People > Dr Marie-Fanny Racault

Dr Marie-Fanny Racault

Earth Observation Scientist

Contact Details

+44 (0)1752 633434 (switchboard)


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Dr Marie-Fanny Racault’s research focuses on the study of climate impact on marine ecosystem resources and the oceanic carbon cycle. She has made new advances in understanding the influence of El Niño climate perturbations on oceanic primary producers, led the first estimates of phytoplankton phenology in the global oceans based on satellite observations, and generated key knowledge in bio-physical processes at regional and global scales, which are relevant for policy developments related to ecosystem health, climate impacts, and fisheries management.

Recently, Marie-Fanny has been developing inter-disciplinary research on the ecology of microbial pathogens and epidemiology of water-borne infectious diseases using an integrated approach involving genomics, bioinformatics, remote-sensing and modelling.

She is dedicated towards capacity building, working with fellows from developing countries, and creating educational and research tools for public and academic audiences.

Marie-Fanny holds an MPhil in molecular phylogeny of brown algae from the University of Portsmouth (2006) and a PhD from the University of East Anglia on the impact of climate on phytoplankton phenology in the global ocean (2010). She joined the PML research group on Earth observation applications in 2011.


Pathways Of Dispersal for Cholera And Solution Tools (PODCAST)

Contact: Dr Marie-Fanny Racault

Image courtesy of the World Health Organization.Focusing on the northern Indian Ocean, a multidisciplinary team of scientists from India, Japan and...

Rehabilitation of Vibrio-infested waters of Lake Vembanad, funded under the India-UK Water Quality programme (REVIVAL)

Contact: Dr Shubha Sathyendranath

Lake Vembanad is the largest body of water in Kerala, India, stretching almost 100km in length and spanning an area of over 2000km2. Its shores are...

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Other key projects

Principal investigator:




Key involvements:

  • Lead Author IPCC AR6 WGII Chapter 3 ‘Ocean and Coastal Ecosystems and their services’ (2019-)
  • UK representative GEO subgroup on the Paris Climate Agreement (2018-)
  • Instigator GEO Blue Planet Working Group on Earth Observations for Ecology and Epidemiology of Water-associated Diseases (2018-)
  • Contributor Space4Climate UK EO & Climate Research group (2018-)
  • Contributor UK National Centre for Earth Observation NCEO (2015-)
  • Contributor iMarNet: Integrated Global Biogeochemical Modelling Network (2013-2014)
  • Contributor Ecosystem Health Working Group on eutrophication and food web indicators of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. (Cefas, UK; 2011-2013)
  • Contributor SCOR Working Group on developing a global strategy for Capacity Building in ocean sciences (2010)
  • Contributor GEOSS Monitoring and Evaluation Working Group for the establishment of performance indicators (2009)

Selected key publications

All papers are open-access, follow link from doi for full text


Salgado-Hernanz, P.M., Racault, M.-F., Font-Muñoz, J.S., Basterretxea, G. (2019) Trends in phytoplankton phenology in the Mediterranean Sea based on ocean-colour remote sensing. Remote Sensing of Environment, doi:10.1016/j.rse.2018.10.036


Kassi, J-B, Racault M-F, Mobio BA, Platt T, Sathyendranath S, Raitsos DE, Affian K (2018) Remotely Sensing the Biophysical Drivers of Sardinella aurita Variability in Ivorian Waters, Remote Sensing 10, doi:10.3390/rs10050785


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


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


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., Cox, P.M. (2015) iMarNet: an ocean biogeochemistry model intercomparison project, Biogeosciences, doi:10.5194/bg-11-7291-2014


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


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

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 PhD Fellow P. Salgado from Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA), Spain (2016-2019)
  • Advisor & mentor POGO-SCOR Post-doctoral Fellow Dr J.-B. Kassi from Centre Universitaire de Recherche et d’Application en Télédétection, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (2016-2018)
  • Co-advisor MSc student H. Sullivan from Plymouth University, UK (2015-2016)
  • Co-advisor BSc student J. Gittings from Plymouth University, UK (2014-2016)
  • Advisor MSc student A-H. Rêve from Lille University, France (2014-2015)
  • Co-advisor PhD Visiting Fellow K. Kim from Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, South Korea (2013-2014)
  • Advisor POGO 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.