11 Mar

Today 2 papers of our group were published online! This papers are the result of a successful collaboration between the University of Groningen, NIOZ and Radboud University, The Netherlands The first study by Els van der Zee et al. demonstrates that food web structure and complexity can be fundamentally shaped by habitat-modifying species.  This works through facilitation rather than trophic interactions [...]

22 Dec

Within the Dutch Caribbean, green and hawksbill turtle rookeries and foraging grounds are found. Green and hawksbill turtles have been decimated by human exploitation and habitat degradation, calling for knowledge of population structure and demographic history. Here we investigate migration patterns in these highly migratory species and evaluate current population status. In other words: How many turtles were there [...]

22 Sep

Last week we* successfully placed a satellite transmitter on a big green turtle female after she nested at Little Curacao’s turtle beach. The signals of the ARGOS satellite are updated hourly and I am very happy to report that this female is swimming very fast in the direction of Nicaragua 1050km in the first 10 [...]

19 Sep

I am Fee, the first master student who will monitor the exclusion cages in Lac Bay on Bonaire for three months. I arrived two weeks ago. My main research questions are: How does turtle grazing affect the productivity of and competition between the native T. testudinum and invasive H. stipulacea in Lac Bay, and what [...]

15 Aug

4 sub-adult green turtles that we caught in Lac Bay are now equipped with satellite transmitters to study their movements and use of the seagrass meadows, (see more photos below). The greens that forage in the shallow Lac Bay area are typically sub-adults. We selected some of the biggest turtles that forage here, to not [...]

30 Jul

Two weeks ago we arrived on Bonaire. Since then we worked non-stop and we made great progress! The first thing we did was to set up a turtle exclosure experiment on the seagrass beds in Lac Bay, after Funchi (STCB) and Sabine Engel (STINAPA) kindly showed us all the suitable seagrass areas. The native dominant [...]

10 Jul

I am very excited to finally start our fieldwork on sea turtles and seagrass in the Bonaire, Aruba and Curacao! What started as a proposal (initiated by Lisa Becking and me) in August 2013, finally resulted in a research project May 2015 entitled  “Ecology and conservation of Green and Hawksbill turtles in the Dutch Caribbean”. [...]

01 May

Who eats who in the Wadden Sea? We collected 12000 samples in one of the largest dbases of stable isotope samples. Using these samples we found that the energy in the Wadden Sea (primary production) is mainly provided by the production of benthic algae (diatoms) on the tidal flats. Papers about this are underway but [...]

19 Apr

The Wadden Natuur kaart (Wadden Sea Nature Map) is now online: this is one of the publications of the Waddensleutels project on which I worked in the last 2+years. You should definitively explore and test it. For example; activate the benthos hotspot layer (upper left) and see which areas are most interesting as foraging areas for [...]

16 Apr

The Waddensleutels project finished 16 april 2015 with a symposium in Leeuwarden, and with that also my 1st post-doc project.  Topics here were: Which measures should we take to increase the area of musselbeds in the Dutch Wadden Sea & what is the current foodweb stucture and state (and how is this affected by the [...]

31 Jan

I had the opportunity to go back to Derawan for 3 more weeks of fieldwork, thanks to the Schure Beijerink Popping foundation. I gathered samples for food web analysis, checked the current turtle density and seagrass biomass, recaptured green turtles and made a new series of aerial photographs with a kite (with super assistant Sipke [...]

18 Jan

Our new paper is out in Proceedings of the Royal Society B! Green turtle populations have expanded so much in Indonesia’s east coast islands marine protected areas that they are adopting new feeding habits, degrading the ecosystem and threatening their own conservation. Read more about  “Habitat collapse due to overgrazing threatens turtle conservation in marine protected [...]

04 Oct

This summer we (the Waddensleutels team) visited all dutch Wadden Islands to collect samples for food web comparisons between mussel beds and surrounding habitats. It was a very successful operation. We collected around 1800 samples of organism that are now going to be analyzed for stable isotopes at the NIOZ, Texel. Sampling involved fishing with [...]

02 Aug

This week I am joining the SIBES 2013 crew on the Navicula. They are sampling benthos at ± 4500 points spread througout the Wadden Sea, a program that is already running for 6 years. Zostera marina in Wadden Sea: At the first evening I was joining Job to search for ringed birds on the tidal [...]

22 Mar

The 22th of March was the Big Day, I had to defend my PhD thesis. After a 10 minute summary about my research I had one hour to answer the questions of 8 (associate) Professors. 1.5 hours later this happy photo was taken. Standing with my Phd between my (co-) promoteres; Tjeerd, Marieke, Peter, Leon, [...]

21 Mar

You can download my PhD thesis “Seagrass systems under nutrient loads, hydrodynamics and green turtle grazing – Do turtles rule the seagrass world?” here (pdf 88 MB). And the papers of my thesis here. Next friday I will defend my PhD thesis at Radboud University Nijmegen. I still have some paper copies left. So send me [...]

20 Mar

After sending out the press release about my upcoming PhD defense, my research on seaturtles destroying their own habitat did receive some attention in Trouw newspaper and a science-radio program. Check these links here.

14 Dec

The 10th international seagrass biology workshop was a success! Together with seagrass specialists from around the globe we enjoyed 3 days packed with talks & workshops in a resort town of Buzios in Brasil. See WSA’s blog by Sity for a nice overview of the highlights and of the speakers (gallery seagrass watch) It also included [...]

07 Nov

The Bank d’Arguin is a magnificent place: Not only to see loads of beautiful birds, some marked with colourfull rings as a souvenir from the Netherlands, but also to do seagrass research. Together with Jim de Fouw (our expedition leader), Laura Govers, Tjisse van der Heide en Karin van de Reijden we traveled through the [...]

01 Oct

After months of radio/blog silence (I did not want to bore you with another photo of my computer screen) I finished the manuscript of my PhD thesis just before the deadline of 1th of October, Woehoe! The last weeks I lived a life comparable to a burrowing shrimp: I lived inside my office, only shoveling [...]