Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

Predictions of change in marine biodiversity have raised substantial concerns over the consequences of biodiversity loss, or the appearance of invasive species on ecosystem processes functioning and services. When biodiversity loss jeopardizes the provision of ecosystem goods and services, it may ultimately affect human well-being. By performing laboratory and field experiments and observational studies, a better understanding of the marine ecosystem is aimed for, giving us the baseline and best practice to underpin sound ecosystem management.

Several specific subjects are investigated at the Marine Biology Research Group:

  • Acclimation and adaptation
  • Carbon and nutrient cycling
  • Carbon sequestration in marine sediments
  • Dispersal ecology
  • Diversity – functioning relationships
  • Food webs Patterns of diversity and community structure
  • Population dynamics
  • Resilience of populations, communities and of ecosystem functioning
  • Species interactions
  • Taxonomy

Marine resource and environmental management

Even though the ocean is a vast space, today, increasing multi-sectorial activities take place in oceans and seas. Fisheries, oil and gas, and shipping have to share space with aquaculture, marine tourism, renewable energy development, while at the same time, also zones for conservation of the marine environment are delineated. Therefore, improving insights into the complexities of marine resources and environmental management will allow us to provide guidance for sustainable value creation. Understanding the interplay between all stakeholders (policy, science, industry, and society) and underlying impacts of marine resource exploitation is key to a sustainable use of the sea.

Several specific subjects are investigated at the Marine Biology Research Group:

  • Environmental impact assessment and monitoring of: deep-sea mining, marine renewable energy, fisheries, aquaculture and sand extraction


Anthropogenic influence and climate change

Marine communities are more and more under pressure from direct or indirect human impacts. Today, there is scientific consensus that environmental tipping points are being crossed, and many species are adapting (or failing to adapt) to novel climatic and environmental conditions. The Marine Biology research group focuses on advancing the field of climate change ecology and toxicology by studying the impact of pollutants and climate change on natural systems. We are interested in how communities cope with those changes at the level of individuals and populations and how these then combine to form ecological patterns across spatial scales. The results from those cutting edge studies, based on field sampling and experimental setups, will allow stakeholders to make correct decisions with respect to climate change and pollution mitigation.

Several specific subjects are investigated at the Marine Biology Research Group:

  • The effects of anthropogenic pollutants and microplastics on animal fitness and behavior, species interactions and on ecosystem functioning
  • Impacts of specific aspects of global change on marine ecosystems: ocean warming, ocean acidification, sea ice decline and glacier retreat