I have two main areas of interest at NIOZ: Sea level change & oceans inside icy moons.
Sea level change
Only recently it has been recognised that regional sea level change can deviate strongly from the global average. This recognition has important consequences for effects of sea level change at coastlines, ranging from coastal protection to biogeomorphological impacts and interactions. My main task at NIOZ is to establish a Center of Expertise on Sea Level Change in general and on these regional effects in particular, with special emphasis on Dutch coastal areas. This part of my research interests has close connections to my appointment in the Geoscience & Remote Sensing Department at the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences of TU Delft.
Example of regional sea level change due to a collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (after Bamber, Riva, Vermeersen & LeBroq, Science, 324, 901-903, 2009)
Oceans inside icy moons
Water oceans do not only occur on the Earth, but are also present in the interiors of some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Although not directly belonging to the science agenda of NIOZ, the study of these planetary water oceans underneath the surface ice has close resemblances with areas of expertise of NIOZ, ranging from physical oceanography to deep sea habitats and possibly life. This part of my research interests has close connections to my work at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering and to NWA Route 4 / Origins Center and is partly done at the OCS Department on Texel.
I studied astronomy at Utrecht University and did my PhD in geophysics at the same university. During my postdoc years in Italy (Bologna, Milan) and Germany (Stuttgart) I started to numerically model regional variations of sea level change due to postglacial rebound and other geophysical processes. These models were combined with earth-oriented space observations from gravity and altimetry satellites when I was appointed assistant professor at TU Delft in 1999 and associate professor in 2007. Around the time of the landing of the Huygens probe on Saturn moon Titan in 2005 I became interested in planetary exploration as well. This resulted in the establishment of the new TU Delft Chair on Planetary Exploration in 2014, of which I spend 0.7 fte at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering and 0.1 fte at the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences. In the meantime, my expertise on sea level change led to the appointment as (then 0.3 fte, now 0.2 fte) Senior Scientist at NIOZ in 2011.