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Persoonlijk profiel


The overall aim of my research is to understand how biodiversity loss (in the broad sense) affects the resilience of communities. Focusing on experiments in natural conditions, we test how trophic levels; ecosystem engineers; and species/genetic diversity determine the capacity of marine benthic communities to adapt to changes in the environment and tolerate disturbances or stress. Recently, we are also interested in understanding how biodiversity regulated by landscape connectivity and food-web interactions interact with local adaptive evolution.

We work in three broad questions in different coastal ecosystems:

1) consequences of predator declines for coastal function – focusing on the interaction between eutrophication and a dramatic increase and diversification of stickleback in the Baltic Sea (

2) consequences of non-trophic interactions for thefunction of intertidal flats – focusing on niche construction by sediment destabilizing ecosystem engineers (seagrass, mussels, cockles) and sediment stabilizing suspension feeders (polychaete worms) in the Wadden Sea intertidal, and how such relations may be modified by human impacts on sediment stability (dredging, trawling).

3) the relation between species trait diversity and coastal function – focusing on: i) how species trait diversity translate to capacity of periphyton metacommunities in the Wadden Sea to adapt to climate change. ii) consequence of seagrass genetic diversity (Zostera marina) for ecosystem function on a global scale (

Current Team - Benthic Ecology in Groningen

  • Stella Bos (tech)
  • Lucia Gonzales Irazabal (field work coordinator teaching)
  • Martje Birker (Lecturer Marine Biology)
  • Annebelle Kok (postdoc)
  • Simona Laukatityte (PhD)
  • Hannah Charan-Dixon (PhD)
  • Maryann Watson (PhD)
  • Jorien Rippen (PhD)
  • Tamas Fulep (MSc)
  • Pieter Pols (MSc)

 Emeritus Benthic Ecology in Groningen’ers

  • Johan Eklöf (post-doc)
  • Karin de Boer (post-doc)
  • Serena Donadi (PhD)
  • Katrin Reiss (PhD)
  • Friederike Engel (PhD)
  • João Bosco Leite Gusmão Junior (PhD)
  • Rosyta Andriana (PhD)
  • Casey Yanos (PhD)
  • Isabelle van der Ouderaa (PhD)

Extended Team – External Collaborators

  • Johan Eklöf (ass. prof. Stockhom University)
  • Ulf Bergström (Researcher; Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)
  • Serena Donadi (post doc; Stockhom University)
  • Katrin Reiss (post-doc; University of  Nordland)
  • Birte Matthiessen (Researcher, GEOMAR | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung Kiel)
  • Helmut Hillebrand (prof. University of Oldenburg)




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