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Young researchers in the spotlight: Lucía Gutiérrez-Loza

3 May 2024

We are writing profiles on early career researchers to make our younger scientists and their research more visible. It’s Lucía’s turn in the spotlight!

Lucía, please introduce yourself and tell us about yourself – who are you? where do you work?

My name is Lucía Gutiérrez-Loza and I am an Early Career Researcher in PolarRES. I am
originally from Mexico and now living in Bergen, Norway, working as a post-doc at NORCE
Norwegian Research Centre.

What do you do for PolarRES? Is it the first project you’ve worked on?

In PolarRES, I work in WP4 and WP5 focusing on ocean-atmosphere-ice interactions in the
polar regions as part of the coupled climate system. My focus is on studying the
interactions between ocean physics and biogeochemistry in the Arctic and Antarctic, using
outputs from regional climate models. With this work, we want to provide knowledge about
key physical and biogeochemical processes at local to regional scale, as well as to further
understand the implications of these processes for the Earth system changing climate.
PolarRES is not the first project I work on, before starting my position as a post-doc in
PolarRES on December 2022, I did my PhD in Meteorology at Uppsala University in
Sweden. During that time, I worked in the ‘Integrated carboN and TracE Gas monitorRing
for the bALtic sea (INTEGRAL)’ project where my main research was focused on the study
of air-sea interactions, particularly, looking into carbon fluxes. Before that, I obtained my M.
Sc. degree in Physical Oceanography at Centro de Investigación Científica y Educación
Superior de Ensenada (CICECE) in México, where I also worked in a project on the topic of
air-sea gas exchange.

What is the most interesting thing you learned working on PolarRES?

My previous work was mostly focusing on physical processes associated to ocean-
atmosphere interactions. Working in PolarRES opened my horizon towards the ‘living
things’ and the whole new world (for me) of the ocean biogeochemistry. I have to say that,
physics is easier… but I am definitely loving this challenge. By looking both at the physical,
as well as the biogeochemical processes, I am getting a more holistic understanding of the

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Are you still a researcher? What are you working on?

I would love to continue with my research career! I see myself working on air-sea
interaction processes, hopefully, using both models and observations. I am not sure about
the whereabouts of the ‘future me’ but I definitely see mountains, ocean, and field

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I wanted to be a marine biologist, I don’t think I fully understood what was that about, and
thinking about it, I don’t think I would’ve liked it as much as what a do now. The important
thing is that, as a marine biologist, one lives by the sea and gets to work in the ocean, or
that’s what I thought anyways.

Who is your science idol? Someone you wish you could have a conversation with (from the past or contemporary).

I don’t think I have a ‘science idol’ per se, but there are a bunch of people I would like to
have a conversation with, for sure. One of them is Simone Melchior, she was an explorer
and wife of Jacques Cousteau (btw, if he is around during my conversation with Simone, I
would gladly speak to him as well). Simone was the first woman scuba diver and, in many
ways, in charge of most of the exploration trips made by Jacques Cousteau and his team.
From the past, I would also like to have a conversation with Marie Tharp, who
discovered the mid-Atlantic ridge. And finally, with Cristiana Figureres, she is more like a
diplomat rather than a scientist but I find her work, linked to climate policy, totally

What cool Arctic/Antarctica fact is your go-to icebreaker?

The ice sheet that covers Antarctica is several kilometres thick – almost 5 kilometers at the maximum. That’s a lot of ice! I find that mind-blowing!