SOSA – Senckenberg Ocean Species Alliance


Marine invertebrates are amazingly numerous and fascinating. They fulfill important ecosystem functions, but only a minority of marine invertebrate species are known to science, they are underrepresented in conservation efforts and this translates into a general lack of public awareness and appreciation. It is a challenge to take care of and protect something that we don’t understand or – even worse – that we don’t even know exists.

SOSA raises public awareness and appreciation of marine invertebrates. SOSA’s Engagement Unit uses social media platforms to highlight marine invertebrate species, related research, critical ocean issues and more. We aim to serve as a link between scientific and non-scientific audiences to increase the accessibility of marine biodiversity information.


Marine Invertebrates

Marine invertebrates are ocean-dwelling animals without a backbone. ‘Invertebrates’ is an umbrella term for an artificial (non-natural) division of animals, differentiating backbone-less animals from those with cartilaginous or bony vertebrae. They are numerous – 90% of marine animals are estimated to be invertebrates. Yet when people picture an animal in their head, that animal is rarely one that lives in the ocean and even less often an invertebrate. This underrepresentation of marine invertebrates in public awareness is linked to a disproportionally low level of research and conservation.

Check out a gallery of European marine invertebrates here.


Ocean Issues

Lack of awareness isn’t the only challenge to marine invertebrate protection. Increasing environmental changes and other human impacts lead to major shifts in ocean ecosystems, including issues like ocean acidification, plastic pollution and habitat loss through mining that result in massive biodiversity loss. 

SOSA seeks to also create awareness about the important ocean issues that have negative impacts on marine invertebrate species.


SOSA’s Instagram: @OceanSpecies

SOSA’s Engagement Unit:

Are you interested in collaborating to create awareness for your favourite marine invertebrate species, highlight your marine invertebrate research, or bring an important ocean issue into the spotlight? Contact one of our Engagement Unit team members below!