People > Dr Stefano Ciavatta

Dr Stefano Ciavatta

Marine System Scientist/Modeller

Contact Details

+44 (0)1752 633100 (switchboard)


Dr Stefano Ciavatta is a Senior Scientist at PML. Prior to working at PML, Stefano studied for his MSc and PhD (both in Environmental Sciences) at the University of Venice, Italy.

Stefano’s main scientific activity is the development and assessment of biogeochemical data assimilation systems, to improve the simulations of marine ecosystem models (e.g. ERSEM, the European Regional Seas Ecosystem Model). He applies data assimilation also to time series models, to investigate the trend and seasonal cycle of marine biogeochemical data, and to understand changes in the plankton trophic dynamics.

Other areas of research and application are the sensitivity/uncertainty analysis of marine system models and the statistical analysis of monitoring data.

Stefano has been a Lecturer of Mathematics at the University of Venice for four years. He is an active member of the Data Assimilation Working Group of the National Centre for Ocean Forecasting (NCOF) and Data Assimilation expert in ESA’s Ocean Colour – Climate Change Initiative (OC-CCI).

He is also an occasional reviewer for the following journals: Ocean Science, Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science, Ecological Modelling, Climate Research, Journal of Environmental Management, Environmental Modelling and Assessment.



Combining Autonomous observations and Models for Predicting and Understanding Shelf seas

Contact: Dr Stefano Ciavatta

CAMPUS is a three-year project (2018–2021), funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, combining state-of-the-art computer modelling...


Optical data modelling and assimilation (OPTIMA)

Contact: Dr Stefano Ciavatta

OPTIMA will advance the capacity of the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) to accurately assess the state of the marine...

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Other key projects

FP7 Project OPEC (OPerational ECology, Marine ecosystem forecasting), European Commission.

FP7 Project MEDINA (Marine Ecosystem Dynamics and Indicators for North Africa) , European Commission.

NCEO “Carbon Cycle” Project (National Centre for Earth Observation, Carbon cycle), NERC, UK.

CMCC Project (Centro Euro-Mediterraneo per i Cambiamenti Climatici), CMCC, Italy.

Recent publications

  • Fennel, K; Gehlen, M; Brasseur, P; Brown, CW; Ciavatta, S; Cossarini, G; Crise, A; Edwards, CA; Ford, D; Friedrichs, MAM; Gregoire, M; Jones, E; Kim, H-C; Lamouroux, J; Murtugudde, R; Perruche, C. 2019 Advancing Marine Biogeochemical and Ecosystem Reanalyses and Forecasts as Tools for Monitoring and Managing Ecosystem Health. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6.
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  • Moore, AM; Martin, MJ; Akella, S; Arango, HG; Balmaseda, M; Bertino, L; Ciavatta, S; Cornuelle, B; Cummings, J; Frolov, S; Lermusiaux, P; Oddo, P; Oke, PR; Storto, A; Teruzzi, A; Vidard, A; Weaver, AT. 2019 Synthesis of Ocean Observations Using Data Assimilation for Operational, Real-Time and Reanalysis Systems: A More Complete Picture of the State of the Ocean. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6.
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  • Leles, SG; Polimene, L; Bruggeman, J; Blackford, JC; Ciavatta, S; Mitra, A; Flynn, KJ. 2018 Modelling mixotrophic functional diversity and implications for ecosystem function. Journal Of Plankton Research.
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  • Skákala, J; Ford, D; Brewin, RJW; McEwan, R; Kay, S; Taylor, BH; de Mora, L; Ciavatta, S. 2018 The Assimilation of Phytoplankton Functional Types for Operational Forecasting in the Northwest European Shelf. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans.
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  • Ciavatta, S; Brewin, RJW; Skákala, J; Polimene, L; Artioli, Y; Allen, JI; de Mora, L. 2018 Assimilation of ocean-colour plankton functional types to improve marine ecosystem simulations. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans.
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  • Sankar, S; Polimene, L; Marin, L; Menon, NN; Samuelsen, A; Pastres, R; Ciavatta, S. 2018 Sensitivity of the simulated Oxygen Minimum Zone to biogeochemical processes at an oligotrophic site in the Arabian Sea. Ecological Modelling, 372. 12-23.
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Selected key publications

Lovato T., Ciavatta S, Brigolin D., Rubino A and R Pastres, 2013, Modelling dissolved oxygen and benthic algae dynamics in a coastal ecosystem by exploiting real-time monitoring data, Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science, 119, 17-30.

Roy, S., Broomhead, D., Platt, T., Sathyendranath, S., Ciavatta, S. 2012. Sequential variations of phytoplankton growth and mortality in an NPZ model: A remote-sensing-based assessment of the sequential variations of phytoplankton growth and mortality in an NPZ model. Journal of Marine Systems, 92(1), 16-29.

Ciavatta, S., R. Torres, S. Saux Picart and J.I. Allen, 2011. Can ocean color assimilation improve biogeochemical hindcasts in shelf seas?. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, C12043, 19 PP., doi:10.1029/2011JC007219.

Ciavatta, S., and R. Pastres, 2011. Exploring the long-term and interannual variability of biogeochemical variables in coastal areas by means of a data assimilation approach, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 91 (3), 411–422.

Ciavatta, S., Lovato T., Ratto M., Pastres R, 2009. Global Uncertainty and Sensitivity Analysis of a food web bioaccumulation model. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 28(4), 718-732.

Ciavatta, S., Pastres, R., Badetti, C., and Ferrari, G, Beck, M.B, 2008. Estimation of phytoplanktonic production and system respiration from data collected by a real-time monitoring network in the Lagoon of Venice. Ecological Modelling, 212, 28-36.