I am a postdoctoral researcher interested in marine benthic communities and how communities are influenced by human-imposed stresses. Benthic communities show an overall increasing complexity (biodiversity) from intertidal to deep-sea and each community responds differently to stresses. Key to understanding the effects of human-imposed stresses is the ability to measure biodiversity in a consistent and reliable way. Assessing the composition of marine benthic communities by traditional methods is time-consuming, requires highly specified knowledge and is often limited to certain groups of species. To fully understand benthic communities in a rapid manner, I apply a multi-disciplinary approach, combining traditional taxonomical methods with genetic methods (metabarcoding).
In my current postdoc, I apply these metabarcoding methods to assess the biodiversity around hydrothermal vents. This knowledge about the biodiversity will aid the discussion on optimal measures for protecting this biological hotspot.
More information about the project can be found here