Anna Gebruk

Anna Gebruk, BSc, MScIMG_9179

PhD candidate, School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh

UK Polar Network President 2020/2021

Head of International Collaboration, Marine Research Centre of Lomonosov Moscow State University 

I am a marine ecologist specialising on benthic ecosystems of the Russian Arctic, my key interests are distribution of macrobenthic communities; food webs; invasive species and microplastic contamination.

Having a first degree in invertebrate zoology (BSc in Moscow State University) I used to study anatomy of living Brachiopods. However, since I first joined marine research cruise to the Barents Sea in 2016, I fell in love with the Arctic region and found more broad interests in benthic communities of the Polar Regions, their distribution and dynamics, governance and conservation. I then completed an MSc in Marine Systems and Policies in Edinburgh with a project on feeding resources of Atlantic walruses in the Pechora Sea with WWF Russia and continued research in the region.

For my PhD I’m looking at benthic ecosystems of the Pechora Sea (SE Barents Sea), trying to understand how they change over time and respond to the climate change and activities of offshore industries in the area.

Since June 2016 I also work as marine ecologist at the marine research centre of Lomonosov Moscow State University (MRC LMSU) managing wide range of ecological projects working closely with NGOs (WWF Russia), oil&gas companies (Rosneft, Gasprom) and research institutions (IPEE RAS, IO RAS). Since June 2020 my role in the company has changed and I am now responsible for international collaboration, looking for partners, projects, and opportunities for new collaborations. 

I am also very passionate about fieldwork, have participated in 5 expeditions, twice as a head of marine biology unit in marine research cruises, once as an expedition lead for a coastal survey. Altogether I have spent over half a year at Sea. 

In 2019 I joined committee of the UK Polar Network, and in 2020 became a (co)president. I have also been representing the UKPN in APECS council and participated in several events of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.


Key interests: Arctic seas; benthic communities; invasive species; microplastics; international collaboration in the Arctic; sustainable development; Arctic observing systems


During my PhD I intend to reveal current state of benthic ecosystem of the Pechora Sea and key challenges of biodiversity conservation in the region. Pechora Sea has a unique ecosystem that is currently challenged both by changing climate conditions and by growing pressure from offshore industries. Although some aspects of the benthic ecosystems have a long observation history, there is a lack of integrated research focused on ecosystem dynamics for the Pechora Sea. Understanding how benthic ecosystem respond to the changing environment can advance modelling of the future reaction to the further changes and developing Marine Spatial Planning for the area. In the long run, the project will help in conservation of marine biodiversity of vulnerable Arctic ecosystem and in developing sustainable use of marine resources in the region.


BSc (2:1 Hons)  in Invertebrate Zoology, Biological Department of Lomonosov Moscow State University, completed in June 2016

MSc in Marine Systems & Policies, School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, completed in August 2017

Work experience

  • LMSU Marine Research Centre: ecologist-technician (June 2016-May 2017); expert in ecology, project development department (May 2017-January 2018); research scientist, research and development department (January 2018 – present, part-time)
  • Lab technician, Department of Invertebrate Zoology, LMSU (summer 2014, summer 2015)
  • Visiting researcher, zoological collections, San Francisco, California Academy of Sciences (August 2015)
  • Volunteering: The 4th International Congress on Invertebrate Morphology (ICIM4) – committee member

Field work

  • RV Kartesh polar expedition to the Pechora Sea; July 2016 – ecologist
  • Coastal survey of the Pechora bay ecosystem (nearby Khodovarikha meteorological station), August 2016 – expedition lead
  • Complex ecological monitoring of the “Medynsko-Varandeysky” oil field marine ecosystems, RV Kartesh,  July 2017 – project manager, head of hydrobiology unit
  • Complex ecological monitoring of the “Medynsko-Varandeysky” oil field marine ecosystems, RV Kartesh, July-August 2018 – project manager, head of hydrobiology unit
  • RV Akademic Mstislav Keldysh cruise to the East-Siberian, Laptev and Kara Seas of the Russian Arctic (cruise AMK-78), September-October 2019 – head of marine biology unit