Saskia Brix

Saskia Brix
Senckenberg Research Institute · German Centre for Marine Biodiversity Research DZMB

PhD
- 150 deep-sea challenges - The IceDivA project started with the UN ocean decade -

About

115
Publications
30,841
Reads
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2,312
Citations
Introduction
My work concentrates on epifauna (organisms living on the marine bottom or directly above the sediment). Taxonomically the main focus is marine isopods, especially the typical deep-sea taxa from the abyssal plains from recent expeditions. We are planning and supporting expeditions with german research vessels like DIVA-2/3 and IceAGE1, 2 (see: www.iceage-project.org) and IceAGE_RR (Reykjanes Ridge hydrothermal vent activity; twitter: @IceAGE_RR), coordinating the sorting from the epibenthic sled and provide material on request fixed for genetic and morphological studies.
Additional affiliations
February 2007 - July 2016
Senckenberg Research Institute
Position
  • Scientist, responsible for coordination of epifauna material from epibenthic seldge samples
Description
  • see: http://www.senckenberg.de/root/index.php?page_id=5217&organisation=true&sektionID=10&abteilungID=3&institutID=3&showPageID=16326 and: www.iceage-project.org
February 2006 - January 2007
University of Hamburg
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (115)
Article
Full-text available
Preface of the IceAGE special issue in Polish Polar Research 2014.
Article
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The eurybathic isopod species Chelator insignis shows a wide distribution South of Iceland. We analysed 51 specimens from shelf (213–305 m depth), slope (885–891 m and 1380–1390 m depth) and deep−sea habitats (2750 m) south of Iceland with different DNA markers. A fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene (COI) was studied f...
Article
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We used a combined morphological and genetic approach for species delineation within desmosomatid isopods in the eastern South Atlantic. Based on morphological data from light, scanning electron, and confocal laser scanning, microscopy as well as on mitochondrial (COI, 16S) and nuclear (18S) DNA markers, we describe two new species and a new genus....
Article
The Greenland-Scotland Ridge (GSR) is a major topographic feature, extending from Greenland to Scotland. It constrains the water exchange between the northernmost North Atlantic Ocean and the Greenland, Iceland and Norwegian Seas (GIN Seas) and thus forms a potential barrier for faunal exchange from the Arctic to the North Atlantic (and vice versa)...
Article
Different techniques of species distribution modeling were applied to evaluate the distribution of eight benthic marine species in Icelandic waters. The species examined were Symplectoscyphus tricuspidatus, Stegopoma plicatile (both Hydrozoa), Prionospio cirrifera, Amphicteis gunneri (both Polychaeta), Desmosoma strombergi, Eurycope producta (both...
Article
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The Ægir Ridge System (ARS) is an ancient extinct spreading axis in the Nordic seas extending from the upper slope east of Iceland (∼550 m depth), as part of its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), to a depth of ∼3,800 m in the Norwegian basin. Geomorphologically a rift valley, the ARS has a canyon-like structure that may promote increased diversity and...
Article
Full-text available
The articel is a narrative report about the research expedition SO286 of the German RV SONNE and the related research project "IceDivA2". It contains several links (URLs) to related research networks and initiatives dedicated to the exploration of the Atlantic Ocean and its inhabitants. Published 2022 in the Newsletter No. 40 of the "Gesellschaft...
Article
Full-text available
In this study we focus on the ophiuroid species associated with cold-water corals south of Iceland. The specimens were sampled with the ROV Phoca (GEOMAR) in three different areas, during the recent expedition MSM75 connected to the IceAGE_RR (Icelandic marine Animals: Genetics and Ecology_Reykjanes Ridge hydrothermal vent activity) project. In eac...
Article
Full-text available
Cold-water corals build up reef structures or coral gardens and play an important role for many organisms in the deep sea. Climate change, deep-sea mining, and bottom trawling are severely compromising these ecosystems, making it all the more important to document the diversity, distribution, and impacts on corals. This goes hand in hand with speci...
