Born in Germany, Annette studied marine biology and obtained a Master in marine conservation in New Zealand. There, she had the once in a lifetime chance to visit Antarctica as part of a postgraduate certificate offered by the University in Christchurch. Camping at the base of Mount Erebus — the same region used as base camp by early explorers such as Scott and Shackleton — Annette became infected with the «polar virus». Returning from New Zealand, she conducted her PhD at the German Polar Research Institute (Alfred-Wegener-Institute Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung) studying Antarctic whales and participating in several expeditions to the Southern Ocean on board the German research icebreaker RV Polarstern. This summer, Annette extended her polar experience by participating in several expedition cruises to Spitzbergen, Greenland and the North Pole. Annette has a great passion for the polar regions, especially marine mammals, that she loves to share with others no matter what time of the day.