Natalie grew up in landlocked Germany but through her father’s work on ships she became dedicated to the oceans very early in life. During her Bachelor’s degree in Marine Science at the University of Western Australia in Perth (2014), she assisted in various projects and field work on flatback turtles, Australian sea lions, bottlenose dolphins, pearl oysters, corals, and endemic fish species. After attending the University of Iceland for a summer course (2015) and participating in an Arctic research expedition she graduated with a Master of Science (International Studies in Aquatic Tropical Ecology, 2017) at the University of Bremen. Her Master’s project evaluated the ecological effects of touristic bread feeding on reef fishes in the Aitutaki lagoon (Cook Islands) and the stakeholder’s perception on this practice. For the thesis she was awarded the CAMPUS Prize 2018.
Her interest in reef fish communities, the importance of herbivory, and fish feeding behavior brought her to KAUST, where she will be working alongside PhD students in ongoing projects.