The lab

The PhD students that I supervise are involved the development of theory of the mechanism of spatial self-organization, and its implications for ecosystem functioning and for animals that live in spatially self-organized ecosystems.

Roeland van de Vijsel

Modeling patterns formation on tidal flats to indicatie critical shifts in salt marsh establishment and mussel bed dynamics (2015-2019).

Anna van der Kaaden

I work on how reefs are shaped by organisms and the environment and how these structures affect the environment. Besides that I’m interested in looking into how the interactions between corals and sponges affect their growth patterns.


Koen Siteur Koen Siteur

Koen’s research focusses on the dynamics of seagrass beds and other systems governed by aggregative dynamics. He is funded by the EU project MERCES (Marine Ecosystem Restoration in European Seas) and by personal grant awarded to dr. Quan-Xing Liu (State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research; East China Normal University).


Loreta Cornacchia

Unraveling interacting feedback loops that control non-linear salt-marsh dynamics: combining experiments and modeling (2008-2012); Together with Tjeerd Bouma.

Visiting scholars

Yanintr small
Jiaguo Yan
Jiaguo Yan has joined the lab as a visiting PhD student from China, to work on top-down control and pattern formation on intertidal systems.

I am currently co-supervising the following PhD students:

Former lab members

Jim van Belzen
Modeling salt marsh dynamics as a critical system; Together with Tjeerd Bouma.

Helene de Paoli

Key processes in the restoration of mussel beds in the Wadden Sea (2010-2014), as a part of the Waddensleutels project.

Aniek van den Berg

Restauration of mussel beds in the Waddensea, making use of laserscanners, underwater camera’s and kyte aerial photography to study the development of mussel beds. Technical assistent to the Mosselwad project.

Liu Quan-Xing

Implications of aggregation in bivalves for intertidal ecosystems (2009-2013)

Monique de Jager

Testing for spatial self-organisation in mussel beds (2008-2012)


Ellen Weerman

Spatial patterns in phototrophic biofilms. The role of physical and biological interactions (2005-2009). You can download her thesis here.Ellen Weerman is currently a Postdoc at the University of Groningen.

Bregje van Wesenbeeck
Thresholds and shifts: consequences of habitat modification in salt-marsh pioneer zones (2002-2006). You can download her thesis
here. Bregje now works at Deltares.

Nicholas Azza
The dynamics of shoreline wetlands and sediments of northern Lake Victoria (Unesco-IHE: 2000-2005). You can download his thesis here.Nicholas works at the Directorate of Water Development (DWD) in Entebbe, Uganda.