Anna Fricke - Post Doc Researcher
Benthic ecology, Macroalgae, Mikrophytobenthos, HABs

I am a postdoctoral researcher in phycology at ECOMERS.

I received my diploma in Biology from the University of Bremen and the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI Bremerhaven), and defended my Ph.D. in Natural Sciences 2011 at the University of Bremen and the Leibnitz-Centre of marine Ecology (ZMT Bremen).

I worked in Germany, Spitsbergen, Curacao, New Zealand, Sweden, Argentina and France, where I am working since May 2014. I studied Polar, Tropical, as well as temperate environments and presented my work in nine peer-reviewed publications, as well as in different international conferences.

My research focuses on marine ecosystems (in particular on the ecology of macro- and microalgal communities):

- Biodiversity and ecology of macroalgae and benthic diatoms

- Benthic algae as indicators to environmental changes

- Benthic harmful microalgal blooms – HABs (Ostreopsis)

At present I am involved in the project:

- M3-HABs: Risk Monitoring, Modelling and Mitigation of Benthic Harmful Algal Blooms along Mediterranean coasts (Cross-Border Cooperation)



Fricke A., Biancalana F., Tonicelli G., Berasategui A.A., Kopprio G.A., Gauna M.C., Parodi E.E. (2015) Insights on ecological and reproductive aspects of two cryptogenic peracarid crustaceans from Argentinean coasts. Brazilian Journal of Oceanographie. 63(3):194-206

Fricke A., Kopprio G.A., Alemany D., Gastaldi M., Narvarte M., Parodi E.R., Lara R.J., Hidalgo F., Martínez A., Sar E.A., Iribarne O., Martinetto P. (2015) Changes in coastal benthic algae succession trajectories and assemblages under contrasting nutrient and grazer loads. Estuaries and Coasts. 10.1007/s12237-015-9999-2

Kopprio G.A., Lara R.J., Martinez A., Fricke A., Graeve M., Kattner G. (2015)Stable isotope and fatty acid markers in

plankton assemblages of a saline lake: seasonal trends and future scenario. Plankton Research 91(2): 554-562.

Kopprio G.A., Biancalana F., Fricke A., Cardona J.E., Martinez A., Lara R.J. (2015) Likely climate change effects on biogeochemical processes of Argentinean estuaries: overview of vulnerabilities and ecohydrological adaptive perspectives. Marine Pollution Bulletin 91(2):554-62.


Fricke A., Teichberg M., Nugues M.M., Beilfuss S., Bischof K. (2014) Effects of depth and ultraviolet radiation on coral reef turf algae. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 461(0), 2014, 73-84.


Fricke A., Titlyanova T., Nugues M.M., Bischof K., (2013). Neosiphonia howei (Ceramiales: Rhodomelaceae) - a common epiphyte of the spreading coral reef alga Lobophora variegata (Dictyotales: Dictyotaceae). Biodiversity Records 6. 10.1017/S1755267212001121

Teichberg M, Fricke A and Bischof K (2013) Increased physiological performance of Halimeda opuntia in response to experimental nutrient enrichment on a Caribbean coral reef. Aquatic Botany 104, 25-33


Fricke A., Titlyanova T., Nugues M., Bischof K. (2011c). Depth-related variation in epiphytic communities growing on the brown alga Lobophora variegata in a Caribbean coral reef. Coral Reefs 30 (4): 967

Fricke A., Teichberg M., Beilfuss S. and Bischof K. (2011b). Succession patterns in algal turf vegetation on a Caribbean coral reef. Botanica Marina 54: 111-126

Fricke A., Molis M., Wiencke C., Valdivia N. and Chapman A. (2011a). Effects of UV radiation on the structure of Arctic macrobenthic communities. Polar Biology: 1-15


Campana G.L., Zacher K., Fricke A., Molis M., Wulff A., Quartino M.L., Wiencke C. (2009). Drivers of colonization and succession in polar benthic macro- and microalgal communities, Botanica Marina, 52(6), 655-667. doi: 10.1515/BOT.2009.076


