Dick Vethaak

Water quality and ecotoxicology

+31 (0)88 335 80 59


Prof Vethaak has more than 30 years experience in the field of ecotoxicology and water quality issues of delta and marine waters. He received his doctorate degree in biology from the University of Amsterdam. He is a European Registered Toxicologist and a part-time professor of Ecotoxicology at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), VU University Amsterdam. His current research interests include:

  • Emerging threats, such as endocrine disruptors, nanoparticles, and chemical mixtures
  • Ecological indicators for aquatic ecosystem health assessment resulting from chemical stress
  • Ecotoxicology of marine litter and microplastics
  • Trophic transfer, bioaccumulation and effects of chemical contaminants in food webs
  • Innovative technologies for pollution monitoring and control
  • Integrated environmental assessment methods.

He is editor of several books and published about 90 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and more than 200 reports, conference contributions and other articles. His citation Hirsh’s h-index in Web of Science is 29.

Working experience

2009 VU Amsterdam Endowed professor of ecotoxicology.
2008 Deltares Senior specialist (topic water quality, ecotoxicology and risk assessment).
2003 - 2007 RWS - National Institute for Coastal and Marine Management (RIKZ) Head of ecotoxixology section.
1997 - 2003 RWS - RIKZ Senior advisor / specialist ecotoxicology.
1991 - 1997 RWS - RIKZ Senior project leader ecotoxicology.
1989 - 1991 RWS - Tidal Waters Division (DGW) Project leader environmental chemistry.
1983 - 1989 National Institute for Fishery Research (RIVO) Project leader.
1982 EC, DG XII, Brussels Research assistant.
1981 - 1982 University of Amsterdam Junior scientist.