Katja Seebass

Since I was little, I dreamed of working as a marine Biologist. The Ocean with its depths and diversity always fascinated me and therefore I chose to do a Bachelors’ degree in Biology, that I plan to follow up with a Masters’ degree in Biological Oceanography at GEOMAR in Kiel. I am currently writing my Bachelors Thesis in Christian Pansch’s group on the “Impacts of Marine Heatwaves and Hypoxic Upwelling events on a predator-prey system”, with particular focus on possible stress memory effects regarding the combination of two main stressors, marine heatwaves and hypoxic upwelling. For this, we observe several response variables of seastars to get a broad insight on the impacts of the two stressors we apply. We chose to work with the common seastar Asterias rubens, as it is one of the two main predators to the blue mussel Mytilus edulisin the Western Baltic Sea, in which M. edulis often dominates hard bottom communities. The consequences of a decreased performance under stressful environments could result in the over-production of blue mussels, as it recruits fast and in great numbers and quickly overgrows other substrates and habitats, forming intense mussel reefs.