Fricke A., Molis M., Wiencke C., Valdivia N.,Chapman A. (2008).Natural succession of macro-algal-dominated epibenthic assemblages at different water depths and after transplantation from deep to shallow water on Spitsbergen, Polar biology (31): 1191- 1203, doi: 10.1007/s00300-008-0458-4


Gutt J., Fricke A., Teixidó N., Potthoff M., Arntz W. E. (2006). Megabenthos at Bouvet Island (South Atlantic): a spatially isolated biodiversity hot spot on a tiny geological spot, Polar biology, 29, 97-105, doi:10.1007/s00300-005-0012-6.


Campana Gabriela L., Zacher K., Fricke A., Molis M., Wulff A., Quartino M. L. and Wiencke C (2011) 14. Drivers of colonization and succession in polar benthic macro- and microalgal communities. Biology of Polar Benthic Algae, pp 299-320, De Gruyter


Salas R.A.S., Alden J., Hadad O.M.C., Collin R., Ruiz M.C.D., Driskell A., Garcia C.F., Fikes R.,Fredericq, S., Freshwater W., Fricke A., Miklasz K., Orellana A.E.P., Villareal J.S., Sargent L., Sauvage T., Schmitt S., Wysor B. (2008) Field guide to common marine algae of the Bocas del Toro Region. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Bocas del Toro Research Station, Panama.


Fricke A. (2011) “Succession patterns of turf algal communities in a fringing coral reef”, University of Bremen, Doctoral Thesis, University of Bremen: 278 pp.
Fricke A. (2007) Effects of UV radiation on the succession of benthic communities in Spitsbergen. Diploma thesis, University of Bremen: 144 pp.




First Annual meeting of the M3HABs ENPI program (2.-3.12.2014, Nice) “2014 monitoring results from Nice (Hal) and Sites located in Villefranche Bay (RB, ESP)” Fricke A., Catania D., Mangialajo L.

The 16th International Conference on Harmful Algae (ICHA; 27.-31.10.2014) Mangialajo L., Fricke A.,Jauzein C., Chiantore M., Asnaghi V., Lemée R. Changes in marine vegetation and potential facilitation of Ostreopsis blooms in the Mediterranean Sea

15th Scientific conference of the Phycology Section of the German Botanical Society (Stralsund, February 23-26 2014) Fricke A., Martinetto P., Narvate M., Kopprio G.A., Martínez A., Alemany D., Gastaldi M., Rendas D., Hidalgo F.J., Albano M., Sar E.A., Iribarne O., Lara R.J., Parodi E. ”Benthic algal community structures in a bivalent eutrophied tidal channel system at the Northern Patagonian Atlantic coast.”


XV Congreso Latinamericano de ciencas de Mar (COLACMAR; October 27-31 2013) Kopprio, G.A., Biancalana F., Fricke A., Garzon Cardona J.E., Lara R.J. An overview of the likely impacts of climate change on water quality of estuaries: ecohydrological adaptive perspectives

XV Congreso Latinamericano de ciencas de Mar (COLACMAR; October 27-31 2013) Tonicelli G., Fricke A., Biancalana F., Gauna C., Parodi E. Interacción sustrato-crustáceos peracáridos pertenecientes a la costa atlántica patagónica (San Antonio Oeste, Rio Negro, Argentina)


Coastal Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) Meeting (Mar del Plata, Argentina, November 11-14 2012) Fricke A., Titlyanova T.V., Al-Handal A.Y., Teichberg M., Nugues M.M., Wulff A., Bischof K. “Epiphytic algae - a hidden diversity spreading over coral reefs” (Poster)


45nd European Marine Biology Symposium (EMBS, Edingburgh, Scotland, August 23-27 2010) Fricke A., Titlyanova T., Nugues M., Bischof K. “Epiphytic algae on the brown macrophyte Lobophora variegata along a depth gradient in a Caribbean coral reef” (Talk)


Botanikertagung, Leipzig, Germany, (September 6-10 2009) Teichberg M., Fricke A., Nugues M., Bischof K. Physiological responses of tropical reef macroalgae to nutrient enrichment along a reef slope (Talk by main author)

