Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

Jan Boon

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My previous positions at NIOZ:

2014-2017: Manager Communication & Outreach

As manager Communication & Outreach I wasresponsible for the internal and external communication of the institute, involving press-releases, a NIOZ promotion movies, organizing symposia (e.g. North Sea days 2014) and news releases on the external and internal web-sites of NIOZ.

2011-2014: Project Manager North Sea Ballast Water Opportunity Project

NIOZ has been the lead-beneficiary of the EU Interreg IVb project  North Sea Ballast Water Opportunity’. NIOZ is also one of the world-wide about 10 test facilities where the biological performance of ballast water treatment systems for ships is tested. This is carried out on the quay of the NIOZ harbour and in the laboratories of the department of Biological Oceanography. 

NSBWO logo Interreg IVb logo

2005-2011: Communication & PR Officer

As Communication & PR officer I was responsible for the internal and external communication of the institute, involving press-releases, a NIOZ promotion movie (2009), organizing symposia (North Sea Days in 2005 and 2010, FOKUZ symposium in 2008, ZKO-Wadden symposium in 2009), and news releases on the external and internal web-sites of NIOZ.

1996-2004:  Head of the scientific department Marine Biogeochemistry & Toxicology (MBT)

1988-2004: Senior-scientist in Ecotoxicology & Environmental Chemistry

In the late nineteen eightees, I got specifically interested in establishing a structure-biotransformation relationship for individual polychlorobiphenyl (PCB) congeners by the cytochrome P450 system of marine mammals (seals and cetaceans). This lasted to the early nineties, when I started to focus on the fate and imposex-effects of TBT-based anti-fouling paints in snails of the North Sea, together with Dr. Cato ten Hallers-Tjabbes. In the late nineties I started to focus on the group of brominated flame retardants, first the PBDEs, and later also the HBCD isomers (diastereomers).

I started this topic with a Ph.D. on the bioaccumulation of PCBs in marine animals in 1981, and obtained a Ph.D. degree from the University of Groningen in 1986.

In 1991, 1992, 1999 I was cruise leader on  the NIOZ RV Pelagia on cruises investigating the levels and effects of pollutants in the North Sea food web and in 2003 and 2004 on the German research vessel ‘Alkor’ to establish the ecological role of Archaea in the North Sea.

Publications in Ecotoxicology & Environmental Chemistry (2001-)


van Hezik, C.M.E., R.J. Letcher, H.-J. de Geus, P.G. Wester, A. Goksøyr, W.E. Lewis & J.P. Boon (2001). Indications for the involvement of a CYP3A-like iso-enzyme in the metabolism of chlorobornane (Toxaphene®) congeners in seals from inhibition studies with liver microsomes. Aquat. Toxicol. 51(3): 319-333.

van Hezik, C.M.E., R.J. Letcher, H.-J. de Geus, P.G. Wester, A. Goksøyr, W.E. Lewis & J.P. Boon (2001). Erratum to “Indications for the involvement of a CYP3A-like iso-enzyme in the metabolism of chlorobornane (Toxaphene®) congeners in seals from inhibition studies with liver microsomes” [Aquat. Toxicol. 51(3): 319-333]. Aquat. Toxicol. 53: 77-78.

Boon, J.P., W.E. Lewis & A. Goksøyr (2001). Immunochemical and catalytic and characterization of hepatic microsomal cytochromes P450 in sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) in comparison to some other marine mammal species. Aquat. Toxicol. 52 (3/4): 297-309.

van Schanke, A., F. Holtz, J. van der Meer, J.P. Boon, F. Ariese, G. Stroomberg, M. van den Berg & J.M. Everaarts (2001). Dose and time dependent response of biliary benzo[a]pyrene metabolites in the marine flatfish dab (Limanda limanda). Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 20 (8): 1641-1647.

de Boer, J., C. Allchin, R. Law, B. Zegers & J.P. Boon (2001). Method for the analysis of polybrominated diphenylethers in sediment and biota. Trends in Anal. Chem. 20 (10): 591-599. 


