Seagrass molluscs as palaeoenvironmental indicators: ESR Sonja Reich defends her PhD thesis with success.
On the 24th of June Sonja Reich had her public thesis defence at the Utrecht University. She is the second ESR to complete her PhD thesis. Sonja's work is about molluscs associated to seagrass habitats. Such habitats are critical in the functioning of coastal ecosystems and currently under pressure. Since seagrasses themselves fossilize rarely but the accompanying mollusc faunas do, it appears they form a good model group to study the timing and context of diversification of shallow marine biota in SE Asia. Sonja explored several ways to characterize and identify seagrass faunas, including trophic composition, geochemistry and taxonomic composition of faunas. Diversity in the seagrass habitats was already very high at the Early Miocene in the region.