Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Royal Netherlands
Institute for Sea Research
Guest researcher
  • Coral reef microbial ecology
  • Ecology of sponges
  • Nutrient dynamics on coral reefs
  • Pelagic-benthic coupling

Radio 1 Nieuws & Co: Kerngezonde koralen en 'terracottaleger' op de zeebodem

Dr. Fleur van Duyl

Guest researcher

Research interests

My current interests focus on:

1. Drivers of variations in bivariate isotopic niche space of sponges on the Saba Bank.
2. Consumption of DOM, removal of pico-and nanoplankton and (in)organic nutrient cycling by benthic communities  (pelagic-benthic coupling) with special focus on sponges. 
3. The functional (symbiotic) relations between microbes and macrobenthic organisms (corals, sponges).
4. Bioerosion by sponges of calciumcarbonate in a changing environment (acidification, eutrophication).
5. Community net accretion-erosion balance of calciumcarbonate on coral reefs.
6. Phosphorous sequestration by sponges and cyanobacterial mats on coral reefs.  

Topics require an interdisciplinary approach involving microbial ecology, autecology of macrobenthos, hydrodynamics, and biogeochemistry.

Fleur van Duyl taking a sample from the outflowing water of the  sponge Callyspongia plicifera on the Saba Bank.

Linked news

Friday 13 January 2017
NIOZ research vessel in the Caribbean
NIOZ organised an expedition to the Saba Bank aboard the research vessel Pelagia from 19th August to 8th September 2016. Thirteen scientists from NIOZ, Wageningen Marine Research, TU Delft, UvA and Utrecht University set out to investigate how…
Read more

Linked blogs

Wednesday 04 December 2019
NIOZ@SEA | Sinkhole expedition to the Sababank
From 5 to 18 December, NIOZ and Wageningen Marine Research (WMR) are organizing an expedition to the Saba Bank, near the Dutch island of Saba in the Caribbean. Experts on board the research vessel Pelagia hope to gain more knowledge about the…
Friday 23 August 2019
NIOZ@SEA | Curacao mapping
A group of scientists from NIOZ, MARUM and ZMT are heading to Curacao to gather data on the modern and fossil reefs surrounding the island. Their expedition will last from August 23rd until September 3rd, and they will use state-of-the-art approaches…

