Deepwater mussels are wimps! Waddensleutels research reveals inability of deepwater (culture) mussels to survive the hash intertidal environment.

Helene de Paoli, PhD student within the Waddensleutels project, defended her thesis last Friday. Maladaptation of the mussels from deeper water to the intertidal environment explains the failure of many mussel restoration projects.

See the (Dutch) press release: https://www.nioz.nl/en/news/nioz-updates/diepwatermosselen-zijn-watjes

 

Mussels crucial for recovery US marshes

New research together with colleagues from the US shows that the humble mussel and marsh grass form an intimate interaction that is critical to helping these ecosystems bounce back from die-off triggered by extreme climatic events such as drought. We published that in the latest issue of Nature Communication.

See the Dutch and English press release at the NIOZ website.

The original paper can be found here.

 

An aggregation of Elk

Phase separation: a new mechanism for ecological patterns

Have you ever wondered what a clump of mussels, a herd of grazers, or a spot of bacteria under the microscope have in common? All these aggregations follow from similar physical movement process, where organisms move a lot when alone, but move less when in aggregation.

We outline this new principle in a paper that just appeared online in Physics of Life Reviews, The paper was a collaboration with first author Quan-Xing Liu (a former PhD student of mine) Max Rietkerk, Peter Herman, John Fryxell, and Theunis Piersma.

Paper: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1571064516300689

Pdf: Link to Liu’s Researchgate.

(Elk photo is from: https://chrisandmattcycleacrossamerica.wordpress.com)

Postdoc Vacancy – Modelling pattern formation for restoration of seagrasses

I am looking for a highly motivated Postdoc with a keen interest in the modeling of ecological interactions and the resulting spatial pattern formation in marine ecosystems, to join our work on the restoration of seagrass beds in the Wadden Sea.

For a description of the vacancy, see:

https://www.workingatnioz.com/our-jobs/postdoc-“pattern-formation-and-restoration-of-seagrass-beds”-for-the-eu-merces-project.html

 

Studying seagrass patterns

The H2020 MERCES project has started at June first, 2016. Two years of funding to study seagrass patterns, with the aim to identify the possibility that bivalves such as mussels could help restore seagrass in the Wadden Sea. This is a project together with Tjisse van der Heide from the Radboud University Nijmegen.

Watch this blog! There will be a postdoc vacancy soon.

I love computing!

I participated in the Workshop on Geometric and Graph-based Approaches to Collective Motion in the Dagstuhl conference center in Wadern, Germany. We discussed how to compute the connectance of mussels within patterned mussel beds. It is amazing how these computer guys envision complex calculations when they see a bunch of mussels sitting in a pattern!