Jump to content Jump to navigation

Deborah Wall-Palmer

Deborah Wall-Palmer, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow - Marine Biodiversity


Email: debbie.wall-palmer@naturalis.nl
Phone: -
Room number: Vondellaan 55, 4 th Floor, Marine Biodiversity

Expedition Plankton Blogs

From the 21st of September till the 6th of November 2017, the plankton team will be on an international research cruise to sample zooplankton across the Atlantic Ocean. Stay tuned about our adventures by following our blogs in Dutch or English.


I was drawn to the ocean at an early age when family summer holidays were centred around the excitement of catching beautifully shiny fish from the beach and exploring rock pools for strange creatures. My interest in the ocean has continued to grow with my education and research, and through this, I am incredibly fortunate to have become an ocean scientist. I am always looking for opportunities to combine my passion for the ocean with creativity, which helps
us to take our research to different audiences, making them realize that we can all be a part of the ocean community.


I have recently started a two year postdoctoral position with Marie Skłodowska-Curie funding from the EU commission. Following a BSc in Marine Biology and Oceanography, and an MRes in Global Environmental Change, I obtained my PhD at the University of Plymouth (UK) in 2013 with a thesis entitled ‘Response of pteropod and related faunas to climate change and ocean acidification’. Since 2013 I have been involved in postdoctoral research at the University of Plymouth with a focus on fossil and living calcifying plankton.


Research interest

My research is focussed on calcifying plankton (planktonic gastropods and foraminifera) and spans several disciplines, including micropalaeontology, environmental change, molecular phylogeny and taxonomy, isotope geochemistry and stratigraphy. I am interested in understanding how ocean changes affect calcifying plankton, how plankton adapt to tolerate these changes and how they can be used to reconstruct past ocean changes.


isotope geochemistry, ocean warming, calcifying plankton, molecular phylogeny, ocean acidification, stratigraphy

Current research topics

POSEIDoN – Predators at the ocean surface as indicators of change. Shelled heteropods, or atlantids, are small (up to 14 mm) planktonic gastropods. Atlantids are the only predatory plankton that produces a calcified shell, and it is
this shell that we are particularly interested in. We will investigate the environmental tolerances of atlantids, and how they react to ocean changes such as ocean acidification, which is predicted to negatively impact their ability to produce shells. We will use this information to determine whether atlantids are good indicators of surface ocean changes for the past and also for the future.

You can find out more about atlantid heteropods through our new online identification portal, which aims to increase awareness of atlantids and to promote their identification www.planktonic.org




