I am a marine ecologist with a soft spot for parasites. My research revolves around understanding the ecological role of parasites in marine ecosystems on various spatial and organizational scales. Using lab and field experimental approaches, my research group studies the effects of parasites on marine host individuals, populations and communities. We are also interested in how parasites influence the topology and dynamics of food webs.
Another line of research aims to understand the patterns and processes underlying infections of marine hosts. This includes work on the role of ambient biodiversity in affecting parasite transmission and disease risk as well as studies on the effects of global changes such as rising temperatures and biological invasions on marine parasites and their hosts.
Finally, we study large-scale patterns of parasitism using literature-based datasets and biogeographical and macroecologial approaches in order to understand the forces that have shaped parasitism in the sea.
From 2010: Research scientist at Royal Netherlands Institute of Sea research (NIOZ)
2007-2010: DFG Postdoc fellowship at the University of Otago (NZ)
2006/2007: DAAD Postdoc fellowship at the Aarhus University (DK)
Please note recent special issue published in 2016 based on an international NIOZ–AWI symposium held on Texel NL from 10–14 March 2014: ‘Ecology and evolution of marine parasites and diseases’
Our work covered in science blogs (in English)
The Stochastic Scientist
Parasite of the Day
Hook, Line, and Sinker - Sarah's Blog (including her MSc thesis work with us)
2006: PhD in Ecology (summa cum laude), Christian Albrechts University Kiel & Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Wadden Sea Station Sylt (D)
1993-2001: MSc/Diplom in Biology (summa cum laude), major in zoology/ecology and minors in conservation biology, evolution & systematics and philosophy, Philipps University Marburg (D)
1996/97: Visiting student for an academic year (ecology, evolution, palaeontology and history of science), University of Edinburgh, Scotland
2007: DFG Postdoc fellowship for a three years stay at the University of Otago (NZ)
2006: DAAD Postdoc fellowship for a 9 months stay at Aarhus University (DK)
Anouk Goedknegt - PhD student. Project 'Effects of invasive species on native predator-prey and pathogen-host webs in the Wadden Sea'; bilateral research project in cooperation with partners at NIOZ (Texel, NL) and AWI (Sylt, D). Promotor: Jaap van der Meer (NIOZ, VU).
Jeffrey Knol - MSc student. Project ‘Spillback effects of invasive oysters in mussels’ Groningen University, NL
Mark Bouwmeester - MSc student. Project ‘Multiple predator effects on parasites and prey’ Groningen University, NL
Lotte Geerlings - MSc student Project ‘Community ecology of trematodes in Littorina species’ (University of Wageningen, NL)
David Bello Jimenez - Visting MSc student (University of Malaga, E)
Nadine Bleile – Visting MSc student (University of Freiburg, D)
Former MSc students Wouter Koch (RUG Groningen, NL), Tabea Stier (University Hohenheim, D), Marieke Feis (RUG Groningen, NL), Reinier Nauta (RUG Groningen, NL), Jarco Havermans (RUG Groningen, NL), Anne Karin Schuster (University of Landau, D), Marin van Regteren (RUG Groningen, NL), Caroline Liddell (Wageningen University, NL), Annabelle Dairain (Pierre et Marie Curie College Parais, F), David Shoesmith (RUG Groningen, NL), Boukje Heidstra (RUG Groningen, NL), Sarah Bedolfe (RUG Groningen, NL), Eeke Haanstra (RUG Groningen, NL), Romy Cartiere (University of Amsterdam, NL), Luca Prins (University of Wageningen, NL)
Anke Hempel (D), Mirjana Markovic (D), Estefania Velilla (NL), Karlos Ribeiro de Moraes (BR), Wiem Boussellaa (PhD student; Sfax University, Tunisia)
Various research projects for MSc students are available all year round. They range from field studies over field and lab experiments to literature-based approaches. Please contact me for more details or check the NIOZ internship webpages.
I am curently teaching in several courses in the Marine Biology MSc (and BSc) programme of the University of Groningen: Principles of Marine Biology; Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Organisms; Marine Biology Research
In addition, I teach in the NIOZ Marine Masters Summer Course and give internal courses on proposal writing for PhDs and Postdocs at NIOZ.
Journal of the Marine Biological Association UK (since 2016)
Journal of Sea Rearch (since 2010)
Marine Biology Research (since 2009)
Wadden Sea Quality Status Report (since 2015)
International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife (from 2012-2016)