Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Royal Netherlands
Institute for Sea Research
Phone number
+31 (0)222 36 9419
PhD student
Universiteit Utrecht
Jaap Sinninghe Damste

Zoë van Kemenade

PhD student


I am PhD candidate, currently investigating the impact of deoxygenation on the marine nitrogen cycle. Under anoxic conditions, bioavailable nitrogen is lost from the marine system by two microbial processes: anammox and denitrification. By using various tools, including genetic, lipid and isotope work, I hope to acquire a deeper understanding of the various feedback mechanisms between nitrogen cycling dynamics and redox conditions. My speciality is a class of lipids, called 'bacteriohopanepolyols', which can be used as tracers for specific bacteria. Currently, my research focuses on nitrogen cycling dynamics in 1) the contemporary Benguela upwelling system, 2) the Eastern Mediterranean Sea during past anoxic events, 3) the California current system during glacial-interglacial transitions, and 4) the Southern Ocean over the Holocene. 


Photo: filtering sea-water for DNA analysis on-board the RV Pelagia during expedition 64PE449



Zoë R. van Kemenade, Laura Villanueva, Ellen C. Hopmans, Peter Kraal, Harry J. Witte, Jaap S. Sinninghe Damsté, and Darci Rush. (2022). Bacteriohopanetetrol-x: constraining its application as a lipid biomarker for marine anammox using the water column oxygen gradient of the Benguela upwelling system. Biogeosciences, 19: 201–221.


William D. Gosling, David A. Sear, Jonathan D. Hassall, Pete G. Langdon, Mick N. T. Bönnen, Tessa D. Driessen,  Zoë R. van Kemenade,  Kevin Noort, Melanie J. Leng, Ian W. Croudace, Anna J. Bourne, Crystal N., and H. McMichael. (2019). Human occupation and ecosystem change on Upolu (Samoa) during the Holocene.  J. Biogeogr. 47: 600-614.


Linked blogs

Tuesday 26 February 2019
NIOZ@SEA | 64PE450
Along the southwestern African continental margin off Namibia and Angola coral mound provinces were found during the Meteor (ANNA) cruise in 2016. While the corals in the south along the Namibian margin were mostly fossil frame structures, the corals…
Tuesday 26 February 2019
NIOZ@SEA | FUNAMOX expedition in the southeast Atlantic
Off the coast of southwest Africa, currents force cold deep waters full of essential elements required for ocean life to the surface. This so-called upwelling has enormous impacts on the chemistry and biology of the water and sediment. We are sailing…

NIOZ publications

  • 2022
    van Kemenade, Z.R.; Villanueva, L.; Hopmans, E.C.; Kraal, P.; Witte, H.J.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Rush, D. (2022). Bacteriohopanetetrol-x: constraining its application as a lipid biomarker for marine anammox using the water column oxygen gradient of the Benguela upwelling system. Biogeosciences 19(1): 201-221.

Linked projects

Laura Villanueva
Ministerie van OCW
Project duration
1 Jan 2014 - 31 Dec 2023