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Diana Martínez Alarcón

Institution:Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), Bremerhaven
Phone:+49 471 4831 - 1849
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Other web page(s):Diana's AWI web page
Diana Martínez Alarcón

PhD project:

Ecophysiological performance and life cycle strategies of North Sea Shrimps

Heterogeneous and variable environments demand a high degree of physiological flexibility from the organisms living there. The brown shrimp Crangon crangon is a dominating member of the epibenthic fauna of the North Sea. It is an opportunist and shows to be well adapted to changing environmental conditions. Previous studies revealed distinct seasonal pattern in metabolic processes, nutrient utilization, and lipid accumulation. Additionally, C. crangon showed extraordinary patterns of the expression of digestive serine proteinases, activities and numbers of enzyme-isoforms increased or decreased according to the season. Accordingly, also the unspecific feeding habits of C. crangon can be seen as an adaptation to a variable environment which may be supported by the heterogeneity of digestive serine-endopeptidase due to the variability of food.

The proposed research is aimed at gaining deeper insights into the life cycle strategies of C. crangon in terms of energy utilization and the underlying molecular processes. Nutrient levels will be determined at different seasons. Digestive enzyme activities and gene expression studies will reveal the catalytic potential. For comparison, the shrimp Crangon allmani which is less frequent in the North Sea and the well-known shrimp Penaeus vannamei, will be included into the research. The final goal is to learn about traits of biochemical strategies which support adaptive physiological processes in a variable and changing environment.

Thesis committee:

Prof. Dr. Wilhelm HagenUniversity of Bremen
Dr. Reinhard SaborowskiAlfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), Bremerhaven
Dr. Mathias TeschkeAlfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), Bremerhaven
Dr. Lars HarmsAlfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), Bremerhaven
PD Dr. Holger AuelUniversity of Bremen