Luisa Cristini is a climate scientist and project manager currently working at the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI).
Originally from Italy, she studied physics at the University of Padua in Italy where she graduated in 2006 with a thesis in coastal oceanography modelling sediment fluxes in the estuary of the Portuguese river Tagus, which she carried out at the Technical University of Lisbon in Portugal, within the ERASMUS programme.
Afterwards she moved to Germany where she worked on her Ph.D. in climate sciences at AWI researching the causes of the Antarctic glaciation in the Cenozoic with a coupled ocean-atmosphere-ice sheet model. She received her doctoral degree from the University of Bremen in Spring 2010 and started a post-doc at the Max Planck Institute in Hamburg soon after focusing on ocean-atmosphere-Greenland ice sheet interactions under future climate scenarios.
In early 2011 she moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, and became involved in several activities first within the NOAA Seagrant College Program and then at the College of Social Sciences, both at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She mostly researched climate change impacts in Hawaii and the Pacific region with focus on climate-related natural hazards and looking at consequences for coastal communities and economies. She engaged in several activities (e.g., building a multidisciplinary network for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in Asia-Pacific) and committees (e.g., producing an Ocean Resources Management Plan with the State of Hawaii’s Department of Planning), which gave her the opportunity to work with a wide variety of people from different sectors, such as academia, industry, government and NGO’s.
In summer 2013 she moved to the UK to work as project manager at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton where she managed an EU-funded international project on operational oceanography and was involved in several other projects and activities including the role of Early Career Scientists Coordinator within the Challenger Society, the largest learned society for marine sciences in the UK. While in the UK, Luisa also received the Project Management Professional certification (PMP) awarded by the Project Management Institute (PMI), the world’s largest association of professional project managers.
Since February 2018 Luisa is working as scientific project manager at AWI directing the day-to-day operations for two large collaborations on climate modelling, one European and one national. Her work includes organising meetings and conferences, developing implementation plans and schedules, communicating with internal and external stakeholders, overseeing finances and reporting, leading outreach and knowledge transfer activities and more generally being the main point of contacts for the two projects.
When she’s not working, Luisa enjoys reading and writing, running, watching TV series, travelling, photography and playing hide-and-seek with her 3-years old son.