Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

Photographer: onbekend

dr. P.M. (Petra) Visser

  • Faculty of Science
  • Visiting address
    Science Park A
    Science Park 904  Amsterdam
    Room number: C4.223
  • Postal address:
    Postbus  94248
    1090 GE  Amsterdam
    T: 0205257073
    T: 0205257074

Research interests

Physiology and ecology of cyanobacteria and algae
** toxic cyanobacteria, eutrophication, water management, macroalgae, benthic cyanobacterial mats, coral reefs, competition**

Selective suppression of harmful cyanobacteria in an entire lake with hydrogen peroxide

List of publications

Peer-reviewed articles before 2008
Tonk, L., Bosch, K., Visser, P.M. & Huisman, J. (2007). Salt tolerance of the harmful cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa. Aquatic Microbial Ecology 46: 117-123.

Kardinaal, W.E.A., Janse, I., Kamst-van Agterveld, M., Meima, M., Snoek, J., Mur, L.R., Huisman, J. , Zwart, G. & Visser, P.M. (2007) Microcystis genotype succession in relationto microcystin concentrations in freshwater lakes. Aquatic Microbial Ecology 48: 1-12.

Kardinaal, W.E.A., Tonk, L., Janse, I., Hol, S., Slot, P., Huisman, J. & Visser, P.M. (2007). Competition for light between toxic and nontoxic strains of the harmful cyanobacterium Microcystis. Applied andEnvironmental Microbiology 73: 2939-2946.

Verspagen, J.H., Passarge, J., Jöhnk, K., Visser, P.M. , Peperzak, L., Boers, P., Laanbroek, R. & Huisman, J. (2006) Water management strategies against toxic Microcystis blooms in the Dutch delta. Ecological Applications 16: 313-327 .

Verspagen, J.M.H., Visser, P.M. & Huisman, J. (2006). Aggregation with clay causes sedimentation of the buoyant cyanobacteria Microcystis spp. Aquatic Microbial Ecology 44: 165-174.

Verspagen, J.M.H., Snelder, E.O.F.M., Visser, P.M., Jöhnk, K.D., Ibelings, B.W., Mur , L.R. & Huisman, J.   (2005) Benthic-pelagic coupling in the population dynamics of the harmful cyanobacterium Microcystis. Freshwater Biology 50 : 854-867.

Tonk, L., Visser, P. M., Christiansen, G., Dittmann, E., Weijerman, M., Snelder, E.O.F.M., Wiedner, C. , Mur, L.R. & Huisman, J. (2005) The microcystin composition of the cyanobacterium Planktothrix agardhii changes towards a more toxic variant with increasing light intensity. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 71: 5177-5181 .

Janse, I. , Kardinaal, W.E.A., Kamst-van Agterveld, M., Meima, M., Visser, P.M. & Zwart, G. (2005) Contrasting microcystin production and cyanobacterial population dynamics in two Planktothrix dominated freshwater lakes. Environmental Microbiology 7: 1514-1524.

Verspagen, J.M.H., Snelder, E.O.F.M., Visser, P.M. , Huisman, J. , Mur L.R. & Ibelings B.W. (2004) Recruitment of benthic Microcystis (Cyanophyceae) to the water column: Internal buoyancy changes or resuspension? Journal of Phycology 40 : 260-270.

Janse, I. , Kardinaal, W. E. A., Meima, M., Fastner, J., Visser, P.M. & Zwart, G. (2004) Toxic and non-toxic Microcystis colonies in natural populations can be differentiated on the basis of rRNA internal transcribed spacer gene diversity, Applied and Environmental Microbiology 70: 3979-3987.

Huisman, J. , Sharples, J., Stroom, J. M., Visser, P.M. , Kardinaal, W. E. A., Verspagen, J.M.H. & Sommeijer, B., (2004) Changes in turbulent mixing shift competition for light between phytoplankton species, Ecology 85: 2960-2970.

Pires, L.M.D., Karlsson, K., Meriluoto, J.A.O., Kardinaal W.E.A., Visser, P.M., Siewertsen, K., Van Donk, E. & Ibelings, B.W. (2004) Assimilation and depuration of microcystin-LR by the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha. Aquatic Toxicology 69: 385-396.

Wiedner, C., Visser, P.M. , Fastner, J., Metcalf, J.S., Codd, G.A. & Mur, L.R. (2003) Effects of light on the microcystin content of Microcystis PCC 7806. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 69: 1475-1481.

