Short introduction to the Science Departments

NIOZ is organized in 4 Science Departments focused on Ocean Systems (OCS), Coastal Systems (COS), Estuarine and Delta systems (EDS) and Marine Microbiology and Biogeochemistry (MBB). Marine research is carried out by the multidisciplinary cooperation between the departments. Please find below a short introduction to their research aims and approaches. More detailed descriptions of the departments are soon to be found through the navigation panel on the left. 

Ocean Systems Sciences (OCS)

The department of Ocean System Sciences (OCS) aims to investigate open-ocean processes ranging from physical oceanography at multiple scales to chemical oceanography, and deep-sea ecology to paleoceanography and paleoclimatology. We cover a wide range of scientific disciplines through experiments and data collection during sea-going oceanographic research as well as through home-based laboratory experiments and analyses. All involved scientists rely on modern observational techniques including moorings, landers, thermistor strings, trace-metal clean samplers, and novel underwater autonomous observations. For this research we actively collaborate with peers in (inter)national partner institutes including the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht (IMAU) and the Faculty of Earth Sciences of Utrecht University, as well as e.g., MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences in Bremen and the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Bremerhaven, Germany.

Head of the department: Prof. dr Gert-Jan Reichart 
Contact: Gert-Jan.Reichart(at)nioz.nl

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Coastal Systems Sciences (COS)

The department of Coastal Systems (COS) focuses on key physical, chemical and biological processes that determine the productivity and ecological functioning of coastal, open marine areas, notably in terms of population dynamics of higher trophic levels, e.g., as fuelling stations for migrating birds and nursery and feeding areas for fishes, marine mammals and other species. This with the principal goal to understand how these generally highly productive systems function, and how changes in trophic interactions -in response to natural and anthropogenic environmental changes in hydrological, morphological and environmental regimes- influence the richness and productivity of coastal marine ecosystems and the ecological functions they provide. Within COS, research is a combination of field observations, experiments and modelling activities.

Head of the department: Dr. Henk van der Veer
Contact: Henk.van.der.Veer(at)nioz.nl

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Estuarine and Delta Systems (EDS)

Mission and focus
The research within the EDS department, housed in Yerseke, will focus on understanding the complex interactions of organisms and dynamic estuarine and deltaic environments in the context of natural and anthropogenic induced environmental changes. Complementary to the COS department (individual and population level), the EDS department takes an ecosystem oriented approach.

This entails among others the analysis of how the environment -including the ‘sea’ floor- is shaped by ‘eco-engineering’ organisms, how biological, physical, chemical and morphological processes and fluxes affect general ecosystem functioning, and how these interactions shape community structure and biodiversity in estuarine and deltaic systems.

The approach will be multidisciplinary, with as key-strength the integration of observational, experimental and modelling approaches, covering the disciplines ecology, (deltaic and coastal) hydrodynamics, biogeomorphology, physics and chemistry. It will combine small-scale process studies, experiments and observations at meso-scale, and modeling and remote sensing at macro-scale to come to an integrated, process-driven understanding of the functioning of estuarine and deltaic systems, with strong links to coastal dynamics in general.

The research scope will go from the sediment to the water column, from fresh to hypersaline, from intertidal to shelf, studying trophic and non-trophic interactions, from fluxes to biotic interactions, from fundamental understanding to applied questions (e.g. Blue Growth, ecosystem restoration and coastal defence), up to large scale coupled hydrodynamic ecosystem modeling.

Research facilities
Research within EDS will cooperate with and rely on the other NIOZ departments for key analytical equipment, as well as for biogeochemical and molecular (ecological) techniques and approaches. Lab flume for currents and waves; annular flumes, wave mesocosms; analytic laboratory for chemical analyses, climate rooms and greenhouse; seaweed center; benthos lab; boats for field work; access to research vessel; in-house developed sedimentation loggers; hydrodynamic measurement equipment, eddy-correlation systems, laser scanner, sediment profiling facilities, computing facilities. Major developments: large field wave flume, drone, experimental & observational frames for long-term manipulative field studies, smart buoys.

Here you can find an overview of lectures

Head of the department: Prof. dr Klaas Timmermans
Contact: Klaas.Timmermans(at)nioz.nl

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Marine Microbiology and Biogeochemistry (MMB)

The Department of Marine Microbiology and Biogeochemistry (MMB) performs detailed studies on microbial communities in the marine environment by field and experimental approaches. We study the diversity, physiology and activity of phytoplankton, prokaryotes (archaea and bacteria) and viruses in diverse marine environmental settings by a variety of techniques including modern genomic techniques. We use lipids produced by eukaryotic phytoplankton and prokaryotes to reconstruct environmental and climate parameters such as marine productivity and sea surface temperature in the geological past. The dark ocean, a remaining terra incognita in terms of microbial diversity, is one of our focal points of study.

Head of the department: Prof. dr. ir. Jaap Sinninghe Damsté
Contact: Jaap.Damste(at)nioz.nl

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