The PISCES Community


PISCES is a relatively complex model with many highly non-linear parameterizations. Approximatively 100 parameters can be tuned easily through a namelist and numerous others are hard-coded. PISCES therefore requires significant user experience to apprehend the effect of each parameter/parameterization on biogeochemical tracer distributions. Since PISCES is a community-based model, it is essential to provide the user community with training on how to use it and how to develop new features and settings in the code.

The main source of information on PISCES is the GMD publication by Aumont et al. (2015), which describes precisely each equation, the external inputs, the model structure and the coding name of each parameter. In addition, an introductory lesson is given each year to students in several Master degrees (MOCIS, WAPE,…).

As part of the PISCO project, training sessions have been organized every year since 2020, alternating sessions for beginners and advanced users from one year to the next.

  • Beginners session: Introduction to PISCES and marine biogeochemistry modeling, learn how to install, compile, run a basic configuration and study its main results.
  • Advanced users session: Improve the knowledge of the code, especially on aspects such as fine tuning the model and modifying the code.

The organization of the trainings is coordinated by O. Aumont, V. Échevin, C. Éthé, C. Perruche and R. Person of the decision-making committee of PISCO.

Priority is given to master’s and doctoral students, as well as post-doctoral fellows with academic backgrounds in oceanography and marine biogeochemistry, with a limit of 15-20 people depending on whether it is in-person or remote. For applicants, a basic knowledge of Unix is rather necessary.

The dissemination of information on future sessions is sent through different distribution channels including the pisco information list.

For further information, send an email to


Courses, practical work and results from previous training sessions are available at:

  • Advanced User sessions :
    • 2022 session (11-13 October 2022) : click on
      • 13 participants (Master and PhD students, postdoctoral fellows and engineers), including 6 women and 7 men, attended the second advanced user training session on PISCES, from University of Athens, IMARPE, University of Concepción, BSC, Marbec, University of Liverpool, LOCEAN, LEGOS, ENS, LOPS.
    • 2020 session (24-26 November 2020) : click on
      • 11 participants (PhD student, postdoctoral fellows, researchers and engineers), including 5 women and 6 men, attended this first expert-level training session on PISCES, coming from CLS, CNRM, GEOMAR, LEGOS, LEMAR, LOPS, LSCE, Mercator-Ocean and University of Liverpool.
  • Beginner sessions :
    • 2023 session (9-10 October 2023) : click on
      • 16 participants (Master and PhD students, postdoctoral fellows and engineers), including 8 women and 8 men, attended the second entry-level training session on PISCES coming from LOCEAN, CLS, LOPS, Mercator Ocean International, ICML (Mexico), CNRM, Ocean University of China, Sorbonne Université, AWI.
    • 2021 session (28-30 September 2021) : click on
      • 18 people from India, Canada, United Kingdom, Greece, Spain, Sweden, Senegali and France attended the first entry-level training session on PISCES.
Distribution of participant categories over the last 4 training sessions from 2020 to 2023 (58 people)
Screenshot of PISCES 2021 beginner session participants