Mascha F. Dix

Masters Students

MS student



Originally from Germany, I moved to the West coast of Scotland to start my undergraduate course in marine science at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) in 2016. Part of this course was an Erasmus exchange to the University Centre in Svalbard where I had the opportunity to investigate mining deposit pollution of the local drinking water, and to participate in two cruises focussing on biological and oceanographical sampling. I spent the final year of my undergraduate back in Scotland to work on a genoecotoxicological dissertation “Impacts of future ocean acidification on the DNA integrity of the Arctic copepod Acartia longiremis” which was part of the Framsenteret-funded OA-DREAM project. After my graduation in 2020 I continued to work on this project as a research intern at SAMS and at Akvaplan-Niva in Tromsø, Norway. I used this opportunity to develop a method for assessing DNA damage in individual copepods, to assess the impacts of ocean acidification and hydrogen peroxide pollution on Arctic copepods, and to set up a long-time monitoring series of temperature and pH in an Arctic fjord. 

I participated in the Red Sea Summer Program at KAUST in 2019 and was amazed at the research facilities and opportunities offered to students. Particularly the research of the Coral Symbiomics Lab caught my interest, and I am delighted to join the team for my MSc thesis project!

Research Interests

It is well known that human activities affect the marine environment in many ways, but particularly the change of local conditions due to ocean warming and acidification poses a global threat to the marine environment and its’ inhabitants. In this overarching theme, my interest focusses on the stress and resilience mechanisms of marine invertebrates on a molecular level. My thesis research will investigate epigenetic memory to heat stress in the model organism Aiptasiaby comparing histone modifications in response to stress between previously exposed and naïve organisms. 

Selected Publications

Halsband, C., Dix, M.F.,Sperre, K.H., and Reinardy, H.C. (2021) „Reduced pH increases mortality and genotoxicity in an Arctic coastal copepod, Acartia longiremis“. Aquatic Toxicology239


M.Sc. Bioscience - King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia 2021-Present

B.Sc. (Hons) Marine Science with Arctic Studies - University of the Highlands and Island, Scotland, 2016-2020 

Erasmus exchange Arctic Geography and Arctic Marine Biology - The University Centre in Svalbard, Norway, 2018-2019 


Scottish Association for Marine Science – SAMS Council Award for Academic Excellence, September 2020

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology – Red Sea Summer Program, August 2019

University Centre in Svalbard – Best Marine Biology Poster, March 2019

Rotary Club Lüneburg – Dr Walter Zechlin Award, June 2016