dr. B. (Benjamin) Müller
Faculty of Science
Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics
Science Park A
Science Park 904
1090 GE Amsterdam
I am a marine biologist, working as a post-doctoral researcher in the working group of Jasper de Goeij at the department of Freshwater and Marine Ecology. In our research group we investigate the role of sponges as key ecosystem engineers of shallow- and deep-sea reef ecosystems and aim to develop sponges as animal models. Besides conducting research, my main tasks include the coordination of field and lab activities, as well as the supervision and guidance of Ph.D., M.Sc. and B.Sc. students in our research group.
- Energy and nutrient cycling through sponge- and microbe-mediated pathways
- Effect of environmental parameters on dissolved organic matter release mechanisms and consequences for ecosystem functioning
- DOM dynamics on pristine and phase shifting reefs
- Role of DOM in coral-algal competitions
- Bioeroding sponges on phase-shifting reefs
SPONGE ENGINE — Fast and efficient sponge engines drive and modulate the food web of reef ecosystems
The aim of this ERC project awarded to Jasper de Goeij is to systematically establish a novel reef food web framework including:
Corals and algae, releasing DOM “fuel” to run the engine
Sponges, the “engine”, taking up DOM and converting energy and nutrients stored in it into particulate detritus
Detrivores, which feed on the sponge detritus and serve as food for higher trophic levels, the “driven communities”
In this project we evaluate (1) how the morphology of sponges and their associated microbes contribute to the processing of DOM, (2) which roles sponge cells themselves and associated microbes play in the DOM uptake. These physiological tasks are complimented by (3) assessing carbon and nitrogen fluxes from fuelling communities, through sponges, to the driven communities.
SponGES — Deep-sea Sponge Grounds Ecosystems of the North Atlantic: an integrated approach towards their preservation and sustainable exploitation
As part of this multi-lateral EU project SponGES, our team aims to assess carbon fluxes and transfer through deep-sea sponges, and to test the existence of a sponge loop pathway on deep-sea sponge grounds.
By combining in situ and ex situ incubations using natural food and isotopically labelled food sources we will quantify carbon and oxygen fluxes of different deep-sea sponge species and trace the carbon and nitrogen from dissolved and particulate food sources, through sponges, sponge detritus, and ultimately detrivores, that feed on sponge detritus.
Our results will contribute to develop an integrated ecosystem-based approach to preserve and sustainably use deep-sea sponge grounds within the SponGES project.
Field Trip Curacao_February - March 2017
Field work as Researcher at the CARMABI research station on Curacao_April 2015 - December 2016
Field work on Curacao and Bonaire during my Ph.D. at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ)_February 2010 - December 2015
- No ancillary activities