Sabrina van de Velde

Sabrina van de Velde


Institute     Naturalis Biodiversity Center

Hi, I am Sabrina, a Dutch PhD student working at the museum of Naturalis for the PRIDE project, supervised by Frank Wesselingh. Ever since I finished the Bachelors of archaeology and biology at the university of Leiden I have been looking for a way to combine both fields of interest. 

After finishing the master thesis in Finland on biodiversity I realized I wanted to combine biodiversity research with reconstructing past environments. It has been my dream to continue analyzing both nature and the past, which I can realise in the PRIDE project! Right now I am most interested in macropalaeontology, biogeography, and ecology, and developed a recent passion for shells.

My focus within the PRIDE project is to reconstruct the Quaternary Pontocaspian mollusk fauna to make stratigraphic subdivisions and reconstruct palaeoenvironments.

This means that I will look at the distribution of different shell families through space and time. The space is called Pontocaspian, and includes areas surrounding the Black Sea, Caspian Sea and Marmaran Sea. The time frame will be the Quarternary. During the past three million years the Pontocaspian mollusc fauna underwent multiple radiations and extinctions events, related to the paleoenvironment changes and lake basin evolution. Therefore I will combine different datasets, including sedimentological, facies, ostrachods and geochemical analyses from other PRIDE projects (A1,B5, B2, A4), to identify drivers of community change and establish levels of faunal resilience. The project will include secondment at JLU Giessen (Germany) and Moscow State University for joint faunal identification and modeling exercises.