Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

Markermeer research vessel ready to sail

3 July 2017

The R.V. Dreissena, a ship for ecological research in lake Markermeer, is ready to set sail. Researchers and students now have their very own research vessel to carry out safe and well-equipped field trips. On 14 July, the vessel can be visited at its presentation in the courtyard of the University of Amsterdam's Science Faculty.

After a successful crowdfunding campaign, the construction of the R.V. Dreissena began in late March. The new vessel replaces the dinghy’s from which the researchers were conducting their ecological research of the lake’s waters up until now. The ship is expected to stimulate the much-needed research in the Markermeer. 

Understanding ecology

Harm van der Geest, aquatic biologist at the University of Amsterdam and initiator: ‘The ecology of the Markermeer is under threat and habitat conditions are poor. A well-equipped research ship will enable us to take samples and conduct measurements at ecologically relevant locations in Markermeer all year round, under nearly all weather conditions. There will be specialised equipment on board, which will provide a stimulus for new research projects and partnerships between biology, hydrology and sedimentology. The ship will be a real catalyst for Markermeer research, and that will bring us closer to understanding the lake's ecology and help us design more effective measures to preserve the habitat.’

R.V. Dreissena

The new vessel is built by Stormer Marine Workboats. At its launch, the boat will be christened the R.V. Dreissena, 'R.V.' being the international abbreviation for 'research vessel', while Dreissena is genus of mussels in the Dreissenidae family. This genus includes the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) and the quagga mussel (Dreissena bugensis), both key protagonists in Markermeer's changing ecology.

Alongside the Amsterdam University Fund, funding partners for the ship are Amsterdam Water Science, Stichting het Blauwe Hart, Wetenschapsknooppunt, Hoogheemraadschap Hollands Noorderkwartier, Waternet, Rijkswaterstaat, Stormer Marine Workboats, Raymarine, Bataviahaven Lelystad, private crowdfunders.

Official opening

Anyone who is interested is invited to the official opening of the RV Dreissena. The event will take place in the courtyard of UvA’s Faculty of Science, Science Park 904). Festivities will start at 12:30 with a speech by Prof. Jef Huisman. The ship will be available for visits the entire day, to learn more about Markermeer ‘s ecological research.

Published by  IBED Water