People > Dr Marie-Fanny Racault

Dr Marie-Fanny Racault

Earth Observation Scientist

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.



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...

Ocean color and biogeochemistry

Ocean color and biogeochemistry (CBIOMES)

Contact: Dr Shubha Sathyendranath

Earth observation of ocean color remains our only window into the pelagic ecosystem at synoptic scales. It is a rich source of data, and...

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Other 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 (2010)
  • Contributor: GEOSS Monitoring and Evaluation Working Group for the establishment of performance indicators, WMO, Geneva (2009)


Recent publications

  • Salgado-Hernanz, PM; Racault, M-FLP; Font-Muñoz, JS; Basterretxea, G. 2019 Trends in phytoplankton phenology in the Mediterranean Sea based on ocean-colour remote sensing. Remote Sensing of Environment, 221. 50-64. 10.1016/j.rse.2018.10.036
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  • Kassi, J-B; Racault, M-FLP; Mobio, Brice; Platt, T; Sathyendranath, S; Raitsos, DE ; Affian, K. 2018 Remotely Sensing the Biophysical Drivers of Sardinella aurita Variability in Ivorian Waters. Remote Sensing, 10 (5). 785-812. 10.3390/rs10050785
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  • Rêve-Lamarche, A-H; Alvain, S; Racault, M-FLP; Dessailly, D; Guiselin, N; Jamet, C; Vantrepotte, V; Beaugrand, G. 2017 Estimation of the Potential Detection of Diatom Assemblages Based on Ocean Color Radiance Anomalies in the North Sea. Frontiers in Marine Science, 4. 10.3389/fmars.2017.00408
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  • Troselj, J; Sayama, T; Varlamov, SM; Sasaki, T; Racault, M-FLP; Takara, K; Miyazawa, Y; Kuroki, R; Yamagata, T; Yamashiki, Y. 2017 Modeling of extreme freshwater outflow from the north-eastern Japanese river basins to western Pacific Ocean. Journal of Hydrology, 555. 956-970. 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2017.10.042
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  • von Schuckmann, K; Le Traon, PY; Alvarez-Fanjul, E; Axell, L; Balmaseda, M; Breivik, L-A; Brewin, RJW; Bricaud, C; Drevillon, M; Drillet, Y; Dubois, C; Embury, O; Etienne, H; Sotillo, MG; Garric, G; Gasparin, F; Gutknecht, E; Guinehut, S; Hernandez, F; Juza, M; Karlson, B; Korres, G; Legeais, J-F; Levier, B; Lien, VS; Morrow, R; Notarstefano, G; Parent, L; Pascual, Á; Pérez-Gómez, B; Perruche, C; Pinardi, N; Pisano, A; Poulain, P-M; Pujol, IM; Raj, RP; Raudsepp, U; Roquet, H; Samuelsen, A; Sathyendranath, S; She, J; Simoncelli, S; Solidoro, C; Tinker, J; Tintoré, J; Viktorsson, L; Ablain, M; Almroth-Rosell, E; Bonaduce, A; Clementi, E; Cossarini, G; Dagneaux, Q; Desportes, C; Dye, S; Fratianni, C; Good, S; Greiner, E; Gourrion, J; Hamon, M; Holt, J; Hyder, P; Kennedy, J; Manzano-Muñoz, F; Melet, A; Meyssignac, B; Mulet, S; Buongiorno Nardelli, B; O’Dea, E; Olason, E; Paulmier, A; Pérez-González, I; Reid, R; Racault, M-FLP; Raitsos, DE ; Ramos, A; Sykes, P; Szekely, T; Verbrugge, N. 2016 The Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service Ocean State Report. Journal of Operational Oceanography, 9 (sup2). s235-s320. 10.1080/1755876X.2016.1273446
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  • Racault, M-FLP; Sathyendranath, S; Brewin, RJW; Raitsos, DE ; Jackson, T ; Platt, T. 2017 Impact of El Niño Variability on Oceanic Phytoplankton. Frontiers in Marine Science, 4. 10.3389/fmars.2017.00133
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View more publications

Selected key publications

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 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.