Heike Link

Marine Ecologist and Scientific Coordination

Research Interests

- biodiversity - ecosystem function - resource relation

- ecology of marine benthic communities

- polar regions

- measures of ecosystem function

- Characterisation of ecological significance of benthic habitats in the Arctic and Southern Ocean

- nutrient fluxes at the sediment-water interface

- benthic-pelagic and pelagic-benthic coupling

- benthic invertebrates

Dr. Heike Link

Science contact:


Faculty of Interdisciplinary Research

Department Maritime Systems

Albert-Einstein-Str. 21

18059 Rostock


For matters concerning the Department Maritime Systems, please contact:




2018 - 2021: Role of meio- and macrofauna in benthic ecosystem functioning: Testing effects of different ice cover regimes (PI, DFG)

2014 - 2017: Dynamics of benthic ecosystem functioning in response to the disintegration of the ice shelves in the western Weddell Sea (PI, DFG)

2013 - 2014: Benthic diversity and ecosystem processes in the System Laptev Sea: TRANSDRIFT (Postdoc, BMBF)

2008 - 2012: Studying the functioning of benthic hotspot and cold spot ecosystems in the Canadian Arctic (PhD, Canadian Healthy Oceans Network CHONe)

2006 - 2007: Global Approach by Modular Experiments - GAME (Diplom, GEOMAR/Japan)


Network associations

  • - Priority Program on Antarctic Research (DFG - SPP 1158)
  • - Association for Polar Early Career Scientists - APECS (Germany Board member)
  • - German Association for Polar Research (DGP)
  • - AnT-ERA (Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research SCAR)
  • - Alumni Future Ocean Kiel (Germany)
  • - Alumni Canadian Healthy Oceans Network - CHONe (Canada)
  • - Alumni ArcticNet (Canada)
  • - Alumni Global Approach by Modular Experiments - GAME (Germany)

Selected Publications

  • Pedersen, E. J., P. L. Thompson, R. A. Ball, M.-J. Fortin, T. C. Gouhier, H. Link, C. Moritz, H. Nenzen, R. R. E. Stanley, Z. E. Taranu, A. Gonzalez, F. Guichard, Pepin, P. (2017) Signatures of the collapse and incipient recovery of an overexploited marine ecosystem. Royal Society Open Science 4 170215. DOI: 10.1098/rsos.170215
  • Rickert, E., Wahl, M., Link, H., Richter, H., Pohnert, G. (2016) Seasonal variations in surface metabolite composition of Fucus vesiculosus and Fucus serratus from the Baltic Sea. PLoS ONE e0168196. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0168196
  • 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 39(5), 863-879. doi: 10.1007/s00300-016-1909-y
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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