4D-REEF Research Programme

shingle rampart lumulumu

Coral reefs are having a hard time. Reefs in the Coral Triangle stand out for their species richness, yet they are in close proximity to areas with high human population densities. Ongoing anthropogenic environmental changes in the sea, on land and in the atmosphere have severely degraded many important coral reef environments. Will these reefs stand a chance in the future with ongoing climate change and pollution?


Director of the program is Prof. Dr. Willem Renema, Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Leiden, The Netherlands)




4D-REEF is a research programme funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. The research consortium brings together researchers from 18 different organisations across Europe and southeast Asia. 18 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) form the backbone of the 4D-REEF research programme. Naturalis is the lead beneficiary organisation of the programme with Willem Renema as the Programme Coordinator. Three of the 18 ESRs are based at Naturalis: Elsa Girard, William Harrison and Mike Hynes. Also, one of the ESR co-supervisors, Prof. Nicole de Voogd, and the Programme Manager, Chantal Huijbers, are based at Naturalis.

training network

Combining a variety of geological, biological and climate data, 4D-REEF investigates the hypothesis that turbid coastal environments provide a refuge for coral reefs in periods of warm climate. Besides a collaborative research programme, this Innovative Training Network is also focused on providing training to the ESRs in a range of skills to enhance their understanding of the systems they work in, synthesize their research, communicate with a variety of audiences, and support their personal development. Naturalis will play an active role in providing this training, hosting network events, and host several ESRs for secondments during their research projects.

For more information and to stay up to date, please visit the 4D-REEF programme website, www.4d-reef.eu, or follow us on Twitter.

Muddy reef
Fossil coral


4D-REEF brings together >40 researchers from different domains including geology, biology and climate science across Europe and southeast Asia.


Besides the 18 Early Stage Researchers, the following researchers are part of the 4D-REEF consortium:

  • Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Netherlands: Willem Renema, Nicole de Voogd;
  • Natural History Museum, UK: Ken Johnson, Jon Todd;
  • University of Bristol, UK: Erica Hendy, Dan Lunt;
  • University of Granada, Spain: Juan Carlos Braga;
  • University of Aveiro, Portugal: Newton Gomes;
  • Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany: Wolfgang Muller, David Evans;
  • Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research, Germany: Hildegard Westphal, Sebastian Ferse, Arjun Chennu, Sonia Bejarano;
  • Ocean Maps, Austria: Klemens Svetitsch, Thomas Nemetz;
  • Hasanuddin University, Indonesia: Jamaluddin Jompa, Rohani Ambo Rappe
  • Partners: Elena Couce, Susanna Jenkins, Alessio Rovere, Owen Wangensteen, Jody Webster.


by the EU

4D-REEF has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 813360.

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