Dr Marie-Fanny Racault

Earth Observation Scientist

Dr Marie-Fanny Racault

Contact Details

+44 (0)1752 633434 (switchboard)

Dr Marie-Fanny Racault has research expertise is in applications of earth observations, particularly in studying the influence of global and regional climate phenomena (El Niño, IOD…) on the year-to-year variability of primary producers, and assessing future changes under global warming. She has developed phenology algorithms to quantify plankton seasonal cycle in the global oceans and also in regional ecosystems such as the Red Sea coral reefs.

She is dedicated towards capacity building, working with fellows from developing countries, and developing educational and research tools.

Key Projects

Principal investigator:

  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Long-Term Invitational Fellowship to study the Climate Impact of El Niño on the Indian Ocean Ecosystem Resources (2017)
  • UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Advanced Training Course on Ocean-Colour Data in Climate Studies for early-career researchers (2017)
  • ESA Living Planet Fellowship on the assessment of Climate Impact on the Marine Ecosystem State in the global oceans CLIMARECOS (2015-2017)
  • Work Package on the evaluation of the ocean-colour archive of CZCS for climate-related studies in ESA OC-CCI Phase 2 (2014-2015)

Other involvements:

  • Researcher: EO Team, UK National Centre for Earth Observation (2015-present)
  • Researcher: EO Team, ESA Ocean Colour Climate Change Initiative (2014-present)
  • Researcher: Integrated Global Biogeochemical Modelling Network iMarNet (2013-2014)
  • Researcher: Work Package on the development of Ecological Indicators for ecosystem state monitoring and evaluation in EC FP7 GreenSeas (2011-2014)
  • Researcher: Ecosystem Health Working Group (lead by Cefas, UK) for indicators for the eutrophication and food web descriptors of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive MSFD (2011-2013)
  • Researcher: Work Package on Ecological Indicators in EC FP7 Marine Ecosystem Dynamics and Indicators for North Africa (2011-2013)
  • Contributor: SCOR Working Group on developing a global strategy for Capacity Building in ocean sciences http://www.scor-int.org/CB_Summit.htm (2010)
  • Contributor: GEOSS Monitoring and Evaluation Working Group for the establishment of performance indicators, WMO, Geneva (2009)

Other Activities


  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship (2017)
  • ESA Living Planet Fellowship (2015-2017)
  • 1st Prize ESA Bilko Learn Earth Observation LearnEO! lesson (2015)
  • Early Career Scientist best oral presentation award at the ICES Annual Science Conference in Bergen, Norway (2012)
  • Best oral presentation award at the international climate change symposium on “The Effects of Climate Change on the World’s Oceans”, Yeosu Expo, South Korea (2012)
  • NSF award to attend the International Graduate Training Course in Antarctic Marine Biology at McMurdo Station, Antarctica (2008)
  • British Council “Entente Cordiale" Fellowship to study a MPhil (2005-2006)

Supervision and mentoring:

  • Advisor POGO-SCOR Post-doctoral Fellow Dr J-B. Kassi from Centre Universitaire de Recherche et d’Application en Télédétection, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (2016)
  • Advisor PhD Fellow P. Salgado from Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA), Spain (2016)
  • Advisor MSc student A-H. Rêve from Université de Lille, France (2014)
  • Co-advisor PhD Visiting Fellow K. Kim from KIOST, South Korea (2013-2014)
  • Advisor POGO-SCOR MSc Fellow J. Ezekiel from Dar-Es-Salaam University, Tanzania (2013)
  • Advisor EAMNet Post-doctoral Fellow Dr L. Akpetou from Centre de Recherches Océanologiques, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (2011)

Educational and outreach activities:


Topical sessions:

  • Chair “Remote-sensing of the Marine Environment” at Challenger Conference, Plymouth (UK) in 2014.
  • Co-chair “Plankton Phenology: drivers, variability and impacts” at Ocean Sciences, Salt Lake City (USA) in 2012.
  • Rapporteur “Building an African Ocean and Aquatic System” at 8th International Conference of AARSE, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) in 2010.


Racault, M.-F., Sathyendranath, S., Brewin, R.J.W., Raitsos, D.E., Jackson, T., Platt, T. (2017) Impact of El Niño Variability on Oceanic Phytoplankton. Frontiers in Marine Science, doi:10.3389/fmars.2017.00133. 

Racault, M.-F., Sathyendranath, S., Menon, N., Platt. T. (2017) Phenological responses to ENSO in the global oceans. Surveys in Geophysics, 38: 277. doi:10.1007/s10712-016-9391-1. 