NIOZ publications

  • 2023
    van Duyl, F.C.; van Bleijswijk, J.D.L.; Wuchter, C.; Witte, H.J.; Coolen, M.J.L.; Bak, R.P.M.; Engelmann, J.C.; Nugues, M.M. (2023). Recovery patterns of the coral microbiome after relief of algal contact. J. Sea Res. 191: 102309.
  • 2022
    Wegley Kelly, L.; Nelson, C.E.; Petras, D.; Koester, I.; Quinlan, Z.A.; Arts, M.G.I.; Nothias, L.-F.; Comstock, J.; White, B.M.; Hopmans, E.C.; van Duyl, F.C.; Carlson, C.A.; Aluwihare, L.I.; Dorrestein, P.C.; Haas, A.F. (2022). Distinguishing the molecular diversity, nutrient content, and energetic potential of exometabolomes produced by macroalgae and reef-building corals  . Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 119(5): e2110283119.
    Humphreys, M.P.; Meesters, E.H.; de Haas, H.; Karancz, S.; Delaigue, L.; Bakker, K.; Duineveld, G.; de Goeyse, S.; Haas, A.F.; Mienis, F.; Ossebaar, S.; van Duyl, F.C. (2022). Dissolution of a submarine carbonate platform by a submerged lake of acidic seawater. Biogeosciences 19(2): 347-358.
  • 2021
    Webb, A.E.; de Bakker, D.M.; Soetaert, K.; da Costa, T.; van Heuven, S.; van Duyl, F.C.; Reichart, G.-J.; de Nooijer, L.J. (2021). Quantifying functional consequences of habitat degradation on a Caribbean coral reef. Biogeosciences 18(24): 6501-6516.
  • 2020
    van Duyl, F.C.; Meesters, E.H. (2020). Cruise report RV Pelagia 64PE465 : Sinkhole expedition, 5 December - 18 December 2019 Guadeloupe-Guadeloupe. NIOZ Royal Institute for Sea Research: Texel. 79 pp.
    Meesters, E.H.; Bak, R.P.M.; van Duyl, F.C. (2020). Commentary: Managing recovery resilience in coral reefs against climate-induced bleaching and hurricanes: A 15 year case study from Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean. Front. Mar. Sci. 7: article 346.
    van Duyl, F.C.; Lengger, S.K.; Schouten, S.; Lundälv, T.; van Oevelen, D.; Müller, C.E. (2020). Dark CO2 fixation into phospholipid-derived fatty acids by the cold-water coral associated sponge Hymedesmia (Stylopus) coriacea (Tisler Reef, NE Skagerrak). Mar. Biol. Res. 16(1): 1-17.
  • 2019
    de Bakker, D.M.; van Duyl, F.C.; Perry, C.T.; Meesters, E.H. (2019). Extreme spatial heterogeneity in carbonate accretion potential on a Caribbean fringing reef linked to local human disturbance gradients. Glob. Chang. Biol. 25(12): 4092-4104.
    Visser, P.M.; Meesters, E.H.; van Duyl, F.C. (Ed.) (2019). Cruise report RV Pelagia 64PE430 : Bottom topography, groundwater discharge and cyanobacterial mats of mesophotic reefs, 25 January - 2 February 2018 Curaçao-Bonaire-Aruba (NICO expedition leg 3). NIOZ Royal Institute for Sea Research: Texel. 79 pp.
    Webb, A.E.; Pomponi, S.A.; van Duyl, F.C.; Reichart, G.-J.; de Nooijer, L.J. (2019). pH regulation and tissue coordination pathways promote calcium carbonate bioerosion by excavating sponges. NPG Scientific Reports 9(1): 758.
  • 2018
    van Heuven, S.M.A.C.; Webb, A.E.; de Bakker, D.M.; Meesters, E.; van Duyl, F.C.; Reichart, G.-J.; de Nooijer, L.J. (2018). In-situ incubation of a coral patch for community-scale assessment of metabolic and chemical processes on a reef slope. PeerJ 6: e5966.
    van der Veer, H.W.; Cardoso, J.F.M.F.; Mateo, I.; Witte, J.IJ.; van Duyl, F.C. (2018). Occurrence and life history characteristics of tropical flatfishes at the coral reefs of Curaçao, Dutch Caribbean. J. Sea Res. 142: 157-166.
    van Duyl, F.C.; Meesters, E.H. (2018). Cruise report RV Pelagia 64PE433 : Saba, St Eustatius and Saba Bank Benthic habitat mapping, and Benthic–Pelagic coupling, 26 February - 10 March 2018, St Maarten-St Maarten (NICO expedition leg 6). NIOZ: Texel. 60 pp.
    van Duyl, F.C.; Mueller, B.; Meesters, E.H. (2018). Spatio–temporal variation in stable isotope signatures (δ13C and δ15N) of sponges on the Saba Bank. PeerJ 6: e5460.
    de Bakker, D.M.; Webb, A.E.; van den Bogaart, L.A.; van Heuven, S.M.A.C.; Meesters, E.H.; van Duyl, F.C. (2018). Quantification of chemical and mechanical bioerosion rates of six Caribbean excavating sponge species found on the coral reefs of Curaçao. PLoS One 13(5): e0197824.
    Van Oevelen, D.; Mueller, C.E.; Lundälv, T.; van Duyl, F.C.; de Goeij, J.M.; Middelburg, J.J. (2018). Niche overlap between a cold-water coral and an associated sponge for isotopically-enriched particulate food sources. PLoS One 13(3): e0194659.
    Hoeksema, B.W.; Hassell, D.; Meesters, E.H.W.G.; van Duyl, F.C. (2018). Wave-swept coralliths of Saba Bank, Dutch Caribbean. Mar. Biodiv. 48(4): 2003-2016.
  • 2017
    Webb, A.E.; van Heuven, S.M.A.C.; de Bakker, D.M.; van Duyl, F.C.; Reichart, G.-J.; de Nooijer, L.J. (2017). Combined Effects of Experimental Acidification and Eutrophication on Reef Sponge Bioerosion Rates. Front. Mar. Sci. 4: 311.
    Mueller, B.; Meesters, E.H.; van Duyl, F.C. (2017). DOC concentrations across a depth-dependent light gradient on a Caribbean coral reef. PeerJ 5: e3456.
    de Bakker, D.M.; van Duyl, F.C.; Bak, R.P.M.; Nugues, M.M.; Nieuwland, G.; Meesters, E.H. (2017). 40 Years of benthic community change on the Caribbean reefs of Curaçao and Bonaire: the rise of slimy cyanobacterial mats. Coral Reefs 36(2): 355-367.
  • 2016
