Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Royal Netherlands
Institute for Sea Research
Phone number
+31 (0)113 577 481
Senior Scientist
  • Photobiology
  • Ecology/physiology of microphytobenthos and phytoplankton
  • Mass algal cultures/photobioreactors
  • Estuarine and coastal ecology
  • Long term time series of phytoplankton primary production

Dr. Jacco Kromkamp

Senior Scientist

Research Interest

My main research interest is how phytoplankton and benthic microalgae acclimate to varying environmental conditions, especially with regard to the interplay between light and nutrient conditions, and if regulation patterns are partly dictated by taxonomic affiliation. As acclimation to fluctuation and excess irradiances involve quite a variety of quickly operating processes my research depends a lot of variable fluorescence techniques like Fast Repetition Rate fluorometry (FRRF) and PAM-fluorescence combined with other techniques to measure photosynthesis like 14C or 13C uptake and oxygen techniques like the Membrane Inlett Mass Spectrometry (MIMS) which allow to measure oxygen uptake in the light.

Research Statement

I'm a firm believer that in order to understand the functioning of an aquatic ecosystem knowledge of primary production is a must. We substantiated this view in the OSPAR project EcApRHA where primary production is now accepted as candidate indicator. Unfortunately, measurements of primary production are declining globally, certainly as year-round monitoring activity. Being an optical technique, FRRF seems an ideal tool to replace the conventional 14C-technique, as it can be automated and measurements can be carried out autonomously. We are pioneering this at two location: at the NIOZ jetty in the Wadden Sea where photosynthetic activity is monitored continuously and in the MONEOS program, where we monitor primary production using an automated FRRF in the Westerschelde estuary during the monitoring campaings carried out by Rijkswaterstaat (RWS, Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment). Applying this technique requires knowledge of the electron requirement for C-fixation, and understanding this relationship is a main part of my research.

Short CV

In 1983 I completed my MSc in Biology at the University of Amsterdam. I continued my PhD there in the group of Prof. dr. Luuc Mur where  I received my PhD in 1987 on a study of the mechanisms and kinetics of buoyancy regulation in two freshwater cyanobacteria. I continued this study, adding some molecular biology into gene expression studies as a postdoc in the Lab of Prof. Anthony Walsby at the Univeristy of Bristol (UK). In 1989 I moved to the Delta Institute, which became the Center for Estuarine and Marine Ecology of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology. The CEME which merged in  2012 with the NIOZ.

Other activities

  • Member of the international commitee of the Group for Aquatic Primary Productivity
  • Member of the workgroup of Biological Observations of the European Marine Board
  • Member of the editorial board of Journal of Plankton Research
  • Member of the Wetenschappelijke Raad Zeeland

Project information


This project aims to improve and innovate the cooperation in coastal observatories in Europe by implementing the coastal part of a European Ocean Observing System and to cooperate with other European initiatives. This requires knowledge about the interplay between physics, biogeochemistry and biology and to realize this new technological developments are necessary allowing continuous monitoring of a larger set of parameters. My contribution is aimed at developing techniques to measure primary productivity with high resolution in time and space, and I do this by applying Fast Repetion Rate Fluorometery (FRRF), a technique which measured photosynthetic electron transport (ETR). However, in ecosystems Carbon is the currency, so for succesful application of FRRF, it is necessary to know how much electrons you need to fix a CO2 molecule, and measuring and understanding the relationship between FRRF and C-fixation is part of my main research. To further understand the regulation of primary production and the relationship between ETR and C-fixation we also look at the role of phytoplankton composition, by combining FRRF measurements with automated flow cytometry. On the Dutch EEZ of the North Sea, I closely cooperate with Rijkswaterstaat for this.

