The Team

MAG member

Patricia de Rosnay is leading the Coupled Assimilation Team of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).  Her interest is in interface observations data assimilation for NWP and reanalysis. Her Team is in charge of the developments of coupled Earth system assimilation, land surface assimilation and ocean and sea ice assimilation in the ECMWF NWP systems. She has a Ph.D degree in physics on climate modelling.  She has been involved in SMOS soil moisture data assimilation activities and member of the H SAF project Team for more than 10 years. She is also a member of the WMO Global Cryosphere Watch Steering Group and co-lead of the WMO SnowWatch Team.

Georg Heygster has lead for many years the group Remote Sensing of Polar Regions at the Institute of Environmental Physics of the University of Bremen, Germany. He is now a free consultant for the same institute, continuing his activities on remote sensing sea ice and atmospheric parameters form satellite observations such as passive and active microwave sensors, and optical sensors. Many of the parameters are daily available. Their development has been funded in many EU, ESA, and national funded projects.

Jacob L. Høyer works at the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) in Copenhagen. He has worked many years with satellite observation of sea surface temperature, ice surface temperatures and sea ice in the high latitudes within Copernicus CMEMS and EUMETSAT OSI-SAF. Recently he has been responsible for developing the first European global climate data record of SST from Passive Microwave (PMW) observations (AMSR-E and AMSR-2) within the ESA CCI program. He is a member of the Sentinel 3 SLSTR Quality Working Group,  S3 Cal/Val Team and the GHRSST science team. In the Copernicus CMEMS SST TAC project he is responsible for producing operational SST products for the Arctic ocean and occasionally goes to the field (Arctic) to collect some in situ observations.  Follow Jacob on twitter: @JacobHoeyer

Thomas Lavergne is at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute in Oslo. Thomas is engaged in several operational polar sea ice monitoring services including EUMETSAT OSI SAF, Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) where he processes near real time satellite Passive Microwave data into maps of sea ice concentration, and sea ice drift. His main interest is in designing and improving algorithms to yield better operational sea ice products. Follow Thomas on Twitter: @lavergnetho.

Maria Piles is at the Image Processing Laboratory, Universitat de València. She is a Telecommunication Engineer, and has a Ph.D. in signal theory and communications (2010), from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, mastering in remote sensing. She has wide experience in the retrieval of the water content in soils and vegetation from low-frequency microwaves, and has been actively involved within the scientific activities of the ESA’s SMOS and the NASA’s SMAP missions. She is now a member of CIMR Mission Advisory Group. Her research interests include microwave remote sensing, estimation of soil moisture and vegetation biogeophysical parameters, and the development of multi-sensor techniques for enhanced retrievals with focus on agriculture, forestry, wildfire prediction, extreme detection, and climate studies. Since 2015, she is leading the Spanish chapter of IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society.

Catherine Prigent is a researcher at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris Observatory. She is a telecommunication engineer and has a PhD in physics. She worked at NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, for several years. She is affiliated scientist at the Water Center at Columbia University, New York. Her research covers satellite remote sensing of the Earth, for both surface and atmosphere characterization at global scale, using multiple satellite observations. It includes ‘all weather’ retrievals of land and sea surface temperatures, inundation extent, or soil moisture with passive microwaves. She has been involved in many NASA, ESA or CNES projects. In the CIMR project, her interest is in the development of retrieval methods that fully benefit from the large range of observed frequencies, for ocean, ice, and land parameters.

Nicolas Reul is an oceanographer at IFREMER/ Laboratory for Ocean Physics and Satellite remote sensing (LOPS), France. Since 2000, he has been leading research and development activities around the satellite remote sensing of sea surface salinity from low-frequency microwave radiometers. He is co-principal investigator of the ESA/Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission since 2014, leading Expert Support Laboratories dedicated to the ocean side of the mission for ESA and for the CNES/Centre Aval de Traitement des données SMOS (CATDS), the French ground segment for the SMOS Level 3 and 4 data. He also conducts research on ocean surface measurements from space in extreme wind conditions (Hurricanes), Air Sea Interactions, Sea Surface Waves, fluid Mechanics and electromagnetism. See his CV here.

Gunnar Spreen works at the University of Bremen, Germany, were his research group is developing new methods for satellite remote sensing of polar regions. A strong focus is on remote sensing of sea ice properties from microwave radiometers. Currently sea ice concentration, thin ice thickness and multiyear ice concentration data are produced on a daily basis in addition to melt pond fraction from optical sensors ( and Satellite measurements are validated using ground-based and airborne field observations. Gunnar's main interest is improving remote sensing datasets and use them for a better understanding of climate processes in Polar Regions.

Rasmus Tonboe is at the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) in Copenhagen. Rasmus is engaged in the development of the operational polar sea ice monitoring service the EUMETSAT OSI SAF processing near real time satellite data. His research interests include microwave and infrared remote sensing of sea ice in particular modelling of thermal emission and backscatter from sea ice and the use of forward model inversion for estimating sea ice snow cover, and other properties. He has field work experience, operating radiometers in the field, snow and sea ice sampling, and installing meteorological monitoring stations on sea ice. He is a member of ESA's MetOp SG MWI and ICI science advisory group and he is part of the ISSI virtual sea ice mission project for building a community sea ice emission model. During the one year 2015/16 he was a visiting scientist at the Finnish Meteorological Institute. Follow Rasmus on Twitter: @RasmusTonboe

ESA member

Craig Donlon is the Principal Scientist for Oceans and Sea Ice at the European Space Agency, Noordwijk, the Netherlands. He received a Ph.D. Oceanography (1994) Department of Oceanography, University of Southampton, UK and a B.Sc. First class (Hon) in 1998 at Department of Environmental Science, University of Lancaster, UK. He worked at the Met Office UK for 5 years in the Oceanography Section, the University of Colorado, USA as an Assistant Research Professor, and at the European Commission Joint Research Centre Italy for 5 years in the Institute for Environment and Sustainability. He was coordinator for the WMO/IOC Joint Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology with expert teams in sea ice, Ocean forecasting systems, wind waves and storm surges, marine safety information services, Marine emergency and response. His main interests in remote sensing of oceans and ice, operational oceanographic service delivery, oceanographic application of satellite data, development of satellite era climate data records of sea surface temperature and sea ice, design, construction, calibration and deployment of sea-going infrared radiometer systems, and validation of satellite ocean data sets. Craig is the Mission Scientist for the Copernicus Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-6 Missions, and for the CIMR mission. Find him on Twitter.

Dr. Felice Vanin studied electrical engineering and have a Ph.D. in applied electromagnetics; in 2004, he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship issued by United States Department of International Education to study at the University of Maryland. He is now with the European Space Agency Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), Noordwijk, The Netherlands, where he is a part of the Copernicus program of the Earth Observation directorate. Dr. Vanin is working for Sentinel 3 and CIMR satellites as the instruments manager of the Sentinel 3 microwave altimeter (SRAL) and microwave radiometer (MWR), and as CIMR system engineer. His main interests are in the area of design and techniques of microwave passive components (e.g. filters, multiplexers, OMT) and satellite payload architectures.