MareMundi-RSEC Save our Seas Fellows 2019
In 2019 MareMundi was excited to offer the funding of two fellowships in the area of marine biological sciences. We aimed to support young scientists with their research projects and hope to encourage them for exploring, studying and protecting marine environments.
In this call we offered two independent fellowships:
- MareMundi RSEC fellowship 1.500 €: Biology and Ecology of the Red Sea
- MareMundi MED fellowship 1.500 €: Biology and Ecology of the Mediterranean Sea
MareMundi congratulates the winners of this year’s scholarships and wants to encourage all other applicants for trying again next year. We are now happy to announce this year’s Save Our Seas Fellows!
Steve Gerber (Master Student, University of Genth)Steve Gerber (Master Student, University of Genth) will be awarded with the MareMundi RSEC Fellowship. He plans to conduct his Master thesis in cooperation with the Red Sea Environmental Center in Dahab and plans to assess the impact of tourism facilities on coral reefs around Dahab, with the main focus on eutrophication-induced algae overgrowth on corals. Therefore, he will participate in the Coral Project of the RSEC, which will offer the training and equipment required to conduct his field work.
Sampling will take place in January and February 2020. By measuring distinct variables across sites with different characteristics, he hopes to partially disentangle the mechanisms underlying phase shifts caused by eutrophication in coral reefs. Furthermore, Steve Gerber tries to identify sites which are subject to high eutrophication impacts and should be prioritized by conservation efforts.
Armin Bloechl (TiHo Hannover, Institut Physiologie und Zellbiologie) will be awarded with the MareMundi MED fellowship. He plans to conduct a citizen science-based Lionfish monitoring project in the Mediterranean Sea. The Common (or Devil) Lionfish (Pterois miles) is considered as an invasive species that increasingly becomes a major threat for the native fauna in the eastern Mediterranean basin. After its first sighting in 1991, the common lionfish underwent an immense population growth with probably terrifying consequences for the whole Mediterranean littoral community. It is accounted as one of the most invasive species that inhabits our planet and examples from the Carribean already showed the trail of devastation that the fish can cause. The fierce predator mainly feeds on other small fishes which can lead to the collapse of the whole species community. In order to get a comprehensive picture of the current situation of Lionfish in the Mediterranean Sea, Armin Bloechel decided apply a citizen science approach with the further goal to monitor the long-time impact of the invasion. The idea is to offer an easy handling and high-quality data management plan that will allow the scientific evaluation of the situation through the hands of citizen science.
Considered as a so-called “Lesseps Migrant” – a term that includes all living creatures that ventured into the Mediterranean through the Suez channel – the fish was detected for the first time in the Mediterranean Sea in 1991.