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Practical matters How to find us B.D.H.K. (Britas Klemens) Eriksson, Prof Dr

Research interests

The overall aim of my research is to understand how biodiversity loss (in the broad sense) affects the resilience of communities. Focusing on experiments in natural conditions, we test how trophic levels; ecosystem engineers; and species/genetic diversity determine the capacity of marine benthic communities to adapt to changes in the environment and tolerate disturbances or stress. Recently, we are also interested in understanding how biodiversity regulated by landscape connectivity and food-web interactions interact with local adaptive evolution.

We work in three broad questions in different coastal ecosystems:

1) consequences of predator declines for coastal function – focusing on the interaction between eutrophication and a dramatic increase and diversification of stickleback in the Baltic Sea (

2) consequences of non-trophic interactions for thefunction of intertidal flats – focusing on niche construction by sediment destabilizing ecosystem engineers (seagrass, mussels, cockles) and sediment stabilizing suspension feeders (polychaete worms) in the Wadden Sea intertidal, and how such relations may be modified by human impacts on sediment stability (dredging, trawling).

3) the relation between species trait diversity and coastal function – focusing on: i) how species trait diversity translate to capacity of periphyton metacommunities in the Wadden Sea to adapt to climate change. ii) consequence of seagrass genetic diversity (Zostera marina) for ecosystem function on a global scale (

Cu rrent Team - Benthic Ecology in Groningen

  • Stella Bos (tech)
  • Lucia Gonzales Irazabal (field work coordinator teaching)
  • Martje Birker (Lecturer Marine Biology)
  • Annebelle Kok (postdoc)
  • Simona Laukatityte (PhD)
  • Hannah Charan-Dixon (PhD)
  • Maryann Watson (PhD)
  • Jorien Rippen (PhD)
  • Tamas Fulep (MSc)
  • Pieter Pols (MSc)

 Emeritus Benthic Ecology in Groningen’ers

  • Johan Eklöf (post-doc)
  • Karin de Boer (post-doc)
  • Serena Donadi (PhD)
  • Katrin Reiss (PhD)
  • Friederike Engel (PhD)
  • João Bosco Leite Gusmão Junior (PhD)
  • Rosyta Andriana (PhD)
  • Casey Yanos (PhD)
  • Isabelle van der Ouderaa (PhD)

Extended Team – External Collaborators

  • Johan Eklöf (ass. prof. Stockhom University)
  • Ulf Bergström (Researcher; Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)
  • Serena Donadi (post doc; Stockhom University)
  • Katrin Reiss (post-doc; University of  Nordland)
  • Birte Matthiessen (Researcher, GEOMAR | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung Kiel)
  • Helmut Hillebrand (prof. University of Oldenburg)



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Influence of reed beds (Phragmites australis) and submerged vegetation on pike (Esox lucius)

A Pleistocene legacy structures variation in modern seagrass ecosystems

Comparing taxonomic and functional trait diversity in marine macrozoobenthos along sediment texture gradients

Increases of opportunistic species in response to ecosystem change: The case of the Baltic Sea three-spined stickleback

The biogeography of community assembly: Latitude and predation drive variation in community trait distribution in a guild of epifaunal crustaceans

Bioengineering promotes habitat heterogeneity and biodiversity on mussel reefs

Habitat segregation of plate phenotypes in a rapidly expanding population of three‐spined stickleback

Intertidal mussel reefs change the composition and size distribution of diatoms in the biofilm

Predator biomass and vegetation influence the coastal distribution of threespine stickleback morphotypes

Synergistic effects of rooted aquatic vegetation and drift wrack on ecosystem multifunctionality

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Swimway Waddenzee Nieuwsbrief

Kunstmatige riffen bij Lauwersoog blijken vol leven te zitten: ‘Dit is goed nieuws’

Groot onderzoek in Waddenzee naar vis en visetende vogels

Bodemvissen op het Wad

A spatial regime shift to stickleback dominance

Riviervissen gaan in dramatisch tempo achteruit, onder meer door dammen

Wier tiert minder welig op oesters dan op mossels

Study reveals 30% of all species swap for other species every 10 years

Netwerk van boeien volgt vissen in Waddenzee

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