Available student projects


Fraass, A.J., Wall-Palmer, D., Leckie, R.M., Hatfield, R.G., Burns, S.J., Le Friant, A., Ishizuka, O., Aljahdali, M., Jutzeler, M., Martinez-Colon, M., Palmer, M., Talling, P.J. 2017. A revised Plio-Pleistocene age model and paleoceanography of the northeastern Caribbean Sea: IODP Site U1396 off Montserrat, Lesser Antilles. Stratigraphy, 13: 183-203.
Manno, C., Bednaršek, N., Tarling, G.A., Peck, V.L., Comeau, S., Adhikari, D., Bakker, D.C.E., Bauerfeind, E., Bergan, A.J., Berning, M.I., Buitenhuis, E., Burridge, A.K., Chierici, M., Flöter, S., Fransson, A., Gardner, J., Howes, E.L., Keul, N., Kimoto, K., Kohnert, P., Lawson, G.L., Lischka, S., Maas, A., Mekkes, L., Oakes, R.L., Thibodeau, P.S., Wall-Palmer, D., Ziveri, P. 2017. Shelled pteropods in peril: Assessing vulnerability in a high CO2 ocean. Earth-Science Reviews, 169: 132-145, doi: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2017.04.005 
Wall-Palmer, D., Burridge, A.K., Peijnenburg, K.T.C.A., Janssen, A., Goetze, E., Kirby, R., Hart, M.B., Smart, C.W. 2016. Evidence for the validity of Protatlanta sculpta (Gastropoda: Pterotracheoidea). Contributions to Zoology, 85: 423-435.
Burridge, A.K., Goetze, E., Wall-Palmer, D., Le Double, S., Huisman, J., Peijnenburg, K.T.C.A. In press (2016). Diversity and abundance of pteropods and heteropods along a latitudinal gradient across the Atlantic Ocean. Progress in Oceanography, doi: 10.1016/j.pocean.2016.10.001.
Culverhouse, P.F., Williams, R., Gallienne, C., Tilbury, J., Wall-Palmer, D. 2016. Ocean- scale monitoring of Mesozooplankton on Atlantic Meridional Transect 21. Journal of Marine Biology and Aquaculture, 2: 1-13. doi:10.15436/2381-0750.16.018.
Wall-Palmer, D., Burridge, A.K., Peijnenburg, K.T.C.A. 2016. Atlanta ariejansseni, a new species of shelled heteropod (Gastropoda, Pterotracheoidea) from the Southern Subtropical Convergence Zone. Zookeys, 604: 13-30, doi:10.3897/zookeys.604.8976
Coussens, M., Wall-Palmer, D., Talling, P., Watt, S., Cassidy, M., Jutzeler, M., Clare, M., Hunt, J., Manga, M., Gernon, T., Palmer, M., Hatter, S., Boudon, G., Endo, D., Fujinawa, A., Hatfield, R., Hornbach, M., Ishizuka, O., Kataoka, K., Le Fiant, A., Maeno, F., McCanta, M., Stinton, A. 2016. The relationship between eruptive activity, flank collapse and sea-level at volcanic islands: a long-term (>1 Ma) record offshore Montserrat, Lesser Antilles. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. 17: 2591-2611, doi: 10.1002/2015GC006053.
Coussens, M.F., Wall-Palmer, D., Talling, P.J., Watt, S.F.L., Hatter, S.J., Cassidy, M., Clare, M. Jutzeler, M., Hatfiel, R., McCanta, M., Kataoka, K.S., Endo, D., Palmer, M.R., Stinton, A., Fujinawa, A., Boudon, G., Le Friant, A., Ishizuka, O., Gernon, T., Adachi, T., Aljahdali, M., Breitkreuz, C., Frass, A.J., Hornbach, M.J., Lebas, E., Lafuerza, S. Maeno, F., Manga, M., Martinez-Colon, M., McManus, J., Morgan, S., Saito, T., Slagle, A., Subramanyam, K.S.V. Tamura, Y., Trofimovs, J., and the Expedition 340 scientists. 2016. Synthesis: stratigraphy and age control for IODP Sites U1394, U1395, and U1396 offshore Montserrat in the Lesser Antilles. Proceedings of the IODP. 340: doi:10.2204/iodp.proc.340.204.2016
Wall-Palmer, D., Smart, C.W., Kirby, R., Hart, M.B., Peijnenburg, K.T.C.A., Janssen, A. W. 2016. A review of the ecology, palaeontology and distribution of atlantid heteropods (Caenogastropoda: Pterotracheoidea: Atlantidae). Journal of Molluscan Studies, 82: 221-234, doi:10.1093/mollus/eyv063.
Wall-Palmer, D., Smart, C.W., Hart, M.B. The fossil record of holoplanktonic gastropods at IODP Sites U1395 and U1394. 2015. Proceedings of the IODP, 340: doi:10.2204/iodp.proc.340.203.2015.
Hornbach, M.J., Manga, M., Genecov, M., Valdez, R., Miller, P., Saffer, D., Adelstein, E. and Expedition 340 scientists. 2015. Permeability and pressure measurements in Lesser Antilles submarine slides: Evidence for pressure-driven slow-slip failure. Journal of Geophysical Research Solid Earth, 120: 7986-8011, doi: 10.1002/2015JB012061
Watt, S.F.L., Jutzeler, M., Talling, P.J., Carey, S.N., Sparks, R.S.J., Tucker, M., Stinton, A.J., Fisher, J.K., Wall-Palmer, D., Hühnerbach, V. and Moreton, S.G. 2015. New insights into landslide processes around volcanic islands from Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) observations offshore Montserrat. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. 16: 2240-2261, doi: 10.1002/2015GC005781
Cassidy, M., Watt, S.F.L., Talling, P. J., Palmer, M.R., Edmonds, M., Jutzeler, M., Wall- Palmer, D., Manga, M., Coussens, M., Gernon, T., Taylor, R.N., Michalik, A., Inglis, E., Breitkreuz, C., Le Friant, A., Ishizuka, O., Boudon, G., McCanta, M.C., Adachi, T., Hornbach, M.J., Colas, S.L., Endo, D., Fujinawa, A., Kataoka, K.S., Maeno, F., Tamura, Y. and Wang, F. 2015. Rapid onset of mafic magmatism facilitated by volcanic edifice collapse. Geophysical Research Letters, 42: 4778-4785, doi:10.1002/2015GL064519.
Le Friant, A. and Expedition 340 scientists. 2015. Submarine record of volcanic island construction and collapse in the Lesser Antilles arc: First scientific drilling of submarine volcanic island landslides by IODP Expedition 340. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 16: 420-448, doi: 10.1002/2014GC005652. 

