News and events
Henk Brinkhuis new General Director at Royal NIOZ

Professor Henk Brinkhuis has been appointed general director at NIOZ as of 1 December, succeeding Professor Carlo Heip. Carlo Heip will retire by that date. Brinkhuis is currently the head of the Biomarine Sciences Group at Utrecht University. Together with deputy director Professor Herman Ridderinkhof, he will direct the further development of the institute, as well as the integration of the Centre for Estuarine and Marine Ecology (NIOO-CEME) in Yerseke with NIOZ after the merger of the two institutes that is to take place later this year.


About Henk Brinkhuis

Henk Brinkhuis (1959) studied Marine Geology and Paleoceanography (developments in oceans of the past) at Utrecht University (UU) and Delft University of Technology. Next, he wrote his PhD thesis at Utrecht University. After completing his thesis, he became the managing director of the LPP Foundation, a UU foundation for research funded by third parties, for the international gas and oil exploration industry. On 1 September 2007, Brinkhuis was appointed Professor of Marine Palaeobiology, and on 1 January 2010 he was appointed chair of the Biomarine Sciences Group, part of the Institute of Environmental Biology at Utrecht University.


Nature and Science

Brinkhuis and his staff have regularly published in leading scientific journals such as Nature and Science in collaboration with their NIOZ colleagues in recent years. These publications were mainly concerned with the conditions around the Arctic and Antarctic during the ‘greenhouse Earth’ about 50 million years ago. These publications showed a close correlation between temperature and carbon dioxide concentrations in the air. Polar areas were shown to have seen a sharper rise in temperature than the tropics, a phenomenon that is also expected to occur in the future. NIOZ scientists take part in the teaching at Brinkhuis’s Group at Utrecht University as well.


Public awareness

As NIOZ director, Brinkhuis will be facing important challenges such as raising public awareness of the importance of oceans and coastal seas for the sustainability and well-being of our planet, as well as increasing the productivity and impact of NIOZ, both nationally and internationally, and integrating CEME in Yerseke with NIOZ.