Dr. Miriam Weber

Leiterin Forschung

Koordinatorin der Feldstation

 

 

Research projects

Since 2012 LUCI - Clams with bacterial endosymbionts
Chief scientist and scientific diver HYDRA, MPI MM
Since 2011 ECO2 - Effecs of CO2 seepage on microbes
Lead scientist Panarea and scientific diver HYDRA, MPI MM
Since 2009 Marine Plastic - Degradation of plastic in the marine environment
Chief scientist, and scientific diver at AIMS, MPI MM
Since 2009 SEDCOR - Sediment affecting coral physiology
Chief scientist, and scientific diver at AIMS, MPI MM
2009 Invasive Species Documentation: Mediterranean Sea
Chief scientist, supervisor of Master students, and scientific diver at HYDRA
Since 2009 Coral-Algae Interaction
Supervisor of a Master and a PhD student
2008 Sponge Mass Mortality Documentation: Mediterranean Sea
Lead scientist, Supervisor of Master students, and scientific diver at HYDRA
Since 2007 BIOSED
Lead scientist, Supervisor of Master students, and scientific diver at HYDRA
2007 Sharkfall
Lead scientist, and scientific diver at HYDRA
Since 2006 PAGS - Processes at shallow water gas seeps
Lead scientist, Supervisor of Bachelor students, and scientific diver at HYDRA
2002 - 2008 SynEff, MASE, DOMS, ReefSed
Doctoral student, and scientific diver at AIMS, MPI MM and HYDRA

 

 

LUCI

This study investigates the endosymbiosis of Lucinid clams in the shallow waters of the Island of Elba, Italy. The picture a section of the gill of Loripes lucinalis stained with a fluorescent marker showing the symbiotic bacteria in the tissue (© A. Kemper/Uni Heidelberg/MPIMM).

Partners: Anna Kemper, University of Heidelberg. Dr. Jill Petersen, Symbiosis Research Group, Max-Planck-Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen.

 

ECO2

This study investigates the effects of CO2 seepage on the microbial community structure and their functions. We study the substrates sediment, seagras and rock. The picture shows divers deploying sensors that measure e.g. CO2 and pH, and taking sediment samples. (© B.Unger/HYDRA).

 

Marine Plastic

This study investigates the biodegradation of plastic in the marine environment. We study various habitats, however we focus on sediment areas mainly at beaches, tidal zones, the infralittoral and the circalittoral. The picture shows a biodegradable plastic foil, which was buried in sediment for six months (© D. Engelbrecht/HYDRA).

 

SEDCOR

Microsensor measurements in sediments surrounding a coral nubbin.

This study investigates whether the sediment biogeochemistry is affecting the coral calcification rates, when sediments deposit in the vicinity of corals. The picture shows the diver-operated microsensor system measuring pH profiles at a the sediment-coral interface in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia (© M.Weber/AIMS/MPIMM).

 

Invasive Species

First report of Percnon gibbesi along the shores of the Island of Elba, Italy.

We document invasive species along the shores of the island of Elba, Italy. Currently we investigate the crab Percnon gibbesi (© M.Schneider/HYDRA) and the alga Caulerpa taxifolia.

 

Sponge Mass Mortality

Massive spronge dying event in 2008 documented.

We noticed a massive sponge mortality event in 2008 along the Tuscan coast, Italy. Further investigations shall improve the understanding of the role of environmental factors triggering the events, and tissue samples will be analysed for the microbial communities. The picture shows a dead sponge (left) of the genus Ircinia covered with Beggiatoa-like bacteria, a typical post-mortality effect during the decay of the sponge tissue (© S.Pfannschmidt/HYDRA).

 

BIOSED

During this study we investigated two different sediment types: calcareous and siliceous sediments. The microbial production and degradation of organic material, and the meiofauna communities are our main focus. The pictures show corers for sampling meiofauna and sediment to measure sediment parameters, and the diver-operated microsensor system measuring oxygen profiles for the calculation of the photosynthetic production on the sediment surface (© M.Weber/HYDRA/MPIMM).

 

Sharkfall

In 2007 a couple of 7 m long Basking Sharks Cetorhinus maximus were trapped in fishing nets and died. We documented the degradation directly under water and under controlled conditions in the laboratory. The picture shows the male at 43 meters water depth (© C.Lott/HYDRA).

 

PAGS

"Processes At Gas Seeps" investigates a shallow water methane seep. The meiofauna, microbial acitivity as well as the geochemistry are documented in the field and under controlled conditions in the laboratory. The picture shows a gas seep at the site (© C.Lott/ HYDRA).