Wall-Palmer, D., Smart, C.W., Hart, M.B., Leng, M.L., Conversi, A., Borghini, M., Manini, E., Aliani, S. 2014. Late Pleistocene pteropods, heteropods and planktonic foraminifera from the Caribbean Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean. Micropaleontology, 60: 557-578.
Wall-Palmer, D., Coussens, M., Talling, P.J., Jutzeler, M., Cassidy, M., Marchant, I., Palmer, M.R., Watt, S.F.L., Smart, C.W., Fisher, J.K., Hart, M.B., Fraass, A., Trofimovs, J. and Expedition 340 Scientists. 2014. Late Pleistocene stratigraphy of IODP Site U1396 and compiled chronology offshore of south and south west Montserrat, Lesser Antilles. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 15: 3000-3020. doi: 10.1002/2014GC005402.
Lafuerza, S., Le Friant A., Manga, M., Boudon, G., Villemant, B., Stroncik, N., Voight, B., Hornbach, M., Ishizuka, O. and Expedition 340 Scientific Party. 2014. Geomechanical Characterization of Submarine Volcano-Flank Sediments, Martinique, Lesser Antilles Arc. In Krastel et al. (eds) Submarine Mass Movements and Their Consequences. Springer International Publishing, 73-81. doi:10.1007/978-3- 319-00972- 8_7.
Wall-Palmer, D., Smart, C.W., Hart, M.B. 2013. In-life pteropod dissolution as an indicator of past ocean carbonate saturation. Quaternary Science Reviews, 81: 29-34. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.09.019.
Le Friant, A., Ishizuka, O., Stroncik, N.A. and Expedition 340 scientists. 2013. Expedition 340: Lesser Antilles Volcanism and Landslides. Proceedings of the IODP, 340: doi:10.2204/iodp.proc.340.106.2013 
Manga, M., Hornbach, M.J. and Expedition 340 Scientists. 2012. Heat flow in the Lesser Antilles island arc and adjacent back arc Grenada basin. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems,13: Q08007. doi:10.1029/2012GC004260
Stroncik, N., Le Friant, A., Ishizuka, O. and Expedition 340 scientists. 2012. Expedition 340: Lesser Antilles Volcanism and Landslides. IODP Preliminary Report, 340, doi: 10.2204/iodp.pr.340.2012
Wall-Palmer, D., Hart, M. B., Smart, C. W.,Sparks, R. S. J., Le Friant, A., Boudon, G., Deplus, C., Komorowski, J. C. 2012. Pteropods from the Caribbean Sea: variations in calcification as an indicator of past ocean carbonate saturation. Biogeosciences, 9: 309-315.
Wall-Palmer, D., Jones, M.T., Hart, M.B., Fisher, J.K., Smart, C.W., Hembury, D.J., Palmer, M.R., Fones, G.R. 2011. Explosive volcanism as a cause for mass mortality of pteropods. Marine Geology, 282: 231-239.