Postdoctoral researcher focusing on in situ and satellite ocean observations to understand mesoscale and submesoscale dynamics as well as the inference of vertical motions and their impact on marine ecosystems.
Bàrbara Barceló-Llull developed her PhD thesis at the Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain). After that she was a postdoctoral fellow at IMEDEA (Spain) for 1 year and at the University of Washington (USA) for 18 months. Since 2020, she is the task leader of the H2020 EuroSea project at IMEDEA.
SWOT-AdAC: What is your field of research and how did you choose it?
Bàrbara Barceló-Lull: My line of research is the analysis of in situ and satellite ocean observations to understand mesoscale and submesoscale dynamics (spatial scales between ~1-100 km), as well as the inference of vertical motions and their impact on marine ecosystems.
After finishing my degree in Physics, I decided to investigate the ocean because I am an islander in love with the sea and also because I found a good mentor. During my first research, I studied vertical motions in mesoscale features and I chose to continue with this line of research because (sub)mesoscale dynamics have an important role in the exchange of tracers in the ocean, but there are still many questions to be answered, such as what is the role of these structures on the climate system or on the biological pump.
SWOT-AdAC: How is your field of research related to SWOT?
BBL: SWOT will allow, for the first time, the observation of fine scales globally from space. This will have a huge impact on our understanding of these features and will open new lines of research.
SWOT-AdAC: What do you find exciting about SWOT and the FaSt-SWOT campaign in which you will be participating? How will you contribute to the campaign?
BBL: With SWOT we will have the opportunity to look at the scales that have an important role on the regulation of Earth’s climate and on the distribution of nutrients and carbon. We only know that these structures are important, but we haven’t “seen” them in detail and globally. SWOT opens a new door for physical oceanographers, and we expect amazing discoveries from it. With FaSt-SWOT we will validate the first observations from SWOT near Mallorca (Spain), which is already interesting per se, but we will additionally study the 3D dynamics associated with the fine-scale features observed by SWOT, i.e., we will provide additional observations below the surface layer. This will allow a complete understanding of the 3D dynamics associated with the structures detected by SWOT.
I contribute to the FaSt-SWOT experiments through the planning of the sampling strategy. During the H2020 EuroSea project, I conducted Observing System Simulation Experiments to evaluate different sampling strategies to validate SWOT. The experience gained during the EuroSea project has been the base to design the FaSt-SWOT experiments.
SWOT-AdAC: What are your plans after the SWOT-AdAC campaign
BBL: I have applied for a post-doctoral contract in the framework of the FaSt-SWOT project. If I am selected, I will analyze the first observations from SWOT in the Balearic Sea, and also the measurements collected during FaSt-SWOT. So exciting!