Max Planck Gesellschaft

--- Former member ---

Karel Castro Morales

PostDoc at the Terrestrial Biosphere Modelling group
Room: C3.007 (tower)
Phone: +49 3641 576376

Research Focus:

- Implications of climate change in the carbon cycle of global terrestrial ecosystems

- The role of gases in biogeochemical cycles of polar regions and their variability due to climate change

Research Interests:

  • Interactions between land, sea ice, atmosphere and water in coupled numerical models
  • Gas exchange between ocean, ice and atmosphere and the role of gases (methane and oxygen) in biogeochemical cycles,
  • Stable isotope applications in environmental samples,

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Research Activities:

In my research activities with numerical models, I am interested on how models simulate different components of the carbon cycle. As a bottom-up approach, I look at methane emissions from permafrost soils at regional scale in Northeast Siberia. The gas emissions are simulated with the land surface process-based JSBACH model (component of the MPI-Earth System Model). To validate the model performance, I use observations at different scales like data from eddy covariance towers and point data from chamber measurements. As a top-down approach, I use the Max Planck Institute - Carbon Cycle Data Assimilation System (MPI-CCDAS) that assimilates observational data from remote sensing and flux towers to improve the representation of gross production at global scale.

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Current Projects:


PROPERAQUA - Primary Production in Permafrost-Influenced Aquatic Ecosystems of the Arctic, Group Leader (start 12.2018), DFG funded.

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Since Dec. 2018, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Faculty of Biology, Institute of Biodiversity, Jena, Germany.

2015-Nov. 2018, Postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany.

2011-2014, Postdoc at the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research,

Climate Sciences division, Bremerhaven, Germany.

2007-2011, Research Assistant (PhD), University of East Anglia, School of Environmental Sciences,
Norwich, United Kingdom.

2002-2005, MSc. Coastal Oceanography, Autonomous University of Baja California, Institute of Oceanologic Research, Ensenada, Mexico.

1998-2001, BSc. Oceanology, Autonomous University of Baja California, Faculty of Marine Sciences,
Ensenada, Mexico.



Castro-Morales, K., G.J. Schürmann, C. Köstler, C. Rödenbeck, M. Heimann and S. Zaehle, 2018, Three decades of carbon cycle reanalysis with the MPI-CCDAS, in preparation.

Castro-Morales, K., Kleinen, T., Kaiser, S., Zaehle, S., Kittler, F., Kwon, M. J., Beer, C., Göckede, M. 2018. Year-round simulated methane emissions from a permafrost ecosystem in Northeast Siberia. Biogeosciences, 15(9), 2691-2722. doi:10.5194/bg-15-2691-2018.


Castro-Morales, K., R. Ricker, R. Gerdes, 2017. Regional distribution and variability of model-simulated Arctic snow on sea ice, Polar Science, Vol. 13, 33-49; doi:10.1016/j.polar.2017.05.003.

Kaiser, S., M. Göckede, K. Castro-Morales, C. Knoblauch, A. Ekici, T. Kleinen, S. Zubrzycki, T. Sachs, C. Wille and C. Beer. Process-based modelling of methane balance in periglacial landscapes (JSBACH-methane), 2017. Geoscientific Model Development, Vol. 10, 333-358; doi:10.5194/gmd-10-333-2017.


Castro-Morales, K., F. Kauker, M. Losch, S. Hendricks, K. Riemann-Campe and R. Gerdes. Sensitivity of simulated Arctic sea ice to realistic ice thickness distributions and snow parameterizations, 2014. Journal of Geophysical Research: oceans, Vol. 119, 1-13; doi:10.1002/2013JC009342.

Castro-Morales, K., J.V. Macias-Zamora, S.R. Canino-Herrera and R.A. Burke. Dissolved methane concentration and flux in the coastal zone of the Southern California Bight-Mexican sector: possible influence of wastewater, 2014. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, Vol. 144, 65-74; doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2014.04.017.


Macias-Zamora, J.V., K. Castro-Morales, R.A. Burke and M.Lopez-Mariscal, 2013. Dissolved methane in the sills region of the Gulf of California, 2013. Ciencias Marinas, Vol. 39, No.2, 119-135; doi:10.7773/cm.v39i2.2232.

Castro-Morales, K., N. Cassar, D.R. Shoosmith and J. Kaiser. Biological production in the Bellingshausen Sea from oxygen-to-argon ratios and oxygen triple isotopes, 2013. Biogeosciences, Vol. 10, 2273-2291; doi:10.5194/bg-10-2273-2013.


Castro-Morales, K. and J. Kaiser. Using dissolved oxygen concentrations to determine mixed layer depths in the Bellingshausen Sea, 2011. Ocean Science, Vol.8, 1-10; doi:10.5194/os-8-1-2012.


Castro-Morales, K.. Marine productivity estimates from dissolved gas measurements in the Southern Ocean, 2010. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom.


Thompson, A., Castro-Morales, K., Chapman, G., Grant, H., Heywood, K., Jullion, L., Kaiser, J., Luijting, H., Matthews, A., Mountifield, D., Naveira-Garabato, A., Nunes, N., Renner, A., Screen, J., Singhruck, P., Trasviña Castro, A., Trevett, D., ADELIE - Antarctic Drifter Experiment: Links to Isobaths and Ecosystems, 2007, Cruise report.


Castro-Morales, K., Dissolved Methane in the Southern California Bight: from the Mexico-USA border to Todos Santos Bay, 2005. MSc. Thesis, Autonomous University of Baja California, Mexico, 180 pag.

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Max Planck Institute-Carbon Cycle Data Assimilation System (MPI-CCDAS)

CarboPerm project (BMBF German-Russian Collaboration)

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