Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Royal Netherlands
Institute for Sea Research
Phone number
+31 (0)222 369 405
Ocean Systems (OCS)
Senior Scientist
  • Marine geology
  • Sedimentology
  • Desert dust and aeolian sedimentary processes.
  • Paleaclimate reconstructions

Dr. Jan Berend Stuut

Senior Scientist

Research interests & specialization

I study two main aspects of desert dust:

1) the depositional aspect allows me to study dust dispersal in the geologic past. Just like rivers nearly always flow to the sea and deliver sediments, winds always blow off land masses and deposit dust in the ocean. Using such marine archives of sediment deposition, I try to reconstruct past environmental conditions in dust-source regions.

2) the marine-environmental effects that dust has are most likely enormous. Desert dust contains all kinds of nutrients and metals, from which marine life can profit. In a couple of projects I am trying to answer the question if dust can be used as an artifical fertiliser for the ocean. We think that this is happening in nature, and should this be the case, we could potentially apply it as a means to combat climate change.

Much more information on dust-related studies at NIOZ can be found at the institute's dustiest website at .

In addition, we are regularly publishing dusty news in the NIOZ dust-blog

Alternatively, you can find more dusty info on my personal website at:

Front of The Australian newspaper showing a beautiful picture of a dust storm.

Linked news

Tuesday 04 August 2020
NIOZ on Netflix. How can dust help reduce global warming
Dust seems insignificant, but a dust cloud can do a lot: from generating oxygen and mitigating hurricanes to fertilizing the rainforest. In the third episode of the Netflix orginial series "Connected. The hidden science of everything", dust plays a…
Thursday 23 May 2019
Sugar molecule contributes to reconstruction of prehistoric fire
Little is currently known about how early humans first used fire. That will now change thanks to a new proxy, a measurable substance that can be used to demonstrate forest fires in a distant past. The proxy is the organic substance levoglucosan, a…
Wednesday 12 December 2018
Reuzenstof uit Sahara beïnvloedt atmosfeer en oceaan tot in Cariben
Saharastof verspreidt zich met de passaatwinden duizenden kilometers vanuit het brongebied in westelijke richting over de Atlantische Oceaan. Een nieuw inzicht daarbij is dat óók de grote fractie van het stof (tot ca. een halve millimeter in…

Linked blogs

Wednesday 24 June 2020
An enormous dust storm is making its way across the Atlantic towards the Americas. The dust outbreak, named ‘Godzilla’ because of its size, is a typical summer phenomenon that originates in northwest Africa.
Tuesday 07 April 2020
New dusty paper out: Saharan dust versus Amazon River water
In their new paper that appeared today in the open-access version of Limnology & Oceanography, entitled “Multiple drivers of production and particle export in the western tropical North Atlantic”, Laura Korte and colleagues present a comprehensive…
Friday 13 March 2020
New dusty paper out: Transatlantic Saharan dust fluxes
In their new paper that appeared today in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, Michèlle van der Does and colleagues present the first continuous two-year record of Transatlantic Saharan-dust fluxes, which they compare to modelled dust fluxes…
Wednesday 26 February 2020
Calima at the Canary Islands
Every now and then, the Canary Islands experience severe dust outbreaks from the Sahara Desert. The local population call the wind that carries the Saharan dust "Calima" , which is in fact the local name for the dry and hot winds that are also known…
Tuesday 05 November 2019
Expedition 64PE464: DUST2019
From 11 to 23 November 2019 we have been chasing Saharan dust once more. On 11 November RV Pelagia has left the port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain) to sail south for a two-week expedition to service both the dust-collecting buoys "Carmen" and…
Monday 01 July 2019
DUST | Loooooong tropical-cyclone records
In their new paper that appeared today in the open-access journal Geophysical Research Letters, Jan-Berend Stuut and colleagues present one of the longest existing continuous records (5.3 Million years) of climate history of the northwestern part of…
Tuesday 23 April 2019
DUST | Spring dust is in the air!
Not only spring is in the air; a lot of Saharan dust is presently also blowing towards northern Europe. The distance between the sources in northern Africa and The Netherlands is so large that the material is predominantly very fine grained: clay and…
Thursday 13 December 2018
DUST | Giant dust particles in new Science paper
In their new paper that appeared today in the open-access version of Science, Michèlle van der Does and colleagues show how so-called "giant dust particles" defy gravity and are blown through the atmosphere across distances of several thousands of…
Friday 07 December 2018
DUST | PhD Defence Michèlle van der Does
As of today, Michèlle van der Does may call herself a PhD; she successfully defended her thesis "Saharan dust from a marine perspective: transport and deposition along a transect in the Atlantic Ocean" at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. A committee…
Sunday 04 November 2018
Expedition MSM79: chasing Saharan dust
From 9 November until 3 December this year, four NIOZ colleagues have joined expedition MSM79 on board the German research vessel Maria S. Merian, sailing from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain) to Mindelo on Sao Vicente (Cape Verde). Through this…

NIOZ publications

Linked projects

TRAFFIC_Transatlantic fluxes of Saharan dust
Jan Berend Stuut
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
Project duration
31 Dec 2012 - 31 Dec 2017
DustTraffic: Transatlantic fluxes of Saharan dust: changing climate through fertilising the ocean?
Jan Berend Stuut
European Community || European Research Council
Project duration
1 Oct 2012 - 30 Sep 2017