IBED scientist secures prestigious VENI grant

27 July 2012

IBED’s Aquatic microbiologist Maayke Stomp has been awarded with the prestigious VENI grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). She will use the grant to analyse the costs and benefits of photosynthetic pigment production by phytoplankton.

IBED’s Aquatic microbiologist Maayke Stomp has been awarded with the prestigious VENI grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). She will use the grant to analyse the costs and benefits of photosynthetic pigment production by phytoplankton.

Phytoplankton, also known as the grass of the sea, consists of a colourful mixture of species. Their great variety in colours is the result of different pigments that allow optimal use of the solar light spectrum for photosynthesis. However, investing in pigment production comes at a cost. It requires nitrogen as a building block, which is a scarce resource in the oceans. This raises the interesting question how the cost-benefit balance of pigment production dictates the worldwide distribution of phytoplankton species. Her VENI grant enables Maayke Stomp to unravel this question over the next three years. She will carry out her research in the aquatic microbiology research group of IBED (IBED-AMB).

VENI grants

VENI grants are part of the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). They are prestigious personal grants open to researchers at the start of their scientific careers, i.e. within a maximum of three years of having completed their doctorates. The quality of an applicant’s personal track record and his/her research proposal are both equally weighed during the application procedure. Excellence in both is required to be awarded a VENI grant. The grant carries a monetary award of 250,000 euro to cover salary and research costs of the applicant. Duration of a project is three years.

Published by  IBED