FRRF-FCM on Zirfaea.jpg

This pictures shows the setup during a Jerico-NEXT cruise on the RWS ship Zirfaea and it shows to CytoSense Flow cytometers and two FastOcean/Act2 sensors

OMES: primary production in the Scheldt river

The aim of OMES is to get up to date information about the tidal Scheldt river and the Scheldt estuary as a whole.  A large monitoring program was developed, and with the information of the monitoring program the effects of change occuring in the river, in large part due to deepening of the estuary, should be obtained. This information is crucial to a good governance of the system. Part of this program is to obtain primary production estimates of phytoplankton and microphytobenthos. Despite that the Scheldt river is very turbid, quite high annual phytoplankton productivity is measured upstream in the tidal part of the river near Gent, which is due to the fact that the average depth is vary shallow, leading to quite favourable photic zone : mixing depth ratios. Interestingly, more upstream, the microphytobenthos on the intertidal areas bordering the river is dominated by the green alga Euglena sp.

contourplot jaarproducties2.jpg

Contourplot showing variability in daily primary productivity upstream from the Dutch-Belgium border (63 km).








Linked news

Wednesday 24 April 2019
NIOZ North Sea expeditions 2019: Three Pelagia cruises to study the carrying capacity of the North Sea
On May 8th the first of three North Sea cruises to be held in 2019 under the flag of the NIOZ North Sea Research Centre (NIOZ-NSRC) has sailed off from Texel to investigate the North Sea. Each cruise lasts 2 to 3 weeks and will follow a different…

Linked blogs

Monday 13 May 2019
NIOZ@SEA | North Sea Expeditions 2019
In 2019 three Pelagia cruises will be organised to study the carrying capacity of the North Sea. Each cruise will last 2 to 3 weeks and follows different routes to cover and describe the various parts of the ecosystem of the North Sea. On May 8th the…
Tuesday 02 October 2018
NIOZ@SEA | Ecologisch onderzoek in de Nederlandse delta’s
De ecosystemen in de Oosterschelde, Grevelingen en Haringvliet zijn aan het veranderen door de invloed van onze Deltawerken, maar ook door klimaatverandering. In de Oosterschelde verdrinken de zandplaten langzaam door zandhonger, de bodem in het…