Coastal Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) Meeting, Portland, Oregon, USA (November 1-5 2009) Teichberg M, Fox S.E., Valiela I., Fricke A., Beilfuss S., Nugues M. M., Bischof K. (2009) Macroalgal blooms in temperate and tropical coastal waters: Nutrient enrichment, grazing and ecophysiological field experiments (Talk by main author).
1st PhD and PostDoc Meeting - Coral Reef Ecology, Bremen, Germany (2009, Bremen, Germany (September 14 2009) (Talk)
Botanikertagung, Leipzig, Germany, (September 6-10 2009) Fricke A., Teichberg M., Beilfuss S., Bischof K. “Succession patterns of turf algal communities in a Caribbean coral reef” (Talk)
Research seminar at Instituto Oceanográfico, Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Brazil (September 14 2009) (Talk)


Research seminar at the Bocas del Toro Research Station, Panama (July 9-23 2008) (Talk)


Botanikertagung, Hamburg, Germany (3-7. September 2007). Fricke, A., Molis, M., Wiencke, C., Valdivia, N., Chapman, A. S. “Effects of UV radiation on the succession of benthic communities in Spitsbergen” (Poster)

European Marine Biology Symposium (EMBS Kiel, Germany (27.-31. August 2007) Fricke, A., Molis, M., Wiencke, C., Valdivia, N., Chapman, A. S. “Effects of UV radiation on the succession of benthic communities in Spitsbergen” (Poster)


Tagung der Sektion Phykologie der DBG, Helgoland, Germany (28.-31.8.2006): „Einfluss von UV-Strahlung auf die Sukzession benthischer Gemeinschaften auf Spitzbergen“ (Talk)



Research background

As base of the benthic trophic web marine macroalgae play a key role within coastal communities. They serve as food source for fishes and many invertebrate grazers, and form microhabitats for smaller demersal fishes, invertebrates and microorgansims. Macroalgae can stabilise sediments, are commercially important as natural products, and play an essential role in terms of biodiversity. Due to their ecological key role, a change in seaweed communities will affect the whole marine ecosystem, including fisheries.

bild 2 epiphytes

To understand the algal dynamics within coastal ecosystems, it is essential to gain a better knowledge of the change and development of benthic communities. In particular early settlers play a crucial role, as they settle under certain environmental conditions and either facilitate or inhibit the settlement of other species. This will in the long run affect the whole biodiversity of the ecosystem. In order to understand the benthic dynamics, the focus of my research is on the investigation of natural algal succession and the identification of early settlers, e.g. microorganisms and early macroalgal stages.

bild 1 succession

Macroalgae provide a valuable substratum for different epiphytic organisms, including benthic macro-and microalgae, as well as different invertebrates and microorganisms. Epiphytic loads can alter the flexibility of the host thallus by increasing the probability of axis breakage, can shade their host from incident light, release or compete for nutrients and change the thickness of the diffuse boundary layer over the host’s surface. The consequences may be an alteration in growth and reproduction, a change in chemical components and even a shift in the distribution of the host. In addition to these epiphyte-host specific interplays, the macroalgal associated organisms can directly or indirectly affect the surrounding ecosystem.



Among the macroalgal associated biota, we find dinoflagellates of the genus Ostreopsis, which form toxic blooms, increasingly observable in the Mediterranean region. Despite there is an urgent need to understand the factors driving the formation and toxicity of these blooms, only little is known on the eco-physiology of this benthic-pelagic taxon. In the frame of the cross-border European project "Risk Monitoring, Modeling and Mitigation of Benthic Harmful Algal Blooms along Mediterranean coast" (M3-HABs). I focus on the ecological connectivity of Ostreopsis cf. ovata and its phytobenthic substrates. The ongoing research shall investigate potential interspecific relations and aim to increase the detection sensitivity of Ostreopsis in its natural environment. This will increase the ecological understanding and support the toxic bloom monitoring activities in the Mediterranean coastal area.