Esther van der Ent
Phone: +31 (0)71 7519283
Room number: Vondellaan 55, Leiden
During my master Environmental Biology I became interested in the marine realm. I did an internship at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), where I studied aggressive coral-excavating sponges in Curaçao. Here I became fascinated by sponges, which are important but often overlooked organisms on reefs. At Naturalis I continued this interest, studying aggressive coral-killing cyanobacteriosponges in Indonesia. I worked as a research technician at Naturalis, and participated in the ‘Madibenthos’ expedition of the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (Paris), in Martinique (2016). There I also became enthusiastic about sponge taxonomy, and became a champion for 'sponge-rights', as I continuously had to defend 'my' sponges against stubborn people who would not recognized them as animals!
As a PhD student of dr. Nicole de Voogd, I work within the research project funded by her Vidi grant “Sponges in a changing climate: The impact of global environmental change on the microbial and chemical diversity of sponges”. I study the relationship between sponges and their microbial symbionts, their demography and nutrient dynamics, and assess how this relationship is influenced by our changing environment.
I am interested in:
Sponge microbial communities
Current research topics
Dr. Daniel Cleary (University of Aveiro, Portugal)
Dr. Lubos Polerecky (Utrecht University, The Netherlands)
Dr. Yusheng Huang (National Penghu University, Ma-Kung, Taiwan)
CoursesAvailable student projects
van der Ent, E., Hoeksema, B. W., & de Voogd, N. J. (2016). Abundance and genetic variation of the coral-killing cyanobacteriosponge Terpios hoshinota in the Spermonde Archipelago, SW Sulawesi, Indonesia. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 96(02), 453-463.
Mueller, B., de Goeij, J. M., Vermeij, M. J., Mulders, Y., van der Ent, E., Ribes, M., & van Duyl, F. C. (2014). Natural diet of coral-excavating sponges consists mainly of dissolved organic carbon (DOC). PloS one, 9(2), e90152.