Sebastiaan de Vet

Sebastiaan voor een onsluiting van hyaloclastiet op IJsland

Understanding how geological materials and landforms leverage our understanding of planetary evolution is one of my main research interests. Geoscience may appear to have a 'geocentric worldview', but it is quite adept in luring you into looking upwards to those other geological wonders in the Solar System.


meteorites, planetary geoscience, geomorphology, glaciovolcanism, aeolian research, sedimentology



Although limited in absolute numbers, the ‘Dutch’ meteorites tell a fascinating story of primitive, metamorphosed and differentiated planetary bodies. Each represents a step in the story – during the first millions of years – of the growth to planethood. This is why we are dedicated to studying the 'fossils of our solar system' and recovering new meteorites that fall in the Netherlands.

For the final stages in planetary evolution – spanning the scale of billions of years – landscapes can help us to study and tell this story. Internal and external processes that have affected a planetary surface have caused it to retaining clues to the planet’s geologic, climatic, and possibly biologic past. By studying landscape 'analogues' on Earth using drones and fieldwork, we can  better interpret landscapes on e.g. Mars. Where meteoritics studies the earliest rocks, planetary geoscience studies their lasts transformations; both are highly complementary and timely endeavours in the ongoing exploration of our Solar System.

Uitzicht op 5600 meter hoogte over penitentes naar de vulkaan Licancabur, Chili.
Erosie van sedimentair gesteente in Valle de la Luna, Chili.


Langbroek, M., Jenniskens, P., Kriegsman, L.M., Nieuwenhuis, H., de Kort, N., Kuiper, J., van Westrenen, W., Zolensky, M.E., Ziegler, K., Yin, Q-Z., Sanborn, M.E., Wimpenny, J., Yamakawa, A., de Vet, S.J., Meier, M.M.M., Welten, K.C., Nishiizumi K., Burton, A.S., Dworkin, J.P., Glavin, D.P., Wu, Q., Zare, R.N., Ruf, A., Harir, M., Schmitt-kopplin, P., 2019. The CM carbonaceous chondrite regolith Diepenveen. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, doi:10.1111/maps.13297

Bart M.C., de Vet S.J., de Bakker D.M., Alexander B.E., van Oevelen D., van Loon E.E., van Loon J.J.W.A., de Goeij J.M. 2019. Spiculous skeleton formation in the freshwater sponge Ephydatia fluviatilis under hypergravity conditions. PeerJ, doi:10.7717/peerj.6055

All publications


As lecturer at TU Delft's faculty op Aerospace Engineering, I am teaching in several BSc and MSc courses on planetary geoscience and meteorites. In addition I have developed the Delft Meteorite Lab, an online teaching collection based on 3-D models of meteorites and impact rocks, including some examples from the Naturalis meteorite collection.

During the past years I have also been invited for external guest lectures, such as:

  • Impact cratering: physics, geology and associated Hazards. Part of the course: Natuurrampen en toekomstige bedreigingen, BSc Future Planet Studies, University of Amsterdam (2012-2017)
  • Gone with the wind: aeolian landforms and phenomena. Part of the course: Soil and Landscape Degradation, MSc Earth Sciences, University of Amsterdam (2018, 2019)
  • Planetaire grenzen: Op zoek naar een reserveplaneet voor de aarde? Part of the course: Toekomstige uitdagingen en innovatieve oplossingen, BSc Future Planet Studies, University of Amsterdam (2016)


A selection of the topics I am working on currently.


  • Contributed to various news outlets to explain developments in planetary science, space exploration and meteoritics. Notable examples include Klokhuis, RTL Late Night, DWDD, Zapp Live, NOS, Heel Nederland Kijkt Sterren, De Kennis van Nu, National Geographic.
  • President of the Royal Netherlands Association for Meteorology and Astronomy (KNVWS), and secretary of its Meteor Section. The latter aims to promote meteor astronomy and contributes to the search and recovery of meteorites, fostering e.g. the Pro-Am collaboration between Naturalis and other groups in The Netherlands.
  • Public speaker with a diverse track record, currently focussed on promoting geosciences in the solar system, aiming to cross-pollinate the fields of geology and astronomy. I also contribute to public events at the Naturalis museum to talk about the exciting research that we can do with meteorites.
  • My 3D model of the main mass of the 1843 Utrecht meteorite (aka. ‘Blaauwkapel’), has been used by Museum for one day, a social inclusive initiative to bring museum objects and their stories to senior citizens.
  • Author of the popular scientific book ‘Praktisch planeetonderzoek voor de zaterdagochtend’ (Lebowksi Publishers, 2016. in: Dutch).