Dr Klaus Meiners: MSc, PhD

Research interests

I am a sea ice ecologist working with the Antarctic Climate Program of the Australian Antarctic Division. My research is directed at understanding the impacts of changing sea-ice conditions on Antarctic marine ecosystems and Southern Ocean biogeochemical cycles. I am particularly interested in cross-disciplinary science that underpins mechanistic understanding of coupled physical-biological processes in the Antarctic sea-ice zone. My current work focusses on understanding physical drivers of ice-associated algal production and the importance of sea ice as habitat for Antarctic krill, a key species in many Southern Ocean food webs. I am using Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and optical methods to investigate ice algal distribution and under-ice habitats. These novel methods allow concomitant measurements of sea-ice physical and biological properties at scales that are relevant to inform the development and evaluation of sea-ice ecosystem models.

I started studying sea ice ecosystems in the late 90’s, initially working in the Arctic conducting fieldwork for my PhD at Kiel University (Germany) and a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University (USA). I moved to Tasmania in 2005 to work at the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre and started working for the Australian Antarctic Division in 2010. In total I have spent well over 2 years working on ice-breaking vessels and in remote field camps, and had the privilege to work with terrific teams of ship and stations crews, and fellow expeditioners and scientists.

Current projects

Australian Antarctic Science projects:

  • #4408: Physical drivers of ice-algal biomass and characterisation of under-ice habitats in the Antarctic pack-ice zone
  • #4546: Integrated observations of Antarctic land-fast sea ice physical and biological processes during the spring transition

International projects:

  • Academy of Finland funded project: Primary productivity iron limitation in the Marginal Ice Zone of the Southern Ocean - unravelling the role of bacteria as mediators in the iron cycle (IMICROBE)
  • National Environment Research Council (UK) funded project: Drivers and Effects of Fluctuations in sea Ice in the ANTarctic (DEFIANT)
Collaborations & representations



  • Dr Ilka Peeken & Dr Hauke Flores (Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany)
  • Dr Martin Vancoppenolle (Sorbonne University, LOCEAN-IPSL, France)
  • Dr Jody Reimer (University of Utah, USA)
  • Dr Letizia Tedesco (SYKE, Finland)
  • Dr Vanessa Lucieer & A/Prof Delphine Lannuzel (IMAS, Australia)
  • Dr Pat Wongpan (AAPP, Australia)
  • Dr Seb Moreau (NPI, Norway)
Key outcome areas

Gutt J, Isla E, Xavier JC, Adams BJ, Ahn I-Y, Cheng C-HC, Colesie C, Cummings VJ, Griffiths H, Hogg I, McIntyre T, Meiners KM, Pearce DA, Peck L, Piepenburg D, Reisinger RR, Saba GK, Schloss IR, Signori CN, Smith CR, Vacchi M, Verde C, Wall DH (2022) Ten scientific messages on risks and opportunities for life in the Antarctic. SCAR Antarctic Environments Portal

Steiner N, Bowman J, Campbell K, Chierici M, Eronen-Rasimus E, Falardeau M, Flores H, Fransson A, Herr H, Insley SJ, Kauko HM, Lannuzel D, Loseto L, Lynnes A, Majewski A, Meiners KM, Miller LA, Loic NM, Moreau S, Nacke M, Nomura D, Tedesco L, van Franeker JA, van Leeuwe MA, Wongpan P (2021). Climate change impacts on sea-ice ecosystems and associated ecosystem services. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene 9(1), 00007

Veytia D, Bestley S, Kawaguchi S, Meiners KM, Murphy EJ, Fraser AD, Kusahara K, Kimura N, Corney S (2021) Overwinter sea-ice characteristics important for Antarctic krill recruitment in the southwest Atlantic. Ecological Indicators 129, p.107934.

Cimoli E, Lucieer V, Meiners KM, Chennu A, Castrisios K, Ryan KG, Lund-Hansen LC, Martin A, Kennedy F, Lucieer A (2020) Mapping the in situ microspatial distribution of ice algal biomass through hyperspectral imaging of sea-ice cores. Scientific reports 10 (1), 1-17

Veytia D, Corney S, Meiners KM, Kawaguchi S, Murphy EJ, Bestley S (2020) Circumpolar projections of Antarctic krill growth potential. Nature Climate Change 10 (6), 568-575

Kelly A, Lannuzel D, Rodemann T, Meiners KM, Auman HJ (2020) Microplastic contamination in East Antarctic sea ice. Marine Pollution Bulletin 154, 111130

See more of Dr Meiners’ publications on Google Scholar.