Swaantje Bennecke

Ph.D. Candidate (HOSST)
Co-supervised by Dr. Christian Dullo, GEOMAR, Kiel, Germany

Current ResearchSwaantje_Bigelow2014

My research focuses on long-term studies of deep-water coral communities in a coral conservation area. By monitoring shifts in abundance and size we evaluate the effectiveness of the protection measures. A time series of coral observations yielded first in-situ growth rates that we determined applying a non-destructive approach that involves 3D models of coral colonies. Insights gained in these studies can be used to efficiently establish, monitor and manage deep-water conservation areas.


Ph.D. candidate (2012-Present)
HOSST Graduate School, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany

M.Sc. in Marine Biology, University of Bremen, Germany (2012)
Thesis: Effects of tourism on pelagic-benthic coupling and sedimentary properties in the Gulf of Thailand. Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology, Bremen, Germany.
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Christian Wild, Prof. Dr. Claudio Richter

B.Sc. in Biology, Marine Biology, University of Bremen, Germany (2009)
Thesis: Oxygen-binding characteristics of Sepia officinalis haemocyanin under varying environmental conditions. Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), Bremerhaven, Germany.                                                                                        Supervisors: Dr. Felix C Mark, Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Hagen

Scholarships and Awards

My Ph.D. is funded by the transatlantic Helmholtz Research School for Ocean System Science and Technology (HOSST)

PROMOS scholarship for research stay in Thailand during my Master thesis 2011


Bennecke S, Metaxas A (2016) Effectiveness of a deep-water coral conservation area: evaluation of its boundaries and changes in octocoral communities over 13 years. Deep-Sea Research II. doi: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.06.005

Bennecke S, Kwasnitschka T, Metaxas A, Dullo WC (2016) In situ growth rates of deep-water octocorals determined from 3D photogrammetric reconstructions. Coral Reefs. doi: 10.1007/s00338-016-1471-7

Strobel A, Bennecke, S , Leo E, Mintenbeck K, Pörtner HO, Mark FC (2012) Metabolic shifts in the Antarctic fish Notothenia rossii in response to rising temperature and PCO2. Frontiers in Zoology 9:28.

Research Cruises

  • August 2014: “RV Poseidon”, Lophelia Reef Lander Expedition and Investigation II, Nordleksa, Norway – Trondheim, Video surveys with manned submersible JAGO
  • June 2014: “FSV Henry B. Bigelow”, Gulf of Maine, NSERC – Benthic communities in the Gulf of Maine on the Canadian and US continental margin: research relevant to conservation, ROV ROPOS (CSSF)
  • June/July 2013: “RV Poseidon”, Norway, investigation of Lophelia pertusa reefs using the manned submersible JAGO (GEOMAR Kiel)
  • July/August 2010: “RV Meteor“, North Atlantic, Reykjavik/Iceland – St. John’s/NL, study of three major sources of North Atlantic Deep Water