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Lisa Becking

Dr. L.E. (Lisa) Becking, Research associate - Marine Biodiversity


Email: lisa.becking@naturalis.nl
Phone: +31 (0)71 56 87 615
Room number: C02.09

This page is under construction.




PhD-thesis Marine Lakes of Indonesia

Grants & Awards

2012 NWO-RUBICON grant for 2-year postdoc at UCBerkeley

2011 National Geographic/Waitt Grant, Schure-Beijerinck-Popping Fund, Conservation International & David and Lucile Packard Foundation

2010 NCB-Naturalis Barcoding Grant, Percy Sladen Fund Linnean Society         

2009 EDIT-Women in Science Fellowship, World Wildlife Fund-INNO subsidy, Leiden University Fund, Singapore Airlines

2008 Best Presentation Award Dutch National PhD-Day, Schure-Beijerinck-Popping Fund, A.B. Buitendijkfund, J.J.ter Pelkwijkfund

2007 NWO-ALW Open Programme for PhD grants ( # 817.01.008), Lerner-Gray Fund for Marine Research (AMNH), Schure-Beijerinck-Popping Fund, A.B. Buitendijkfund, Treub-Maatschappij Fund

2006 Reisbeurs-Netherlands National Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)

2005 J.J. ter Pelkwijkfund

2004 Japan Prizewinners Programme Fellowship

2003 Dr. Christina Buisman Stichting Fund, Stichting Bekker-La Bastide-Fund, Amsterdamse Universiteitsvereniging Fund 

Expeditions and fieldwork

2012 Kinabalu / Crocker Range Expedition to Sabah, Malaysia  : member of organisation

2012 Papua New Guinea Biodiversity Expedition  : survey of marine lakes and reef sponges

2011 Hidden Islands within Islands Expedition to Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia: survey and collection of sponges in marine lakes and mangroves 

2010 Expedition Micronesia Waseda University to collect sponges for natural products research: invited as sponge specialist

2009 Fieldwork Berau, East Kalimantan, Indonesia: survey and collection of sponges in marine lakes and mangroves 

2008 Fieldwork Berau, East Kalimantan, Indonesia : survey and collection of sponges in marine lakes and mangroves

2007 Expedition Naturalis-E-WIn Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia: survey and collection of sponges in marine lakes and mangroves 

2006 Fieldwork Bunaken, Manado,  North Sulawesi, Indonesia: survey of sponges in mangroves 

2005 Expedition Toyoshio-Maru Cruise to Kyushyu, Japan: collection of sponges for natural products research

Video clips of fieldwork


Research interest

  • Marine biodiversity and biogeography
  • Marine lakes, mangroves, coral reefs
  • Sponges

The objective of this project is to discover, explore and study marine lakes in Indonesia. Marine lakes are small bodies of landlocked seawater that are isolated to varying degrees from the surrounding marine environment. During fieldwork from 2007-2011 I have located over 45 marine lakes new to science in East Kalimantan and West Papua in Indonesia. By snorkeling and diving I have conducted a comprehensive scientific survey of the sponge fauna of the lakes and the adjacent coastal habitats. In parallel, I am conducting molecular analyses to assess the level of genetic connectivity between lake and sea populations. Our preliminary results show analogies to island systems in terms of species-area relationships, high endemicity, and genetic isolation of populations. 

The uniqueness of these ecosystems warrants identifying existing and emerging threats in order to initiate appropriate conservation measures before it is too late. Our aim is to provide the baseline of a long-term conservation strategy for these lakes.

Marine lake in Wayag, Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia.



Current research topics







There are several BSc or Msc research projects on marine lakes available for 2014, some including fieldwork, some including molecular labwork.  Feel free to send me an email with your CV if you are interested.

