Lara Maleen Beckmann
Doctoral StudentDepartment of Marine
About Lara Maleen Beckmann
My work focuses on the ecology and reproduction of cold-water corals and sponges. These animals form vital habitats in deep sea ecosystems, supporting a high diversity of marine life. I combine different morphological and molecular tools to get a comprehensive overview of reproductive strategies and life histories in selected coral and sponge species.
What life histories look like in the deep sea is largely unknown, and scientists are just beginning to uncover the diversity and importance of these ecosystems. However, it is crucial to study these, especially regarding regional management strategies and establishing protected areas to maintain functioning ecosystems despite increasing human-made environmental changes.
Here, investigating fundamental questions is essential to draw conclusions about resilience and adaptability of dominant species. How do corals and sponges reproduce and recruit in deep water? How do offspring disperse across the seafloor, and how do populations maintain spatial connectivity?
Previously, I worked at the University of Bergen in Norway, where I did my thesis project on the diversity and ecology of hydrozoans - a group related to corals with complex and diverse life histories. I used an integrative taxonomic approach to study species diversity and uncover missing life stages.
Odd family reunion: DNA barcoding reveals unexpected relationship between three hydrozoan
Lara Maleen Beckmann, J Soto-Angel, A Hosia, L Martell
PeerJ - 2023