Article
Full-text available
Correct identification of species is required to assess and understand the biodiversity of an ecosystem. In the deep sea, however, this is only possible to a limited extent, as a large part of the fauna is undescribed and the identification keys for most taxa are inadequate or missing. With the progressive impact of climate change and anthropogenic...
Article
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The crustacean marine isopod species Haploniscus bicuspis (G.O. Sars, 1877) shows circum‐Icelandic distribution in a wide range of environmental conditions and along well‐known geographic barriers, such as the Greenland‐Iceland‐Faroe (GIF) Ridge. We wanted to explore population genetics, phylogeography and cryptic speciation as well as to investiga...
Article
Presented here is an illustrated checklist of benthic marine Ostracoda (Crustacea) recorded from Recent surface sediments of the sub-polar North Atlantic Ocean (SPNA). It presents 142 species (and species groups) belonging to 62 genera from 41 sampling sites collected from the water depths of 144–2749 m.We provide census data with scanning electr...
Article
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The Nordic Seas have one of the highest water-mass diversities in the world, yet large knowledge gaps exist in biodiversity structure and biogeographical distribution patterns of the deep macrobenthic fauna. This study focuses on the marine bottom-dwelling peracarid crustacean taxon Cumacea from northern waters, using a combined approach of morphol...
Article
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In the age of global climate change and biodiversity loss there is an urgent need to provide effective and robust tools for diversity monitoring. One of the promising techniques for species identification is the use of DNA barcoding, that in Metazoa utilizes the so called 'gold-standard' gene of cytochrome c oxidase (COI). However, the success of t...
Article
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Paralicella tenuipes Chevreux, 1908 and Paralicella caperesca Shulenberger & Barnard, 1976 are known as widely distributed deep-sea scavenging amphipods. Some recent studies based on genetic data indicated the presence of high intraspecific variation of P. caperesca suggesting it is a species complex. Based on published molecular data from the Paci...
Article
Full-text available
In the deep sea, the phylogeny and biogeography of only a few taxa have been well studied. Although more than 200 species in 32 genera have been described for the asellote isopod families Desmosomatidae Sars, 1897 and Nannoniscidae Hansen, 1916 from all ocean basins, their phylogenetic relationships are not completely understood. There is little do...
Article
Full-text available
During RV MS Merian expedition MSM75, an international, multidisciplinary team explored the Reykjanes Ridge from June to August 2018. The first area of study, Steinahóll (150–350 m depth), was chosen based on previous seismic data indicating hydrothermal activity. The sampling strategy included ship- and AUV-mounted multibeam surveys, Remotely Oper...
Poster
Full-text available
Cold-water corals build up reef structures or coral gardens and play an important role for many organisms in the deep sea. Climate change, deep-sea mining, and bottom trawling are severely compromising these ecosystems, making it all the more important to document the diversity, distribution, and impacts of corals. This goes hand in hand with speci...
Poster
Full-text available
This study focuses on the marine bottom-dwelling peracarid crustacean taxon Cumacea from northern waters, using a combined approach of morphological and molecular techniques to present a first insight into genetic variability of this taxon. In total, 947 specimens were assigned to 77 morphologically differing species, representing all seven known f...
Article
Full-text available
The waters around Iceland, bounding the Northern North Atlantic and the Nordic seas, are a region characterized by complex hydrography and seabed topography. This and the presence of the Greenland-Iceland-Faroe-Scotland ridge (GIFR) are likely to have a major impact on the diversity and distribution of the benthic fauna there. Biodiversity in this...
Article
Full-text available
Short report about the marine expedition "IceDivA" conducted with the German R/V Sonne in January 2021 (SO280, Northeast Atlantic Ocean). Published 2021 in the Newsletter No. 39 of the "Gesellschaft für Biologische Systematik" (ISSN 1867-6766), pages 16 - 23.
