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Jolanda Luksenburg


Dr. J.A. Luksenburg
+31 71 527 2727

Her research interests lie at the interface of ecology, conservation and more recently molecular biology.

More information about Jolanda Luksenburg

Professional experience

Her research interests lie at the interface of ecology, conservation and more recently molecular biology. Specifically, her aim is to apply molecular techniques to address a wide range of topics in ecology, conservation biology and molecular biology (e.g. molecular identification, food web studies, ecosystem monitoring), with an emphasis on aquatic biology. She joined CML in January 2018 as a LEaDing Fellow (H2020- Marie Skłodowska Curie COFUND Programme).

She has designed and conducted research projects on a variety of topics (environmental biology, fish ecology, marine mammal conservation, molecular identification) on three continents and have used mammals, birds and fishes as study systems. Her work has a strong multidisciplinary character. Her PhD work in the Caribbean resulted in ongoing collaborative projects on marine mammals with several researchers and members of NGOs in this region. More recently, She is involved in studies on taxonomy and questions related to the number of species on Earth (Sangster & Luksenburg 2015) and the conservation plight of undescribed biodiversity.

Research topic

At CML she is working on a project that aims to develop a new approach to detect the early warning signs of an impending ecosystem collapse. Specifically, she will test the hypotheses that river systems are top-down controlled by top predators and that their removal leads to a strong loss in ecosystem resilience. She will use environmental DNA isolated from river water (eDNA) to see whether the decline, and ultimately removal, of apex predators (river dolphins, giant otter, Orinoco crocodile) affects the species composition at lower trophic levels.

Former publications


Thomson S, et al (2018). Taxonomy based on science is necessary for global conservation. PLOS Biology 16: e2005075.

Sangster G, Rodríguez-Godoy F, Roselaar CS, Robb MS & Luksenburg JA (2016). Integrative taxonomy reveals Europe’s rarest passerine, the Gran Canarian Blue Chaffinch Fringilla polatzeki. Journal of Avian Biology 47: 159166.

Luksenburg JA, Henriquez A & Sangster G (2015). Molecular and morphological evidence for the subspecific identity of Bryde’s whales in the southern Caribbean. Marine Mammal Science 31: 1568–1579.

Sangster G & Luksenburg JA (2015). Declining rates of species described per taxonomist: slowdown of progress or a side-effect of improved quality in taxonomy? Systematic Biology 64: 144–151.

Luksenburg JA (2014). Prevalence of external injuries in small cetaceans in Aruban waters, southern Caribbean. PLoS One 9: e88988.

Bolaños-Jiménez J, Mignucci-Giannoni AA, Blumenthal J, Bogomolni A, Casas JJ, Henríquez A, Iñíguez M, Landrau N, Rinaldi R, Rodríguez-Ferrer G, Sutty L, Ward N & Luksenburg JA (2014). Distribution, feeding habits and morphology of Killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the Caribbean Sea. Mammal Review 44: 177–189.

Luksenburg JA & Parsons ECM (2014). Attitudes towards marine mammal conservation issues before the introduction of whale-watching: a case study in Aruba (southern Caribbean). Aquatic Conservation 24: 135–146.

Luksenburg JA (2014). The cetaceans of Aruba, southern Caribbean. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United kingdom 94: 1161–1174.

Luksenburg JA & Sangster G (2013). New bird records for Aruba, southern Caribbean, including three pelagic species new for the island. Marine Ornithology 41: 183–186.

Luksenburg JA (2011). Three new records of cetacean species for Aruba, Leeward Antilles, southern Caribbean. Marine Biodiversity Records 4: e4.

Luksenburg JA, Pedersen T & Falk-Petersen IB (2004). Reproduction of the shorthorn sculpin Myoxocephalus scorpius in northern Norway. Journal of Sea Research 51: 157–166.

Luksenburg JA & Pedersen T (2002). Sexual and geographical variation in life history parameters of the shorthorn sculpin. Journal of Fish Biology 61: 1453–1464.

Non-refereed articles

Luksenburg JA & Parsons ECM (2009). The effects of aircraft on cetaceans: implications for aerial whalewatching. SC/61/WW2, Report presented to the Scientific Committee. 61th Annual Meeting of the International Whaling Commission, Madeira.

Book chapters

Luksenburg JA (2012). Rough-toothed dolphin, Steno bredanensis. In: An Introduction to Marine Mammal Biology & Conservation (by E.C.M. Parsons et al.). Jones & Bartlett, Burlington, MA, pp. 184–185.

Kastelein RA, Dubbeldam JL, Luksenburg J, Staal C & van Immerseel AAH (1997). An anatomical atlas of an adult female harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). In: AJ Read, PR Wiepkema and PE Nachtigall (eds.). The Biology of the Harbour Porpoise. De Spill Publishers, Woerden, Netherlands, pp. 87–178.



Work address

Van Steenis
Einsteinweg 2
2333 CC Leiden



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