Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Royal Netherlands
Institute for Sea Research

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Stability and Resilience of Coastal Systems

Understanding how coastal systems will respond to change as the result of climate change and sea level rise is paramount in the current age of global change. Especially because coastal societies are often strongly contingent upon their functioning and the services they provide. The stability and resilience of these ecosystems is often underpinned by ecosystem-engineering species that modify and attenuate the physical conditions that force them. This can lead to positive feedback and a rich set of possible responses that shape the stability and resilience of these coastal systems.

Developing new insights that can help us understand what ecosystem responses can be expected is the main focus of my research. Therefore, I combine experimental, observational and modelling approaches. Most of the time I work on tidal marshes, but I also have a keen interest in reef building organisms.

Personal motivation

At the core the science I do is driven by my childish curiosity to better understand the natural world around me. Yet, I strongly believe that my research -and that of my college’s- is highly needed and contributes to a fact-based understanding of our blue planet. Thereby providing the much needed information to help decision-making into a responsible and sustainable use of our coasts and oceans.

Introducing Jim van Belzen @ NIOZ

Watch the above short video to get an introduction into my work as an ecologist and modeller.