The Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) is an independent research institute and one of the major European oceanographic institutes whose mission is to pursue multidisciplinary marine research. Its research covers coastal and shelf seas as well as the open ocean and involves close collaboration between physicists, chemists, geologists and biologists. NIOZ has close contacts with the universities and other, marine institutes, and participates in the training of young researchers in physical and chemical oceanography, marine geology, biology and biogeochemistry, ecotoxicology and marine biodiversity. NIOZ has performed marine research for well over a hundred years, both at sea and in the lab. NIOZ participates in many international EU, IGBP and WCRP programmes. A part of the research at NIOZ is focused on in-situ observation of the quality of coastal and shelf areas, including that of the Wadden Sea, North Sea and Delta. The research is based on a multidisciplinary, integrated ecosystem approach in which different organization levels and processes are coupled using synthetic and modern experimental techniques. The institute is involved in and coordinating several national and international programmes.


Principal Investigator:

Herman Hummel is project manager at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, and professor in Estuarine Ecophysiology at the University of Gdansk, Poland. His specific aim is to understand the relation between fluctuations in environmental factors (salinity, tide, food, degree of pollution) and genetics, physiology and ecology (diversity, distribution, biomass, growth, condition, reproduction, reserve constituents) of estuarine macrobenthos. He was involved in many (inter)national monitoring programmes with an emphasis on the taxonomic and ecological analyses of the zoomacrobenthos communities in coastal seas and estuaries. The studies are often used for strategic purposes in Coastal Zone Management programmes of local, regional and national authorities. Herman has been (co-)leading several major international projects and concerted actions in the field of marine biodiversity. He is Chair and General Coordinator of the COST Action EMBOS on a European Marine Biodiversity Observatory System, Executive Director of the Network of Excellence MARBEF “Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning”, general coordinator of the major EC Concerted Action BIOMARE “Implementation and networking of large-scale long-term MARine BIOdiversity research in Europe”, and general coordinator of the EC project BIOCOMBE: The impact of BIOdiversity changes in COastal Marine Benthic Ecosystems. In connection to these major projects, Herman is President of the European Marine Research Institutes and Stations (MARS) Network (, a network uniting more than 50 marine stations in Europe with the aim to promote marine research in Europe. He is also President of the European Marine Biology Symposium (EMBS) series. He published more than 235 papers of which over 115 in refereed international scientific journals and books.
In Ecopotential Herman is the leader of WP9 on the requirements of future protected areas.