Peer-reviewed publications

Racault, M.-F., Raitsos, D.E., Berumen, M. L., Brewin, R.W.J., Platt, T., Sathyendranath, S., and Hoteit, I. (2015) Phytoplankton phenology indices in coral reef ecosystems: application to ocean-colour observations in the Red Sea, Remote Sensing of Environment, doi:10.1016/j.rse.2015.01.019, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0034425715000371

Thomalla, S.J., Racault, M.-F., Swart, S., and Monteiro, P.M.S. (2015) High-resolution view of the spring bloom initiation and net community production in the Subantarctic Southern Ocean using glider data, ICES Journal of Marine Science, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsv105.

Raitsos, D.E., Yi, X., Platt, T., Racault, M.-F., Brewin, R.J.W., Pradhan, Y.,  Papadopoulos, V., Sathyendranath, S., and S. Hoteit, I. (2015) Monsoon oscillations regulate fertility of the Red Sea, Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1002/2014GL062882, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GL062882/full

Brewin, R.J.W., Raitsos, D.E., Dall'Olmo, G., Zarokanellos, N., Jackson, T., Racault, M.-F., Boss, E.S., Sathyendranath, S., Jones, B.H., and Hoteit, I. (2015) Regional ocean-colour chlorophyll algorithms for the Red Sea, Remote Sensing of Environment, doi:10.1016/j.rse.2015.04.024.

Agirbas, E., Martinez-Vicente, V., Brewin, R. J.W., Racault, M.-F., Airs, R., and Llewellyn, C. (2015). Temporal changes in total and size-fractioned chlorophyll-a in surface waters of three provinces in the Atlantic Ocean (September to November) between 2003 and 2010. Journal of Marine Systems, doi:10.1016/j.jmarsys.2015.05.008.

Kwiatkowski, L., Yool, A., Allen, J.I., Anderson, T.R., Barciela, R., Buitenhuis, E.T., Butenschön, M., Enright, C., Halloran, P.R., Le Quéré, C., de Mora, L., Racault, M.-F., Sinha, B., Totterdell, I.J., and Cox, P.M. (2015) iMarNet: an ocean biogeochemistry model intercomparison project, Biogeosciences, doi:10.5194/bg-11-7291-2014, http://www.biogeosciences.net/11/7291/2014/bg-11-7291-2014.pdf

Racault, M.-F., Sathyendranath, S., and Platt, T. (2014) Impact of missing data on the estimation of ecological indicators from satellite ocean-colour time-series. Remote Sensing of Environment, doi:10.1016/j.rse.2014.05.016.

Racault, M.-F., Platt, T., Sathyendranath, S., Ağirbaș, E., Martinez Vicente, V., and Brewin, R.W.J. (2014). Plankton indicators and ocean observing systems: support to the marine ecosystem state assessment. Journal of Plankton Research, 36: 621 – 629, doi:10.1093/plankt/fbu016, http://plankt.oxfordjournals.org/content/36/3/621.short

Land, P., Shutler, J., Platt, T., and Racault, M.-F., (2014). A novel method to retrieve oceanic phenology from satellite data in the presence of data gaps. Ecological Indicators, 37: 67–80, doi:10.1016/j.ecolind.2013.10.008.

Tett, P., Gowen, R., Painting, S., Elliott, M., Foster, R., Mills, D., Bresnan, E., Capuzzo, E., Fernandes, T., Foden, J., Geider, R., Gilpin, L., Huxham, M., McQuatters-Gollop, A., Malcolm, S., Saux Picart, S., Platt, T., Racault, M.-F., Sathyendranath, S., and Wilkinson, M. (2013). A framework for understanding marine ecosystem health. Marine Ecology Progress Series, doi:10.3354/meps10539.

Alvain S., Le Quéré, C., Bopp, L., Racault, M.-F., Beaugrand, G.P., Dessailly, D., and Buitenhuis, E.T. (2013). Rapid climatic driven shifts of diatoms at high latitudes, Remote Sensing of Environment, 132, 195-201, doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2013.01.014.

Racault, M.-F., Le Quéré, C., Buitenhuis, E., Sathyendranath, S., and Platt, T. (2012) Phytoplankton phenology in the global ocean. Ecological indicators, 14, 152-163. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2011.07.010.

Silberfeld, T., Racault, M.-F., Fletcher, R.L., Couloux, A., Rousseau, F. and De Reviers, B. (2011) Systematics and evolutionary history of pyrenoid bearing taxa in brown algae (Phaeophyceae), European Journal of Phycology, 46, 362-378.

Racault, M.-F., Fletcher, R.L., Reviers de B., Cho, G.Y., Boo, S.M., Parente, M.I. and Rousseau, F. (2009) Molecular phylogeny of the brown algal genus Petrospongium Nägeli ex Kützing (Phaeophyceae) with evidence for Petrospongiaceae fam. nov., Cryptogamie, Algologie, 30, 111-123.

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