Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Royal Netherlands
Institute for Sea Research
Phone number
+31 (0)222 369 338
Tenure track Scientist
  • Organic Geochemistry
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Lipid biomarker development
  • Aerobic methanotrophy
  • Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox)

Dr. Darci Rush

Tenure track Scientist

Research Interest

I am an organic geochemist with a particular interest in the power of microbial biogeochemistry.  Microscopic organisms have been shaping their environment since the beginning of life on Earth. Lipids are incredibly resistant molecules, and are preserved over long periods of time in the geologic record, acting as chemical fossils to these microbes. Using lipids to extract information about the environmental conditions in which these organisms once lived, I aim to develop biomarkers for specific microbial processes within biogeochemical cycles. Currently, my research projects focus on aerobic methanotrophy and anearobic ammonium oxidation. I also use a combination of genetic, isotopic, and lipid work to understand modern microbial processes. Ultimately, biomarkers can trace back the influence of microbes during extreme climatic events.

Current Projects


Start April 2018


Start Jan 2017

Newcastle University · School of Natural and Environmental Sciences


    Past Projects


    Mar 2016 - Mar 2018

    • PostDoc Position NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

    Towards reconstructing past atmospheric methane concentrations using organic biomarkers. NESSC project


    Aug 2012 – Feb 2016

    ERC AMOProx Project: investigate the the processes and environmental feedback of Aerobic Methane Oxidation (AMO).

    Newcastle University · School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences


    Aug 2008 – Jul 2012

    • PhD Thesis: "Ladderanes as tracers for present and past anaerobic ammonium oxidation"

    NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research · Department of Marine Organic Biogeochemistry (BGC)

    Linked blogs

    Tuesday 26 February 2019
    NIOZ@SEA | 64PE450
    Along the southwestern African continental margin off Namibia and Angola coral mound provinces were found during the Meteor (ANNA) cruise in 2016. While the corals in the south along the Namibian margin were mostly fossil frame structures, the corals…
    Tuesday 26 February 2019
    NIOZ@SEA | FUNAMOX expedition in the southeast Atlantic
    Off the coast of southwest Africa, currents force cold deep waters full of essential elements required for ocean life to the surface. This so-called upwelling has enormous impacts on the chemistry and biology of the water and sediment. We are sailing…
    Thursday 29 June 2017
    Expedition Hotchpotch
    During the last week the central theme in our work was sea level change, but this week has come to an end and it is time for a change of subject. And a change of people too. At 7 o’clock this morning Pelagia arrived at Texel. All the non-Pelagia crew…
    Wednesday 29 March 2017
    NIOZ@Sea: Black Sea cruise
    This edition of NIOZ@Sea is a series of blogs from the Black Sea cruise of our scientists on board research vessel Pelagia. The Black Sea is the largest permanently stratified sea in the world. This is ideal to study the structure of microbial…

