Michaela Schratzberger


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Personal profile

Academic Background

Dr Michaela Schratzberger is a Principal Marine Ecologist. 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 Science Director at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science in Lowestoft (UK), responsible for approximately 140 scientific and technical staff working in the broad area of environmental science. She has over 20 years post-doctoral experience in marine 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 over 50 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.


2022 - present: Science Director (Cefas). Responsible for approximately 140 scientific and technical staff working in the broad area of environmental science.

2010 - 2022: 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 Michaela 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 or Lab Membership

Member of the International Association of Meiobenthologists.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water


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