Master thesis: Temperature-dependent respiration changes of three dominant bivalve species in the Wadden Sea

Alfred Wegener Institute
March 25, 2023
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Master thesis: Temperature-dependent respiration changes of three dominant

bivalve species in the Wadden Sea

Background Temperature rise alters the structure and function of marine ecosystems and also the metabolic processes of the organisms living in the system. To assess the effects of temperature on a specific ecosystem, it is therefore necessary to examine the individual effects on keystone species in the habitat under consideration. Respiration is a highly important physiological process in the energetic balance of species and often sensitive to changes in the surrounding temperature. Thus, we aim to understand how a potential increase in temperature would affect the respiration rates of three key species in the Wadden Sea system, the blue mussel ( Mytilus edulis ), the common cockle ( Cerastoderma edule ) and the Pacific oyster ( Magallana gigas ).

Tasks The objective of this master thesis is to investigate the temperature dependence of respiration rates of the three dominant bivalve species in the northern Wadden Sea. The respiration rates will be measured over a temperature range that corresponds to an increase in the average annual temperature in the bight according to possible IPCC temperature scenarios. The student will be involved in the planning of the experiment, field work and direct measurement of the respiration rates as well as in the subsequent analysis of the recorded data.


  • Bachelor in Biology, Ecology, Physiology, Environmental science or a related field
  • experience in planning and setting up laboratory experiments
  • previous experience in respiration measurements would be advantageous
  • time and willingness to spent several months at our Wadden Sea Station on the island of Sylt
  • Further Information Please contact Joel Habedank ([email protected]; +49(4651)956-4235) for further information.

    The place of employment will be Sylt.

    Possible start: from August 2023

    You are interested? Then please send us your application with Cover letter an CV (with all documents merged into one PDF file) by e-mail to: Joel Habedank ( [email protected] )

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