Ronald Pouwer

portret Ronald Pouwer

At Naturalis I am responsible for the marvelous collection of Cenozoic Mollusca. My main tasks are to keep the collection in good condition (physical access, labeling, digitizing) and to improve it when needed, enlarging the collection especially by acquiring private collections, and to facilitate visitors and loan requests. This work can only be done with help of a collection assistant and some volunteers.


mollusks, shells, fossil mollusks, fossil shells, collection, collection management

Ronald Pouwer

Collection manager

Google Scholar



The collection Cenozoic Mollusca contains c. 450,000 lots and an estimated number of c. 5 million specimens. It ranks amongst the largest collections of it's kind in Europe.

Nearly 90% of the objects originate from Europe, the rest comes from other parts of the world. Some parts of the collection belong to the absolute top in the world, e.g. the subcollections Indonesia and Holoplanktic Mollusca. The focus of the European part of the collection lies on The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France, but we also have beautiful and abundant material from for instance Turkey and Portugal. Separate parts of the collection comprise fossil shells from the Dutch coast, mollusks from boreholes and prepared fossil sea bottoms from Belgium. The collection contains c. 4700 type lots.

Laevastarte ovatacostata


  • Together with Frank Wesselingh and various amateur researchers I am working on the project 'The fossil shells of the Dutch coast'. In connection with this in we have started a large collection project in May 2022, with the aim to get the collection beach fossils in good order. This will generate important data for the research project and get rid of the backlog of collections acquired the past 10 to 15 years. 
  • The Indonesian collection is being reorganized. This includes insertion in the cabinets of large amounts of samples which are yet not incorporated in the Naturalis collection.


See my Researchgate page for a broader selection of publications. 

On my Google Scholar page there are more publications, including short notes and excursion reports, unfortunately polluted with annual reports etc. 

Pouwer, R., & R. Rijken, 2022. De fossiele schelpen van de Nederlandse kust II, deel 16. Naticidae. Spirula 430: 30-38, 35 figs.

Meijer, T., R. Pouwer, P. Cleveringa, H. de Wolf, F.S. Busscher & F.P. Wesselingh, 2021. Fossil molluscs from borehole Hollum (Ameland, the Netherlands) constrain three successive Quaternary interglacial marine intervals in the southern North Sea Basin. Netherlands Journal of Geosciences 100, e13., 8 pp, 5 figs.

Janssen, A.W., A.N. van der Bijl, J. Goud, K.T.C.A. Peijnenburg, R. Pouwer, R., D. Wall-Palmer & F.P. Wesselingh, 2020.  The Naturalis collections of pelagic Gastropoda (Mollusca). Basteria 84 (4-6): 215-264, 17 figs, 18 tabs, 3 appendices.

Ouden, N. den, & R. Pouwer, 2018. Professional and amateur palaeontologists - the Dutch Polder Model. The Geological Curator 10 (10): 577-584, 5 figs.

Pacaud, J.-M., & R. Pouwer, 2017. Rediscovery of the syntype series of Astarte omalii de la Jonkaire, 1823 and Astarte basterotii de la Jonkaire, 1823 (Mollusca, Bivalvia, Astartidae). Cainozoic Research 17(1): 63-69, 22 figs, 2 tabs.

Pouwer, R., 2014. The types of Gibbula nehalenniae van Regteren Altena, 1954 (Mollusca, Gastropoda) re-investigated. Cainozoic Research, 14(2): 113-117, 5 figs, 1 tab.

Rijken, R. & R. Pouwer, 2014. De fossiele schelpen van de Nederlandse kust II, deel 7. Nassariidae. Spirula, 397: 46 – 55, 37 figs.

Moerdijk, P.W. & R. Pouwer, 2013. Laevastarte quiespacis nov. spec. (Mollusca, Bivalvia, Astartidae) from the Pliocene of The Netherlands. Cainozoic Research, 10(1-2): 9-13, 7 figs.

Pouwer, R., & F.P. Wesselingh, F.P., 2012. De fossiele schelpen van de Nederlandse kust II. (deel 3) Trochidae, Solariellidae en Calliostomatidae. Spirula 389: 151-164.

Wesselingh, F.P., & R. Pouwer, 2011. De fossiele schelpen van de Nederlandse kust II. Patellogastropoda en Vetigastropoda (deel 1). Spirula 383: 129-142.

Pouwer, R., 2010. The identity of Isocrassina, Laevastarte and Ashtarotha (Mollusca, Bivalvia, Astartidae) and their representatives from beaches and estuaries in The Netherlands and Pliocene strata in Belgium. Cainozoic Research 7(1-2): 27-67.

Moerdijk, P.W., A.W. Janssen, F.P. Wesselingh, G.A. Peeters, R. Pouwer, F.A.D. van Nieulande, A.C. Janse, L. van der Slik, T. Meijer, R. Rijken, G.C. Cadée, D. Hoeksema, G. Doeksen, A. Bastemeijer, H. Strack, M. Vervoenen & J.J. ter Poorten, 2010. De fossiele schelpen van de Nederlandse kust. Nederlands Centrum voor Biodiversiteit Naturalis, Leiden. 332 p.

Cleveringa, P., T. Meijer, R.J.W. van Leeuwen, H. de Wolf, R. Pouwer, T. Lissenberg & A.W. Burger,  2000. The Eemian stratotype locality at Amersfoort in the central Netherlands: a re-evaluation of old and new data. In: Kolfschoten, Th. van & P.L. Gibbard (eds.): The Eemian – local sequences, global perspectives. Geologie en Mijnbouw / Netherlands Journal of Geosciences 79: 197-216.

Leeuwen, R.J.W. van, D.J. Beets, J.H.A. Bosch, A.W. Burger, P. Cleveringa, D. van Harten, G.F.W. Herngreen, R.W. Kruk, C.G. Langereis, T. Meijer, R. Pouwer & H. de Wolf, 2000. Stratigraphy and integrated facies analysis of the Saalian and Eemian sediments in the Amsterdam-Terminal borehole, the Netherlands. In: Kolfschoten, Th. van & P.L. Gibbard (eds.): The Eemian – local sequences, global perspectives. Geologie en Mijnbouw / Netherlands Journal of Geosciences 79: 161-196.