 

Coral-Algae Interaction

Many reefs do not remain unaffected of anthropogenic influennce as the one shown in the picture (© M.Weber/AIMS). Coral reef degradation increases algal growth and competition between coral and algae. In situ investigations showed that the microenvironment in the interaction zone is very dynamic.

 

ReefSed - Sediments in Coral Reefs

Sediment trap samples give new insights in the composition of sediments settling on corals and other sessile organisms in coral reefs. The picture shows a sediment trap which is controlled by a diver (© C.Lott/HYDRA).

 

SynEff - Synergistic effects of sediment paramters on corals

During this study we investigated the synergistic effects of various sediment parameters on the photosynthetic yield of corals. We found that the grain size and the amount of organics are crucial for the survival of the covered coral. The picture shows sedimentation chambers used for studying the effects measured in mesocosm experiments in the field (© M.Weber/AIMS).

 

MASE - Microbial processes in sediments damaging corals

During this study we could show that coral damage by sedimentation is microbially mediated. The microbial processes in organic-rich sediments lead to anoxia, reduced pH, and then increasing toxic metabolites, so that the covered coral died within > 24 h. The picture shows a microsensor measuring oxygen in a thin sediment layer covering a coral in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia (© M.Weber/AIMS/MPIMM).

 

DOMS - Diver Operated Microsensor System

For in situ experiments we developed a diver-operated microsensor system (© M.Weber/AIMS/MPIMM), which can be used in harsh weather conditions and doesn’t need a lot of time to put up. Nowadays we are able to measure oxygen, sulfide and pH with microsensors on any hard surface (e.g. corals or calcareous algae) and to position one ore two microsensors very precisely (e.g in the mouth of a coral polyp). Further development will be done the get the system fully motorised and to be used with any microsensor available.

 

Publications

10
Zimmermann, J., Lott, C., Weber, M., Ramette, A., Bright, M., Dubilier, N., & Petersen, J. M. (2014) Dual symbiosis with co‐occurring sulfur‐oxidizing symbionts in vestimentiferan tubeworms from a Mediterranean hydrothermal vent. Environmental microbiology. First published online: 1 APR 2014, DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.12427
9 M. Tosin, M. Weber, M. Siotto, C. Lott, F. Degli Innocenti (2012) Laboratory test methods to determine the degradation of plastics in marine environmental conditions. Front. Microbiol. 3 (255), 1-9.
8 M. Weber, D. de Beer, C. Lott, L. Polerecky, K. Kohls, R.M.M. Abed, T. Ferdelman, K. Fabricius (2012) Mechanism of damage to corals by sedimentation. PNAS, (109) 24, E1558-E1567, published online ahead of print May 21, 1-10.
7 D. Wangpraseurt, M. Weber, H. Røy, L. Polerecky, D. de Beer, Suharsono, M. M. Nugues (2011) In Situ Oxygen Dynamics in Coral-Algal Interactions. PLoS ONE 7, 1-8.
6 M.-L. Schläppy, M. Weber, D. Mendola, F. Hoffmann, and D. de Beer (2010) Heterogeneous oxygenation resulting from active and passive flow in two Mediterranean sponges, Dysidea avara and Chondrosia reniformis. Limnol. Oceanogr., 55(3), 1289-1300.
5 K. Kohls, R.M.M. Abed, L. Polerecky, M. Weber, and D. de Beer (2009) Halotaxis of cyanobacteria in an intertidal hypersaline microbial mat. Environ. Microbiol. 12(3):567-575.
Not peer-reviewed M. Weber (2009) How sediment damages corals. PhD thesis. University of Bremen. pp175.
4 L. Polerecky, C. Lott, and M. Weber (2008) In situ measurement of gross photosynthesis using a microsensor-based light-shade shift method. Limnol. Oceanogr.: Methods 6, 373–383.
3 C. Humphrey, M. Weber, C. Lott, T. Cooper, and K. Fabricius (2008) Effects of suspended sediments, dissolved inorganic nutrients and salinity on fertilisation and embryo development in the coral Acropora millepora (Ehrenberg, 1834). Coral Reefs, 27, 4, 837-850.
2 M. Weber, P. Färber, V. Meyer, C. Lott, G. Eickert, K. Fabricius, and D. de Beer (2007) In Situ Applications of a New Diver-Operated Motorized Microsensor Profiler. Environmental Science & Technology. 41(17): 6210-6215.
1 M. Weber, C. Lott, and K. Fabricius (2006) Sedimentation stress in a scleractinian coral exposed to terrestrial and marine sediments with contrasting physical, organic and geochemical properties. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 336, 18–32.
 

Conferences & Workshops

2014 Workshop SYMBIOMICS II, Shallow Water Symbiosis, HYDRA Elba Field Station, (organizer)
2013 3rd Intl. workshop on research in shallow marine and fresh water systems, Bremen, Germany
2012 Workshop SYMBIOMICS, Shallow Water Symbiosis, HYDRA Elba Field Station, (organization)
2011 3rd International Symposium on Occupational Scientific Diving of ESDP, Lecce, Italy (talk)
2010 Workshop BIOSAND “Life in a sand pit”, HYDRA Elba Field Station (Italy), (organization)
2011 3rd International Symposium on Occupational Scientific Diving of ESDP, Lecce, Italy (talk)
2010 2nd Workshop Research on shallow marine and fresh water systems, Milazzo, Italy (talk)
2009 1st Workshop Research on shallow marine and fresh water systems, Freiberg, Germany (talk)
2009 American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Meeting, Nizza, France (talk)
2008 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Orlando, USA, (poster)
2006 European Meeting of the International Society for Reef Studies (ISRS), Bremen, Germany (talk)
2005 10th European Marine Biology Symposium (EMBS), Vienna, Austria (talk: first author, represented by co-author)
2005 marbef workshop „Chemical Ecology“, Tjärnö, Schweden (participant)
2005 2nd MarTech International Workshop, Bremerhaven, Germany (talk)
2004 10th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS), Okinawa, Japan (talk)
2004 14th annual meeting Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), Prague, Czech Republic (talk)
 

Invitations, Prizes, Awards, Scholarships

2010 3rd prize of the competition "Intelligible Science 2010" of the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht
2009 Outstanding student presentation: American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Meeting, Nizza, France (award)
2009 American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Meeting, Nizza, France (invited talk)
2005 Max Planck Society (30 month PhD stipend)
2005 Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Australia (invited talk)
2004 German Academic Exchange Service (12 month PhD stipend)
2004 DFG-symposium grant (grant)
2003 Award for the best Diploma thesis from the “Friends of the University of Bremen” (prize)
2002 German Academic Exchange Service (6 month Diploma stipend)

 

Academic Career

2012 Workshop ITN SYMBIOMICS, Shallow Water Symbiosis “From the Genomes to the Environment and Back”, HYDRA Elba Field Station (Italy)
Scientific and logistic coordinator
Since 2011 University of Tübingen, Germany
Teaching associate (PostDoc)
2010 Workshop BIOSAND “Life in a sand pit”, HYDRA Elba Field Station (Italy)
Scientific and logistic coordinator
2010 Australian Institute of Marine Sciences, Australia
Guest Researcher (PostDoc)
Since 2009 HYDRA Institute for Marine Sciences, Germany
Chief Scientist, research coordinator and teaching associate (PostDoc)
Since 2009 Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Germany
Scientist (PostDoc)
2004 - 2009 Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Germany
Australian Institute of Marine Sciences, Australia
HYDRA Institute for Marine Sciences
Research associate (PhD student)
2001 - 2002 Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Dept. Ecophysiology & Ecotoxicology, Bremerhaven, Germany
Student project and lab assistant (student contracts)
2000 University of Hamburg, Dept. Ecology, Hamburg, Germany
Volunteer lab assistant
1999 University of Tübingen, Dept. Ecotoxicology, Tübingen, Germany
Volunteer lab assistant
1997 - 1998 US Fish & Wildlife, French Frigate Shoals, Hawaii, USA
NOAA, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Hanauma Bay Nature Rreserve, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
University of Hawaii, Marine Biology Institute Coconut Island, Hawaii, USA
Volunteer lab and teaching assistant

 

Research Abroad

2011 - 2013 ECO2 Project: yearly field trip to Panarea Island (Italy)
2011 DeadSea Project: Field trip Scientific Diving Expedition Dead Sea (Israel)
2010 Fieldtrip: R.V. Cape Ferguson, AIMS (Australia)
2009 Lake Toplitz project: Field trip to Lake Toplitz (Austria)
2009 Marsili project: R.V. MINIBEX, Comex (France, Italy)
2006 EUROSPONGE project: Field trip to Cala Montgo (Spain)
2004 - 2009 Coordination of own PhD project: AIMS (Australia), HYDRA (Italy) & MPI MM (Germany)
2002 - 2005 6 Fieldtrips Great Barrier Reef: R.V. Lady Basten or R.V. Cape Ferguson, AIMS (Australia)
1997 - now Participation in various fieldwork projects: HDYRA Institute for Marine Sciences (Italy)

 

University Education

2004 - 2009 University of Bremen, Germany
Doctorate in Biology
2000 - 2003 University of Bremen, Germany
Diploma in Biology (equivalent to Master of Science)
Focus: Marine Biology
1998 - 1999 University of Tübingen, Germany
Vordiplom in Biology (equivalent to Bachelor of Science)
1997 - 1998 Hawaii Pacific University, USA
Studies of Marine Sciences