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Prof. Prof. h.c. Dr. Ursula Siebert

Prof. Prof. h. c. Dr. Ursula Siebert





  • Date of birth: June 26,1966                            

  • Family status:  Married, two children (born in 2000 and 2006)



  • 2018: Certified Specialist in Zoo and Wild Animals 

             (Fachtierarzt für Zoo- und Wildtiere)

  • 2017: Certified Specialist in Wild Animals and Species Protection

              (Fachtierarzt für Wildtiere und Artenschutz)

  • 2015: Diplomate of European College of Aquatic Animal Health
  • 2014: Honory professorship of the University of Aarhus, Denmark
  • 2014: Certified Specialist in Wild Animals

              (Fachtierarzt für Wildtiere)

  • 2012: Diplomate of European College of Zoological Medicine

              (Wildlife Populations Health)

  • 2011: Habilitation approved by the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover,

              Foundation, Germany

  • 2007: Habilitation in Zoology “The Health Status of Marine Mammals as an

              Indicator of Effects of Anthropogenic Activities on the Marin Ecosystem”

              at the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel,Germany

  • 1992-1995: Doctoral thesis

                      “Analyse des Quecksilbergehaltes in Organen von Kleinwalen aus

                      deutschen Gewässern der Nord- und Ostsee und seine möglichen

                      Beziehungen zu Erkrankungs- und Todesursachen”

                      at the Free University of Brussels, Belgium (funded by the European

                      Science Foundation) and at the Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen,


  • 1992-1996: Training in

                       1.) Aquaculture

                       2.) Wild Animal Medicine

                       3.) Veterinary Pathology

                       Practical courses

                       Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, Galveston

                       At the Institute for Pathology at University of Montreal, Canada, Beluga


                       University of Delft Image Processing

                       Ultrasound: Dolphinarium, Paris, France, Dolphinarium Brugge,


                       IFREMER Nantes and Rennes for Aquaculture

  • 1986-1992: Study of Veterinary Medicine at the Justus-Liebig-University Giessen,


                       at the Ecole Vétérinaire de Nantes, France (funded by the DAAD and


  • 1985/86:     Voluntary Social Year in a home for the elderly
  • 1985:          University-Entrance Diploma at Lessing-Gymnasium,

                       Frankfurt am Main, Germany


  • since July 2011: Director of the Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife

                               Research (ITAW) of the University of Veterinary Medicine

                               Hannover, Foundation, Germany


  • May 1996-June 2011: Leader of the section “Ecology of marine mammals and

                                       birds” at the Forschungs- and Technologiezentrum

                                       Westküste, Büsum, University of Kiel, Germany
  • 1997-2004: Veterinarian in charge of porpoises and seals

                       at the Fjord & Belt Center, Kerteminde, Denmark
  • 1992-1994: Research associate at the Institute of Veterinary Pathology at the

                       Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany, in the research project

                       “Investigations on the abundance, health status and migration of small

                        cetacean populations in German Waters,” funded by the German

                        Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear

  • 1994-1996: Research associate at the Institute for Veterinary Pathology at the

                       Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany, in the research project

                       “Investigation on small cetaceans as a basis of monitoring,” funded by

                        the German Federal Ministry for Research and Technology


    Alexander von Humboldt Prize 2013/2014 of the FNRS (Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique): 19.500 Euro

    Best of Biology (public relation price) 2014: 10.000 Euro, together with Christian Jung (journalist) and Anne Gallus (German Oceanographic Museum)

    Poster prize

    22nd CONFERENCE OF THE EUROPEAN CETACEAN SOCIETY, 2008 poster “Influences of methyl-, phenyl-, ethylmercury and mercury chloride on lymphocyte proliferation and cytokine expression in harbour seals,” Antje Kakuschke, Elizabeth Valentine-Thon, Sonja Fonfara, Katharina Kramer, Ursula Siebert, Andreas Prange

    Best poster

    International Council of the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), 2007 Helsinki, Finland.

     “Isolation of primary liver cell cultures of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) for identification of novel biomarkers of pollutant influence,” Veronika Hellwig, Antonia Wargel, Annika Behr, Ursula Siebert

    Poster prize

    European Cetacean Society (ECS), 2008, Egmond aan Zee, The Netherlands.

    “North Sea vs Baltic sea- comparison of immune system parameters in harbour seals,” Katharina Kramer, Sonja Fonfara, Anja Kakuschke, Ursula Siebert, Rune Dietz, Andreas Prange

    Best poster

    International Council of the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), 2010 Nantes, France.

