Katja Philippart

marine ecologist

Having graduated in biology from  & Research, Katja Philippart went on to obtain her doctorate on the influence of eutrophication on the decline of seagrass in the Wadden Sea. Since 1994, she has been studying the ecology of the Wadden systems at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) on Texel. Her research is focused specifically on long-term changes in trophic interactions between shellfish and their food, under the influence of large-scale developments such as the introduction of nutrients from rivers and climate change. As a member of the Board of the Wadden Academy, since 2013 she has been responsible for the ecology portfolio, and issues advice on long-term ecological measurement programmes in the Wadden Area. In 2018, Katja Philippart was appointed extraordinary professor for ‘Productivity of marine coastal systems’ at the Department of Physical Geography of the University of Utrecht.

‘’Through my work for the Wadden Academy, I have become increasingly fascinated by the underwater landscape of migratory fish. To travel efficiently from A to B, there must be a roadmap for every migratory fish, that indicates which routes to follow, and which to avoid. But what are the road signs? Do different species of fish follow the same route, or do they all have their own route, and how does each fish respond to a fish to a particular signal? Does a fish respond to the noise from a river that debouches into the sea, and to what extent do fish listen to one another? In this project, my study will focus on finding an answer to these and other questions by describing species-specific underwater landscapes for migratory fish, all taking account of the natural dynamic.’’