Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

Prof. Dr. Klaas Timmermans

Head of Scientific Department
Phone number
+31 (0)113 577 464 / Tx 0222 369416
Location
Yerseke
Function
Head of Scientific Department

Expertise

  • Physiology and ecology of seaweeds
  • Experimental marine biology

Current positions

•    Senior scientist ecophysiology of seaweeds, head of Department Estuarine and Delta Systems (EDS) at NIOZ(-Yerseke)
•    Lector University of Applied Sciences, Vlissingen
•    Honorary Professor University Groningen

Specialization

Understanding the role of seaweeds in the marine environment, including the possibilities for seaweed biomass as source for sustainable food and energy for the future.

Prof. Dr. Klaas R. Timmermans is senior scientist and head of the department Estuarine and Delta Systems (EDS, Yerseke) at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ).

Research interests

The overarching goal in my research is to arrive at insight in the effects of the biotic and abiotic environment, including changes therein (e.g. global warming, ocean acidification, sea level rise), on physiology, ecology and diversity of marine photo-autotrophes, particularly seaweeds. In recent years, I studied for example nutrient uptake in native North Sea seaweeds and their effects on growth, the possibilities to use seaweeds as producers of high value products (pigments, proteins, polysaccharides), the effects of hydrodynamics on morphology and cellular composition and the optimalisation of biofilters using seaweeds. 

Personal motivation

Water and particularly salt water have always fascinated me. Having the opportunity to work in the marine environment is like a dream come true. Early in my career as biologist, I came to the conclusion that experimental work is the way forward in (marine) physiology. The organisms with which I work cannot talk. By subjecting them to varying experimental conditions they “tell” me what their condition is, they indicated whether they are functioning optimally or not. Experiments are the constant factor in my work.  I started with experimental work with chironomid (midge) larvae in the freshwater (PhD at U. Amsterdam), studying the effects of cadmium, lead, zinc and copper on their physiology and ecology. At NIOZ (post-doc and later as scientist), I investigated the effects of ultra-low iron concentrations on Southern Ocean phytoplankton.  During this time, I have spent more than 1 year at sea, from the North Sea via the Atlantic Ocean to Southern Ocean, and I have been to 4 times to Antarctica.  Currently my research focus has shifted to seaweeds. I initiated the establishment of the NIOZ seaweed centre an ideal environment for experimental work on seaweeds. Experiments are ranging from nutrient uptake, to CO2 manipulation to experiments in which seaweeds are subjected to different hydrodynamic conditions. In combination with observations (and experiments!) in the field, the information collected gives me insight in the role of biotic and abiotic conditions on the organisms I study.

Currently I am also motivated to teach the younger generations of scientists: from lectures to internships, conveying my enthusiasm and dedication for marine biology and ecophysiology. Teaching that only with proper fundamental knowledge we can start to think about applications. With all current attention and interest for seaweeds, for example on their role in a marine biobased economy, the need for basic fundamental research is obvious. Only with that knowledge we can start to think about their applications, for example in using seaweed biomass as resource for sustainable food and energy for the future.

Opening of the NIOZ Seaweed centre with king Willem-Alexander.

Education

Klaas R. Timmermans received his Masters degree in Biology (cum laude) at the University of Amsterdam in 1986. From 1986–1991, he did his PhD on the effects of trace metals on Chironomid larvae (University of Amsterdam). In 1991 he defended his PhD-thesis entitled “Trace metal ecotoxicokinetics of chironomids” As of 1991, Klaas Timmermans works as a (senior) scientist at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), first within the Department of Marine Chemistry & Geology, from 2008- 2016 in the Department of Biological Oceanography (head of department 2011-2016), and from 2016 onwards in the Department Estuarine and Delta Systems, (head of department), NIOZ-Yerseke.
As of 1 September 2014 Klaas Timmermans is appointed as honorary professor Marine Plant Biomass in the Department of Ocean Ecosystems, with in ESRIG, Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen at Groningen University (Faculty Science and Engineering). 

Linked news

Tuesday 24 January 2017
Provincie laat NIOZ zeewierkansen Noord-Holland onderzoeken
Wereldwijd is er steeds meer vraag naar zeewier. Zeewier kan dienen als voedsel en bevat grondstoffen voor de farmacie, cosmetica, duurzame chemicaliën en biobrandstof. De provincie Noord-Holland wil deze kansen benutten door het aantrekken van…

