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Carola Becker

Carola Becker

Dr. Carola Becker
School of Biological Sciences
Queen's University Marine Laboratory

Phone: 028 427 27800


My research interest is in decapod crustaceans. In previous projects, I have been studying symbiotic brachyurans (Pinnotheridae, Cryptochiridae) in order to understand their host-relations, life histories and reproductive strategies. Using morphological methods as histology, electron microscopy (SEM, TEM), micro-computertomography and 3D imaging techniques, I am studying reproductive systems also in regard to the evolution of sperm storage and phylogeny of brachyuran crabs. My present research is on the age determination and reproduction of commercially exploited decapod crustaceans in UK waters aiming to further develop morphological methods investigating growth bands which are formed periodically in the eyestalks and gastric mills of crustaceans.


Enhancing the sustainability and market share of crustacean fisheries through advances in determination of age/size relationships

Evolution and phylogeny of brachyuran crabs using reproductive characters


Becker C, Scholtz G. Phylogenetic implications of sperm storage in Podotremata -Histology and 3D-reconstructions of spermathecae and gonopores in female carrier crabs (Decapoda: Brachyura: Homoloidea) (submitted to Journal of Morphology). 

Vehof J, Van der Meij SET, Türkay M, Becker C. 2016. Female reproductive morphology of coral-inhabiting gall crabs (Crustacea, Brachyura, Cryptochiridae). Acta Zool 97(1): 117-126. DOI: 10.1111/azo.12111

McLay CL, Becker C. 2015. Reproduction in Brachyura. Decapoda-Brachyura. P Castro, PJF Davie, D Guinot, FR Schram, JC von Vaupel Klein, eds. Leiden, Brill. 9 part C-I 71-4: 185-243.

Reindl A, Strobach T, Becker C, Scholtz G, Schubert T. 2015. Crab or Lobster? Mental principles underlying the categorization of crustaceans by biology experts and non-experts. Zool Anz 256: 28-35.

Klaus S, Goh GH, Malkowsky Y, Becker C, Plath M. 2014. Seminal receptacle of the pill box crab Limnopilos naiyanetri Chuang and Ng, 1991 (Brachyura: Hymenosomatidae). J Crust Biol 34(4): 407-4011.

Becker C, Klaus S, Tudge C. 2013. Male reproductive systems of European pea crabs (Crustacea, Decapoda, Brachyura, Pinnotheridae): vas deferens and spermatozoal morphology. J Morph 274(11): 1312-1322.

Becker C, Türkay M, Brandis D. 2012. The male copulatory system of European pea crabs (Crustacea, Decapoda, Brachyura, Pinnotheridae). J Morph 273(11): 1306-1318.

Becker C, Brandis D, Storch V. 2011. Morphology of the female reproductive system of European pea crabs (Crustacea, Decapoda, Brachyura, Pinnotheridae). J Morph 272(1): 12-26.

Becker C, Türkay M. 2010. Taxonomy and morphology of European pea crabs (Crustacea, Brachyura, Pinnotheridae). J Nat Hist 44(25-26): 1555-1575.


First 3D-reconstruction of brachyuran gonopods (presentation). Summer Meeting of the Crustacean Society (TCS), Sydney, Australia, Jul. 19-23, 2015.

Crabs in 3D – Modern imaging techniques in comparative morphology (invited talk). Imaging in science, Cluster of Excellence Image Knowledge Gestaltung, Berlin, Germany, Feb. 12-13, 2015.

Reproductive morphology of carrier crabs – A phylogenetic account of copulatory systems and sperm storage organs (Decapoda: Brachyura: Homoloidea), 8th International Crustacean Congress (ICC8), Frankfurt, Germany, Aug. 18-23, 2014.

Evolution of sperm storage and internal fertilization in the Brachyura (presentation). Summer Meeting of The Crustacean Society (TCS), San José, Costa Rica. Jul. 7-11, 2013.

Great things come in small packages – reproductive biology of pea crabs, gall crabs and “false” spider crabs (Pinnotheridae, Cryptochiridae, Hymenosomatidae) (presentation), The Crustacean Society Summer Meeting (CSSM), Honolulu, Hawaii, Jun. 6-9, 2011.

Pea crabs in sea squirts and bivalves (Brachyura, Pinnotheridae, Pinnotherinae) (presentation). International Crustacean Conference (ICC7), Qingdao, China, Jun. 20-25, 2010.

Deep Sea Research at Senckenberg (invited talk). Natural History Museum Görlitz, Germany, Nov. 18, 2010.

The female reproductive system of European pea crabs (Brachyura, Pinnotheridae, Pinnotherinae) (poster). International Crustacean Conference (ICC7), Qingdao, China, Jun. 20-25, 2010.

Morphology and function of the male and female reproductive systems in European pinnotherids (poster). Advances in Crustacean Phylogenetics (ACP), Rostock, Germany, Oct. 7 – 11, 2008.

The secret sexual life of pea crabs (Crustacea, Brachyura) (presentation). XX. International Congress of Zoology (ICZ), Paris, France, Aug. 26-29, 2008.

Pea crabs - feeding and breeding inside a clam (invited talk). American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon, Nov. 25, 2006.

Taxonomy and ecology of European Pinnotheridae (Decapoda, Brachyura) (poster). 6th International Crustacean Conference (ICC6), Glasgow, Scotland, Jul. 17-22, 2005.


 Associate editor for Journal of Crustacean Biology

 Guest editor for Crustaceana (Michael Türkay Memorial Volume)

 Reviewer for Acta Zoologica, Arthropod Structure and Development, Biological Bulletin, Crustaceana,

Genetica, Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development, Journal of Crustacean Biology, Journal of Morphology, Journal of Invertebrate Reproduction and Development, Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the U.K., Zoology and others.

Contact Information

Queen's University Marine Laboratory (QML)
12-13 The Strand, Portaferry
Co. Down, Northern Ireland, BT22 1PF
Phone: +44 (0)28 427 28230

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