MASTER THESIS: Bioremediation of fouling on oyster substrates and cages by two marine grazing species: Littorina spp. (littorea, mariae, neritoides, obtusata, saxatilis) and Patella vulgata


The European flat oyster, Ostrea edulis, is of significant importance to the North-eastern Atlantic marine environment, from both a socio-economic and ecological point. Functionally extinct in the majority of its historical bio-geographic range, following a combination of over-fishing, disease outbreaks, and climatic changes; the protection, restoration and reintroduction of this species are in the focus of a growing number of mitigation initiatives. The RESTORE and PROCEED projects of the Alfred-Wegener Institute / Bundesamt für Naturschutz aim to reintroduce O. edulis into the German Bight using hatchery seed oysters from our hatchery on Helgoland. An important stage in the life cycle of O. edulis is the settlement of the larvae on a hard substrate after a short pelagic life. In order to provide this adequate substrate, it must provide an available surface for the oyster larvae, i.e. without fouling. In addition, spat culture (juvenile oysters) in cages requires regular cleaning of the fouling. In order to remedy or at least reduce the costly cleaning and preparation of substrates, the proposed master’s project proposes a new and natural solution.


The research objective of this thesis is tocompare the grazing rate performance of these different species on differentmedia. This research project will be based on the island of Helgoland, Germany,and will involve a combination of field work, laboratory and hatchery work.

We are looking for a Master student in marine biology, maritime technologies or a related field.

Further Information

All experimental work will be carried out on Helgoland, starting early 2023 and accompanying the production season in the Helgoland Oyster Hatchery.

You are interested?

Then please send us your application with Cover letter & an CV (with all documents merged into one PDF file) by e-mail to: Bérenger Colsoul ( and/or Dr. Bernadette Pogoda (

For further information please contact
Bérenger Colsoul (, +49 (0151) 63351428)
Dr. Bernadette Pogoda (, +49 (0471) 4831-2710)

For more information, please check this link.

via AWI
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