The NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research is the national oceanographic institution for the Netherlands. Our mission is to gain and communicate scientific knowledge on seas and oceans for the understanding and sustainability of our planet. To this end, NIOZ facilitates and supports fundamental as well as applied marine research and education in the Netherlands and Europe.

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16/12/2014 15:44

‘Fukushima underwater’: Consequences of the tsunami at the sea floor

On March 11th, 2011, a 9-magnitude earthquake off the Japanese east coast triggered a devastating tsunami. Joint research by the Japanese Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), the University of Angers (France), NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research and Utrecht University showed that this tsunami resulted in a large-scale reworking and reorganization of the sea floor. Surprisingly, within five months after the impact, the animal community at the sea floor looked again  healthy at the most severely impacted coastal sites, but at stations further away from the coast and in deeper water, the biological community was still markedly different from the community before the tsunami. The results of this research are now published in the prestigious journal ‘Nature Scientific Reports’

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15/12/2014 15:30

Tjeerd Bouma also professor

Tjeerd Bouma has also been appointed honorary professor of Biogeomorphological changes and ecosystem services of coastal areas at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the University of Groningen. 

26/11/2014 11:37

Porpoise on the menu for grey seals

Dozens of heavily mutilated harbour porpoises that wash ashore every year on Dutch beaches are the victims of attacks by grey seals. This was the conclusion of a joint study conducted by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (University of Utrecht), IMARES Wageningen UR, and the NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research. DNA from three different grey seals was found in fresh bite wounds on three dead porpoises that washed ashore in August, October, and December 2013. It was a landmark discovery. Never before has forensic examination of DNA in washed-up cadavers proven successful – not even on human corpses.  (Photo Kees Camphuysen)

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27/10/2014 13:33

Warming of Wadden Sea Causes Decline in Bivalves. Consequences for Birds

On the Wadden Sea tidal flats, bivalves play a key role as food for birds. It is especially in summers following severe winters that the new generation of bivalves in the Wadden Sea can be enormous. At the same time, the predators of these young bivalves, such as crabs and shrimps, are less numerous after severe winters. As the climate is getting warmer, there are fewer severe winters. As a consequence, more years now see large numbers of crabs and shrimps on the tidal flats and a decline in breeding success for bivalves. This is demonstrated by analyses of long-term data sets by the NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research. The results of these analyses have been published in two articles in the scientific journal Marine Ecology Progress Series; one of them as the feature article.

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 NIOZ is an institute of NWO.

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