BIOACID Science Portrait – Maria Moreno de Castro: “A data detective tracking uncertainties”

Maria Moreno de Castro, modeler at Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG), became a scientist because she likes to solve mysteries. Just like a detective, she tries to track uncertainties in scientific findings. “Our daily life is full of uncertainties. In science it’s the same: There are many outcomes, any solutions, many responses that we are not certain and we don’t know. We have to deal with this uncertainty, we have to understand it and know the origins.”

Maria Moreno used model calculations to get a grip on these uncertainties. By using mathematical approaches, she calculates thresholds below which variabilities will not escalate and mask the effect an experiment tries to explore. “Particularly in ecology of ocean acidification the answer is not black or white. Always there will be a grey area”, the young scientist explains. “This is also important when we communicate to policy makers, because it is really not possible.to give just a value to the effect of ocean acidification, but possible scenarios with their probabilities. This is highly difficult, and the best we can do from science.”

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