Caroline Katsman


Caroline Katsman is Professor in Oceans and Climate, focusing on the large-scale ocean circulation and its role for climate.

She holds an MSc in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography from Utrecht University (1996, cum laude). She received her PhD from that university in 2001, on a research project on the wind-driven ocean circulation carried out at both at KNMI (Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute) and Utrecht University. As a postdoctoral scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (USA), she shifted focus to the role of ocean eddies (whirls in the ocean) for the circulation in the Labrador Sea (2001-2003).   

Prof. Katsman returned to KNMI as a climate researcher in 2003. There, she further developed her specific field of expertise: the role of the ocean in the current and future climate, with an emphasis on ocean warming and future sea level change. Besides her scientific work, she advised the Dutch government on coastal defense policy strategies, based on the scenarios for regional sea level change she developed with co-workers at Utrecht University and Delft University of Technology. In 2008, she published extreme high-end scenarios for local sea level rise at the request of the “Nieuwe Delta Commissie” (a state committee installed by the Dutch government to assess the country’s flood defense strategies in light of future climate change).

In 2014, she received a personal mid-career grant (NWO-VIDI grant) to study how ocean eddies govern the response of the ocean circulation to high-latitude climate change. In that same year she became an Associate Professor in Physical Oceanography at Delft University of Technology, at the faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Environmental Fluid Mechanics section.

Her research on the Caribbean Sea, funded through her Delft Technology Fellowship start grant and personal Aspasia grant, appeared to be the driving force for a newly-developed line of research where she is actively involved in the collection and analysis of ocean observations. Through these activities, which complement her ocean modelling projects, she has established new connections with the bio-geochemical oceanographic community in the Netherlands, and has given TU Delft students unique opportunities to get acquainted with sea-going research. 

She has continued her work on the development of scenarios for sea-level rise that she started during her previous employment as climate researcher at KNMI. This work directly feeds into climate policy development via IPCC Assessment Reports and KNMI climate scenario updates. 

In 2022, the Board of Directors of Delft University of Technology appointed Caroline Katsman as Professor of Oceans and Climate. 

More information about Caroline Katsman, her research group and their focus can be found on their website.


Media Attention - 2019
Hoe reageren de oceanen op klimaatverandering? - 2019

Universiteit van Nederland - 2018
Wat gebeurt er als de Atlantische Oceaan anders gaat stromen? - 2018

NICO Oceaanexpeditie Caribbean Sea - via Kennislink - 2018
Storm ín zee - 2018
De zoektocht naar een wervel - 2018
Voor het eerst opgemeten: stilte ín de storm - 2018

VIDI onderzoek - NWO Hypothese
Wervelend de diepzee in - 2018

Stories of science
Sinking sea water and rising sea level (English version) /
Zakkend water en zeespiegelstijging (Dutch version) - 2017


Caroline Katsman

Professor of Oceans and Climate

Presence: Mon - Fri

Secondary Company: IMAU, Utrecht University