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Dr. Anita Gilles

Dr. Anita Gilles

Curriculum Vitae


  • 11/2014-01/2017: Feodor Lynen Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Hosts: Prof. Dr. Ralph Keeling, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego & Prof Dr. Lisa Ballance, Marine Mammal and Turtle Division, NOAA Fisheries, La Jolla, USA)
  • 07/2011 to present: Research Scientist, Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation
  • 05/2003-06/2011: Research scientist, Research and Technology Centre Westcoast, Kiel University
  • 02/2009: PhD in Biological Oceanography, Kiel University
  • 2008: Research Scientist, Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean”, Walther Schuecking Institute for International Law, Kiel University
  • 2004 - 2008: Dissertation “Characterisation of harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) habitat in German waters”, Research and Technology Centre Westcoast
  • 2002 – 2003: Diploma thesis „Verbreitungsmuster von Schweinswalen (Phocoena phocoena) in deutschen Gewässern“ [Spatial distribution of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena)], Research and Technology Centre Westcoast
  • 1997 – 2003: Diploma studies „Biology“ at the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel and at the University of Aberdeen (2000-2001), major subjects: Zoology and Biological Oceanography
  • 1996-1997: Internship at Schutzstation Wattenmeer e.V. in Friedrichskoog. Leading of public excursions (with tourists and school classes, etc.) to the Wadden Sea and salt marshes; land-based census of sea birds; care of public exhibition with seawater aquaria; assistance in the seal rehabilitation centre Friedrichskoog e.V.

Main research activities

  • aerial line-transect surveys to estimate abundance of marine mammals in the German North and Baltic Seas (e.g. in the projects MINOSplus, EMSON, BMVEL, BfN monitoring)
  • Analysis of line-transect data, abundance estimation, database development, GIS-supported data analysis, project reports
  • Monitoring of marine mammals
  • Predictive habitat models of cetacean distribution and density
  • Feeding ecology of marine mammals, incl. stomach content analysis and fatty acid analysis
  • Assessment and reporting, under Article 17 of the Habitats Directive, of the favourable conservation status of the harbour porpoise
  • Development of management plans for the NATURA 2000 sites and species management plan for the harbour porpoise
  • Evaluation of standard environmental impact assessments (EIAs) (StUK; standard code of conduct for impact assessments for offshore wind farms)
  • Impact of human activities on marine mammals, esp. fisheries (bycatch) and  marine renewable energy development

International research stays and fieldwork

  • Aerial survey Dogger Bank 2011
  • Aerial survey Faroe Islands 2010
  • TNASS (Trans North Atlantic Sighting Survey): Observer in aerial surveys in June/Juy 2007 in Iceland and in September 2007 in Greenland
  • SCANS II (Small Cetaceans in the European Atlantic and North Seas): logistics for all aerial surveys, cruise leader July 2005 (Norway, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, UK), data checking and analysis, database set up


  • University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover: lecture SS 2012 & SS 2014 “Wildlife Biology, diseases and zoonoses“
  • University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover: summer school “Marine Mammal Ecology” 2013
  • Geomar - Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel: Practical Course in Biological Oceanography „Marine top predators: Marine Mammal Ecology & Management“ master course WS 2010/2011 and WS 2011/2012
  • University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover: lecture SS 2012 „Wildbiologie, Wildkrankheiten und Zoonosen“ („Wildlife Biology, diseases and zoonoses“)
  • Supervision and Co-supervision of Phd, Diploma, Master and Bachelor students
  • Training of interns, student assistants and marine mammal observers
  • Workshops on GIS-applications in wildlife studies for beginners

Scientific panels

European Cetacean Society (ECS)

Society for Marine Mammology (SMM)

ASCOBANS Advisory Committee (German delegation)

ICES WG Marine Mammal Ecology

ICES Working Group on Integrated Assessment of the North Sea (WGINOSE)

HELCOM (Coreset project)

OSPAR ICG-COBAM Working team on biodiversity (marine mammals and reptiles)

North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission (NAMMCO) - technical working group on aerial surveys

Manuscript Reviewer

Fishery Bulletin, Journal of Cetacean Research and Management, Marine Biology, Marine Ecology Progress Series, Deep-Sea Research Part II, Ecological Indicators, Fisheries Oceanography, Marine Biodiversity Records

ICES Journal of Marine Science (Editor)

Continental Shelf Research


  • Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers (2014-2016), Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany
  • Kiel University Exchange Scholarships (with University of Aberdeen; 09/2000-09/2001)


A complete list can be downloaded here.



Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover
Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research
Werftstr. 6
25761 Büsum
Tel.:+49 511 856-8177
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