Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

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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.