OS Ocean Sciences
The 2021 Division Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award is awarded to Marilena Oltmanns for outstanding research in the role of the oceans in the climate system.
Marilena Oltmanns is an exceptionally gifted physical oceanographer who studies the role of the ocean in the climate system. More specifically, she focuses on ocean-atmosphere-cryosphere interactions in the North Atlantic region. Her work significantly advanced our understanding of the complex processes that control the origin, propagation, and impact of freshwater anomalies in the ocean, a key driver of large and global-scale climate variability.
During her PhD, Oltmanns worked on the Greenland ice sheet and identified complex linkages between local glacier melting and large-scale atmospheric drivers. In her postdoctoral phase, her focus moved to the fate of freshwater in the North Atlantic driving large-scale ocean and atmosphere feedback mechanisms. Her publication record is impressive, with first authorships on several high-profile publications, including a Nature Climate Change article discussing the impact of warm North Atlantic summers on a reduction of winter-season deep water formation and a slowdown of the Atlantic deep ocean circulation. Subsequent studies explore propagation of freshwater anomalies, extreme weather and work that help to improve sub-seasonal to seasonal predictions.
Oltmanns has an outstanding background in physical oceanography, atmospheric physics, fluid dynamics, and statistics. She is a creative and very skilled young scientist who engages in several national and international networks. Oltmanns has excellent communication skills – in a scientific debate but likewise in sharing her excitement for research with students and with the general public. Oltmanns has demonstrated that she is an outstanding young researcher with great potential to become a world-class leader in her field and clearly deserves the Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award for the Ocean Sciences Division.