Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

Smile, you're on camera!

Developing automated image analysis to examine an overlooked link in the North Sea: Zooplankton

Zooplankton has a key role in marine ecosystems by transferring energy and nutrients from autotrophs to organisms higher up the food web. However, zooplankton is not monitored in the Dutch North Sea, which is a major omission for ecosystem-based policies. This interdisciplinary project combines in situ imaging and machine learning to build an automated observation-monitoring platform for zooplankton. Images and net samples will be collected in the accessible Oosterschelde estuary and various North Sea regions to develop the machine-learning pipeline. Finally, the methodology will be applied during monitoring cruises of Rijkswaterstaat to provide data for future ecosystem studies.


Computer sciences and Data science approaches to better understand marine ecosystems. Green light for a continued cooperation in future

    Frank van der Stappen, Dick van Oevelen
Zooplankton is a key node in the marine ecosystem between autotrophs and higher trophic levels. Photo: Chocksawatdikorn

Connected themes

  • Sunstainable functioning of Coastal and Shelf Seas
  • Ocean of Discovery
NIOZ project page