Marina Costa Rillo


Email: marina.rillo [at]

Twitter: @MarinaCRillo

GitHub: mcrillo

PhD student. CV.

Supervised by Thomas Ezard, Giles Miller and Andy Purvis.

I started my PhD in 2015 at the Natural History Museum in London, where I had the amazing opportunity to re-discover the Henry Buckley Collection of Planktonic Foraminifera. Before that, I attained my MSc in Evolutionary Biology (MEME programme) working with theoretical models of species diversification. Planktonic foraminifera are very interesting for macroevolutionary studies because their Cenozoic fossil record is essentially complete on evolutionary timescales, allowing us to trace the true diversity trajectory of the clade in deep time. However, to be able to discern the mechanisms underlying the patterns seen in the fossil record, we need a better understanding of community ecology and functional morphology of modern planktonic foraminifera. And this is where my PhD project lies: I investigate biogeography of shell size distributions and community assembly patterns of modern species to try to bridge the gap between macroevolution and microevolution.

During my PhD, I spent one year working in Bremen with Prof. Michal Kucera to gain expertise on modern planktonic foraminifera taxonomy and ecology. I was lucky to be able to participate on the German Research Cruise M140 in August 2017, where I sampled live planktonic foraminifera “in the wild” for the first time! Currently, I spend my time between the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton and the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. When I am not doing science, I like to be in nature, climb and watch horror movies.