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Institute for Natural Resource Conservation | Graduate School   

Kiel University

Institute for Ecosystem Research




Research groups/ Projects










Heike Link

Dr. Heike Link

(Former member)
Institut für Ökosystemforschung

Abteilung: Polarökologie

Besuchsadresse: GEOMAR (west shore)
Hohenbergstr. 2, room 205

Postanschrift: c/o GEOMAR
Duesternbrooker Weg 20, D-24105 Kiel

Telefon: +49 (0) 431 600-1598

E-Mail: hlink(at)



  • Ecology of marine benthic communities
  • biodiversity – ecosystem function – resource relation in polar marine regions
  • comparative biodiversity – ecosystem function relation in cold oceans
  • Characterisation of ecological significance of benthic habitats in the polar oceans
  • nutrient fluxes at the sediment-water interface
  • benthic-pelagic and pelagic-benthic coupling
  • benthic invertebrates



Since 07/2014 Principal Investigator at the Institute for Ecosystem Research, Christian Albrechts University, Kiel (GER)

Since 10/2013

Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute for Ecosystem Research, Christian Albrechts University, Kiel

10/2012 – 09/2013

Postdoctoral Researcher at the Biology Department, McGill University, Canada

03/2008 – 09/2012

PhD in Oceanography
University of Quebec at Rimouski - ISMER, Quebec, Canada

03/2007 – 02/2008

Research associate at the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research GEOMAR, Kiel, Germany
Division Benthic Ecology, Prof Dr M. Wahl

10/2004 – 02/2005: Research assistant at the University of Heidelberg, Germany
Division Molecular Physiology, Prof Dr S. Frings zurueck

10/2000 – 04/2007

Diploma Studies of Biology

  • University of Heidelberg, Germany
  • Chiba University, Chiba, Japan (05/2006 – 10/2006)
  • Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain (03/2005 – 08/2005)
  • Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada (08/2002 – 07/2003) zurueck





  MSc candidate Derya Seifert, BSc
MSc candidate Joshua Kiesel, BSc
BSc graduate Moritz Baumann
Research student Dorothea Okoniewski, BSc zurueck




Advanced course in Polar Ecology (MNF-bioc-266); MSc

  Biological Oceanography, Kiel University/GEOMAR (GER); Lecture & Seminar

  Einführung in die Polarbiologie (MNF-biol-166); BSc Biology, Kiel University (GER); Lecture & Seminar


Advanced Course in Biological Oceanography (MNF-bioc-201) Practical Part; MSc Biological Oceanography, Kiel University/GEOMAR (GER) zurueck



Since 2014 Coordination of German Working Group 'Biological Processes in Polar Regions'

Since 2014 "Dynamics of benthic ecosystem functioning in response to the disintegration of the ice shelves in the western Weddell Sea" within the SPP Antarctic Research

Since 2014 Cluster of Excellence The Future Ocean

Since 10/2013

Laptev Sea System: The Transpolar System of the Arctic Ocean extlink

Since 03/2008

Canadian Healthy Oceans Network (CHONe) extlink

03/2008 – 12/2012

ArcticNet Network of Centres of Excellence extlink

Project Circumpolar Flaw Lead Studies (CFL) extlink
Québec-Océan extlink

Since 07/2009

Project Malina (‘Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche’, France) extlink


03/2007 & 07/2007

Project "Establishment of a Middle Eastern Biodiversity Research, Training, and Conservation Network" (DAAD)


04/2006 – 01/2007 Global Approach by Modular Experiments (GAME) Project IV
Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, GEOMAR, Kiel, Germany extlink




Research Grant by the German Research Foundation (DFG); PI

10/2013 Gold Medal of the Governor General's Academic Medals of Canada (For outstanding achievements as PhD graduate)


Strategic Network Enhancement Initiative (SNEI) Grant, Canadian Healthy Oceans Network (CHONe); Co-PI


Award for excellence as student at the ISMER, UQAR (CAN)

02/2011 SNEI Grant, CHONe for Workshop: "Multivariate Statistics using PRIMER-E"; PI

2009 – 2011 Merit Scholarship for Foreign Students (MELS) Funding by the ‘Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies’ (FQRNT)

04/2011 Third Prize Poster Award at the CHONe Network Meeting, Montreal (CAN)

10/2009 Honourable Mention Poster Award at the CHONe Network Meeting, Montreal (CAN)


