Le Qin Choo

Le Qin Choo

I am working on the population genomics of pteropods, which are planktonic snails that live in the open ocean. I am interested their population structure, and how their patterns of diversity can tell us about their past, present and future .


Marine zooplankton, DNA, next generation sequencing, shelled pteropods, targeted capture, genome-wide variation, population genomics


How do pteropods form different species when they are in the same, interconnected mass of water? Can this tell us if they have the potential to future ocean changes?

Shelled pteropods  are marine planktonic snails which spend their entire lives in the water column, and drift around due to ocean currents. They occupy wide ranges globally, in the subtropics and tropics, or in the polar regions. Because of their role as bioindicators of ocean acidification and important components of the marine food web,  it is necessary to understand if they are able to adapt to future changes. We can do this by assessing the relative amount of genetic variation across populations in the ocean. Right now, little is known about their population patterns, but with newly developed tools to examine their genome-wide variation, we can begin to understand how they evolve in the open ocean.

Live pteropods collected from the sea
Swimming sea angel


  • Teaching assistant: Biological Oceanography, University of Amsterdam  (Nov 2018)
  • Supervision: Daniela Simal (Masters student), Literature Review- Title (Dec 2018-Mar 2019)
  • Supervision: Catharina de Weerd (Masters student), Thesis- Title (Feb -Aug 2019)