Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Phone number
+31 (0)222 36 9530
Visiting Postdoc
  • Coastal ecology
  • Biogeomorphology

Carlijn Lammers

Visiting Postdoc

Research interests

I am a coastal ecologist working as a PhD student in the project "Small steps, giant leaps - Building coastal landscapes with spatially organizing plants". In this project we (Tjisse van der Heide, Valérie Reijers, Clea van de Ven and I) are researching how clonally expanding grasses build coastal landscapes through biophysical interactions. 

The formation of vegetated coastal ecosystems requires landscape forming plants to generate sufficiently strong self-promoting feedbacks. For instance, clonally expanding dune grasses increasingly stimulate sedimentation of airborn particles with increasing patch size and shoot density, which promotes their own growth. Recently, it was found that dune grasses deploy distinct clonal expansion strategies that control their spatial shoot organization and therefore their feedback strength in the early phase of ecosystem colonization. In the first year of the project (2019), we researched whether these clonal expansion strategies are environmental dependent and how these strategies differ between different species of cordgrass and dune grass along the European West coast (from France to Denmark).

Furthermore, an experiment to determine how establishment structures influence the clonal growth strategies of cordgrass and dune grass on Texel (NL) and Sapelo Island (GA, USA) was started in 2019. These biodegradable establishment structures (BESE) are found to enhance survival and growth of cordgrasses. However, how this affects the growth strategy and subsequently landscape building capacity of the plants is influenced is unknown.

In the spring of 2020, we set up a field experiment to identify bottlenecks in the establishment of marram grass (Ammophila arenaria). Marram grass is known for its efficient dune building and is used in restoration and conservation around the world. Little is known about the germination and establishment of marram grass. In this experiment the establishment success from seed and rhizome is compared on five different beach locations on Texel and Terschelling. These locations differ in beach width and have differing physical conditions. Besides, the effect of existing vegetation on establishment of new seedlings is tested.






Please find my list of publications at the bottom of this webpage or on:

Google Scholar

Researcher ID



Professional education



Awards and Prizes




My colleague Clea van de Ven and I were interviewed by Studio Buiten Werking for the online Oerol Festival 2020. 

Linked news

Friday 22 March 2024
Sound couch makes low dunes, marram grass builds height
Plants are not interchangeable when it comes to forming young dunes on a beach. This is shown in the thesis of coastal ecologist Carlijn Lammers of NIOZ. Lammers discovered that sand couch can sometimes get in the way of marram grass. "Until now, the…
Monday 06 March 2023
Young grass follows different growth strategies on salt marshes and in dunes
Shoots of a young grass plant in the salt marsh grow clustered regardless of environmental factors. Whereas in the dunes, young grasses organize their shoots differently depending on the species and their habitat. With their diverse growth…

NIOZ publications