OCEANOVA Award for the best exhibition at the 5th Symposium for vulgarization of science ‘La biologie dans tous ses états’, Rimouski (CAN) zurueck



  Segelken-Voigt, A., Bracher, A., Dorschel, B., Gutt, J., Huneke, W., Link, H., & Piepenburg, D. (2016). Spatial distribution patterns of ascidians (Ascidiacea: Tunicata) on the continental shelves off the northern Antarctic Peninsula. Polar Biology, 1-17.
doi: 10.1007/s00300-016-1909-y extlink


Link, H., Piepenburg, D., and Archambault, P. (2013): Are hotspots always hotspots? The relationship between diversity, resource and ecosystem functions in the Arctic, PLoS ONE, 8 (9): e77074.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074077 extlink


Link, H., Chaillou, G., Forest, A., Piepenburg, D., and Archambault, P. (2013): Multivariate benthic ecosystem functioning in the Arctic – benthic fluxes explained by environmental parameters in the southeastern Beaufort Sea. Biogeosciences, 10: 5911-5929.
doi: 10.5194/bg-10-5911-2013 extlink

  Darnis, G., Robert, D., Pomerleau, C., Link, H., Archambault, P., Nelson, R.J., Geoffroy, M., Tremblay, J.-É., Lovejoy, C., Ferguson, S.H., Hunt, B.P.V., and Fortier, L. (2012): Current state and trends in Canadian Arctic marine ecosystems: II. Heterotrophic food web, pelagic-benthic coupling, and biodiversity. Climatic Change 115: 179-205.
doi: 10.1007/s10584-012-0483-8 extlink

  Rontani, J.F., Charriere, B., Petit, M., Vaultier, F., Heipieper, H.J., Link, H., Chaillou, G., and Sempéré, R. (2012): Degradation state of organic matter in surface sediments from the Southern Beaufort Sea: a lipid approach. Biogeosciences, 9: 3513-3530.
doi: 10.5194/bg-9-3513-2012 extlink

  Link, H., Archambault, P., Tamelander, T., Renaud, P.E., Piepenburg, D. (2011) Spring-to-summer changes and regional variability of benthic processes in the western Canadian Arctic. Polar Biology 34(12): 2025-2038
doi: 10.1007/s00300-011-1046-6 extlink

  Tremblay, J.-É., Bélanger, S., Barber, D., Asplin, M., Martin, J., Darnis, G., Fortier, L., Link, H., Gratton, Y., Archambault, P., Sallon, A., Michel, C., Williams, W., Gosselin, M., Philippe, B. (2011) Climate forcing multiplies biological productivity in the coastal Arctic Ocean. Geophysical Research Letters. 38: L18604.
doi: 10.1029/2011GL048825 extlink

  Forest, A., Tremblay, J.-É., Gratton, Y., Martin, J., Gagnon, J., Darnis, G., Sampei, M., Fortier, L., Ardyna, M., Gosselin, M., Hattori, H., Nguyen, D., Maranger, R., Vaqué, D., Marrasé, C., Pedrós-Alió, C., Sallon, A., Michel, C., Kellogg, C., Deming, J., Shadwick, E., Thomas, H., Link, H., Archambault, P., Piepenburg, D. (2011) Biogenic carbon flows through the planktonic food web of the Amundsen Gulf (Arctic Ocean): A synthesis of field measurements and inverse modeling analyses. Progress In Oceanography, 91(4): 410-436.
doi: 10.1016/j.pocean.2011.05.002 extlink

  Wahl, M., Link, H., Alexandridis, N., Thomason, J.C., Cifuentes, M., Costello, M.J., da Gama, B.A.P., Hillock, K., Hobday, A.J., Kaufmann, M.J., Keller, S., Kraufvelin, P., Krüger, I., Lauterbach, L., Antunes, B.L., Molis, M., Nakaoka, M., Nyström, J., bin Radzi, Z., Stockhausen, B., Thiel, M., Vance, T., Weseloh, A., Whittle, M., Wiesmann, L., Wunderer, L., Yamakita, T., Lenz, M. (2011) Re-Structuring of Marine Communities Exposed to Environmental Change: A Global Study on the Interactive Effects of Species and Functional Richness. PLoS ONE 6 (5):e19514
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0019514 extlink

