Michael has studied Geophysics and Physical Oceanography at the University of Münster and the University of Hamburg.
He finished his scientific education with a Ph.D. thesis on the 'Dynamic impact of time dependent sources on the deep circulation of the North Atlantic' as a research scientist in the 'Special Research Project' SFB 318 'Processes relevant for the climate in the system ocean-atmosphere-cryosphere'.
Between 1995 and 1997 Michael directed his interests towards the high latitudes as a research scientist at the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency, Hamburg, in the research project 'Transport-mechanisms of radioactive substances in the Arctic'. The basic research on the Arctic as well as the applied aspects of numerical modelling were then continued during his stay at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research as a researcher in the EU-project VEINS 'Variability of Exchanges in the Northern Seas'.
This employment was followed by an involvement into the BMBF-funded German/Russian project SIRRO 'Siberian River Run-Off' at the same institution. Currently Michael is working as a part-time research scientist in the section 'Climate Sciences' at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research.
Michael is a member and co-chair of the ISSG (Internat. Scientific Steering Group) of the 'Arctic-Subarctic Ocean Flux (ASOF)' study and chair of the int. ASOF- ISSG WG on 'Numerical Experimentation'. He is also a member of the Arctic and Antarctic Regions Task Group of the International Union of Radioecology (IUR).