Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Royal Netherlands
Institute for Sea Research
Phone number
+31 (0)222 369 462
  • Marine protist ecology
  • Lipids in marine food webs
  • Protist - virus interaction
  • Isolation and cultivation of marine protists

Dr. Douwe Maat


In the current project we aim to elucidate the role of heterotrophic protists in the Southeastern North Sea. This group of single-celled microzooplankton is largely comprised of nanoflagellates, ciliates and dinoflagellates that feed on phytoplankton, prokaryotes and other heterotrophic protists. In the marine pelagic environment they contribute strongly to microeukaryote abundance and diversity and play a pivotal role in many processes such as grazing of microbial primary and secondary production, cycling of nitrogen and phosphorous, and the transfer of energy and nutritional compounds to higher trophic levels. The main focus is on the annual variation in the role of heterotrophic protists in transferring essential lipids to higher trophic levels.

NIOZ publications

Linked projects

Microbial lipids: Exploring the natural variability of an unique set of cell constituents
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
Project duration
1 Jan 2017 - 31 Jan 2020