Preprint
Full-text available
The isopod species Haploniscus bicuspis (G.O. Sars, 1877) shows circum-Icelandic distribution in a wide range of environmental conditions and along well-known geographic barriers, such as the Greenland-Iceland-Faroe (GIF) Ridge. We wanted to explore population genetics, phylogeography and cryptic speciation as well as to investigate whether previou...
Article
Full-text available
Despite significant advances in invertebrate phylogenomics over the past decade, the higher-level phylogeny of Pycnogonida (sea spiders) remains elusive. Due to the inaccessibility of some small-bodied lineages, few phylogenetic studies have sampled all sea spider families. Previous efforts based on a handful of genes have yielded unstable tree top...
Article
Spatial patterns of genetic variation (based on COI and 16S mtDNA) for morphologically similar species in the isopod genus Nannoniscus G.O. Sars. 1870 were examined that occur broadly across the Clarion Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCZ). Samples were obtained from five different licence areas as well as an Area of Particular Environmental Interest (AP...
Article
Full-text available
With increasing pressure to extract minerals from the deep-sea bed, understanding the ecological and evolutionary processes that limit the spatial distribution of species is critical to assessing ecosystem resilience to mining impacts. The aim of our study is to gain a better knowledge about the abyssal isopod crustacean fauna of the central Pacifi...
Article
A new deep-sea genus of the asellotan family Munnopsidae Lilljeborg, 1864, Pirinectes Malyutina & Brix gen. nov., including two new species, is described from the abyssal manganese nodule area of the Clarion Clipperton Fracture Zone in the north-eastern tropical Pacific. The new genus of the subfamily Eurycopinae Hansen, 1916, which is distinguishe...
Article
Full-text available
North Atlantic lepechinellid amphipod species were investigated using morphological and molecular techniques based on material collected during two IceAGE expeditions in 2011 and 2013 (Icelandic marine Animals: Genetics and Ecology). The presence of eyes is reported for the first time for the family Lepechinellidae. Four lepechinellid species, Lepe...
Article
Full-text available
North Atlantic lepechinellid amphipod species were investigated using morphological and molecular techniques based on material collected during two IceAGE expeditions in 2011 and 2013 (Icelandic marine Animals: Genetics and Ecology). The presence of eyes is reported for the first time for the family Lepechinellidae. Four lepechinellid species, Lepe...
Conference Paper
Under UNGA resolution 61/105, management of fisheries in areas beyond national jurisdiction requires identification of vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs). Criteria to designate a VME include uniqueness, functional significance, fragility, structural complexity, and certain life history traits. Currently the only quantitative way to assess VME loca...
Preprint
Full-text available
Despite significant advances in invertebrate phylogenomics over the past decade, the higher-level phylogeny of Pycnogonida (sea spiders) remains elusive. This group of arthropods appeared early in the fossil record, with the oldest unambiguous fossils dating to the Silurian. Due to the inaccessibility of some small-bodied lineages, few phylogenetic...
Article
Although crustal trenches of the hadal zone, a global feature of the deep ocean floor, have been known geologically for decades, the biological connections between hadal trenches and neighboring abyssal regions are only beginning to be understood. Within the hadal community, both endemism and species diversity of invertebrate taxa appear to be high...
Preprint
Full-text available
Aim of our study is to gain a better knowledge about the isopod crustacean fauna of the abyssal Clarion Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCZ) located in the central Pacific Ocean. In total, we examined 22 EBS samples taken at 6 abyssal areas in the central pacific manganese nodule area (CCZ and DISCOL). The dataset comprised 619 specimens belonging to 187...
Article
A B S T R A C T Areas of the Northwest (NW) Pacific have been investigated in the last century from board of the Russian RV Vityaz. During the past decade intensive collaboration between German and Russian scientists has yielded a wealth of precious material partly from unknown areas. The samples are comparable and were retrieved using comparative...