NIOZ publications

  • 2020
    Ebbing, A.; Pierik, R.; Bouma, T.J.; Kromkamp, J.C.; Timmermans, K. (2020). How light and biomass density influence the reproduction of delayed Saccharina latissima gametophytes (Phaeophyceae). J. Phycol. 56(3): 709-718.
    Jacobs, P.; Kromkamp, J.C.; van Leeuwen, S.; Philippart, C.J.M. (2020). Planktonic primary production in the western Dutch Wadden Sea. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 639: 53-71.
  • 2019
    Aardema, H.M.; Rijkeboer, M.; Lefebvre, A.; Veen, A.; Kromkamp, J.C. (2019). High-resolution underway measurements of phytoplankton photosynthesis and abundance as an innovative addition to water quality monitoring programs. Ocean Sci. 15(5): 1267-1285.
    Daggers, T.D.; Kromkamp, J.C.; Herman, P.M.J.; van der Wal, D. (2019). Corrigendum to “A model to assess microphytobenthic primary production in tidal systems using satellite remote sensing” [Remote Sens. Environ. 211 (2018) 129–145]. Remote Sens. Environ. 230: 111206.
    Kromkamp, J.; Boon, A. (2019). Beleidsambities maken upgrade Noordzeemonitoring nog urgenter, in: Duimel, E. et al. (Ed.) Het roer moet om : Signalen voor een juiste koers van nieuw Noordzeebeleid. pp. 81-98
    She, J.; Muñiz Piniella, A.; Benedetti-Cecchi, L.; Boehme, L.; Boero, F.; Christensen, A.; Crowe, T.; Darecki, M.; Nogueira, E.; Grémare, A.; Hernandez, F.; Kõuts, T.; Kromkamp, J.; Petihakis, G.; Sousa Pinto, I.; Reißmann, J.H.; Tuomi, L.; Zingone, A. (2019). An integrated approach to coastal and biological observations. Front. Mar. Sci. 6: 314.
  • 2018
    Benedetti-Cecchi, L.; Crowe, T.; Boehme, L.; Boero, F.; Christensen, A.; Grémare, A.; Hernandez, F.; Kromkamp, J.C.; Nogueira García, E.; Petihakis, G.; Robidart, J.; Sousa Pinto, I.; Zingone, A.; Larkin, K.; Muñiz Piniella, A.; Kellett, P.; Heymans, S.J.J. (2018). Strengthening Europe's capability in biological ocean observations. Marine Board Future Science Brief, 3. European Marine Board: Ostend. ISBN 9789492043559. 76 pp.
    Daggers, T.D.; Kromkamp, J.C.; Herman, P.M.J.; van der Wal, D. (2018). A model to assess microphytobenthic primary production in tidal systems using satellite remote sensing. Remote Sens. Environ. 211: 129-145.
    Hughes, D.J.; Campbell, D.A.; Doblin, M.A.; Kromkamp, J.C.; Lawrenz, E.; Moore, C.M.; Oxborough, K.; Prášil, O.; Ralph, P.J.; Alvarez, M.F.; Suggett, D.J. (2018). Roadmaps and detours: active chlorophyll-a assessments of primary productivity across marine and freshwater systems. Environ. Sci. Technol. 52(21): 12039-12054.
  • 2017
    David, H.; Kromkamp, J.C.; Orive, E. (2017). Relationship between strains of Coolia monotis (Dinophyceae) from the Atlantic Iberian Peninsula and their sampling sites. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 487: 59-67.
    David, H.; Laza-Martínez, A.; Kromkamp, J.; Orive, E. (2018). Physiological response of Prorocentrum lima (Dinophyceae) to varying light intensities. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 94(1): fix166.
    Elliott, S.A.M.; Arroyo, N.L.; Safi, G.; Ostle, C.; Guérin, L.; McQuatters-Gollop, A.; Aubert, A.; Artigas, F.; Budria, A.; Rombouts, I.; Pesch, R.; Schmitt, P.; Vina-Herbon, C.; Meakins, B.; González-Irusta, J.M.; Preciado, I.; López-López, L.; Punzón, A.; Torriente, A.; Serrano, A.; Haraldsson, M.; Capuzzo, E.; Claquin, P.; Kromkamp, J.; Niquil, N.; Judd, A.; Padegimas, B.; Corcoran, E. (2017). Proposed approaches for indicator integration. EcApRHA Deliverable WP 4.1. [S.n.]: [s.l.]. ISBN 9781911458296. 43 pp.
    Haraldsson, M.; Arroyo, N.L.; Capuzzo, E.; Claquin, P.; Kromkamp, J.; Niquil, N.; Ostle, C.; Preciado, I.; Safi, G. (2017). Report on the integration of OSPAR Food Webs Indicators into the NEAT tool. EcApRHA Deliverable WP 3.5. [S.n.]: [s.l.]. ISBN 9781911458289. 43 pp.
