Dr Helena Wiklund

Helena Wiklund
  • Post-Doc Research Assistant, Seabed Resources
  • Life Sciences department
  • Aquatic Invertebrates Division
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road


Osedax mucofloris

Osedax mucofloris

Post-doctoral Research Assistant: Seabed Resources, The Natural History Museum, London, UK. June 2013 - present.

Marie Curie Post-doctoral fellow, The Natural History Museum, London, UK. April 2011 - March 2013

Post-doctoral Research Assistant Syntax, The Natural History Museum, London, UK. May - November 2010  

PhD, University of Gothenburg, Göteborg, Sweden. 2005 - 2009   


Estimating biodiversity in UK’s polymetallic nodule mining claim in the deep Pacific

Orphyrotrocha scutellus

Orphyrotrocha scutellus

In spring 2013, a UK company announced its claim to mine an area of the oceanic abyss in the Pacific, in a region called the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone near Mexico.

In the claim area, polymetallic nodules cover parts of the seafloor, and little is known about the composition of the ecosystem surrounding those nodules. We will be cataloguing the biodiversity around polymetallic nodules and investigate connectivity patterns using molecular tools. 

Although we are working in this project with organisms from many different phyla, such as echinoderms, cnidarians and molluscs, our main focus is on the marine bristleworms, the polychaetes. Defining a baseline level of biodiversity and genetic connectivity will help us assess the potential future impacts of nodule mining on local ecosystems.

Polymetallic nodule biodiversity


  • Amon DJ, Glover AG, Wiklund H, Marsh L, Linse K, Copley JT. ( 2013 ) New insights into the fate of cetacean carcasses: The discovery of a natural whale-fall in the Antarctic deep sea. Deep Sea Research II 92 : 87-96 .
  • Glover AG, Wiklund H, Taboada S, Avila C, Cristobo J, Smith CR, Kemp KM, Jamieson A, Dahlgren TG. ( 2013 ) Bone-eating worms from the Antarctic: the contrasting fate of whale and wood remains on the Southern Ocean seafloor. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 280 : 1768 . 10.1098/rspb.2013.1390
  • Shields M, Glover AG, Wiklund H. ( 2013 ) Polynoid polychaetes of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and a new holothurian association. Marine Biology Research 5-6(9) : 547-553 .
  • Taboada S, Wiklund H, Glover AG, Dahlgren TG, Cristobo J, Avila C. ( 2013 ) Two new Antarctic Ophryotrocha (Annelida: Dorvilleidae) described from implanted shallow-water whale bones. Polar Biology 36 : 1031-1045 .
  • Neal L, Barnich R, Wiklund H, Glover AG. ( 2012 ) A new genus and species of Polynoidae (Annelida, Polychaeta) from Pine Island Bay, Amundsen Sea, Southern Ocean – a region of high taxonomic novelty. Zootaxa 3542 : 80-88 .
  • Norlinder E, Nygren A, Wiklund H, Pleijel F. ( 2012 ) Phylogeny of Aphroditiformia (Annelida, Polychaeta) assessed from 18S rDNA, 28S rDNA, 16S rDNA, COI and morphology. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 65(2) : 490-500 .
  • Wiklund H, Altamira I, Glover AG, Smith CR, Baco A, Dahlgren TG. ( 2012 ) Systematics and biodiversity of Ophryotrocha (Annelida, Dorvilleidae) with descriptions of six new species from deep-sea whale-fall and wood-fall habitats in the north-east Pacific. Systematics and Biodiversity 10(2) : 243-259 .
  • Ravara A, Wiklund H, Cunha M, Pleijel F.   ( 2010 ) Phylogenetic relationships within Nephtyidae (Polychaeta, Annelida). Zoologica Scripta 39(4) : 394-405 .
  • Thurber AR, Kröger K, Neira C, Wiklund H, Levin LA. ( 2010 ) Stable isotope signatures and methane use by New Zealand cold seep benthos. Marine Geology 272 : 260-269 .
  • Verna C, Ramette A, Wiklund H, Dahlgren TG, Glover AG, Gaill F, Dubilier N. ( 2010 ) High symbiont diversity in the bone-eating worm Osedax mucofloris from shallow whale-falls in the North Atlantic. Environmental Microbiology 12(8) : 2355-2370 .
  • Wiklund H, Glover AG, Dahlgren TG. ( 2009 ) Three new species of Ophryotrocha (Annelida: Dorvilleidae) from a whale-fall in the North East Atlantic. Zootaxa 2228 : 43-56 .
  • Wiklund H, Glover AG, Johannessen PJ, Dahlgren TG. ( 2009 ) Cryptic speciation at organic-rich marine habitats: a new bacteriovore annelid from whale-fall and fish farms in the North East Atlantic. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 155 : 774-785 .
  • Pleijel F, Rouse G, Ruta C, Wiklund H, Nygren A. ( 2008 ) Vrijenhoekia balaenophila, a new hesionid polychaete from a whale fall off California. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 152 : 625-634 .
  • Wiklund H, Nygren A, Pleijel F, Sundberg P. ( 2008 ) The phylogenetic relationships between Amphinomidae, Archinomidae and Euphrosinidae (Amphinomida, Aciculata, Polychaeta), inferred from molecular data. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK 88(3) : 509-513 .
  • Ruta C, Nygren A, Rousset V, Sundberg P, Tillier A, Wiklund H, Pleijel F. ( 2007 ) Phylogeny of Hesionidae (Aciculata, Polychaeta), assessed from morphology, 18S rDNA, 28S rDNA, 16S rDNA and COI. Zoologica Scripta 36(1) : 99-107 .
  • Dahlgren TG, Wiklund H, Källström B, Lundälv T, Smith CR, Glover AG. ( 2006 ) A shallow-water whale-fall experiment in the north Atlantic. Les Cahiers de Biologie Marine 47(4) : 385-389 .
  • Wiklund H, Nygren A, Pleijel F, Sundberg P. ( 2005 ) Phylogeny of Aphroditiformia (Polychaeta) based on molecular and morphological data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 37 : 494-502 .