Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Royal Netherlands
Institute for Sea Research
Phone number
+31 (0)222 369 511
Senior Scientist

Tjisse van der Heide

Senior Scientist


  • Coastal ecosystems dominated by foundation species
  • Feedbacks between organisms and their environment (ecosystem engineering)
  • Ecological interactions between foundation species and the associated community
  • Ecosystem conservation and restoration
  • cological modelling, biogeochemistry

Research interests

I will be joining COS at NIOZ combined with a position at the University of Groningen starting from the 1st of January 2018. My work focuses primarily on (1) causes and consequences of coastal ecosystem degradation, and (2) development of novel applications to preserve and/or restore coastal ecosystems.

Central in the first research line is the ecosystem-level importance and functioning of habitat modifying species – also called 'ecosystem engineers' or 'foundation species'. These organisms often facilitate themselves and the associated community by improving their environment through density- and patch size-dependent feedbacks. Clear examples are reef-building bivalves, seagrasses, salt marsh plants, and dune-building plants that attenuate currents and waves, increase water clarity, and modify sediment conditions.

My second line builds on the first with the aim of extending fundamental findings to develop applications for preserving or restoring coastal ecosystems. Examples are recent work on the inclusion of both intra- (within species) and interspecific (between species) facilitation restoration into designs, and the development of temporary biodegradable structures that bridge establishment thresholds for habitat-modifying species.







Please find my complete list of NIOZ-publications at the bottom of this webpage or on ResearcherID. You can download all my publications on ResearchGate.


Professional education



Awards, prizes and funded

2018: NWO Vidi-Award 'Building coastal landscapes with spatially organizing plants'





Linked news

Friday 01 June 2018
3 Vidi-beurzen voor NIOZ-onderzoekers | 3 Vidi grants for NIOZ researchers
[Scroll down for English version] De Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO) heeft aan drie ervaren NIOZ-onderzoekers een Vidi-financiering van 800.000 euro toegekend. Hiermee kunnen zij de komende vijf jaar een eigen,…