Esther van der Ent
PhD candidate / guest
Esther obtained her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degree in biology at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. She started her PhD in December 2016 at Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden. She studies the relationship between sponges, their microbial symbionts and nutrient dynamics, and assess how this relationship is influenced by a changing environment.
During her master Environmental Biology Esther became interested in the marine realm. She did an internship at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), where she studied aggressive coral-excavating sponges in Curaçao. Here, Esther became fascinated by sponges, which are important but often overlooked organisms on reefs. At Naturalis she continued this interest, studying aggressive coral-killing cyanobacteriosponges in Indonesia. Before starting her PhD, she worked as a research technician at Naturalis, and participated in the ‘Madibenthos’ expedition of the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (Paris), in Martinique (2016).
Esther is a PhD student working within the research project funded by the Vidi grant of prof. Nicole de Voogd: “Sponges in a changing climate: The impact of global environmental change on the microbial and chemical diversity of sponges”.