Booij, K., B.N. Zegers & J.P. Boon (2002). Levels of some polychlorinated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants along the Dutch coast as derived from their accumulation in SPMDs and blue mussels (Mytilus edulis). Chemosphere 46(5), 683-688.

Mensink, B.P., H. Kralt, A.D. Vethaak, C.C. ten Hallers-Tjabbes, J.H. Koeman, B. van Hattum & J.P. Boon (2002). Imposex development in laboratory-reared juvenile Buccinum undatum by tributyltin (TBT). Environ. Toxicol. Pharmacol. 11: 49-65.

Santos, M.M., C.C. ten Hallers-Tjabbes, N.Vieira, J.P.Boon, C.Porte (2002). Cytochrome P450 differences in normal and imposex-affected female whelk Buccinum undatum from the open North Sea. Mar. Environ. Res 54 (3-5): 661-665. (PRIMO 11 proc.).

Boon, J.P., J.J. van Zanden, W.E. Lewis, B.N. Zegers, A. Goksøyr & A. Arukwe (2002). The expression of CYP1A, vitellogenin and zona radiata proteins in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) after oral dosing with two commercial PBDE flame retardant mixtures: Absence of short-term responses. Mar. Environ. Res. 54 (3-5): 725-728. (PRIMO 11 proc.).

Boon, J.P., W.E. Lewis, M.R. Tjoen-A-Choy, C.C. ten Hallers-Tjabbes, C.R. Allchin, R.J. Law, J. de Boer & B.N. Zegers (2002). Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether (PBDE) Flame Retardants in animals representing different trophic levels of the North Sea Food Web. Environ. Sci. Technol. 36(19): 4025-4032.

Reddy, C.M., L. Xu, T.I. Eglinton, J.P. Boon & D.J. Faulkner (2002). Natural radiocarbon content of synthetic and natural semi-volatile halogenated organic compounds. Environ. Pollut. 120: 163-168.


ten Hallers-Tjabbes, C.C., J.-W. Wegener, B. van Hattum, J.F. Kemp, E. ten Hallers, T.J. Reitsema & J.P. Boon (2003). Imposex and organotin concentrations in Buccinum undatum and Neptunea antiqua from the North Sea: relationship to shipping density and hydrographical conditions. Mar. Environ. Res. 55(3): 203-233.

Li, H., J.P. Boon, W.E. Lewis, M. van den Berg, M. Nyman & R.J. Letcher (2003). In vitro metabolism and inhibition studies to allocate the biotransformation of different metabolic groups of PCBs and testosterone to specific cytochrome P450 enzymes in liver microsomes of Baltic grey seal (Halichoerus grypus). Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 22 (3): 636-644.

Zegers, B.N., W.E. Lewis, K. Booij, R.H. Smittenberg, W. Boer, J. de Boer & J.P. Boon (2003). Levels of polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardants in sediment cores from Western Europe. Environ. Sci. Technol. 37 (17): 3803-3807.

ten Hallers-Tjabbes, C.C., J.P. Boon, J.-L. Gomez-Ariza & J.F. Kemp (2003). Communicating the harmful impact of TBT, or: what can scientists contribute to EU environmental policy planning? In: Ocean Yearbook, eds. E. Mann Borgese, A. Chircop, M. McConnell & S. Coffen-Smout, The University of Chicago Press, vol. 17: 417-448. No. ISBN: 0-226-06620-7.

Law, R.J., M. Alaee, C.R. Allchin, J.P. Boon, M. Lebeuf, P. Lepom & G.A. Stern (2003). Levels and trends of polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) and other brominated flame retardants in wildlife. Environment International 29: 757-770. (special issue dedicated to BFRs in the Environment).

Morris, S., C.R. Allchin, P. Bersuder, B.N. Zegers, J.J.H. Haftka, J.P. Boon, S.H. Brandsma, A.W. Kruijt, I. van der Veen, J. van Hesselingen, J. de Boer (2003). A new LC-MS method for the detection and quantification of Hexabromocyclododecane diastereomers and tetrabromobisphenol-A flame retardants in environmental samples. Organohalogen Compounds 60: 436-439.


ter Schure, A.F.H., P. Larsson, C. Agrell, & J.P. Boon (2004). Atmospheric transport of PBDEs and PCBs to the Baltic Sea. Environ. Sci. Technol. 38(5): 1282-1287.

