Dr. Hanna Koch

Dr. Hanna Koch

Visiting Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr. Koch's research interests cover a broad spectrum within marine and evolutionary ecology, including adaptive evolution, the evolution of sexual reproduction, experimental evolution, species interactions, restoration genetics and conservation. Generally, her research focuses on studying how organisms cope with environmental change, whether that change stems from abiotic conditions linked to climate change or biotic factors related to species interaction.

Dr. Koch joined the Mote team in April 2018 to collaborate with Mote’s Program Manager Dr. Erinn Muller to initiate a new line of research seeking novel solutions for promoting the long-term survival of reef ecosystems by bridging the fields of evolutionary biology (Koch), coral health and disease (Muller), and coral reef restoration (Vaughan). The focus of her work will be to use sexually-reproducing corals for studying which genetically-based traits may provide threatened coral species with increased resistance or resilience to environmental stressors linked to climate change, and then use this information to advance coral restoration strategies.


2016 | PhD Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Germany

2012 | MSc Biology, California State University, Los Angeles

2008 | BSc Marine Science, Eckerd College


Koch H, Wagner S, & Becks L (2018a) Antagonistic species interaction drives selection for sex in a predator-prey system. (In review)

Koch H, Wagner S, & Becks L (2018b) Sexual reproduction amplifies the role of trait change in eco-evolutionary feedback dynamics. (In review)

Koch H, & Becks L (2016) The consequences of facultative sex in a prey adapting to predation. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. DOI: 10.1111/jeb.12987.

Koch H (2016) Evaluating the significance of predator-prey interactions for the evolution and maintenance of sexual reproduction. PhD Thesis. MPI for Evolutionary Biology, Plön. 119pp.

Koch H, Jeschke A, & Becks L (2015) Use of ddPCR in experimental evolution studies. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12467.

Koch H, Frickel J, Valiadi M, & Becks L (2014) Why rapid, adaptive evolution matters for community dynamics. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 2:17. DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2014.00017.

Koch H (2012) Local adaptation to low salinity stress in estuarine sea slugs: Range limits along the California coast. MSc Thesis. California State University, Los Angeles. 86 pp.

Awards & Honors

2017 DFG Postdoctoral Fellowship, The German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)

2012 Special Recognition in Graduate Studies Award, California State University, Los Angeles

2012 NSF STEM Teaching Fellowship, IMPACT-LA (Improving Minority Partnerships Across CISE-related Teaching), California State University, Los Angeles

2012 Award for Marine Science Research, COAST (Council on Ocean Affairs, Science & Technology)