O'Brien, K.R.,Ivey, G.N., Hamilton , D.P., Waite, A.M. & Visser, P.M. (2003) Simple mixing criteria for the growth of negatively buoyant phytoplankton. Limnology and Oceanography 48: 1326-1337.

Visser, P.M, Poos, J.J., Scheper, B.B., Boelen, P. & van Duyl, F.C. (2002) Diurnal variations in depth profiles of UV induced DNA damage and inhibition of production in bacterioplankton in coral reef waters. Marine Ecology Progress Series 228: 25-33.

Huisman, J,Matthijs, H.C.P., Visser, P.M. , Balke, H., Sigon, C.A.M., Passarge, J., Weising, F.J. & Mur, L.R. (2002) Principles of the light-limited chemostat: theory and ecological applications. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 81: 117-133.

Jungo E., Visser, P.M., Stroom, J. & Mur, L.R. (2001) Artificial mixing to reduce growth of the blue-green alga Microcystis in Lake Nieuwe Meer, Amsterdam : the design of the aeration system and an overview of 6 years experience . Water Science and Technology: Water Supply 1 : 17 -23.

Visser, P.M., Snelder, E., Kop, A.J., Boelen, P, Buma, A.G.J. & van Duyl, F.C. (1999) Effects of UV radiation on DNA photodamage and production in bacterioplankton in the coastal Caribbean Sea. Aquatic MicrobialEcology 20: 49-58.

Visser, P. M., J. Passarge & L.R. Mur (1997). Modelling vertical migration of the cyanobacterium Microcystis. Hydrobiologia 349: 99-109.

Visser, P. M., L. Massaut, J. Huisman & L.R. Mur (1996). Sedimentation losses of Scenedesmus in relation to mixing depth. Archiv fur Hydrobiologie 136: 289-308.

Van der Veer,B., J. Koedood, & P. M. Visser (1995) Artificial mixing: a therapy measure combating cyanobacteria in Lake Nieuwe Meer. Water Sciencea and Techology 31: 245-248.

Visser, P. M., B. W. Ibelings, B. van der Veer, J. Koedood & L.R. Mur (1996). Artificial mixing prevents nuisance blooms of the cyanobacterium Microcystis in Lake Nieuwe Meer, the Netherlands . Freshwater Biology 36: 435-450.

Visser, P. M., H.A.M. Ketelaars, L.W.L.A. van Breemen & Mur, L.R. (1996). Diurnal buoyancy changes of Microcystis in an artificially mixed storage reservoir. Hydrobiologia 331: 131-141.

Visser, P. M., H. A. M. Ketelaars & L.R. Mur (1995). Reduced growth of the cyanobacterium Microcystis in an artificially mixed lake and reservoir . Water Science and Technology 32: 53-54.

Visser, P. M., B. W. Ibelings & L.R. Mur (1995). Autumnal sedimentation of Microcystis spp. as result of an increase in carbohydrate ballast at reduced temperature. Journal of Plankton Research 17: 919-933.

Mur , L. R., P. M. Visser, and H. Reith (1995) Selection mechanisms controlling biomass distribution - Selection mechanisms controlling biomass distribution - Preface . Kluwer Academic Publisher Dordrecht . Water Science and Technology 32:R9-R9.

Kroon, B. M. A., T. Burger-Wiersma, P.M. Visser & L.R. Mur (1992).The effect of dynamic light regimes on Chlorella. Minimum quantum requirement and photosynthesis-irradiance parameters. Hydrobiologia 238: 79-880.

PhD thesis
Visser, P.M. (1995) Growth and vertical movement of the cyanobacterium Microcystis in stable and artificially mixed water columns. PhD Thesis, University of Amsterdam .
Huisman, J. , Matthijs, H.C.P. & Visser, P.M. (Eds.) (2005) Harmful Cyanobacteria. Springer, Berlin . Mur , L. R., Reith, H. & Visser, P.M. (Eds. ) (1995). SelectionMechanismsControlling Biomass Distributions. Kluwer Academic Publisher, Dordrecht.

Book Chapters
Kardinaal, W.E.A. and Visser, P.M. (2005) Dynamics of cyanobacterial toxins, In: Harmful Cyanobacteria, Huisman, J., Matthijs, H.C.P. & Visser P.M.(Eds.), Aquatic Ecology Series, Vol.3, Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 41-64.

Visser, P.M., Walsby, A.E., Ibelings, B.W. and Mur , L.R. (2005) The ecophysiology of Microcystis, In: Harmful Cyanobacteria, Huisman, J., Matthijs, H.C.P. & Visser P.M. (Eds.), pp. 109-142.