  Link, H., Nishi, E., Tanaka, K., Bastida-Zavala, R., Kupriyanova, E.K. & Yamakita, T. (2009): Hydroides dianthus (Polychaeta: Serpulidae), an alien species introduced into Tokyo Bay, Japan. Marine Biodiversity Records 2: e87
doi: 10.1017/S1755267209000931 extlink zurueck


Piepenburg, D., Brandt, A., Juterzenka, K., Link, H., Schmid, M., Thomsen, L., Veit-Köhler, G. (in press) Der Grund der Meere. In: Hempel, G., Bischof, K., Hagen, W. (Eds.) Faszination Meeresforschung. Springer, Heidelberg, Germany


Fortier, L., Reist, J.D., Ferguson S.H., Archambault, P., Matley, J., Macdonald, R.W., Robert, D., Darnis, G., Geoffroy, M., Suzuki, K., Falardeau, M., MacPhee, S.A., Majewski, A.R., Marcoux, M., Sawatzky, C.D., Atchison, S., Loseto, L.L., Grant, C., Link, H., Asselin, N.C., Harwood, L.A., Slavik, D., Letcher, R.J. (in press) Chapter 4. Arctic Change: Impacts on Marine Ecosystems and Contaminants. ArcticNet IRIS 1 Report, 54 p.


Cobb, D.G., Roy, V., Link, H., and Archambault, P. (2014): Information to support the re-assessment of original ecologically and biologically significant areas (EBSAs) in the Beaufort Sea Large Ocean Management Area. DFO Canadian Science Advisory Research Document 2014/nnn. v + 25 p.


Link, H., Piepenburg, D. (2013): 3.2 Dynamics of benthic ecosystem functioning in response to predicted environmental shifts. In: Gutt, J. (Ed) The expedition of the research vessel "Polarstern" to the Antarctic in 2013 (ANT-XXIX/3). Reports on polar and marine research, Bremerhaven, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, 665 , 151 p.


Roy, V., Link, H., Archambault, P. (2012): Identification of Macro- and Megabenthic Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas (EBSAs) in the Beaufort Sea Large Ocean Management Area (LOMA). A Working Paper on benthic systems for the CSAS meeting Nov. 20-22, 2012 in Winnipeg (MB), Canada


Fortier, L., Darnis, G., Robert, D., Link, H., Geoffroy, M., Forest, A., Wold, A., Archambault, P., Piepenburg, D., Falk-Petersen, S., Hop, H. (2011): Team 4: Pelagic and benthic food webs. In: Barber, D., Tjaden, T., Leitch, D., Barber, L., Chan, W. (Eds.). On the edge: From knowledge to action during the Fourth International Polar Year Circumpolar Flaw Lead (CFL) system study (2007-2008). University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba.


Kenchington, E., Link, H., Roy, V., Archambault, P., Siferd, T., Treble, M., Wareham, V. (2011) Identification of Mega- and Macrobenthic Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas (EBSAs) in the Western, Central and Eastern Canadian Arctic. DFO Canadian Science Advisory Research Document 2011/071



Link, H., Wahl, M. (2007): ‘An Invasion-early-warning-system – Establishing a system to monitor invading species and changes in species’ distribution in the Baltic Sea”. Scientific Report, Institute for Marine Sciences IFM-GEOMAR, Kiel, Germany


  Link, H. (2007): Factors determining the stability of marine fouling communities of Tokyo Bay, Japan. Diploma thesis, University of Heidelberg, Germany zurueck



Panelist at "Zukunftskongress – Forschung und Bildung für das 21. Jh.", Kiel University & Parliament Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel (GER)en, Canada


Future Ocean Dialogue, Exhibition tours, Kiel Week, Kiel (GER)


Invited Panelist: 2020 Vision of Canada's Ocean Dialogue, Vancouver (CAN)


Invited benthic specialist for "Re-assessment of original ecologically and biologically significant areas (EBSAs) in the Beaufort Sea Large Ocean Management Area", Canadian Secretary of Science Advice; Science Advisory Report


World Oceans Day, Biodôme, Montreal, Canada


Invited benthic specialist for "Identification of Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas (EBSAs) in the Canadian Arctic", Canadian Secretary of Science Advice; Science Advice Meeting, Winnipeg (CAN) & Science Advisory Report


‘Les filles et la science’, Rimouski, Canada


‘24 h des sciences’, Regional Museum Rimouski, Canada

07/2008 Schools on Board – Circumpolar Inuit Field Program, CFL Expedition, CCGS Amunds zurueck

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