Article
Full-text available
Aim The deep waters around Iceland, known as the North Atlantic Gateway, constitute an ideal location to investigate deep‐sea ecological hypotheses. We constructed a comprehensive deep‐sea macroecological dataset of the North Atlantic Gateway region and investigated the controlling factors of large‐scale, deep‐sea species diversity patterns. Locat...
Article
Eurycope producta Sars, 1868 and Eurycope inermis Hansen, 1916 are two widely distributed and highly abundant isopod species complexes within Icelandic waters, a region known for its highly variable environment. The two species complexes have bathymetric depth ranges from 103 to 2029 m (E. producta) and from 302 to 2113 m (E. inermis). Molecular ev...
Preprint
Full-text available
The abyss is a homogeneous and barrier-free sediment habitat. At least that is what the text books say. Yet, at the same time we know that abyssal communities are locally highly diverse. It appears contradictory that a seafloor habitat free of barriers and poor in heterogeneity can host a rich biodiversity. Likewise the evolutionary origins of this...
Preprint
Full-text available
The abyss is a homogeneous and barrier-free sediment habitat. At least that is what the text books say. Yet, at the same time we know that abyssal communities are locally highly diverse. It appears contradictory that a seafloor habitat free of barriers and poor in heterogeneity can host a rich biodiversity. Likewise the evolutionary origins of this...
Article
Full-text available
The ostracod genus Cytheropteron (Ostracoda: Crustacea) has been widely used for paleoenvironmental, paleoceanographic, and paleobiogeographic studies. But species-level data remain limited, especially for deepwater species. Here, we show the depth and spatial distribution patterns of 33 species of the ostracod genus Cytheropteron found in recent s...
Article
Full-text available
Since the 1990s, the marine benthos of the Greenland–Iceland–Faeroe (GIF) Ridge has been sampled through the BIOICE (Benthic Invertebrates of Icelandic waters) and subsequent IceAGE (Icelandic Marine Animals: Genetics and Ecology) projects. Isopod crustaceans formed one of the prominent macrofaunal groups. Most isopod families occurred on both side...
Article
Full-text available
Oecidiobranchus (Isopoda, Asellota) is distinctive among asellote isopod genera in that most of its known species occur in the Nordic Seas and the Arctic Ocean. Some of these species are known only from a few specimens (i.e., poorly known). We used a combined morphological and genetic approach to evaluate the diversity of Oecidiobranchus species in...
Article
We found 72 species for COI and 45 for 16 S by species delimitation among 186 (from 195 extracted) desmosomatid (144) and nannoniscid (42) sequenced specimens of a total of >400 specimens for both families. Multiple “discovery”-type species delimitation methods were used, so that consistency across methods could be assessed: The ABGD analysis detec...
Article
A trans-Atlantic transect along the Vema Fracture Zone was sampled during the Vema-TRANSIT expedition in 2014/15. The aim of the cruise was to investigate whether the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) isolates the abyssal fauna of the western and eastern abyssal basins. Based on two genetic datasets of Macrostylidae and Desmosomatidae/Nannoniscidae studied...
Article
Full-text available
Amphipod crustaceans were collected at all 55 stations sampled with an epibenthic sledge during two IceAGE expeditions (Icelandic marine Animals: Genetics and Ecology) in 2011 and 2013. In total, 34 amphipod families and three superfamilies were recorded in the samples. Distribution maps are presented for each taxon along with a summary of the regi...
Article
Full-text available
Amphipods constitute an abundant part of Icelandic deep-sea zoobenthos yet knowledge of the diversity of this fauna, particularly at the molecular level, is scarce. The present work aims to use molecular methods to investigate genetic variation of the Amphipoda sampled during two IceAGE collecting expeditions. The mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase s...
Data
Table 2. BIOICE and IceAGE stations used for Primer analysis of Amphilochidae including information about species distribution/number of specimens per station.