    van Duyl, F.C. (2016). NIOZ-Saba Bank/Saba Cruise report : Net coral community calcification and hydrodynamics (Saba Bank/Saba) Caribbean Explorer II, 17/24-31 October 2015 Research cruise contributing to Project : Seawater chemistry of CO2 system and nutrients as drivers of benthic community structure and carbon metabolism of coral reef ecosystems of different trophic status. NIOZ: Texel. 43 pp.
    Rix, L.; de Goeij, J.M.; Mueller, C.E.; Struck, U.; Middelburg, J.J.; van Duyl, F.C.; Al-Horani, F.A.; Wild, C.; Naumann, M.S.; Van Oevelen, D. (2016). Coral mucus fuels the sponge loop in warm- and cold-water coral reef ecosystems. NPG Scientific Reports 6(18715): 11 pp.
    Mueller, B.; den Haan, J.; Visser, P.M.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; van Duyl, F.C. (2016). Effect of light and nutrient availability on the release of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) by Caribbean turf algae. NPG Scientific Reports 6: 23248.
    de Bakker, D.M.; Meesters, E.H.; Bak, R.P.M.; Nieuwland, G.; van Duyl, F.C. (2016). Long-term Shifts in Coral Communities On Shallow to Deep Reef Slopes of Curaçao and Bonaire: Are There Any Winners? Front. Mar. Sci. 3: 247.
  • 2015
    Brocke, H.J.; Wenzhoefer, F.; de Beer, D.; Mueller, B.; van Duyl, F.C.; Nugues, M.M. (2015). High dissolved organic carbon release by benthic cyanobacterial mats in a Caribbean reef ecosystem. NPG Scientific Reports 5(8852): 7 pp.
  • 2014
    van Duyl, F.C. (2014). Spatial and species specific variations in the diet of sponges Preliminary results 3.1. Sponges, macro algae and nutrients, in: van Beek, I.J.M. et al. Saba Bank research expedition 2013 - Progress Report. pp. 11-14
    Mumby, P.J.; Flower, J.; Chollett, I.; Box, S.; Bozec, Y.; Fitzsimmons, C.; Forster, J.; Gill, D.; Griffith-Mumby, R.; Oxenford, H.A.; Peterson, A.; Stead, S. M.; Turner, R.; Townsley, P.; van Beukering, P.; Booker, F.; Brocke, H.; Cabañillas-Terán, N.; Canty, S.; Carricart-Ganivet, J.P.; Charlery, J.; Dryden, C.; van Duyl, F.C.; Enríquez, S.; den Haan, J.; Iglesias-Prieto, R.; Kennedy, E.; Mahon, R.; Mueller, B.; Newman, S.J.; Nugues, M.; Cortés Núñez, J.; Nurse, L.; Osinga, R.; Paris, C.; Petersen, D.; Polunin, N. V. C.; Sánchez, C.; Schep, S.; Stevens, J.; Vallès, H.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Visser, P.M.; Whittingham, E.; Williams, S. (2014). Towards Reef Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods. A Handbook for Caribbean Coral Reef Managers. University of Exeter: Exeter, Devon, UK. ISBN 978-0-902746-31-2. 176 pp.
    Mueller, B.; van der Zande, R.M.; van Leent, P.J.M.; Meesters, E.H.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; van Duyl, F.C. (2014). Effect of light availability on dissolved organic carbon release by Caribbean reef algae and corals. Bull. Mar. Sci. 90(3): 875-893.
    Mueller, B.; de Goeij, J.M.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Mulders, Y.; van der Ent, E.; Ribes, M.; van Duyl, F.C. (2014). Natural Diet of Coral-Excavating Sponges Consists Mainly of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC). PLoS One 9(2): e90152.
    den Haan, J.; Visser, P.M.; Ganase, A.E.; Gooren, E.E.; Stal, L.J.; van Duyl, F.C.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Huisman, J. (2014). Nitrogen fixation rates in algal turf communities of a degraded versus less degraded coral reef. Coral Reefs 33(4): 1003-1015.
  • 2013
    den Haan, J.; Huisman, J.; Dekker, F.; ten Brinke, J.L.; Ford, A.K.; van Ooijen, J.; van Duyl, F.C.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Visser, P.M. (2013). Fast Detection of Nutrient Limitation in Macroalgae and Seagrass with Nutrient-Induced Fluorescence. PLoS One 8(7).
    Cardoso, J.F.M.F.; van Bleijswijk, J.D.L.; Witte, H.; van Duyl, F.C. (2013). Diversity and abundance of ammonia-oxidizing Archaea and Bacteria in tropical and cold-water coral reef sponges. Aquat. Microb. Ecol. 68(3): 215-230.
  • 2012
    Maldonado, M.; Ribes, M.; van Duyl, F.C. (2012). Nutrient fluxes through sponges: biology, budgets, and ecological implications. Adv. Mar. Biol. 62: 113-182.
  • 2011
    Maier, C.; de Kluijver, A.; Agis, M.; Brussaard, C.P.D.; van Duyl, F.C.; Weinbauer, M.G. (2011). Dynamics of nutrients, total organic carbon, prokaryotes and viruses in onboard incubations of cold-water corals. Biogeosciences 8(9): 2609-2620.
    van Duyl, F.C.; Moodley, L.; Nieuwland, G.; van Ijzerloo, L.; van Soest, R.W.M.; Houtekamer, M.; Meesters, E.H.; Middelburg, J.J. (2011). Coral cavity sponges depend on reef-derived food resources: stable isotope and fatty acid constraints. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 158(7): 1653-1666.

Linked projects

Andi Haas
Project duration
1 Jun 2010 - 31 Dec 2030
Benthic-pelagic coupling on coral reefs of the Saba Bank and Saba
Fleur van Duyl
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
Project duration
1 Jan 2014 - 1 Feb 2019
Bioerosion and 3D complexity of coral reefs in a changing environment
Fleur van Duyl
Wageningen Marine Research
Project duration
16 Jun 2014 - 16 Jun 2018
Long term coral reef community monitoring
Fleur van Duyl
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research - Structural financial support
Project duration
1 Aug 2012 - 31 Dec 2017
Benthic-pelagic coupling on coral reefs of the Saba Bank and Saba
Fleur van Duyl
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
Project duration
1 Jan 2014 - 1 Feb 2019