The lifecycle of Platynereis dumerilii is characterized by several behavioral and habitat transitions. The free-swimming primary larva undergoes metamorphosis and settles in shallow vegetated habitats. At this stage, Platynereis secrets mucus tubes, which are attached to the vegetation. After another metamorphosis the now matured adult swims to the water surface and releases the gametes for external fertilization.

The lifecycle can be completed under laboratory conditions. Established techniques and transgenic lines make Platynereis an accessible model organism. Several unique features distinguish it from other model organisms and provide a niche for new research questions.

Major research interests are embryology, pelago-benthic coupling, multimodal atlases, neurobiology, regeneration, chronobiology, gametogenesis, reproduction, evolution, ecology and toxicology (Özpolat et al. 2021).