PhD Project: Molecular interactions between the kelp Saccharina latissima and algal endophytes

Research Interests

I am very interested in the interactions of algae with their environment. During my master thesis (University of Bonn, Alfred-Wegener-Institute, Bremerhaven and AWIPEV Arctic Research Base on Svalbard) I worked on the impact of global warming and interspecific competition on Arctic kelps. Therefore, I observed the development of kelp spores under rising temperature, changing light conditions and increased sedimentation and studied the impact of global change on kelp-grazer interactions.

Now in my PhD project my focus lies on biotic interactions. I am investigating the interaction of Saccharina latissima with filamentous endophytic brown algae - in particular  Laminarionema elsbetiae - by combining different approaches like barcoding, physiological growth experiments, qPCR and transcriptomics.



  • 2015-current: PhD thesis "Molecular interactions between the kelp Saccharina latissima and algal endophytes" (SB Roscoff, UPMC Paris VI) within the Marie Sklodowska-Curie ITN: Algal Microbiome: Friends or Foes (ALFF), supervisors: Dr. Catherine Leblanc and Dr. Akira Peters (Bezhin Rosko)
  • 2014: Master Thesis "Effects of global warming on early developmental stages of Arctic kelps" (Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Center for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany)
  • 2012-2014: Plant Science, MSc. (University of Bonn, Germany)
  • 2009-2012: Biology, Bsc. (University of Duesseldorf, Germany)






Murúa, P., Küpper, F.C., Muñoz, L.A., Bernard, M. & Peters, A.F. (2018). Microspongium alariae in Alaria esculenta: a widely-distributed non-parasitic brown algal endophyte that shows cell modifications within its host. Botanica Marina, doi:

Bernard M., Rousvoal S., Jacquemin B., Ballenghien M., Peters A.F. & Leblanc C. (2017). qPCR-based relative quantification of the brown algal endophyte Laminarionema elsbetiae in Saccharina latissima : variation and dynamics of host-endophyte interactions. Journal of Applied Phycology, doi:

Zacher K., Bernard M., Bartsch I., Wiencke C (2016). Survival of early life history stages of Arctic kelps (Kongsfjorden, Svalbard) under multifactorial global change scenarios. Polar Biology, doi: 10.1007/s00300-016-1906-1.