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Personal profile

Academic Background

Dr Schratzberger is a Principal Marine Ecologist at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), studying the effects of environmental change on marine ecosystems and biodiversity. She obtained a BSc from the University of Hamburg in 1994 for her field survey work on the response of meiofaunal communities to beach nourishment. She was awarded a PhD from the University of Hamburg for her experimental work on the effects of disturbance on nematode assemblages.   


Dr Michaela Schratzberger is a senior scientist with 20 years post-doctoral experience in benthic ecology. Her research focuses on the individual and collective effects of environmental change on marine ecosystems and biodiversity and she has led and co-authored 40 scientific articles. Dr Schratzberger is an Associate Editor of the international peer-reviewed journal Marine Biodiversity and a reviewer for over 20 scientific journals including Nature. Dr Schratzberger is a scientific advisor to the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on biodiversity-related issues in relation to the delivery of a UK network of Marine Protected Areas.


2010 - Present: Principal Marine Ecologist and Science Leader (Cefas). Providing leadership in the delivery, management and development of science within the Science Directorate.

2001 - 2010: Senior Benthic Ecologist (Cefas). Investigating the effects of natural and man-made changes on benthic ecosystems.

1999 - 2001: Benthic Ecologist (Cefas). Assessing changes in benthic community structure in response to environmental change, including anthropogenic pollution.

1998 - 1999: Meiofauna Post-doc (University of Wales). Designing experiments in the field and the laboratory to investigate the response of meiofaunal assemblages to natural and anthropogenic disturbance.

1995 - 1998: PhD student and EU grant holder (University of Hamburg/Plymouth Marine Laboratory). Evaluating the effects of different types and frequencies of disturbance on nematode assemblages.

1994 - 1995: Research assistant (Institute for Hydrobiology and Fisheries Science, University of Hamburg). Studying the resilience of the Wadden Sea.

1992 - 1994: BSc in Biological Oceanography, minor subjects zoology, botany (University of Hamburg). Diploma thesis on the response of meiofaunal communities to beach nourishment.

External Activities

Dr Schratzberger has significant experience and involvement in international and national fora. She chaired the ICES Study Group on Biodiversity Science between 2007 and 2009 and has been a member of the related Working Group since. 

Key Research Interests and Expertise

Changes in benthic communities (esp. meiofauna) in response to environmental change; individual and collective effects of natural and man-made pressures on ecosystems and biodiversity; policy-science interface.

Key Responsibilities

Led Cefas’ scientific contributions to the European Network of Excellence “Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning” (MARBEF www.marbef.org) and the nationally funded “Marine Ecosystems Research Programme” (MERP www.marine-ecosystems.org.uk); led Cefas-funded development programmes on microbial biogeography, microbial ecology and microplastics; supervised three PhD students registered at the University of Essex, Napier University and Sheffield University, respectively, all of who have completed successfully; acted as external examiner for two PhD theses at the University of Gent, Belgium and Murdoch University, Australia, respectively.

Professional Activities

ICES Service Award in recognition of contributions to ICES as chair of the Study Group on Biodiversity Science; Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of East Anglia.

Research Group Membership

Member of the International Association of Meiobenthologists.


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