Prof. Dr. Katja Philippart
Director, Wadden Academy, THE NETHERLANDS; Professor by Special Appointment, University of Utrecht, Department of Physical Geography, Coastal Processes, THE NETHERLANDS; Research leader, Royal Netherlands Institute of Sea Research (NIOZ), Department of Coastal Systems, THE NETHERLANDS
Katja Philippart studies the impacts of environmental change (e.g., global warming, frequency of droughts and nutrient supply) in coastal systems on short-lived microalgae and accordingly, the shellfish that feed on those algae. Change in this base of the food web (such as the introduction of invasive microalgae and shellfish) has direct consequences for the fish that use shallow coastal systems as a breeding grounds and for the birds that find a vital tank station there while migrating between the North and South. Such changes also affect the people who earn their living from shellfish fishing. The Wadden Sea is her main focus area, with local findings on trends and interactions (as derived from long-term time series and experiments) being compared with those in other intertidal areas worldwide (e.g., by deriving information from field sampling and satellites) within European and international programs. In addition to her scientific research, she is the director of the Wadden Academy, an organization that aims to furnish the scientific foundations for an economically and ecologically responsible future in the Wadden Sea Region, a World Heritage Site. At Utrecht University, Dr. Philippart focusses on the productivity of coastal benthic communities in times of change.