    NIOZ publications

    • 2020
      de Bar, M.W.; Weiss, G.M.; Yildiz, C.; Rampen, S.W.; Lattaud, J.; Bale, N.J.; Mienis, F.; Brummer, G.-J. A.; Schulz, H.; Rush, D.; Kim, J.-H.; Donner, B.; Knies, J.; Lückge, A.; Stuut, J.-B.W.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S; Schouten, S. (2020). Global temperature calibration of the Long chain Diol Index in marine surface sediments. Org. Geochem. 142: 103983.
      Schwartz-Narbonne, R.; Schaeffer, P.; Hopmans, E.C.; Schenesse, M.; Alex Charlton, E.; Martin Jones, D.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Farhan Ul Haque, M.; Jetten, M.S.M.; Lengger, S.K. (2020). A unique bacteriohopanetetrol stereoisomer of marine anammox. Org. Geochem. 143: 103994.
    • 2019
      Lattaud, J.; Erdem, Z.; Weiss, G.M.; Rush, D.; Balzano, S.; Chivall, D.; van der Meer, M.T.J.; Hopmans, E.C.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S; Schouten, S. (2019). Hydrogen isotopic ratios of long-chain diols reflect salinity. Org. Geochem. 137: 103904.
      Lengger, S.K.; Rush, D.; Mayser, J.P.; Blewett, J.; Schwartz-Narbonne, R.; Talbot, H.M.; Middelburg, J.J.; Jetten, M.S.M.; Schouten, S.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. (2019). Dark carbon fixation in the Arabian Sea oxygen minimum zone contributes to sedimentary organic carbon (SOM). Global Biogeochem. Cycles 33(12): 1715-1732.
      Rush, D.; Talbot, H.M.; Van der Meer, M.T.J.; Hopmans, E.C.; Douglas, B.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S (2019). Biomarker evidence for the occurrence of anaerobic ammonium oxidation in the eastern Mediterranean Sea during Quaternary and Pliocene sapropel formation. Biogeosciences 16(12): 2467-2479.
      Smit, N.T.; Rush, D.; Sahonero Canavesi, D.X.; Verweij, M.; Rasigraf, O.; Guerrero-Cruz, S.; Jetten, M.S.M.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S; Schouten, S. (2019). Demethylated hopanoids in ‘Ca. Methylomirabilis oxyfera’ as biomarkers for environmental nitrite-dependent methane oxidation. Org. Geochem. 137: 103899.
    • 2018
      Rush, D.; Erdem, Z. (2018). Cruise 64PE434: NICO Leg 7 GoMex: R/V Pelagia, 11-03-2018 to 04-04-2018, Philipsburg, Sint Maarten – Nassau, Bahamas. NIOZ: Texel. 63 pp.
    • 2017
      Osborne, K.A.; Gray, N.D.; Sherry, A.; Leary, P.; Mejeha, O.; Bischoff, J.; Rush, D.; Sidgwick, F.R.; Birgel, D.; Kalyuzhnaya, M.; Talbot, H.M. (2017). Methanotroph-derived bacteriohopanepolyol signatures as a function of temperature related growth, survival, cell death and preservation in the geological record. Environmental Microbiology Reports 9(5): 492-500.
      Rush, D.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. (2017). Lipids as paleomarkers to constrain the marine nitrogen cycle. Environ. Microbiol. 19(6): 2119–2132,.
    • 2014
      Rush, D.; Jaeschke, A.; Geenevasen, J.A.J.; Tegelaar, E.; Pureveen, J.; Lewan, M.D.; Schouten, S.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. (2014). Generation of unusual branched long chain alkanes from hydrous pyrolysis of anammox bacterial biomass. Org. Geochem. 76: 136–145.
      Rush, D.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Poulton, S.W.; Thamdrup, B.; Leigh Garside, A.; Acuña-Gonzalez, J.; Schouten, S.; Jetten, M.S.M.; Talbot, H.M. (2014). Anaerobic ammonium-oxidising bacteria: A biological source of the bacteriohopanetetrol stereoisomer in marine sediments. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 140: 50-63.
    • 2012
      Rush, D.; Hopmans, E.C.; Wakeham, S.G.; Schouten, S.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. (2012). Occurrence and distribution of ladderane oxidation products in different oceanic regimes. Biogeosciences 9(7): 2407-2418.
      Rush, D.; Wakeham, S.G.; Hopmans, E.C.; Schouten, S.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. (2012). Biomarker evidence for anammox in the oxygen minimum zone of the Eastern Tropical North Pacific. Org. Geochem. 53: 80-87.
      Rush, D.J. (2012). Ladderanes as tracers for present and past anaerobic ammonium oxidation. PhD Thesis. Universiteit Utrecht: [s.l.]. ISBN 978-94-6203-168-5. 133 pp.
      Wakeham, S.G.; Turich, C.; Schubotz, F.; Podlaska, A.; Li, X.N.; Varela, R.; Astor, Y.; Sáenz, J.P.; Rush, D.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Summons, R.E.; Taylor, G.T.; Scranton, M.I.; Hinrichs, K.U. (2012). Biomarkers, chemistry and microbiology show chemoautotrophy in a multilayer chemocline in the Cariaco Basin. Deep-Sea Res., Part 1, Oceanogr. Res. Pap. 63: 133-156.
      Yan, J.; Haaijer, S.C.M.; Op den Camp, H.J.M.; van Niftrik, L.; Stahl, D.A.; Könneke, M.; Rush, D.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Hu, Y.Y.; Jetten, M.S.M. (2012). Mimicking the oxygen minimum zones: stimulating interaction of aerobic archaeal and anaerobic bacterial ammonia oxidizers in a laboratory-scale model system. Environ. Microbiol. 14(12): 3146-3158.
    • 2011
      Hu, B.L.; Rush, D.; van der Biezen, E.; Zheng, P.; van Mullekom, M.; Schouten, S.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Smolders, A.J.P.; Jetten, M.S.M.; Kartal, B. (2011). New Anaerobic, Ammonium-Oxidizing Community Enriched from Peat Soil. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 77(3): 966-971.
      Rush, D.; Jaeschke, A.; Hopmans, E.C.; Geenevasen, J.A.J.; Schouten, S.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. (2011). Short chain ladderanes: Oxic biodegradation products of anammox lipids. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 75(6): 1662-1671.

    Linked projects

    Laura Villanueva
    Ministerie van OCW
    Project duration
    1 Jan 2014 - 31 Dec 2023