Marine Ecology

Expeditions and Fieldwork

Polarstern PS101


The aim of FS Polarstern cruise PS101 was the exploration of the Karasik seamount and a close-by vent mount in the Gakkel ridge area regarding their geological, geochemical and biological features. Our aim on this cruise was sampling of the sponges that inhabit the Karasik seamount. We are going to analyze them in the framework of the Horizon 2020 SponGES project in collaboration with our partners in this project. The main tasks are to assess the diversity, the abundance and the distribution of the sponge species on the Karasik as well as the associated microbial consortia.


H2020 SponGES: Deep-sea Sponge Grounds Ecosystems of the North Atlantic: an integrated approach towards their preservation and sustainable exploitation

March 2016 to February 2020


The Karasik seamount is located in the Nansen basin in the central Arctic (87°N, 60°E).


Tromsö (Norway), Bremerhaven (Germany)


September 9 – October 23, 2016


Chief Scientist, AWI Bremerhaven: Antje Boetius

GEOMAR-staff on board: FB3-MI: Beate Slaby




Sponge samples collection in the Costa Brava (Girona, Spain)

Aquarium experiments at CMIMA-CSIC (Barcelona, Spain), in collaboration with Dr. Marta Ribes.

Aim 1. Characterization of the host response to microbes in the Mediterranean sponges Aplysina aerophoba and Dysidea avara

Aim 2. The interaction between the sponge Aplysina aerophoba and the spongivorous Tylodina perversa

Aim 3. Dissolved organic matter processing by the marine sponges Aplysina aerophoba, Agelas oroides, and Dysidea avara and their associated microbes

Aim 4. Ultrastructural investigations of Mediterranean high microbial abundance sponges.

Location and Dates

CMIMA-CSIC (Barcelona, Spain)


People involved

Dr. Lucía Pita (expedition coordination, aims 1 and 2); MSc. Yu-Chen Wu (aim 2); Dr. Laura Rix (aim 3); MSc Martin Jahn (aim 4).