Jungo, E., & P. M. Visser (1995) Nieuwe Meer (Amsterdam): Limitierung von Microcystis mit Blasenschleiern. In: Verfahren zur Sanierung und Restaurierung Stehender Gewässer, Jeager, D. & R. Koschel, R. (Eds.), pp. 185-192.

Huisman, J. Visser, P.M., Snoek J. & Weissing, F.J. (2002) Chaos in een druppel water. Natuur & Techniek 70 (3): pp. 48-52.

Huisman, J. , Visser, P.M. , Snoek, J. & Weissing, F.J. (2002). Chaos of risicospreiding?. Natuur & Techniek 70 (7/8): pp. 6- 7.

Visser, P. M., L. R. Mur, J. Koedood & B. van der Veer (1995). Bestrijding van Microcystis-bloei in de Nieuwe Meer door kunstmatige menging: resultaten veldonderzoek 1993. H 2 O 5: 133-137.

Mur, L. R., H. Schreurs & P.M. Visser (1993). How to control undesirable cyanobacterial dominance. Proc. 5th Intern. Conf. of Lakes: 112-119.

Current projects

2016    Amsterdam Water Science ‘Can quagga mussels restrain cyanobacterial blooms?

2015    STW ‘Rapid mitigation of cyanobacterial blooms in fresh water lakes with hydrogen peroxide: From proof of principle and new ideas to market readiness (Cyanostopper)
(PI; 1 PhD-student, 1 post-doc)

2015    NWO-License to Operate ‘New peroxide applications for prolonged reduction of cyanobacterial dominance in freshwater lakes’ (PI; 1 PhD-student, 1 technician)

2014    Amsterdam Academic Alliance. ‘Amsterdam Water Science’ (co-PI; funding for 4 postdocs, 6 pilot projects, master education and symposia)

2012    AUSTRALIAN RESEARCH COUNCIL Linkage Project ‘Living in a high CO2 world: Impacts on freshwater phytoplankton populations from elevated atmospheric CO2.’ (Partner Organisation)

2011    Schure Beijerink Popping funding: ‘Assessment of nutrient limitation of macroalgae, turfalgae and benthic cyanobacteria on coral reefs using a new method: Nutrient Induced Fluorescence Transient (NIFTs)’ (funding for travel and accommodation to/on Curaçao)

2009    FP7 European Union: ‘FORCE Future of Reefs in a Changing Environment: an ecosystem approach to managing Caribbean coral reefs in the face of climate change’ (1 PhD student)

Supervision PhD students


current  Tim Piel

current  Erik Weenink

2015    Joost den Haan ‘The fate of nutrients entering coral reefs’ University of Amsterdam (co-promotor)

2010    Dedmer van de Waal ‘The C:N stoichiometry of harmful cyanobacteria: Do rising carbon dioxide levels affect toxin production and what could be the ecological implications?’ University of Amsterdam (co-promotor)

2007    Linda Tonk ‘Impact of environmental factors on toxic and bioactive peptide production by harmful cyanobacteria’ University of Amsterdam (co-promotor)

2007    Edwin Kardinaal ‘Who’s bad?Molecular identification reveals seasonal dynamics of toxic and non-toxic freshwater cyanobacteria’ University of Amsterdam (co-promotor)

2006    Jolanda Verspagen ‘Benthic-pelagic coupling in the population dynamics of the cyanobacterium Microcystis’. Utrecht University (co-promotor)


Short CV


2002      Assistant Professor, Aquatic Microbiology, University of Amsterdam

1999     Postdoc in Aquatic Microbiology, University of Amsterdam

1996     Postdoc in Marine Microbiology, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ-Texel) and Carmabi, Curaçao, NA


1995     PhD in Biology, Aquatic Microbiology, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)

1984     Biology Study, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)

Coordination of MSc track Limnology & Oceanography

Coordination of courses and lecturing in courses


  • Huisman, J., Visser, P. M., & Schuurmans, J. M. (2017). Hans C.P. Matthijs (1951-2016): a passion for light and life. In R. Kurmayer, K. Sivonen, A. Wilmotte, & N. Salmaso (Eds.), Molecular Tools for the Detection and Quantification of Toxigenic Cyanobacteria (pp. v-vi). Chichester, UK: Wiley & Sons.


