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Team > Dipl.-Biol. Robert Sigl

sigl Dipl.-Biol. Robert Sigl

Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Chair Animal Ecology I

PhD candidate

PhD Project: Morphology and behaviour of the crown-of-thorns starfish Acanthaster planci

My PhD thesis deals with the ecology and morphology of the crown-of-thorns starfish, Acanthaster planci. Mass occurrences of this corallivorous starfish, so-called "outbreaks", are one of the most significant threats to coral reefs today. Despite intensive research over the last 50 years, the investigation of the causes of outbreaks is still the subject of numerous studies. In my current project, we are investigating the migratory behaviour and morphological plasticity of adult A. planci. We hypothesise that new aggregations of starfish in distant reefs may be caused by migrating adults. The morphological plasticity of A. planci is investigated using magnetic resonance imaging and 3D modelling in vivo. Field and laboratory studies will provide information on movement patterns and speed, and identify factors that influence the direction of movement of the animals. With this information, we hope to be able to make statements about the spatial dispersal capacity of adult A. planci populations and individuals in order to optimise management and control strategies.


  • Cusanuswerk
  • Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD)
  • Sealife Center Munich
  • Air France

Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Chair Animal Ecology I

Diploma in Biology

PhD Student Animal Ecology | Supervisor Prof. Dr. Christian Laforsch

PhD project: Morphology and behaviour of the crown-of-thorns starfish Acanthaster planci

Research Interests: Animal Ecology, Coral Reef Ecology, Biodiversity


Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Chair Animal Ecology I



Sebastian Steibl, Robert Sigl, Sanja Blaha, Sophia Drescher, Gerhard Gebauer, Elif Gürkal, Frederic Hüftlein, Anna Satzger, Michael Schwarzer, Dimitri Seidenath, Jana Welfenbach, Raphael S. Zinser, Christian Laforsch: Allochthonous resources are less important for faunal communities on highly productive, small tropical islands. In: Ecology and Evolution, 11 (2021). - S. 13128-13138.

Sebastian Steibl, Robert Sigl, Paul E. Bräumer, Victoria Clauß, Simon Goddemeier, Stephan Hamisch, Darleen Lücker, Lisa Reiprich, Lucas Stegmann, Nora Voigt, Christian Laforsch: Diversity patterns and community structure of the ground-associated macrofauna along the beach-inland transition zone of small tropical islands. In: Diversity, 13 (2021). - .


Jonathan B. Stocking, Christian Laforsch, Robert Sigl, Matthew A. Reidenbach: The role of turbulent hydrodynamics and surface morphology on heat and mass transfer in corals. In: Interface : Journal of the Royal Society, 15 (2018). - .


Hannes Imhof, Robert Sigl, Emilia Brauer, Sabine Feyl, Philipp Giesemann, Stefan Klink, Kathrin Leupolz, Martin G. J. Löder, Lena Löschel, Jan Missun, Sarah Muszynski, Anja Ramsperger, Isabella Schrank, Susan Speck, Sebastian Steibl, Benjamin Trotter, Isabel Winter, Christian Laforsch: Spatial and temporal variation of macro-, meso- and microplastic abundance on a remote coral island of the Maldives, Indian Ocean. In: Marine Pollution Bulletin, 116 (2017). - S. 340-347.


Robert Sigl, Christian Laforsch: The Influence of Water Currents on Movement Patterns on Sand in the Crown-of-Thorns Seastar (Acanthaster cf. solaris). In: Diversity, 8 (2016). - .

Robert Sigl, Sebastian Steibl, Christian Laforsch: The role of vision for navigation in the crown-of-thorns seastar, Acanthaster planci. In: Scientific Reports, 6 (2016). - .


Robert Sigl, Hannes Imhof, Marcus Settles, Christian Laforsch: A novel, non-invasive and in vivo approach to determine morphometric data in starfish. In: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 449 (2013). - S. 1-9.


Christian Laforsch, Hannes Imhof, Robert Sigl, Martin Heß, Marcus Settles, Andreas Wanninger: Applications of computed 3D-modeling in organismal biology. In: Alexandru, Catalin (Hrsg.): Modeling and Simulation in Engineering. - Rijeka : InTech, 2012. - S. 117-142.


Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Chair Animal Ecology I

Dipl.-Biol. Robert Sigl
PhD candidate

E-mail: robert.sigl@uni-bayreuth.de

Webmaster: Univ.Prof.Dr. Christian Laforsch

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