Natalia Gackowska

Young Researcher

Biological Oceanography and Sea Extremophiles


Natalia Gackowska is a woman of the sea. She understood that being far from the ocean would take her strengths away. So she decided to pursue a degree in marine science.

Currently, Natalia is studying oceanography at the University of Gdańsk (Poland). This year she spends abroad at GEOMAR Institute in Kiel, Germany. It enables her to exchange opinions with different students and researchers and build international relations in science. Her interests are bioluminescence, deep-sea adaptations, marine microbiology, and marine invertebrates. She gained scientific experience mainly in the ‘Glaciers Retreat and Fjords Wither Project’ working in Svalbard and Poland, Baltic cruises, Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement campaign in Helgoland, covering marine biogeochemistry, chemistry, and microbiology methods. Her passion leads toward extreme places, especially the ocean abyss. By addressing the resemblance of deep-sea vents, volcanic islands, et cetera, to the first ecosystems on Earth, she hopes to find answers on life’s origin in the universe and better relate to existing extremophiles and their symbionts. Many of the higher evolved taxons live obligatory with Archaea or Bacteria. Natalia aims to define this co-dependence as enabling life in highly inaccessible locations. To name a few, she participated in the ‘E(x)plory contest and was a finalist in the Polar Mission competition. She actively engages within the student’s science council to share knowledge outside of academia. Natalia stays passionate about traveling in her work and privately. She loves to connect with the ocean when cold-swimming and surfing and read about sea discoveries in submersibles at places that are harder to reach than even a moon.