Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Royal Netherlands
Institute for Sea Research
Phone number
+31 (0)222 369 380
Ocean Systems (OCS)
Senior Scientist

Dr. Lennart de Nooijer

Senior Scientist


  • Biomineralization
  • Foraminiferal shell geochemistry
  • Paleoceanographic proxy development
  • Bioerosion

Research interests & personal motivation

My research focusses on the underlying mechanisms of shell formation in foraminifera. These unicellular organisms produce a shell consisting of calcium carbonate for which they take up ions from the surrounding seawater. This process and the resulting chemical composition of their shells is influenced by the conditions (temperature, pH, etc.) in which these organisms live. Quantifying these relationships (for example Mg-incorporation as a function of seawater temperature) and application to fossil foraminifera allows reconstructing past changes in seawater conditions and thereby, past climates. I collect and culture foraminifera under a range of pCO2’s, salinities, etc to develop new tools to reconstruct the history of our earth. At the same time, I use these specimens to look at their biological controls on calcification. This will help to predict their response to current changes in ocean chemistry (like ongoing acidification and warming) and their ability to calcify in the near future.

It is surprising how little we understand of such a fundamental and ubiquitous process. Despite the geological relevance, abundance, evolutionary longevity and value for understanding Earth’s climate, very little is known about the fundamental process by which they form their shells. I find biomineralization in foraminifera a highly challenging research subject since it requires bringing together geology, chemistry and biology.


10 februari 2017 - NRC Handelsblad - Schelpdiertje houdt stand in verzurende zee

Sampling for seawater chemistry around the island of Saba (Dutch Antilles) to quantify calcification in the field.

Linked news

Thursday 08 November 2018
NWO lanceert innovatief onderzoek naar energie zuiniger zeetransport
Ruim 75 Nederlandse wetenschappers werken vanaf vandaag aan nieuwe innovaties, samen met het bedrijfsleven en maatschappelijke organisaties. Dat gebeurt binnen zes grote onderzoeksprogramma’s, waarvoor de Nederlandse Organisatie voor…
Thursday 04 October 2018
OCW-minister bij samenwerkingsverklaring Koninklijk NIOZ en JAMSTEC in Tokio
Op vrijdag 5 oktober bevestigen het Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut voor Onderzoek der Zee (NIOZ) en Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) hun nauwe samenwerking met een samenwerkingsverklaring. Minister van OCW Ingrid van…
Tuesday 12 December 2017
Gerepareerde RV Pelagia vertrekt woensdag 13 december op NICO-expeditie
Twee dagen later dan gepland, is het gerepareerde onderzoeksschip RV Pelagia op woensdag 13 december vertrokken uit de Texelse thuishaven voor de zeven maanden durende NICO-expeditie: Netherlands Initiative Changing Oceans. De grootschalige expeditie…
Wednesday 18 January 2017
Onverwacht resultaat: Oceaanverzuring kan schelpvorming bevorderen
[English press release below Dutch] Dat meer kooldioxide (CO2) in de lucht ook de oceanen verzuurt, is geen nieuws. Dat schelpdieren en steenkoralen daaronder lijden, omdat ze in zuurder water moeilijker kalk aan het water kunnen onttrekken,…
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…
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NIOZ publications

Linked projects

PASODOBLE_Production of Shells under Ocean acidification: DOes calcification Become more or Less Energy-efficient?
Lennart de Nooijer
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
Project duration
1 Dec 2016 - 28 Feb 2021
Rates and mechanisms of coral dissolution by bioeroding sponges
Lennart de Nooijer
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
Project duration
1 Jan 2014 - 31 Jan 2019