My group consists of both undergraduate and graduate students who come from a wide range of countries and backgrounds. Together, we conduct diverse research projects to address current challenges in coral reef biology. We aim to advance our understanding of how corals are impacted by climate and environmental change, and what mechanisms increase coral stress tolerance in a future ocean.


Verena Schoepf

Assistant Professor

I am a marine biologist at the University of Amsterdam investigating how climate and environmental change impact tropical coral reefs, the “rainforests of the sea”. I have published more than 30 papers in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals, including Nature and Science, and have won several awards such as the WA Young Tall Poppy Science Award. As a Superstar of STEM and TEDx Speaker, I am passionate about science communication and promoting women in STEM, and my career and research on “super corals” were featured in the documentary series “Women and Oceans”.


Guadalupe Sepúlveda

MSc Project: "Eco-physiology of corals found in inland bays and nearby fringing reefs of Curaçao"

Originally from Mexico City, Mexico, I am now a second year Master's student in Freshwater and Marine Biology at the University of Amsterdam (2018-2020). I previously studied marine science and biology at the University of Tampa, Florida. I am interested in ecological physiology and adaptations to environmental variations. Currently, I am investigating environmental variability of inland bays in Curaçao and the effect of climate change stressors on the physiology of reef building corals.


Elias Speelman

MSc Project: "Recovery of coral communities from the 2016 mass bleaching event in the macrotidal Kimberley region, NW Australia"

My name is Elias Speelman and I am currently doing the Freshwater and Marine Biology Master at the University of Amsterdam. I'm very passionate about diving and coral reefs, that's the reason why I'm working with Verena. I'm working on a Masters project on the recovery of heat tolerant corals in the Kimberley region, NW Australia, after the 2016 mass bleaching event.


Rebecca van Oostveen

BSc Project "Comparative eco-physiology of corals in Curaçao’s inland bays versus fringing reefs"

My name is Rebecca and I am a bachelor student at the University of Amsterdam. Currently I am in my third year of Future Planet Studies with a Biology major. For my bachelor project I wanted to combine biology and my interest in environmental impact on water ecosystems. Coral reefs to me are a fascinating example of such ecosystems. I am therefore very glad to participate in the research of Verena Schoepf, in which I am comparing the physiology of corals in environmental extreme inland bays to the fringing reef populations.


Former Master and PhD Students

PhD, 2018

Claire Ross

Thesis “Coral calcification mechanisms and the use of corals as paleo-thermometers”. Co-supervision with Prof Malcolm McCulloch (primary supervisor), Dr Jim Falter and Dr Thomas DeCarlo. Now a Research Scientist at the Western Australia Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions

MSc, 2018

Maria Jung

Thesis “Symbiont dynamics and energy reserves in Kimberley corals during and after a natural bleaching event”. Visiting student from the University of Bremen, Germany. Now a PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia

MSc, 2018

Cyrielle Rigal

Thesis “Physiological differences between heat-resistant intertidal and heat-susceptible subtidal Kimberley corals”. Visiting student from the University of South Brittany, France

MSc, 2017

Andrew Warnes

Thesis “Interactive effects of light and temperature on coral biogeochemistry”. Co-supervision with Dr Chris Cornwall and Dr Steeve Comeau. Now a Laboratory Coordinator at the Australian Institute of Marine Science

MSc, 2017

Steven Carrion

Thesis “Heat tolerance and acclimatisation capacity of Kimberley corals”. Visiting student from the University of Edinburgh, UK. Now a Marine Specialist Consultant at the World Bank

MSc, 2016

Morane Le Nohaïc

Thesis “Impacts of the global coral bleaching event of 2015/16 on coral reefs in Western Australia”. Visiting student from the University of La Rochelle, France. Now a PhD candidate at the University of Brisbane


©2020 by Verena Schoepf