Yannick Mulders

Ecological functions and functional redundancy between different habitat-forming seaweeds (PhD)

Environments all around the world are changing under the pressure of human activities. Many temperate marine ecosystems have experienced major shifts in the main habitat forming seaweed species. In Western Australia, for example, there have been major shifts in the distribution and abundance of Ecklonia radiata, Scytotalia dorycarpa, Sargassum spp. and small foliose and turf forming species. The exact nature of functions provided by these different types of seaweeds and, in particular, the degree to which these are unique or overlap are poorly understood. As a consequence, we know little about how recorded and projected shifts in seaweed species will affect the overall ecosystem dynamics. The main objective of my research is to quantify ecological functions of prominent seaweed habitats and investigate to what extent there is a functional redundancy between different seaweeds.

Supervisors: Thomas Wernberg, Tim Langlois


  • 2011-2013: MSc in Environmental Biology, Utrecht University
  • 2007-2011: BSc in Biology, Utrecht University

Peer reviewed papers

2. Grothe A, Sangiorgi F, Mulders YR, Vasiliev I, Reichart G-J,Stoica M, Brinkhuis H,  Krijgsman W (2014) Black Sea desiccation during the Messinian Salinity Crisis: fact or fiction? Geology, G35503-1.

1. Mueller B, de Goeij JM, Vermeij MJA, Mulders YR, van der Ent E, Ribes M, van Duyl FC (2014) Natural Diet of Coral-Excavating Sponges Consists Mainly of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC). PLoS ONE 9(2): e90152.

Achievements and awards

  • 2019: Grant winner, The Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment.
  • 2018: Grant winner, Winifred V. Scott Estate.
  • 2018: Robson & Robertson Award.
  • 2017: Grant winner, The Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment.
  • 2017: Supervisor, Masters student Yu (Betty) Bi.
  • 2016: Grant winner: The Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment.
  • 2016: International Postgraduate Research Scholarship for a PhD at UWA

Yannick working on one of his canopy patch reefs