New professors connect NIOZ science with practical research HZ

On 8 June professors Klaas Timmermans and Tjeerd Bouma will inaugurate at HZ University of Applied Sciences. Both professors are senior scientific researchers at the “Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut voor Onderzoek der Zee” (NIOZ) in Yerseke. The professors will ensure a connection between the scientific research of NIOZ and the practice-oriented research of students at HZ.

This connection ensures that the scientific research of NIOZ is better embedded in the region. Professors apply scientific knowledge to questions from companies and organisations in the practical field. The overarching theme to which both professors will contribute is water safety and sustainable food and energy production in delta areas:

Research group Aquaculture in Delta Areas  Prof. Dr. Klaas Timmermans, head of the Estaurine & Delta Systems Research department at NIOZ and professor by special appointment at the University of Groningen, is a professor at the Aquaculture research group in Delta Areas. In his inaugural speech entitled “Zee (land)BOUW” he will discuss the possibilities of innovative forms of aquaculture. The cultivation of seaweed in particular offers many opportunities, also in Zeeland, to produce food and energy of the future in a sustainable way. Other forms of existing aquaculture, such as mussel and oyster farming, also have many knowledge questions and innovation challenges. The research group Aquaculture in Delta Areas, together with entrepreneurs, will investigate these questions and challenges in practical research projects.

Klaas Timmermans: “A problem that we are facing is the sea level rise. That will very strongly affect this region. My ideal is to combine water safety with sustainable food and energy production. If there is a place in the Netherlands where this is possible, it is Zeeland.”

Research group Building with Nature  Prof. Dr. Tjeerd Bouma, senior scientist at NIOZ and professor by special appointment at Utrecht University, is an professor at the Building with Nature research group. Climate change and sea level rise pose a growing threat to low-lying deltas, estuaries and coastal areas. In his inaugural speech entitled “Op weg naar Deltawerken 2.0: de zoektocht naar Welvarende Veiligheid”, he will discuss the role that nature and aquaculture could possibly play in keeping these threatened areas prosperous and safe. What do we need to know in order to make use of nature? And does raising safety also offer economic opportunities for tourism and / or food production? The Building with Nature research group examines these issues with various partners from professional practice, namely industry, the government and NGOs.

Tjeerd Bouma “In order to keep our delta prosperous and safe in times of sea level rise, we now have to investigate questions such as: can “wisselpolders” strengthen our safety and economy? Can we integrate aquaculture, nature and tourism in coastal defence? Can we use offshore wind farms as a way to improve both nature and fisheries? Such knowledge is much needed for the Delta Works 2.0.”