Maike Sonnewald

Maike Sonnewald

Position Title
Assistant Professor

  • Computer Science

I lead the Computational Climate and Ocean Group ( My work targets grand challenges with the aim of improving ocean and climate understanding and resilience. Solutions to the challenges humanity, and the world, face are inherently interdisciplinary, and so is my lab. My interests include sea level, climate modes (such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation), basin scale ocean dynamics and biogeochemistry. Blending cutting-edge computational with Earth Science tools and knowledge, I combine theory, observations, and numerics to pioneer methods and create insight. I focus on data mining, sparse data inference and physics driven machine learning, as well as generating fundamental insight into the climate and ocean system.  Ultimately, I aim to improve long-range forecasts (weeks to months) and climate projections.

My works’ impact spans academia and policy. It is featured in the NOAA AI strategy 2021-2025, and used in the science basis for New Zealand's Marine Protected Area legislation. I am cited by the European Parliament and the World Meteorological Organization. My over 60 invited talks include to the United Nations ITU, NOAA Research and the DOE, as well colloquia and major conferences. I am an Associate Editor for the 'Artificial Intelligence for the Earth Systems' (AIES) journal by the American Meteorological Society, have authored numerous review articles and I publish in high impact journals (Science/Nature). 


UC Davis: Assistant Professor (3)

Affiliate Positions:
U Washington: Affiliate Faculty

NOAA-GFDL: Affiliate Researcher 

Princeton: Visiting Scientists 

Past positions:

2020-2023: Princeton, Associate Research Scholar

2016-2020: MIT, Postdoctoral Associate 

Visiting: Harvard, U Texas at Austin, U Grenoble




Education and Degree(s)
  • PhD: University of Southampton, Complex Systems Simulation
  • MSci: University of Southampton, Complex Systems Simulation
  • MSci: University of Southampton, Oceanography