Marine biodiversity

researcher at sea

Our seas and oceans are changing rapidly: increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations cause warming, acidification, and deoxyxenation at rates higher than in the previous millions of years. These global challenges interact with regional and local processes such as pollution and over-exploitation, and pose severe pressure on marine biodiversity. By integrating evolutionary, ecological, and paleoecological time-series across spatial scales we aim to elucidate the responses of marine organisms to these environmental changes. We do this across the globe, in habitats ranging from the open ocean to shallow, sometimes brackish seas using organisms ranging from microbes to macrofauna.

Group leader

Dr. Willem Renema
willem.renema@naturalis.nl

Follow the group
on Twitter @NaturalisMarine

Our programmes
& research themes

A selection of the main topics we are working on.

Photograph of the pteropod Heliconoides inflatus

Evolution of planktonic gastropods

Planktonic gastropods have tremendous potential for the study of long-term marine evolutionary processes because they are the only living aminal plankton with a good fossil record. Although most marine gastropods are benthic, two large groups (referred to…
Read more
Ecology Indo-Pacific reefs

Ecology Indo-Pacific reefs

Understanding the biotic response to both local and global environmental change, as well as the underpinning processes, is crucial for assessing vulnerability and guiding efforts to avoid potentially severe biodiversity loss.
Read more
Sponge microbial communities

Sponge microbial communities

Identifying the role and composition of Bacteria and other microbes in sponge host to gain a better understanding of the coral reef ecosystems and the role of Bacteria therein.
Read more
Marine lakes

Marine lakes

Marine lakes are little studied, yet fascinating ecosystems. Approximately 200 marine lakes are thought to be distributed worldwide, of which “Jellyfish Lake” from Palau (Micronesia) is probably the best known. These landlocked water bodies have maintained…
Read more

Teaching
activities

Members of the group Marine biodiversity contribute lectures and hands-on labs to BSc and MSc Biology and Geology courses at Dutch universities in Leiden, Amsterdam and Utrecht. In addition, we regularly supervise individual research projects at BSc or MSc level. If you are interested, drop any of the researchers an email.