Roel van der Schoot

Roel van der Schoot

I am a Dutch PhD-candidate and biology and chemistry teacher in secondary education. My research is oriented at coral-associated fauna, with a focus on the relation to their host in a rapidly changing environment. Is the coral suffering from its epibionts? Do they cause stress and health reduction of their host? Or is it a balanced symbiosis in which the species are reliant on each other?


Coral-associated fauna, symbionts, epibionts, host, parasites, eutrophication

Roel van der Schoot MSc.

PhD student
Promotion at the University of Groningen
Marine Evolution & Ecology


52.164800072336, 4.472867974064


Coral-associated fauna contribute largely to the biodiversity on coral reefs. Many organisms in this group are dependant on their host for survival.

In my research I focus on the question: what does the symbiosis mean for the host? Is it a blessing or a curse? Many coral-symbiont associations have been described in the past centuries, yet the ecological relation between symbiont and host has often been neglected. More insight into the influence of coral-associated fauna on their hosts is essential for effective conservation measurements of the precious but vulnerable coral reefs which are under great pressure due to climate change.

Spirobranchus giganteus on Pseudodiploria strigosa at Curaçao, (soorten moeten cursief)
Christmas tree worms, feather duster worms and blennies on Pseudodiploria strigosa


-Coral-associated fauna


-Coral damage


  • Hoeksema, B. W., Harper, C. E., Langdon-Down, S. J., van der Schoot, R. J., Smith-Moorhouse, A., Spaargaren, R., & Timmerman, R. F. 2022. Host range of the coral-associated worm snail Petaloconchus sp.(Gastropoda: Vermetidae), a newly discovered cryptogenic pest species in the southern Caribbean. Diversity14, 196.
  • Hoeksema, B. W., Timmerman, R. F., Spaargaren, R., Smith-Moorhouse, A., van der Schoot, R. J., Langdon-Down, S. J., & Harper, C. E. 2022. Morphological Modifications and Injuries of Corals Caused by Symbiotic Feather Duster Worms (Sabellidae) in the Caribbean. Diversity14, 332.
  • Hoeksema, B. W., Smith-Moorhouse, A., Harper, C. E., van der Schoot, R. J., Timmerman, R. F., Spaargaren, R., & Langdon-Down, S. J. 2022. Black Mantle Tissue of Endolithic Mussels (Leiosolenus spp.) Is Cloaking Borehole Orifices in Caribbean Reef Corals. Diversity14, 401.
  • Hoeksema, B. W., van der Schoot, R. J., Wels, D., Scott, C. M., & Ten Hove, H. A. 2019. Filamentous turf algae on tube worms intensify damage in massive Porites corals. Ecology100.
  • Hoeksema, B. W., Wels, D., van der Schoot, R. J., & ten Hove, H. A. 2019. Coral injuries caused by Spirobranchus opercula with and without epibiotic turf algae at Curaçao. Marine Biology166, 1-8.
  • van der Schoot, R.J., Scott, C. M., ten Hove, H. A., & Hoeksema, B. W. 2016. Christmas tree worms as epibionts of giant clams at Koh Tao, Gulf of Thailand. Marine Biodiversity46, 751-752.