  • Ibelings, B. W., Bormans, M., Fastner, J., & Visser, P. M. (2016). CYANOCOST special issue on cyanobacterial blooms: synopsis-a critical review of the management options for their prevention, control and mitigation. Aquatic Ecology, 50(3), 595-605. DOI: 10.1007/s10452-016-9596-x 
  • Ibelings, B. W., Fastner, J., Bormans, M., & Visser, P. M. (2016). Cyanobacterial blooms. Ecology, prevention, mitigation and control: Editorial to a CYANOCOST Special Issue. Aquatic Ecology, 50(3), 327-331. DOI: 10.1007/s10452-016-9595-y 
  • Matthijs, H. C. P., Jančula, D., Visser, P. M., & Maršálek, B. (2016). Existing and emerging cyanocidal compounds: New perspectives for cyanobacterial bloom mitigation. Aquatic Ecology, 50(3), 443-460. DOI: 10.1007/s10452-016-9577-0  [details] 
  • Mantzouki, E., Visser, P. M., Bormans, M., & Ibelings, B. W. (2016). Understanding the key ecological traits of cyanobacteria as a basis for their management and control in changing lakes. Aquatic Ecology, 50(3), 333-350. DOI: 10.1007/s10452-015-9526-3 
  • den Haan, J., Huisman, J., Brocke, H. J., Goehlich, H., Latijnhouwers, K. R. W., van Heeringen, S., ... Visser, P. M. (2016). Nitrogen and phosphorus uptake rates of different species from a coral reef community after a nutrient pulse. Scientific Reports, 6, [28821]. DOI: 10.1038/srep28821  [details] 
  • Bullerjahn, G. S., McKay, R. M., Davis, T. W., Baker, D. B., Boyer, G. L., D'Anglada, L. V., ... Wilhelm, S. W. (2016). Global solutions to regional problems: Collecting global expertise to address the problem of harmful cyanobacterial blooms. A Lake Erie case study. Harmful Algae, 54, 223-238. DOI: 10.1016/j.hal.2016.01.003 
  • Mueller, B., den Haan, J., Visser, P. M., Vermeij, M. J. A., & van Duyl, F. C. (2016). Effect of light and nutrient availability on the release of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) by Caribbean turf algae. Scientific Reports, 6, [23248]. DOI: 10.1038/srep23248  [details] 
  • Ganase, A., Bongaerts, P., Visser, P. M., & Dove, S. G. (2016). The effect of seasonal temperature extremes on sediment rejection in three scleractinian coral species. Coral reefs, 35(1), 187-191. DOI: 10.1007/s00338-015-1359-y 
  • Visser, P. M., Ibelings, B. W., Bormans, M., & Huisman, J. (2016). Artificial mixing to control cyanobacterial blooms: a review. Aquatic Ecology, 50(3), 423-441. DOI: 10.1007/s10452-015-9537-0  [details] 
  • Visser, P. M., Verspagen, J. M. H., Sandrini, G., Stal, L. J., Matthijs, H. C. P., Davis, T. W., ... Huisman, J. (2016). How rising CO2 and global warming may stimulate harmful cyanobacterial blooms. Harmful Algae, 54, 145-159. DOI: 10.1016/j.hal.2015.12.006  [details] 




  • Vermeij, M. J. A., van der Heijden, R. A., Olthuis, J. G., Marhaver, K. L., Smith, J. E., & Visser, P. M. (2013). Survival and dispersal of turf algae and macroalgae consumed by herbivorous coral reef fishes. Oecologia, 171(2), 417-425. DOI: 10.1007/s00442-012-2436-3  [details] 
  • den Haan, J., Huisman, J., Dekker, F., ten Brinke, J. L., Ford, A. K., van Ooijen, J., ... Visser, P. M. (2013). Fast detection of nutrient limitation in macroalgae and seagrass with nutrient-induced fluorescence. PLoS One, 8(7), e68834. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068834  [details] 
  • Bongaerts, P., Frade, P. R., Ogier, J. J., Hay, K. B., van Bleijswijk, J., Englebert, N., ... Hoegh-Guldberg, O. (2013). Sharing the slope: depth partitioning of agariciid corals and associated Symbiodinium across shallow and mesophotic habitats (2-60 m) on a Caribbean reef. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 13, 205. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-13-205  [details] 


  • Matthijs, H. C. P., Visser, P. M., Reeze, B., Meeuse, J., Slot, P. C., Wijn, G., ... Huisman, J. (2012). Selective suppression of harmful cyanobacteria in an entire lake with hydrogen peroxide. Water Research, 46(5), 1460-1472. DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2011.11.016  [details] 


