Coral expert Bert Hoeksema becomes tenth Naturalis professor

June 5th, 2019
Bert Hoeksema

Further strengthening ties with academic institutions

Marine biologist Dr. Bert W. Hoeksema of Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden has been appointed professor of Tropical Marine Biodiversity at the University of Groningen as of June 1, 2019. This appointment makes Hoeksema the tenth Naturalis researcher with a professor position.

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Bij Naturalis zijn we dag en nacht bezig om de collectie aan te vullen als rijksmuseum, academisch onderzoeksinstituut en erfgoedinstelling.


Bert Hoeksema

Bert Hoeksema graduated cum laude in 1984 with a degree in Marine Biology from the University of Groningen, where he will now return for his professorship. At Naturalis, he conducts research on the ecology and evolution of coral reefs and their relationships with other animal species, as well as on invasive coral species. Hoeksema has specialized in the biodiversity of coral reefs since 1983, going on to earn his PhD cum laude from Leiden University in 1990. His research has primarily involved carrying out field work in Indonesia and the Dutch Caribbean: two areas that are also well-represented in the scientific collections at Naturalis. The collaboration with Hoeksema and Naturalis will open up new opportunities for education and research within the internationally renowned MSc program in Marine Biology at the University of Groningen.

Prof. Bert Hoeksema

Prof.dr. Bert Hoeksema in 'Curasub'

Naturalis as a knowledge institute

For Naturalis as a knowledge institute, Hoeksema’s appointment represents a further strengthening of ties with Groningen and the academic institutions in the Netherlands in general. The University of Groningen is now the sixth Dutch university with which Naturalis will have a close collaborative partnership. In addition to the ten professors, Dr. Barbara Gravendeel works on behalf of Naturalis Biodiversity Center as a lecturer in Biodiversity at the University of Applied Sciences Leiden.

All ten active professors from Naturalis Biodiversity Center and their chairs:

  • Tinde van Andel, professor by special appointment of the History of Botany and Gardens (Leiden University, Clusius Chair) & professor by special appointment of Ethnobotany (Wageningen University)
  • Koos Biesmeijer, professor of Natural Capital (Leiden University)
  • Bert Hoeksema, professor by special appointment of Tropical Marine Biodiversity (University of Groningen)
  • José Joordens, professor by special appointment of Hominin Paleoecology and Evolution (Maastricht University, Naturalis Dubois Chair) 
  • Menno Schilthuizen, professor of Character Evolution and Biodiversity (Leiden University)
  • Anne Schulp, professor of Vertebrate Paleontology (Utrecht University)
  • Erik Smets, professor of Systematic Botany (Leiden University) & professor of Systematic Botany (KU Leuven) 
  • Hans ter Steege, professor of Tropical Forest Diversity and Tree Traits (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
  • Nicole de Voogd, professor by special appointment of Global Change and Marine Ecosystems (Leiden University, Naturalis Chair)
  • Peter van Welzen, professor by special appointment of Plant Biogeography (Leiden University, Ornstein Chair)