Trained as an actor and successfully performed on screen and stage for many years, in major productions, Markus joined TBA21 in 2011. With TBA21 Chairperson and Founder Francesca Habsburg, he co-founded TBA21 Academy where he subsequently took on the role of a director. As a central programming unit of TBA21, the Academy provides a moving platform of cultural production and interdisciplinary exchange within TBA21. From July 2011 to present he has initiated and conducted numerous expeditions. Each trip is designed as a collaboration with invited artists, scientists and thinkers eager to embark on oceanic explorations. Inspired by this unusual encounter with both human and natural elements, the Academy commissions ambitious projects informed by the itinerary of the research vessel Dardanella. In June of 2016 TBA21–Academy was granted the Observer Status at the International Seabed Authority, becoming the first art organization ever to be given this status. This allows TBA21–Academy to contribute to the international climate change agenda on a policy making level.