Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research Jan-Berend Stuut

Royal NIOZ, the Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, is part of NWO-I, the Institutes Organisation of NWO, since 2016 in cooperation with Utrecht University.

Excellent, world-leading:

An independent, international committee of experts, evaluating NIOZ according to the Standard Evaluation Protocol (SEP), finds 'that NIOZ is a world leading marine research institute producing excellent science. The four marine research departments are all world leading as measured by the highest quality research output, award of major prizes, and an outstanding record of external research funding. This all makes it evident that NIOZ is one of the most influential oceanographic research institutes world wide.'


Mission statement:

NWO-NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research is the national oceanographic institute and principally performs academically excellent multidisciplinary fundamental and frontier applied marine research addressing important scientific and societal questions pertinent to the functioning of oceans and seas. Second, NIOZ serves as national marine research facilitator (NMF) for The Netherlands scientific community. Third, NIOZ stimulates and supports multidisciplinary fundamental and frontier applied marine research, education and marine policy development in the national and international context.

Research and strategic vision:

NIOZ science plan 2014-2020, identifies two broad research themes: the changing ocean system, past, present, future and adaptability of marine ecosystems in a changing world.

These themes are inspired by three major notions: oceans as unknowns, oceans in trouble, and oceans as opportunity. Many processes, biodiversity, ecology, biogeochemical cycles and their interconnections in the seas and oceans are still unknown or poorly understood. What we do know, is that coasts, seas and oceans are in trouble: the effects of overfishing and pollution, and the cumulative effects of climate change (warming, acidification, sea level rise, anoxia) need mitigation. At the same time, seas and oceans will be a major future source for global resources, food, and energy, as population growth and new technologies unavoidably lead to ever more, and intensified ocean exploitation. Oceanographic institutions focusing on fundamental, process-oriented, innovative marine research such as NIOZ have a pivotal societal role in constraining the above towards sustainable pathways.

We aim to generate the multidisciplinary expertise and fundamental knowledge needed to underpin and improve longer-term sustainable and responsible marine management. From fundamental understanding of key-processes, to promoting innovative solutions to the coming challenges of sustainable and responsible use of the seas and oceans. We call it our Mission Blue Planet.

NIOZ organisation:

NIOZ is made up of four science departments, along with two support departments: National Marine Facilities (NMF) and General Support (GES). Our science departments are:


  • Estuarine & Delta Systems
  • Coastal Systems
  • Ocean Systems
  • Marine Microbiology & Biogeochemistry


The institute is managed by director prof. dr. Henk Brinkhuis, supervised by the Foundation Board of NWO-I and advised by the Institute Advisory Committee and the Scientific Advisory Committee.