Jaap van der Meer (1959) is a scientist at Wageningen Marine Research (WMR) and extra-ordinary professor in Marine Population Ecology at the VU University Amsterdam, Animal Ecology Department. He has a strong interest in theoretical and quantitative ecology, including dynamic modelling and statistics.
In 1983, he finished his MSc. degree (cum laude) in animal ecology, introductory statistics and mathematics at the VU University, Amsterdam. After a period of six years at a governmental institute for Environment and Planning, he moved in 1989 to the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), first as a consulting statistician and theoretical biologist. He obtained his Ph.D. degree at the University of Groningen in 1997 with studies on the behavioural ecology and population biology of birds. After a group leadership of the Department of Marine Ecology at NIOZ (2001–2007), he became Extraordinary Professor in marine population biology at the VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2007 – 2022). In 2019 he moved from NIOZ to WMR.
His research focuses on modeling the energetics of individual organisms and using these models as building blocks within population and community models. His study systems are coastal regions, with an emphasis on fish and shellfish populations. One example concerns the blue mussel population of the western Wadden Sea. His main interest concerns the drivers of marine productivity. He coordinated various large research projects, partly EU funded, and has supervised more than 10 PhD students. Presently he is involved in four major research projects on marine food production (From Sea to Society and CircAqua), artifical constructions (ASSESS/INSITE) and sand dredging (OrElse), in which he supervises 6 PhD students.