climate variability for the National Academy of Sciences of the United States. She also was a member of the NASA Sea Level Change Team. In addition, she has often served as a reviewer in the evaluation process of scientific grants and journals, and as a jury member for several awards. She was an advisor for the NASA FIELDS and NSF GLOBE programs. Among other awards and recognitions, she has received O-1 visa and distinction in the field of climate sciences. In recent years, her efforts have focused on combining modeling and statistical techniques to help assess the regional effects of climate change in the oceans. During 2019, she was on sabbatical at the Institute of Marine Sciences in Barcelona. The same year, she received the GenT-CIDEGENT Reintegration Grant for Researchers of Excellence and was awarded with the title of distinguished researcher. Through this opportunity she is currently leading a team at the University of Valencia to tackle some of the climate challenges that lie ahead, using innovative and synergistic approaches that combine artificial intelligence with ocean and climate science.

Cristina F. Radin

PhD Student

Cristina holds a M.Sc. in Remote Sensing from the University of Valencia and is currently conducting her PhD project through the CIDEGENT Programme. She is working on the development of statistical, physical and hybrid methods for modeling climate variability and change. She has a background in Earth observation data and machine learning methods.

Javier Martinez Amaya

Senior Research Technician

Javier completed his M.Sc. in Remote Sensing at the University of Valencia in 2020 and joined the team to help with the practical implementation of climate-related assessment tools and data sets currently in development within the MALOC project. He has a background in remote sensing techniques, analysis and applications.