Martina de Freitas Prazeres

Martina Prazeres

I am a marine biologist interested in the biology, ecology, and evolution of reef organisms, with a particular emphasis on symbiont-bearing Foraminifera. I completed my PhD at the University of Queensland, Australia, working on the responses of benthic foraminifera to the effects of environmental changes. I joined Naturalis as a Veni fellow, and my current project aims to unveil the evolutionary mechanisms of adaptation to changes in foraminifera. 


Phylogeography, adaptation, biogeography, symbiosis, large benthic foraminifera, molecular ecology, climate change

Dr. Martina de Freitas Prazeres

Postdoctoral researcher
Marine biodiversity
+31 (0)71 751 9329


My research interest lies mainly in the biology, ecology and evolution of the symbiotic relationship between reef organisms and microbial associates, and how this relationship helps shaping coral reefs.

My research focuses on the evolution, genetic diversification, and symbiosis of large benthic Foraminifera. In addition, I study associations between foraminifera and their microbial associates in coral reef environments. I am particularly interested in large scale patterns associated with environmental gradients, such as water quality and sea-surface temperature.



  • Genetic diversity of large benthic Foraminifera
  • Diversity of microbial associates of benthic foraminifera
  • Effects of metal on the physiological responses of benthic foraminifera
  • Evolution of large benthic Foraminifera


  • Prazeres M & Renema W. 2019. Evolutionary significance of the microbial assemblages in large benthic Foraminifera. Biological Reviews 94: 828-848.
  • Prazeres M. 2018. Bleaching-associated changes in the microbiome of large benthic Foraminifera of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Frontiers in Microbiology 9:2404.
  • Prazeres M, Ainsworth T, Roberts TE, Pandolfi JM, Leggat W. 2017. Symbiosis and microbiome flexibility in calcifying benthic foraminifera of the Great Barrier Reef. Microbiome 5:38.
  • Prazeres M, Uthicke S, Pandolfi JM. 2016. Influence of local habitat on the physiological responses of large benthic foraminifera to temperature and nutrient stress. Scientific Reports 6:21936.
  • Prazeres M, Uthicke S, Pandolfi JM. 2015. Ocean acidification induces biochemical and morphological changes in the calcification process of large benthic Foraminifera. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 282:20142782.

All publications on GoogleScholar

In the

My paper has been featured in the University of Leiden newspaper! Turns out symbiont-bearing Foraminifera also bleach in response to ocean warming. Results were published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology (check it out here).

You can check out the story in the Mare newspaper: Gif op het rif.