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07.05. Guest lecture: Dinoflagellate biodiversity – integrative taxonomy can be an exciting life’s work for a protistologist

Mona Hoppenrath

PD Dr. Mona Hoppenrath is Head of Division for Marine Biology, Senckenberg am Meer, German center for marine biodiversity (DZMB), Wilhelmshaven.


Dinoflagellate morpho-species diversity partly reflects artificial classifications. Evaluation of their taxonomy, based on molecular phylogenetic investigations, started a still ongoing revision process. Molecular data also questioned species concepts and taxon delimitations.

The talk will introduce dinoflagellates, a protist lineage presenting extraordinary evolutionary experiments. Dinoflagellates play important roles in marine food webs, both as primary producers and as heterotrophic consumers. They produce spectacular phenomena like marine bioluminescence and red tides, and are major components of coral reefs. Members of the group can also synthesize some of the most toxic biogenic compounds currently known. The plastid diversity is unique. Some of the most complex morphological constructs known in unicellular organisms are found in this group. These include „harpoons“, used to capture prey, and „eyes“, that contain substructures reminiscent of lenses, corneas and retinas.

Examples for ongoing revisions will be presented. Why is the epitypification approach useful? Is barcoding possible and practical for dinoflagellates? What do environmental sequence studies tell us about dinoflagellate diversity and the completeness of its description? Do you want to get answers? Listen to my talk …

Bild Abstract Hoppenrath

Webex-Meeting Details:
Meeting number (access code): 121 385 9900
Meeting password: PUpKeGJu733

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Photographs: © Mona Hoppenrath I © Urban Tillmann I © Viola Siegler