  • Bram Knegt, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Phylogeography of Nerita sp. in marine lakes of Indonesia
  • Dennis Kap, Leiden University, The Netherlands - Molecular and morphological variations between sponge populations isolated in marine lakes
  • Christine Hörnlein, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands - On the phylogeny and phylogeography of Tetillidae in Indonesia
  • Nadia K. Santodomingo, University of Leiden, The Netherlands - Unravelling the moons: on the ecology and phylogeny of Cinachyrella spp. and Paratetilla spp. (Spirophorida: Tetillidae) in Indonesian anchialine lakes
  •  Estradivari, Free University Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Trouble or Paradise: a scenario analysis of the Berau's coastal region

Available student projects

Public outreach

Marine Lakes Blog


Becking LE, Cleary DF, de Voogd NJ (in press) Sponge spec ies composition, abundance and cover in marine lakes and coastal mangroves of Berau, Indonesia. Marine Ecology Progress Series.

Becking LE (in press) Revision of the genus Placospongia (Porifera: Hadromerida: Placospongiidae) in the Indo-West Pacific. Zookeys

Cleary DFR, Becking LE, de Voogd NJ, Pires A, Polónia AR, Egas C, Gomes N (in press) Habitat and host related variation in sponge bacterial symbiont communities in Indonesian waters. FEMS Microbiology Ecology

Szitenberg A, Becking LE, Vargas S, Fernandez JCC, Santodomingo NK, Wörheide G, Ilan M, Kelly M, Huchon D (2013) Phylogeny of Tetillidae (Porifera, Demospongiae, Spirophorida) based on  three molecular markers.  Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution67:509-19

Becking LE (2012) Marine Lakes of Indonesia. PhD-Thesis, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Faculty of Science, Leiden University, The Netherlands. ISBN 9789462032132. 

Becking LE, Renema W, Santodomingo NK, Hoeksema B, Tuti Y, de Voogd NJ (2011) Recently discovered landlocked basins in Indonesia reveal great habitat diversity in anchialine systems. Hydrobiologia

de Voogd NJ, Becking LE, Cleary DF (2009) Sponge community composition in the Derawan Islands, NE Kalimantan, Indonesia. Marine Ecology Progress Series 396: 169–180.

Becking LE and Lim SC (2009) A new Suberites (Hadromerida: Suberitidae) species from the tropical Indo West-Pacific. Zoologische Mededelingen 83:853-862

Becking LE & de Voogd NJ (2008) The Sponge Fauna of Indonesian Marine Lakes. In 11thInternational Coral Reef Symposium – Reefs for the Future, Book of Abstracts, p. 556. 

Becking LE, Nakao Y, de Voogd NJ, van Soest RWM, Fusetani N, Matsunaga S (2007) Perplexing distribution of 3-alkylpyridines in haplosclerid sponges. Porifera Research: Biodiversity, Innovation and Sustainability, p 173-178.

Becking LE, Peijnenburg KTCA (2007) Marine lakes - natural laboratories of evolution? 2ndPostgraduate Ecology Forum, University College Dublin, Book of Abstracts, p. 10.

Becking LE, van Reijnen BT (2007) Natural products at natural history museums in The Netherlands. 5th European conference on Marine Natural Products, Programme and Abstracts, p.157.

Becking LE, Cleary DF, de Voogd NJ, Renema W, de Beer M, van Soest RWM, Hoeksema BW (2006) Beta-diversity of tropical marine assemblages in the Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia. Marine Ecology 27:76-88.

Cleary DF, Becking LE, de Voogd NJ, Renema W, de Beer M, van Soest RWM, Hoeksema BW (2005) Variation in the diversity and composition of benthic taxa as a function of distance offshore, depth and exposure in the Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 65: 557-570.

de Voogd NJ, Becking LE, Noor A, Hoeksema BW, van Soest RWM (2004) Sponge interactions with spatial competitors in S. W. Sulawesi.Bollettino dei Musei Instituti Biologici dell’Universita di Genova 68: 253-261.

Becking LE, Wyneken J, Blob R (2004) Three-dimensional kinematic analysis of powerstroking by hatchling and pelagic stage loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta L.Journal of Morphology 260(3): 277.

Please contact the author when you are interested in one of the articles above and it is not available online or in the repository [Repository].