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Tim Beck

Tim Beck
Tim Beck, from the Institute of Palaeontology at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (Germany) was visiting scientist at the Departement of Invertebrate Zoology from the 2 February to the 12 April 2006.

From the very first day he was not only hosted in a very friendly way by his host Anders Warén, but by all the team of the Department of Invertebrate Zoology. Tim Beck much appreciated his stay in winterly Stockholm, although most of the time he appreciated even more to stay at his working place in the middle of the malacological collections. The warm and friendly working atmosphere as well as the nice habit of coffee breaks spent together was a very nice experience for the German ‘Gästforskare´. The friendly reception by all the staff at the Naturhistoriska riksmuseet as well as the free access to all the museums facilities were striking to him. Particularly nice was how smoothly all the arrangements in the background have been made by the SYNTHESYS Project Manager Irene Bisang.

Many thanks to Synthesys and to everybody involved in the realisation of this visit to ‘malacologist´s heaven´ in Stockholm! '

Project summary

Molluscan biodiversity along the European continental margin - focussing on Seamounts and cold-water coral habitats

Tim Beck
The Institute of Palaeontology at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (Germany)
Cold-water coral environment from the  Belgica Mound
Provincein the Porcupine Seabight west of Ireland.
Photo taken by ROV Victor (Ifremer).
The aim of Tim Beck´s project is to improve the knowledge about molluscan biodiversity based on the material from several EU-ESF projects (ACES, Euromargins, OASIS) projects. Such improved knowledge will serve as base for the description of the variation in molluscan fauna of cold-water coral reefs and Seamounts along the European continental margin.
Different study areas are the Moroccan margin, Gulf of Cadiz, Bay of Biscay, Porcupine Sea bight and several Norwegian reef areas.
Sample material included in the present project has been gathered with classical benthic sample gear like boxcores, multicores, Van-Veen grabs, gravity cores and dredges as well as with ROV´s and manned submersibles.
Although nowadays some information is available on cold-water corals, the benthic invertebrates associated to this environment are still poorly known. For a better understanding of the ecosystem, it is important to include detailed taxonomic studies. For such analysis the cooperation with experienced taxonomists and access to appropriate collections is imperative.
The TAF-SE therefore provided not only an appropriate collection of molluscs but it also houses a very useful library, highly specialised on Mollusca.
The personal experience and expertise of Tim Beck´s host (Dr. Anders Warén) was very useful for the solution of most of the taxonomic problems in mollusc identifications and descriptions. The large collection of molluscs from Northern Atlantic allowed comparison of large parts of the sample material from Tim Beck´s study area and was important for the identification of numerous species. The sophisticated technique in preparation of gastropod radulas and the SEM procedure, including critical point drying of soft parts, at TAF-SE is unique and helped to get a much better understanding of several taxonomic problems.
The detailed study of some gastropod groups like e.g. the Skeneimorphs revealed several very interesting species new to science.
During his stay at the Departement of Invertebrate Zoology, Tim Beck also got interesting insight in the taxonomy and ecology of hot vent mollusca.
Rugulina fragilis
SEM image showing Rugulina fragilis a
characteristic species in deep-water
coral habitats. Image taken with the
Hitachi S-4300 scanningmicroscope at
the Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet
Trochaclis sp
SEM image showing in detail the protoconch
of Trochaclis sp., a species new to science,
found in deep-water coral environments in
the Irish Sea. Image taken with the
Hitachi S-4300 scanningmicroscope at
the Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet.