Namedr. JWP Coolen

Job details
DescriptionReseracher Benthic Ecology
OrganizationWageningen Research
Organization UnitWageningen Marine Research
Mobile+31 6 13005630
Secretarial phone
Phone 2
Note for telephonist
Note by telephonist
Visiting addressAnkerpark 27
Postal addressPostbus 57
OrganizationDepartment of Environmental Sciences
Organization UnitAquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management
Side activities
  • Commercial diving inshore - Diversen
    Jan 2012 - Present

    Commercial diving (scientific and non-scientific) for various clients in inshore waters.


I am a marine ecologist specialising in the biodiversity of reefs in the North Sea. As I am also a IMCA certified commercial diver and SCUBA scientific diver, I am able to conduct research at offshore installations such as oil and gas production platforms and wind farms. Furthermore I study natural reef biology and shipwrecks in the North Sea

Expert Profile
  • Scientifi diver
  • In situ underwater observations
  • Airlift sampling underwater structures
  • Commercial diver HSE SCUBA
  • Commercial diver SSE + wet bell
Social media
  Joop Coolen on Linkedin
  Joop Coolen on ResearchGate

Key publications
Publication lists


Hard substrate determines the distribution of specific species in the North Sea. In the past there was more submerged hard substrate in the North Sea than today. E.g. large oyster beds, peat banks and glacial boulders were found. Most of these hard substrates have disappeared.

However, humans also introduced new substrates, e.g. shipwrecks, platforms, wind farms and future multiple use platforms. These artificial hard substrates may play an important role for species that depend on hard substrates as places to settle.

In this project we will investigate the biodiversity on these man-made hard structures. We will compare historic and present natural hard substrate communities to those on artificial hard substrates. A description of the biodiversity of macro fauna on and near these hard substrates will be compiled using diving surveys and data and video footage from oil & gas and wind farm companies.

A database of genetic information on hard substrate macro fauna will be created. With this, a system for rapid quantification of local biodiversity will be developed. This may result in a method to map the community with very limited field effort. If feasible this method will be used for in situ sampling in the second half of this project.

The role of these structures in the distribution of species in the North Sea will be modelled and use of substrates by commercially important marine species will be investigated. We will also investigate whether biodiversity arguments facilitate deployment of platforms as artificial reefs. Results will be made public in a dissertation, peer-reviewed articles and online.


Binnen mijn onderzoek is er volop ruimte voor studenten om mee te helpen aan het uitzoeken en analyseren van de monsters die ik neem op kunstmatige riffen in de Noordzee. Kijk hier voor meer informatie over de stagemogelijkheden.

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