Next to the daily madness here are some things that keep me busy at the moment:

  • Both Laura and Michèlle are printing their PhD thesis, which they will defend at VU on 16 October (Laura) and 7 December (Michelle)
  • My visit to Japan, where I scanned a loooooong sediment core, which I’m trying to condense into a paper,
  • Turning samples that we collected during recent cruises onboard RV Meteor and RV Pelagia into data,
  • Editorial work for the journals  Aeolian Research and Quaternary International,

Blogs of past cruises on this website:

For more info, please see NIOZ’s dustiest website:

Blogs of past cruises on the NIOZ website:

Cruise MSM79 (November 2018) onboard RV Maria S. Merian

Cruise 64PE443 (July 2018) onboard RV Pelagia

Cruise M140 (August 2017) onboard RV Meteor


May 2019: The paper by Marijke de Bar was published in the open-access journal Biogeosciences. Marijke used the Transatlantic sediment traps to validate her diol-proxy for SSTs (PDF)

23 April 2019: Saharan dust reached northern Europe and I wrote a little blog about it on the NIOZ dust website.


April 2019: We managed to publish another paper, this time on the geological remnants that we found on the pre-last glacial in  the Australasian region. (PDF)


6 March 2019: with a delegation of NIOZ I travelled to Bremerhaven to formalize collaboration between several institutes including NIOZ, AWI, and MARUM, witnessed by the Dutch King and Queen.


January 2019: The long-lasting and very fruitful collaboration with Patrick De Deckker (ANU) has resulted in yet another paper: “Land-sea correlations in the Australian region” (PDF), which is part two in a series of two papers.

December 2018: Our paper on “giant” dust particles made it into the open-access version of the journal Science! (PDF)


7 December 2018: Michèlle successfully defends her PhD thesis entitled Saharan dust from a marine perspective: transport and deposition along a transect in the Atlantic Ocean” and may proudly call herself a PhD from now on.


November 2018: We participate in expedition MSM79 onboard the German RV Maria S. Merian, sailing from Gran Canaria to Cape Verde. (blog on NIOZ website)


16 October  2018: Laura successfully defends her PhD thesis entitled “Saharan dust deposition in the equatorial North Atlantic Ocean and its impact on particle export fluxes” and may proudly call herself a PhD from now on.

September 2018: Michèlle publishes her 2nd dusty paper in the journal Aeolian Research. (PDF of paper)


August 2018: RV Pelagia in the harbour of Catania, Sicily, Italy, ready to sail for expedition 64PE443 (blog)

July 2018: the poster of my talk at the University of Toulouse where I visited François de Vleeschouwer.


On the top of Dune de Pilat: the present ICAR president Frank Eckhardt (left) and the past president Adrian Chapell together with the president-elect (that’s me).


June 2018: the tenth International Conference on Aeolian Research (ICAR X) where Martina Klose and will convened the session: “Dust dynamics and processes: emission, dispersal, and deposition”.


June 2018: A piece in the Texelse Courant on the kick-off of project S.E.A: Science encounters Art, in which Jan van den Berg and me are developing a project for the art month “Lange juni 2019”.

May 2018: The “Groene Amsterdammer” wrote a piece on geo-engineering for which they asked my input (in Dutch)


May 2018: Helga’s first dusty paper is out! We present new data on the ballasting potential of Saharan dust.

January 2018: Catarina, Laura, and me (R2L) at the biological station of the University of Chile in Las Cruces where the PAGES-DICE workshop on dust was organised. (#lovemyjob)


January 2018: during the NICO expedition, leg 2 (Gran Canaria - Curaçao) on board RV Pelagia, dust was sampled, and plenty of it! In this animated gif you can see several outbreaks of Saharan dust.

Laura Schreuder published her first study on the biomarkers in Saharan dust in “Organic Geochemistry” . Well done Laura, here’s to many more dusty papers!


Ute Merkel and me organised the 4th German “dust day”(Staubtag) at the MARUM in Bremen on 22 November 2017


August 2017: cruise M140 on board FS Meteor took us from Cape Verde to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and gave us the opportunity to visit and service the sampling of Saharan dust with both marine sediment traps and dust-collecting buoys. See the NIOZ website for a blog

Bernhardt et al 2017-screenshot

A first for Catarina: her first  dusty  manuscript was accepted as a discussion-paper in the EGU open-access journal Biogeochemistry
Cheers Catarina, here’s to many more!!

October 2017: Catarinas first dusty paper is out: accepted as “full” paper in Biogeochemistry


The end-member approach proved its value once more; with it we managed to tease apart not only aeolian dust from fluvial mud but also turbidites that have their own grain-size signature!
You can read all about it in the paper that came out this week in EPSL.


A first for Laura: her first paper came out in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics! Cheers Laura, here’s to many more!!