Morris, S., C.R. Allchin, B.N. Zegers, J.J.H. Haftka, J.P. Boon, C. Belpaire, P.G. Leonards, S.P.J. van Leeuwen, & J. de Boer (2004). Distribution and fate of HBCD and TBBPA brominated flame retardants in North Sea estuaries and aquatic food webs. Environ. Sci. Technol. 38: 5497-5504.


Zegers, B.N., A. Mets, R. van Bommel, C. Minkenberg, T. Hamers, J.H. Kamstra, G.J. Pierce & J.P. Boon (2005). Levels of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in harbor porpoises and common dolphins from Western European seas, with evidence for stereo-isomer specific biotransformation by cytochrome P450. Environ. Sci. Technol. 39 (7): 2095-2100 (abstract) (a *pdf-version of the entire article is available upon request, or can be obtained directly from the web-site of ES&T).


Herfort, L., J.P. Boon, S. Schouten & J.S. Sinninghe Damsté. Application of the TEX86 temperature proxy to the southern North Sea. Org. Geochem. 37: 2196-2205.

Herfort, L., S. Schouten, J.P. Boon, M. Woltering, M. Baas, J.W.H. Weijers & J.S. Sinninghe Damsté (2006). Characterization of transport and deposition of terrestrial organic matter in the southern North Sea using the BIT index. Limnol. Oceanogr. 51: 2196-2205.

Gómez-Ariza, J.L., M.M. Santos, E. Morales, I. Giráldez, D. Sánchez-Rodas, N. Vieira, J.F. Kemp, J.P. Boon & C.C. ten-Hallers-Tjabbes (2006). Organotin contamination in the Atlantic Ocean off the Iberian Peninsula in relation to shipping. Chemosphere 64: 1100–1108.


Harju, M., T. Hamers, J.H. Kamstra, E. Sonneveld, J.P. Boon, M. Tysklind & P.L. Andersson (2007). Quantitative structure-activity relationship modelling on in vitro endocrine effects and metabolic stability involving 26 selected brominated flame retardants. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 26: 816-826.

Lahaye,V., P. Bustamante, R.J. Law, J.A. Learmonth, M.B. Santos, J.P. Boon, E. Rogan, W. Dabin, M.J. Addink, A. Lopez, A.F. Zuur, G.J. Pierce & F. Caurant (2007). Biological and ecological factors related to trace element levels in harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) from European waters, Mar. Environ. Res. 64: 247-266.

Herfort, L.., S. Schouten, B. Abbas, M. veldhuis, M. Coolen, C. Wuchter, J.P. Boon, G.J. Herndl & J.S. Sinninghe Damsté. Variations in spatial and temporal distribution of Archaea in the North Sea in relation to environmental variables. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 62: 242-257.


Pierce, G.J., M.B. Santos, S. Murphy, J.A. Learmonth, A.F. Zuur, E. Rogan, P. Bustamante, F. Caurant, V. Lahaye, V. Ridoux, B.N. Zegers, A. Mets, M. Addink, C. Smeenk, T. Jauniaux, R.J. Law, W. Dabin, A. López, J.M. Alonso Farré, A.F. González, A. Guerra, M. García-Hartmann, R.J. Reid, C.F. Moffat, C. Lockyer & J.P. Boon. Bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants in female common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) and harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) from western European seas: Geographical trends, causal factors and effects on reproduction and mortality. Environ.Pollut. 153: 401-415.


Luque, P.L., Pierce, G.J., Learmonth, J.A., et al. Dentinal anomalies in teeth of harbour porpoises (Phocoen aphocoena from Scottish waters: are they linked to sexual maturation and environmental events? 
J. Marine Biol. Assoc. UK 89893-902.