Sebastiaan van de Velde

FEDtWIN Researcher

Biogeochemistry and Modelling of the Earth System
Department of Geosciences, Environment and Society
Faculty of Sciences (ULB)

Area of research:
Sediment geochemistry, biogeochemical modeling and global biogeochemical cycles.

Solbosch Campus (map)

Building D, wing B, 4th level
Office DB4.139
+32 (2) 650 42 68

Research summary

Focussing on the biogeochemical cycles of carbon, iron and sulfur, I study the past and present ocean, using a research approach that combines field work and laboratory incubations with numerical modeling at the local, regional and global scales. Specific topics are the importance of burrowing fauna for cycling of carbon, iron and sulfur in the Earth System, spatial patterns of redox conditions and nutrient availability in low-oxygen oceans, and the impact of anthropogenic sediment disturbances on the coastal carbon cycle. Through this work I aim to improve our understanding of the Earth’s evolution and to provide new insights into the links between life and its geochemical environment.

Key publications

1. van de Velde S.J., Hülse D., Reinhard C.T., Ridgwell A. (2021) Iron and sulfur cycling in the cGENIE.muffin Earth system model (v0.9.21). Geoscientific Model Development, 14, 2713-2745, doi:10.5194/gmd-14-2713-2021.

2. van de Velde S.J., Reinhard C., Ridgwell A., Meysman F.J.R. (2020) Bistability in the redox chemistry of the oceans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117, 52, doi:10.1073/pnas.2008235117.

3. van de Velde S.J., Hylén A., Kononets M., Marzocchi U., Leermakers M., Choumiline K., Hall P.O.J., Meysman F.J.R. (2020) Elevated sedimentary removal of Fe, Mn, and trace elements following a transient oxygenation event in the Eastern Gotland Basin, central Baltic Sea. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 271, 16-32, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2019.11.034.

4. van de Velde S.J., Mills B.J.W., Meysman F.J.R., Lenton T.M., Poulton S.W. (2018) Early Palaeozoic ocean anoxia and global warming driven by the evolution of shallow burrowing, Nature Communications 9, 2554, doi:10.1038/s41467-018-04973-4.

5. van de Velde S.J., Van Lancker V., Hidalgo-Martinez S., Berelson W., Meysman F.J.R. (2018) Anthropogenic disturbance keeps the coastal seafloor biogeochemistry in a transient state, Scientific Reports, 8, 5582, doi:10.1038/s41598-018-23925-y.


Short CV

  • FedtWIN Researcher: Université Libre de Bruxelles/Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences, Belgium. 2020 – present.
  • Postdoctoral fellow: NASA Astrobiology, University of California, Riverside, USA. 2019-2020.
  • Postdoctoral fellow: Belgian-American Education Foundation (BAEF), University of California, Riverside, USA. 2018-2019.
  • PhD fellow: Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), Universiteit Antwerpen/Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium. 2013-2018.
  • MSc: Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium. 2011-2013.
  • BSc: Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium. 2008-2011.