Prof. Dr Jef Huisman works at the University of Amsterdam, where he is chair of the new department of Freshwater and Marine Ecology (FAME) of the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED).
I have a broad interest in general ecology, theoretical ecology, microbial ecology and marine biology. In particular, I am fascinated by species interactions, and how these affect the response of natural communities to changing environmental conditions. I began my scientific career as PhD student in a collaborative project between the Universities of Groningen and Amsterdam, in The Netherlands, in the 1990s. Here, I developed mathematical models to investigate the “struggle for light” between species and tested these model predictions in competition experiments between phytoplankton species. Subsequently, I was postdoc in Theoretical Ecology at Stanford University and in Marine Microbiology at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO). Now I work for almost 20 years at the University of Amsterdam, where I am chair of the new department of Freshwater and Marine Ecology (FAME) of the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED).
During my career, I developed a keen interest in plankton communities, and especially in cyanobacteria, the most ancient, most versatile and numerically most abundant group of oxygen-producing photosynthetic organisms on our planet. We study how competition for nutrients and light affects the growth and species composition of freshwater and marine phytoplankton, we investigate how rising CO2 levels and global warming stimulate the development of cyanobacterial blooms in many eutrophied waters across the globe, and we try to advance new approaches to suppress or mitigate harmful algal blooms.