  • van de Waal, D. B., Verspagen, J. M. H., Finke, J. F., Vournazou, V., Immers, A. K., Kardinaal, W. E. A., ... Huisman, J. (2011). Reversal in competitive dominance of a toxic versus non-toxic cyanobacterium in response to rising CO2. The ISME Journal, 5(9), 1438-1450. DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2011.28  [details] 
  • Kurmayer, R., Schober, E., Tonk, L., Visser, P. M., & Christiansen, G. (2011). Spatial divergence in the proportions of genes encoding toxic peptide synthesis among populations of the cyanobacterium Planktothrix in European lakes. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 317(2), 127-137. DOI: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.2011.02222.x 


  • Vermeij, M. J. A., van Moorselaar, I., Engelhard, S., Hörnlein, C., Vonk, S. M., & Visser, P. M. (2010). The effects of nutrient enrichment and herbivore abundance on the ability of turf algae to overgrow coral in the Caribbean. PLoS One, 5(12), [e14312]. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0014312  [details] 
  • van de Waal, D. B., Ferreruela, G., Tonk, L., van Donk, E., Huisman, J., Visser, P. M., & Matthijs, H. C. P. (2010). Pulsed nitrogen supply induces dynamic changes in the amino acid composition and microcystin production of the harmful cyanobacterium Planktothrix agardhii. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 74(2), 430-438. DOI: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2010.00958.x  [details] 
  • Cerbin, S., Kraak, M. H. S., de Voogt, P., Visser, P. M., & van Donk, E. (2010). Combined and single effects of pesticide carbaryl and toxic microcystis aeruginosa on the life history of Daphnia pulicaria. Hydrobiologia, 643(1), 129-138. DOI: 10.1007/s10750-010-0130-1  [details] 


  • Tonk, L., Welker, M., Huisman, J., & Visser, P. M. (2009). Production of cyanopeptolins, anabaenopeptins, and microcystins by the harmful cyanobacteria Anabaena 90 and Microcystis PCC 7806. Harmful Algae, 8(2), 219-224. DOI: 10.1016/j.hal.2008.05.005  [details] 
  • van de Waal, D. B., Verspagen, J. M. H., Lürling, M., van Donk, E., Visser, P. M., & Huisman, J. (2009). The ecological stoichiometry of toxins produced by harmful cyanobacteria: An experimental test of the carbon-nutrient balance hypothesis. Ecology Letters, 12(12), 1326-1335. DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2009.01383.x  [details] 


  • Jöhnk, K. D., Huisman, J., Sharples, J., Sommeijer, B., Visser, P. M., & Stroom, J. M. (2008). Summer heatwaves promote blooms of harmful cyanobacteria. Global Change Biology, 14, 495-512. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2007.01510.x  [details] 
  • Tonk, L., van de Waal, D. B., Slot, P., Huisman, J., Matthijs, H. C. P., & Visser, P. M. (2008). Amino acid availability determines the ratio of microcystin variants in the cyanobacterium Planktothrix agardhii. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 65(3), 383-390. DOI: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2008.00541.x  [details] 
  • Frade, P. R., Englebert, N., Faria, J., Visser, P. M., & Bak, R. P. M. (2008). Distribution and photobiology of Symbiodinium types in different light environments for three colour morphs of the coral Madracis pharensis: Is there more to it than total irradiance? Coral reefs, 27(4), 913-925. DOI: 10.1007/s00338-008-0406-3  [details] 


  • Huisman, J., & Visser, P. M. (2016). Licht en leven was zijn passie (in memoriam Hans Matthijs). BioNieuws, 26, 13. [details] 


  • Mumby, P. J., Flower, J., Chollett, I., Box, S. J., Bozec, Y. M., Fitzsimmons, C., ... Williams, S. M. (2014). Towards Reef Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods: A Handbook for Caribbean Coral Reef Managers. Exeter, Devon, UK: University of Exeter. [details] 


  • de Bruijne, W. J. J., Huisman, J., Matthijs, H., Burson, A., & Visser, P. M. (2013). Bestrijding van de dinoflagellaat Alexandrium ostenfeldii in de Ouwerkerkse Kreek met waterstofperoxide. Apeldoorn: Arcadis Nederland BV. [details] 


  • Reeze, A. J. G., Matthijs, J. C. P., Visser, P. M., & Bloemerts, M. (2009). Bestrijding blauwalg recreatieplas Koetshuis met behulp van waterstofperoxide. Amersfoort: Arcadis. [details] 
This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library  or the Pure staff  of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure  to edit your publications.
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