Dr., Senior Curator
Phone:+46 (0)8 519 551 05
See the Staff and Contacts page.
Dipl-Biol., University of Hamburg, Germany, 1989
Dr. rer. nat., University of Hamburg, Germany, 1993
I am coordinator of collection databases at the Department of Zoology, and developer of the invertebrate collection database. I am responsible for loans of Echinodermata, Bryozoa, Phoronida, Brachiopoda, Chaetognatha, Hemichordata, Ascidiacea. I act as host of guest researchers, and teach on university level.
As a biologist I am interested in the evolution of brittle stars (Ophiuroidea), the closest relatives of sea stars. Brittle stars originated over 400 million years ago and have survived several mass extinctions. Their evolution was affected by bottlenecks as well as periods of fast diversification. I am also interested in fossils, and brittle stars have a rich fossil record that can help me fill in gaps in the understanding of their evolution.
Brittle stars are the most species rich group of echinoderms living today. They occur in all marine environments but are absent in freshwater. The brittle star body is composed of a magnesium calcite skeleton that shows many specializations. My main interest is the evolution of the skeleton to understand the evolutionary relationships among brittle stars. I use specimens from the museum collections to conduct my research.
I am fascinated by the diversity of forms and life-histories found in brittle stars. I describe new species, particularly from the North Atlantic Ocean and the tropical Pacific.
Steering group member of WoRMS (World Register of Marine Species)
Editorial board member of WoRMS
Editorial board member of the journal Marine Biodiversity
Associated editor of Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society