Keynote Speaker

Karel Essink, Rijkswaterstaat/RIKZ (retired)

Karel Essink was born in Almelo, The Netherlands, in 1942. After completing his biology studies at the University of Groningen in 1968, he was appointed at the same university to conduct an investigation of the ecological effects of wastewater discharge into the eastern Dutch Wadden Sea.

From 1975 until his retirement in 2005 he was employed by successive institutes under the Ministry of Traffic and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat). The last institute he worked for was the National Institute for Coastal and Marine Management/RIKZ.

In 1978, he defended his PhD-thesis “The effects of pollution by organic waste on macrofauna in the eastern Dutch Wadden Sea” at the University of Groningen.

At Rijkswaterstaat, he contributed to the design of an integrated monitoring programme in marine and coastal waters, and was involved in studies on effects of oil pollution, sand extraction, shell dredging, dredging and dumping of dredge spoil, coastal defence by sand nourishment and mechanical cockle fisheries.

During 1979-1992 he participated in the EC Concerted Action ‘Coastal benthic ecology’ (COST 647) and was from 1988-1992 coordinator of its ‘Intertidal sediment’ programme. Within the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), he was chair of the Benthic Ecology Working Group (BEWG; 1996-2002), and of the Study Group on ecological quality objectives for sensitive and opportunistic benthos species (SGSOBS; 2004).

He contributed to the standard work ‘Ecology of the Wadden Sea’. Within the Trilateral Cooperation for the protection of the Wadden Sea, he was member of the editorial board of the Wadden Sea Newsletter. In 2002, he became chair of the Trilateral Monitoring and Assessment Group (TMAG), which was responsible for the Trilateral Monitoring and Assessment Program (TMAP). Finally, he was editor-in-chief of the Wadden Quality Status Report 2004, which contained recommendations for the 10th Trilateral Governmental Conference on the Protection of the Wadden Sea (2005).

For many years, Karel Essink was co-editor of the journals Netherlands Journal for Aquatic Ecology (NJAE) and Aquatic Ecology. Recently, he wrote several contributions for the book ‘Wadden Sea – world nature and cultural heritage’ (Gyldenhal, in press).

Talk Title: Memories of working with Victor de Jonge

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