Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Phone number
+31 (0)222 369 357
Tenure track Scientist
  • Marine optics
  • Remote sensing

Dr. Jaime Pitarch Portero

Tenure track Scientist


Scientific aspects related to aquatic optics and second-order variability of main optical constituents


Research Interests

My current research interests are all scientific aspects related to aquatic optics, or how light interacts with matter and the derived interpretations in terms of ecology and pollution. I study radiative transfer processes to understand the light field in the water as a function of the water properties and the surface light forcing. I work with satellite images from medium-resolution sensors (MERIS, OLCI, MODIS, SeaWiFS) to study global and local processes in lakes and oceans at various time scales. I work with optical in-situ data collected by radiometers and spectrophotometers to help interpreting the optical signal in terms of the water constituents.

Currently I am very interested in studying second-order variability of main optical constituents like phytoplankton and sediments in the water: to understand the variations of the light field when not only the total concentration but the internal composition of these varies. The main goal is to obtain new knowledge about phytoplankton species composition and sediment granulometry from wide-range and long term observations.



From 2017: Tenure track scientist at the Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), Department of Coastal Systems (COS)

2014-2017: Postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (CNR-ISAC) at Rome

2011-2013: Postdoctoral researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) at Kastanienbaum

2010-2011: Associate lecturer at the University of Girona

2002-2007: PhD student at the Technical University of Valencia



J. Pitarch, H. J. van der Woerd, R. J. W. Brewin, O. Zielinski, ' Optical properties of Forel-Ule water types deduced from 15 years of global satellite ocean color observations ,' accepted for publication in Remote Sensing of Environment (2019).

J. Pitarch, 'Biases in ocean color over a Secchi disk,' Opt. Express 25, A1124-A1131 (2017).

J. Pitarch, A. Ruiz-Verdú, M. D. Sendra, and R. Santoleri, 'Evaluation and reformulation of the maximum peak height algorithm (MPH) and application in a hypertrophic lagoon,' Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 122, 1206-1221 (2017).

J. Pitarch, G. Volpe, S. Colella, H. Krasemann, and R. Santoleri, 'Remote sensing of chlorophyll in the Baltic Sea at basin scale from 1997 to 2012 using merged multi-sensor data,' Ocean Sci. 12, 379-389 (2016).

J. Pitarch, G. Volpe, S. Colella, R. Santoleri, and V. Brando, 'Absorption correction and phase function shape effects on the closure of apparent optical properties,' Appl. Opt. 55, 8618-8636 (2016).

Please visit my full list of publications on Google Scholar.


Professional education

2008: Ph.D in Electrical Engineering at the Technical University of Valencia.

2002: in Electrical Engineering at the Technical University of Valencia.

NIOZ publications