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Sybil Seitzinger

Professor Emerita & American Geophysical Union Fellow

Environmental Studies

PhD, University of Rhode Island

About Sybil Seitzinger

Dr. Sybil Seitzinger is an interdisciplinary Earth system scientist and organizational leader. Most recently she was a Professor in the School of Environmental Studies at UVic and the Executive Director of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (2015-2022), a multi-university collaboration where she led the development and implementation of a transdisciplinary research approach, engaging research partners with government and private sector partners to co-design, co-develop and co-deliver impactful climate solutions for British Columbia, Canada, and beyond. Previously she was the Executive Director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere program (IGBP), based in Stockholm, Sweden which brought together a network of researchers from across Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe to foster international collaborative research and synthesis on global change (2008-2015). Dr. Seitzinger was Director of the Rutgers/NOAA Cooperative Marine Education and Research Program (1994-2008) and Visiting Professor in the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University; during that time she also worked at UNESCO for one year. 

Dr. Seitzinger holds a PhD in biological oceanography from the University of Rhode Island and an honorary doctorate from Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Dr. Seitzinger is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and chair-elect of the College of Fellows, and a past-President of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography. She serves on the International Sustainability Advisory Board of Utrecht University, and on the Steering Committee of the UN Global Climate Observing System working to advance use of global observations for climate change adaptation. She is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Climate Institute which helps shape evidence-based public policies to advance a net-zero future and adaptation to climate change.

Professor Seitzinger is highly cited, with more than 130 peer-reviewed publications to her credit. Her research has centered on nutrient biogeochemistry in coastal marine and freshwater ecosystems, spanning a range of spatial scales from molecular level organic chemical characterization to models at global scales, with the impact of human activities being a common theme. Through an international collaboration, she led the development of a spatially explicit, multi-nutrient, watershed model, Global NEWS, which has been applied to watersheds globally under a range of policy and development scenarios.  She has also dabbled in atmospheric chemistry, including aqueous phase secondary organic aerosol formation. She received the A.C. Redfield Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (2020), the President’s Distinguished Achievement award from the University of Rhode Island (2011) and the Certificate of Special US Congressional Recognition (2011).