    Kromkamp, J.; Capuzzo, E.; Philippart, C.J.M. (2017). Measuring phytoplankton primary production: review of existing methodologies and suggestions for a common approach. EcApRHA Deliverable WP 3.2. [S.n.]: [s.l.]. ISBN 9781911458272. 24 pp.
    Le Coz, M.; Chambord, S.; Meire, P.; Maris, T.; Azémar, F.; Ovaert, J.; Buffan-Dubau, E.; Kromkamp, J.C.; Sossou, A.C.; Prygiel, J.; Spronk, G.; Lamothe, S.; Ouddane, B.; Rabodonirina, S.; Net, S.; Dumoulin, D.; Peene, J.; Souissi, S.; Tackx, M.; Sossou, A.C. (2017). Test of some ecological concepts on the longitudinal distribution of zooplankton along a lowland water course. Hydrobiologia 802(1): 175–198.
  • 2016
    Kromkamp, J.; Vlaming, J. (2016). Primaire productie in de Zeeschelde en haar zijrivieren in de periode 2010-2015. OMES project Luik 5.. [S.n.]: [s.l.].
    Kromkamp, J.C.; Folmer, E.; Philippart, C.J.M. (2016). Opzet rekeninstrumentarium voor de berekening van primaire productie van fytoplankton en microfytobenthos in het Eems-Dollard estuarium. [S.n.]: [s.l.].
  • 2015
    Cox, T.J.S.; Maris, T.; Soetaert, K.; Kromkamp, J.C.; Meire, P.; Meysman, F.J.R. (2015). Estimating primary production from oxygen time series: A novel approach in the frequency domain. Limnol. Oceanogr., Methods 13(10): 529-552.
    Kromkamp, J.C.; Philippart, C.J.M. (2015). Primaire productie in het waddengebied: meten en berekenen. NIOZ-rapport, 2015(3). NIOZ: Den Burg. 64 pp.
    Silsbe, G.M.; Oxborough, K.; Suggett, D.J.; Forster, R.M.; Ihnken, S.; Komárek, O.; Lawrenz, E.; Prášil, O.; Röttgers, R.; Šicner, M.; Simis, S.G.H.; Van Dijk, M.A.; Kromkamp, J.C. (2015). Toward autonomous measurements of photosynthetic electron transport rates: An evaluation of active fluorescence-based measurements of photochemistry. Limnol. Oceanogr., Methods 13(3): 138–155.
  • 2014
    Barnes, M.K.; Tilstone, G.H.; Smyth, T.J.; Suggett, D.J.; Astoreca, R.; Lancelot, C.; Kromkamp, J.C. (2014). Absorption-based algorithm of primary production for total and size-fractionated phytoplankton in coastal waters. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 504: 73-89.
    Figueroa, F.L.; Mercado, J.M.; Beardall, J.; Neale, P.J.; Montecino, V.; Kromkamp, J.C. (2014). Introduction. Aquat. Biol. 22: 1-4.
    Ihnken, S.; Beardall, J.; Kromkamp, J.C.; Gómez Serrano, C.; Torres, M.A.; Masojídek, J.; Malpartida, I.; Abdala, R.; Gil Jerez, C.; Malapascua, J.R.; Navarro, E.; Rico, R.M.; Peralta, E.; Ferreira Ezequil, J.P.; Lopez Figueroa, F (2014). Light acclimation and pH perturbations affect photosynthetic performance in Chlorella mass culture. Aquat. Biol. 22: 95-110.
    Ihnken, S.; Kromkamp, J.C.; Beardall, J.; Silsbe, G.M. (2014). State-transitions facilitate robust quantum yields and cause an over-estimation of electron transport in Dunaliella tertiolecta cells held at the CO2 compensation point and re-supplied with DIC. Photosynth. Res. 119(3): 257-272.
    Kromkamp, J.C. (2014). Shipboard rapport RWS-Zirfaea cruise 17-19 juni 2014. NIOZ: Yerseke. 12 pp.
    Kromkamp, J.C.; Peene, J.; Vlaming, J. (2014). Primaire productie in de Westerschelde 2010-2013. NIOZ: Yerseke. 76 + appendices pp.
    Ly, J.; Philippart, C.J.M.; Kromkamp, J.C. (2014). Phosphorus limitation during a phytoplankton spring bloom in the western Dutch Wadden Sea. J. Sea Res. 88: 109-120.
    Maris, T.; Bruens, A.; van Duren, L.; Vroom, J.; Holzhauer, H.; De Jonge, M.; Van Damme, S.; Nolte, A.; Kuijper, K.; Taal, M.; Jeuken, C.; Kromkamp, J.; van Wesenbeeck, B.; Van Ryckegem, G.; Van den Bergh, E.; Wijnhoven, S.; Meire, P. (2014). Evaluatiemethodiek Schelde-estuarium. Update 2014. Report Ecosystem Management Research Group ECOBE, 014-R175. Deltares/Ecosystem Management Research Group/NIOZ/INBO: [s.l.]. 356 pp.
    Philippart, C.J.M.; van Bleijswijk, J.; Kromkamp, J.C.; Zuur, A.F.; Herman, P.M.J. (2014). Reproductive phenology of coastal marine bivalves in a seasonal environment. J. Plankton Res. 36(6): 1512-1527.