May 2017: Carmen successfully defended her PhD thesis at the MARUM, Bremen, Germany, on 2 May. Congratulations DOCTOR Friese!! Here she is proudly wearing her personalized cape and Dr’s Hat.


April 2017: During this year’s EGU meeting Peter Knippertz, Jo Nield, Tobias Lauer, and me organised a  PICO session on dust, which was a great success!! Here you see colleagues lining up for their 2 minutes of fame in the 2-minute madness in which they pitched their presentation. Next year we’ll organise the session again and then celebrate it’s 15th anniversary during EGU2018.

March 2017: Jiawang Lu’s paper was published in Quaternary Science Reviews.


March 2017: The joint committee on Science and Technology of South Africa and the Netherlands met in The Hague to explore ideas and challenges on potential collaboration.


February 2017: Carmen’s manuscript was accepted as a discussion paper in EGU’s open-access Journal  ‘Atmospheric Chemistry & Phyics’.


February 2017: Dust-collecting buoy Carmen had “escaped” last summer and we went back to her original position off Cape Blanc to re-deploy her. She’s now happily collecting Saharan dust again and we’ll harvest the samples during upcoming cruise M140 in August this year.

I feel like a giant in this country!

October 2016: The Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science granted me some money to come to Japan and work with Kana Nagashima and Prof Murayama on ODP cores. This photo was taken in Kamakura; as you can see I’m enjoying every minute of my time here!

Buoy Carmen on deck of FS Meteor

Oops, she did it again.... Buoy Carmen was cut loose from her anchor off Cape Blanc. This time the FS Meteor with chief scientist Marcus Dengler came to the rescue and picked her up.

Jan van den Berg doing his thing

Lange Juni, a cultural and art festival on the island, introduced the term ”Science-theater” for which we invited Jan van den Berg to come play his piece Oase about desert sand.

Best dressed man in town....

Kenniscafé Amsterdam organised an interactive evening about the sea and invited me to come and talk about dust. An offer I couldn’t refuse.....

Gooseneck barnacles: yummy

Next to a few radio items, Gemma Venhuizen also wrote a really nice piece in the national newspaper NRC Handelsblad.

Nice colour setting too!

During cruise JC134 we had another journalist with us: Gemma Venhuizen. She made a few nice radio items, which you find here.

November 2015: The ITS Academy wanted to learn about the state-of-the-art of marine research and organised an afternoon of talks and practical lab work at the VU Amsterdam. My intention was to get to know potential teachers that would join our next cruise: JC134

Interactive video class
Cool dusty t-shirts

August 2015: It was decided to present all this dusty knowledge in a series of online lectures, which you can attend here.

In preparation for our 2015 DUSTTRAFFIC cruise onboard RV Pelagia, some pupils of the Texel high school learned all about the environmental impacts of dust deposition while decorating foam cups that we were going to lower to 5000m. They had to guess what would happen to the cups....

Ware Wetenschap - True Science
Trying to interest high-school kids for marine sciences

The Dutch national newspaper De Volkskrant selected 12 lines of scientific research they were going to report on for an extended period: here is one of their nice pieces on our dusty research.

Also the invitation to come and talk for a KIJK-Live event, in the Beurs van Berlage, I could not resist.....

KIJK - popular science
Doing cool stuff with ice

January 2014: the Texelse Natuurstruners came to visit again! This time we did a lot of COOL experiments with ice.....

Ronald Veldhuizen was certainly thrilled by dust

Summer 2013: Ronald Veldhuizen joined our cruise DUSTTRAFFIC II and wrote quite a lot of nice pieces about it! Here is one of those articles he wrote for the website  Wetenschap24

Great colleagues from the INDP

August 2013: (prototype) buoy Carmen had escaped from its anchor. Fortunately, our colleagues from INDP in Mindelo came to the rescue and picked Carmen up. Although there were a lot of known initial problems, the dust collection went quite all right and we harvested some nice dusty filters!

The fellows of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences would like to hear about my ERC plans.

An ERC grant opens doors...
Praatje IVN Texel

9 January 2013; the “Nature lovers IVN Texel” have invited me to come talk about dust; an invitation I don’t usually turn down!

Michelle and me could talk for hours about dust....

Don’t miss this week’s FLEX lecture at the VU; Michelle and me will tell all our adventures we had on board FS Meteor during cruise M89!!


May 2012: Yay, I got both the NWO- and ERC grants to monitor Saharan dust across the Atlantic!!!

Michelle and me could talk for hours about dust....

March 2012: 18 Texelse (natuur-)Struners came by to learn all about (not only sea-)water.

Five minutes is NOT a lot....

The June 2011 edition of “Bessensap”, where media meet scientists was a fun experience and a big challenge: how to pitch your research in the difficult balance between simplicity and truth. This all in five minutes....

Michelle and me could talk for hours about dust....

February 2011: The public lecture on dust in Science Cafe Deventer was great fun! Excellent to notice how many people are actually interested in science; the house was full!
....or maybe the band was that good...