Julio M. Morell
Professor Julio M. Morell Rodríguez is the Executive Director and Principal Investigator of the Caribbean Coastal Ocean Observing System (CARICOOS), a regional component of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, he received a B.Sc. at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras. Trained in Chemical Oceanography at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, since 1999 he has served as a research professor at the Department of Marine Sciences. Fields pursued in his career include plankton metabolism, pollution by oil, debris and anthropogenic nutrients and the study of tropical marine biogeochemical processes including their role in modulating atmospherically active (greenhouse) gases.
Professor Morell also participated in interdisciplinary research efforts towards identifying the influence of major river plumes (Orinoco and Amazon) and mesoscale processes, such as eddies and internal waves, on the optical, physical and biogeochemical character of Eastern Caribbean waters. More recent research targets include the diverse expressions of climate and ocean acidification in our oceanic and coastal surroundings.
Professor Morell has looked at the ocean as his recreational ground; that has also made him aware of high priority coastal information needs faced by diverse societal sectors in the Caribbean. For more than a decade, Prof. Morell has focused in the development of and CARICOOS with the goal of providing for said needs. This has required continuous engagement of stakeholder sectors and building strategic partnerships with pertinent research, educational, federal, state and private entities that have made CARICOOS a reality. CARICOOS serves critical data and information in support of safe coastal communities and infrastructure, safe and efficient maritime activities and management of coastal resources.
Among other activities, he serves as an advisor to the Puerto Rico Climate Change Council, the UPR Sea Grant program and the Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.