    Schuurmans, R.M.; Schuurmans, J.M.; Bekker, M.; Kromkamp, J.C.; Matthijs, H.C.P.; Hellingwerf, K.J. (2014). The Redox Potential of the Plastoquinone Pool of the Cyanobacterium Synechocystis Species Strain PCC 6803 Is under Strict Homeostatic Control. Plant Physiol. 165(1): 463-475.
    Zetsche, E.-M.; El Mallahi, A.; Dubois, F.; Yourassowsky, C.; Kromkamp, J.C.; Meysman, F.J.R. (2014). Imaging-in-flow: digital holographic microscopy as a novel tool to detect and classify nanoplanktonic organisms. Limnol. Oceanogr., Methods 42(12): 757-775.
  • 2013
    Bañares-España, E.; Kromkamp, J.C.; López-Rodas, V.; Costas, E.; Flores-Moya, A. (2013). Photoacclimation of cultured strains of the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa to high-light and low-light conditions. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 83(3): 700-710.
    Jellali, R.; Kromkamp, J.C.; Campistron, I.; Laguerre, A.; Lefebvre, S.; Perkins, R.G.; Pilard, J.F.; Mouget, J.L. (2013). Antifouling Action of Polyisoprene-Based Coatings by Inhibition of Photosynthesis in Microalgae. Environ. Sci. Technol. 47(12): 6573-6581.
    Lawrenz, E.; Silsbe, G.; Capuzzo, E.; Ylöstalo, P.; Forster, R.M.; Simis, S.G.H.; Prásil, O.; Kromkamp, J.C.; Hickman, A.E.; Moore, C.M.; Geider, R.J.; Suggett, D.J. (2013). Predicting the Electron Requirement for Carbon Fixation in Seas and Oceans. PLoS One 8(3).
    Philippart, C.J.M.; Salama, M.S.; Kromkamp, J.C.; van der Woerd, H.J.; Zuur, A.F.; Cadee, G.C. (2013). Four decades of variability in turbidity in the western Wadden Sea as derived from corrected Secchi disk readings. J. Sea Res. 82: 67-79.
    Wijnhoven, S.; Kromkamp, J. (2013). Ecologisch functioneren. T2009 rapportage Schelde estuarium. Monitor Taskforce Publication Series, 2013-10. NIOZ: Yerseke. 458-499 pp.
    Ysebaert, T.J.W.; De Mesel, I.; Wijnhoven, S.; Kromkamp, J.C. (2013). Flora en fauna. T2009 rapportage Schelde estuarium. Monitor Taskforce Publication Series, 2013-09. NIOZ: Yerseke. 386-497 pp.
  • 2012
    Perkins, R.G.; Mouget, J.L.; Kromkamp, J.C.; Stolz, J.; Reid, R.P. (2012). Modern stromatolite phototrophic communities: a comparative study of procaryote and eucaryote phototrophs using variable chlorophyll fluorescence. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 82(3): 584-596.
    Salama, M.S.; van der Velde, R.; van der Woerd, H.J.; Kromkamp, J.C.; Philippart, C.J.M.; Joseph, A.T.; O'Neill, P.E.; Lang, R.H.; Gish, T.; Werdell, P.J.; Su, Z. (2012). Technical Note: Calibration and validation of geophysical observation models. Biogeosciences 9(6): 2195-2201.
    Silsbe, G.M.; Kromkamp, J.C. (2012). Modeling the irradiance dependency of the quantum efficiency of potosynthesis. Limnol. Oceanogr., Methods 10: 645-652.
    Wijnhoven, S.; Kromkamp, J.; Van Ryckegem, G.; Van den Bergh, E.; Speybroeck, J. (2012). Ecologisch functioneren en diversiteit soorten. Rapportage in het kader van het project ‘Ontwikkeling Evaluatiemethodiek MONEOS’ en hoofdstuk 6 van het eindrapport ‘Evaluatiemethodiek systeemmonitoring Schelde-estuarium'. Monitor Taskforce Publication Series, 2010-12. NIOO-CEME: Yerseke. 160 pp.
  • 2011
    Holzhauer, H.; Maris, T.; Meire, P.; Van Damme, S.; Nolte, A.; Kuijper, K.; Taal, M.; Jeuken, C.; Kromkamp, J.; van Wesenbeeck, B.; Van Ryckegem, G.; Van den Bergh, E.; Wijnhoven, S. (2011). Evaluatiemethodiek Schelde-estuarium fase 2. Monitor Taskforce Publication Series, 2011-14. NIOO-CEME: Yerseke. 262 pp.

Linked projects

Eric Wagemaakers
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research - Ocean and Coastal Research
Project duration
1 Oct 2008 - 1 Dec 2015
Life cycles of seaweeds & seagrasses
Klaas Timmermans
Utrecht University
Project duration
1 Jan 2016 - 31 Dec 2026
Valorisation of algae for a better taste
Klaas Timmermans
Interreg 2 Seas
Project duration
30 Jun 2018 - 31 Dec 2021