    “From seals to cells: Protein biomarkers to reveal effects of persistent pollutants on primary hepatocytes of Phoca vitulina,” Vera Korff, Annika Behr, Antonia Wargel, Kristinia Lehnert, Ursula Siebert, Veronika Hellwig

    Best poster

    European Cetacean Society (ECS), 2016, Madeira, Portugal

    “First record of the nasal mite Halarachne halichoeri in a grey seal from the German Wadden Sea,” Anja Reckendorf, Ursula Siebert, Peter Wohlsein, Kristina Lehnert

    Best student presentation

    European Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarian (EAZWV), 2017, Berlin, Germany

    “Post-mortem findings of 12 sperm whales (Physeter Macrocephalus) stranded on the coast of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, in early 2016,” Anja Reckendorf, Bianca Unger, Uwe Piatkowski, Kristina Lehnert, Vanessa Herder, Peter Wohlsein, Ursula Siebert

    Best poster

    European Cetacean Society (ECS), 2018, La Spezia, Italy

    “Interseasonal changes in body conditions and predictions of health status for harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) by using UVA footage,” Emilie Nicoline Stepien, Morten Tange Olsen, Kirstin Anderson Hansen, Jakob Kristensen, Marie-Anne Blanchet, Sabrina Brando, Genevieve Desportes, Christina Lockyer, Anders Galatius, Ursula Siebert, Magnus Wahlberg

    Best talk

    European Cetacean Society (ECS), 2018, La Spezia, Italy

    “Origin and spread of Phocine Distemper Virus in 1988 and 2002, ”Iben Stokholm, Tero Härkonen, Karin Harding, Ursula Siebert, Kristina Lehnert, Rune Dietz, Jonas Teilmann, Anders Galatius, Linnea Worsøe Havmøller, Emma Carroll, Ailsa Hall, and Morten Tange Olsen


    1.     Board member of the European Cetacean Society (ECS) 1994-1998

    2.     International Expert Panel for Offshore-Windfarms in Denmark (IAPEME)


    3.     Pollution 2000+ Steering Group of the International Whaling Commission

            (IWC) 2000-2006

    4.     National contact person for the European Cetacean Society (ECS)

    5.     Member of the Trilateral Seal Expert Group of the Common Wadden Sea

            Secretariat (TSEG)

    6.     Member of ICES Working Group on Marine Mammals (ICES)

    7.     Wildlife and Marine Mammal Societies (ECS, EAZWV, EAAM, IAAAM, EWDA,

            WDA, SMM)

    8.     Advisory Committee of the Nature Commissioner of Schleswig-Holstein,


    9.     Nationalpark Curatoriums Dithmarschen, Germany

    10.   Advisory Committee for the German Research Agency for Fishery

    11.  Steering Group for Research on Marine Mammals of the Dolphinarium

           Harderwijk (“des  Alpes”), Holland

    12.  Member of the Reviewing Panel for the Portuguese Research Ministry

    13.  Member of the Advisory Board of the Fonds National de la Recherche

           Scientifique (FNRS), Belgium

    14.  Chair of the specilisation of Wildlife Population Health / European College of

           Zoological Medicine (WPH-ECZM, 2014-2016)

    15.  Vice-chair and representative for research of the Wolf Working Group of Lower


    16.  Chair of the Marine Mammal Health Group of HELCOM

    17.  Member of the IWC Expert Panel for Strandings (“Emergency Committee”),

           representative for Europe

    18.  Member of the Commission for Safety of Pesticides and Biozid products of the

           German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment


    Marine Biology (Associated Editor)

    Journal of Wildlife Diseases (Associated Editor)

    Frontiers in Veterinary Medicine – Zoological Medicine (Associated Editor)

    Archive of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology

    Environmental Science and Technology

    Marine Pollution Bulletin

    Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals

    Science of the Total Environment

    Aquatic Mammals

    Journal of Fish Diseases

    Environmental Research


    Marine Biology Research

    Journal of Applied Ecology

    Emerging Microbes & Infections

    International Journal of Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife

    Marine Mammal Research and Conservation

    Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica

    NAMMCO Scientific Publications

    Royal Society Open Science

    The Journal of Acoustical Society of America


    Arctic Science

    Journal of Fish Pathology

    Diseases of Aquatic Organism

    PLoS One

    European Journal of Wildlife Research

    Marine Mammal Science

    Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology

    Veterinary Pathology

    Journal of Veterinary Research


  • Wildlife infectious diseases including viral, parasitological and microbiological agents
  • Wildlife zoonotic agents, related risk assessment and development of hygiene strategies
  • Antibiotic resistency in wildlife species (e.g. marine and terrestrial wildlife food chain)
  • Wildlife ecology including habitat use, abundance and distribution
  • Investigations on the effects of anthropogenic activities on wildlife, e.g.

    • offshore construction, fishery and military activities;
    • chemical and noise pollution, marine litter;  
    • agriculture, road construction, tourism; and  
    • climate changes
  • Investigations on the immune, endocrine, reproductive and auditory systems
  • Risk assessment of anthropogenic activities and influence on infectious diseases (epidemiology)
  • Biodiversity and research concepts for management of wildlife populations
  • Outreach and training activities including school and stakeholder programs


Complete List of publications here..

Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover
Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research
Werftstr. 6
25761 Büsum
Tel.:+49 511 856-8158
Fax.:+49 511 856-8181
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