NIOZ publications

  • 2017
    Fernand, F.; Israel, A.; Skjermo, J.; Wichard, T.; Timmermans, K. (2017). Offshore macroalgae biomass for bioenergy production: Environmental aspects, technological achievements and challenges. Renew. Sust. Energ. Rev. 75: 35-45. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2016.10.046
    Lubsch, A.; Timmermans, K. (2017). Texture analysis of Laminaria digitata (Phaeophyceae) thallus reveals trade-off between tissue tensile strength and toughness along lamina. Bot. Mar. 60(2). https://doi.org/10.1515/bot-2016-0075
  • 2015
    Gerringa, L.J.A.; Rijkenberg, M.J.A.; Laan, P. ; Timmermans, K.R. (2015). Cycles in the ocean. Mar. Chem. 177(Part 3): 409-410. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marchem.2015.08.006
    Gledhill, M.; Gerringa, L.J.A.; Laan, P.; Timmermans, K.R. (2015). Heme b quotas are low in Southern Ocean phytoplankton. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 532: 29-40. dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps11345
    Mojica, K.D.A.; van de Poll, W.H.; Kehoe, M.; Huisman, J.; Timmermans, K.R.; Buma, A.G.J.; Van der Woerd, H.J.; Hahn-Woernle, L.; Dijkstra, H.A.; Brussaard, C.P.D. (2015). Phytoplankton community structure in relation to vertical stratification along a north-south gradient in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean, in: Mojica, K.D.A. Viral lysis of marine microbes in relation to vertical stratification. pp. 75-116
    Mojica, K.D.A.; van de Poll, W.H.; Kehoe, M.; Huisman, J.; Timmermans, K.R.; Buma, A.G.J.; Van der Woerd, H.J.; Hahn-Woernle, L.; Dijkstra, H.A.; Brussaard, C.P.D. (2015). Phytoplankton community structure in relation to vertical stratification along a north-south gradient in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean. Limnol. Oceanogr. 60: 1498–1521. dx.doi.org/10.1002/lno.10113
    Peperzak, L.; van der Woerd, H.J.; Timmermans, K.R. (2015). Disparities between in situ and optically derived carbon biomassand growth rates of the prymnesiophyte Phaeocystis globosa. Biogeosciences 12: 1659-1670. dx.doi.org/10.5194/bg-12-1659-2015
  • 2014
    Maat, D.S.; Crawfurd, K.J.; Timmermans, K.R.; Brussaard, C.P.D. (2014). Elevated CO2 and Phosphate Limitation Favor Micromonas pusilla through Stimulated Growth and Reduced Viral Impact. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 80(10): 3119-3127. dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.03639-13
    Timmermans, K.R.; Brinkhuis, H. (2014). Zeewier, in: Het beste idee van 2014. pp. 69-71
  • 2013
    van de Poll, W.H.; Kulk, G.; Timmermans, K.R.; Brussaard, C.P.D.; van der Woerd, H.J.; Kehoe, M.J.; Mojica, K.D.A.; Visser, R.J.W.; Rozema, P.D.; Buma, A.G.J. (2013). Phytoplankton chlorophyll a biomass, composition, and productivity along a temperature and stratification gradient in the northeast Atlantic Ocean. Biogeosciences 10(6): 4227-4240. dx.doi.org/10.5194/bg-10-4227-2013
  • 2012
    Hoogstraten, A.; Peters, M.; Timmermans, K.R.; de Baar, H.J.W. (2012). Combined effects of inorganic carbon and light on Phaeocystis globosa Scherffel (Prymnesiophyceae). Biogeosciences 9(5): 1885-1896. dx.doi.org/10.5194/bg-9-1885-2012
    Hoogstraten, A.; Timmermans, K.R.; de Baar, H.J.W. (2012). Morphological and Physiological Effects in Proboscia Alata (Bacillariophyceae)Grown under Different Light and CO2 Conditions of the Modern Southern Ocean. J. Phycol. 48(3): 559-568. dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1529-8817.2012.01148.x
  • 2011
    Peperzak, L.; Timmermans, K.R.; Wernand, M.R.; Oosterhuis, S.; van der Woerd, H.J. (2011). A mesocosm tool to optically study phytoplankton dynamics. Limnol. Oceanogr., Methods 9: 232-244. dx.doi.org/10.4319/lom.2011.9.232

Linked projects

Vegetable Biomass from Sea
Supervisor
Klaas Timmermans
Funder
Provincie Noord-Holland
Project duration
1 Jan 2017 - 1 Oct 2018
Field flume studies to assess Global Change effects in estuarine ecosystems
Supervisor
Klaas Timmermans
Funder
Utrecht University
Project duration
1 Jan 2016 - 31 Dec 2026
Production and losses of native North Sea seaweed species
Supervisor
Klaas Timmermans
Funder
NA
Project duration
31 Dec 2011 - 1 Jan 2017
Seaweed Hatchery: selection of clones for growth in North Sea farms
Supervisor
Klaas Timmermans
Funder
Ministry of Economic Affairs
Project duration
1 Jan 2016 - 31 Aug 2016
ZEEVIVO: culturing seaweed for fish farming
Supervisor
Klaas Timmermans
Funder
NA
Project duration
1 Sep 2015 - 31 Dec 2015
Life cycles of seaweeds & seagrasses
Supervisor
Klaas Timmermans
Funder
Utrecht University
Project duration
1 Jan 2016 - 31 Dec 2026
EFRO_Seaweed Cultivation
Supervisor
Klaas Timmermans
Funder
European Community
Project duration
1 May 2016 - 30 Apr 2019