Hendrikje Jorissen


Postdoctoral Researcher


I grew up in Belgium in a village on the border with the Netherlands. Here I developed my love for the outdoors and the natural world, as I spent a large amount of my childhood either in the large nature reserve that was located practically in our backyard or otherwise near the sea on the nearby Dutch isles. Therefore when I started my undergrad at the University of Utrecht, the choice to study biology was an obvious one. My main research interests were marine biology and tropical ecosystems, so in trying to combine these I started an MSc in biology at the University of Wageningen with two specializations; marine biology and conservation & systems ecology. During this time I conducted two master thesis research projects, one on the mesograzers on the coral reefs of Curaçao and the other one one coral-algae interactions on the coral reefs of Moorea. This last project led to me starting a PhD position at CRIOBE, where I focused on crustose coralline algae (CCA) and their role in coral recruitment. Specifically, I investigated the chemical and microbial composition of key CCA species and how this was related to coral larval settlement success, the impact of certain environmental stressors (such as high pCO2 and hypoxia) on the CCA-coral association and finally the contrasting effects of CCA from different habitats on late post-settlement survival of coral recruits. Currently, I am continuing my scientific career as a postdoctoral researcher at the labs of dr. Craig Nelson, dr. Megan Donahue and dr. Nyssa Silbiger, where my research will be focused on the effects of submarine groundwater discharge on the coral reefs of Mo’orea. 

Research Interests

My main research interest is ecological interactions and processes that shape benthic communities on coral reefs, with a focus on corals and algae. I also seek to understand how these processes can be impacted by environmental stressors congruent with future ocean conditions and how this relates to coral conservation and restoration. Most of my works fall under experimental ecology, where I like to apply a multidisciplinary approach by using many field and laboratory techniques to better understand coral reef ecology from microbial to a community scale.


BSc in Biology in 2011 at Utrecht University, MSc in marine biology and conservation & systems ecology at Wageningen University in 2015, PhD in population biology and ecology at PSL Research University in 2020


Jorissen H., Baumgartner C., Steneck R. S. & Nugues M. M. (2020) Contrasting effects of crustose coralline algae from exposed and subcryptic habitats on coral recruits. Coral Reefs

Streekstra M. A., Folkers M., Schoon B., Jorissen H., Nugues M. M., De Goeij J. M. & Osinga R. (2020). What happens under the reef? A study towards the identity and functioning of the cryptobenthic community in two contrasting coral reef habitats. WIAS Annual Conference 2020: Frontiers in Animal Sciences

Moussa R. M., Bertucci F., Jorissen H., Gache C., Waqalevu V., Parravicini V., Galzin R. & Lecchini D. (2020) Importance of intertidal seagrass beds as nursery area for coral reef fish juveniles(Mayotte Island). Reg Stud Mar Sci

Gache C., Bertucci F., Guerra A. S., Calandra M., Berr T., Lafaye J., Jorissen H., Nugues M., Cossy J. & Lecchini D. (2019) Effects of Asparagopsis taxiformis metabolites on the feeding behaviour of post-larval Acanthurus triostegus. J Fish Biol

Jorissen H., Skinner C., Osinga R., de Beer D. & Nugues M. M. (2016) Evidence for water-mediated mechanisms in coral-algae interactions. Roy. Soc. Proc B.