Dr. rer. nat. Henk-Jan T. Hoving

Groupleader of the Emmy Noether Junior Research Group

Deep-Sea Biology

Research division 3: Marine Ecology
Marine Evolutionary Ecology


Room: A 35
Phone: +49-431 600-4566
E-Mail: hhoving(at)geomar.de

Düsternbrooker Weg 20
D-24105 Kiel



Career / Education

2017-present   Head of the Emmy Noether Junior Research Group 'The role of pelagic foodfalls in subsidizing deep-sea bottom communities in a changing ocean'

2013-2017   Future Ocean Postdoctoral fellow at GEOMAR – Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel, Germany.

2010-2013   Postdoctoral Fellow Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), Moss Landing, California, USA.

2009-2010   Honours College Coordinator, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

2008-2009   Lecturer (in Marine Biology and Invertebrate Zoology), Department of Ocean Ecosystems, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

2008   PhD Biology, University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

2002   MSc Biology, specialisation Marine Biology, University of Groningen, the Netherlands.


Scientific Interest

Henk-Jan Hoving leads the deep-sea biology working group, which is focused on life histories (growth and reproduction), biodiversity, and foodweb ecology of deep-sea organisms, with emphasis on cephalopods and gelatinous zooplankton.

One specific objective of his working group is to understand the role of medium size pelagic fauna (squid, fish and gelatinous plankton) in subsidizing deep-sea benthic communities and the biological carbon pump. In this effort we document biodiversity and distribution of pelagic communities to identify potential foodfall species, quantify contributions of medium size foodfalls to deep-sea carbon budgets, and investigate how scavenging communities and rates differ between region and depth.

The working group also investigates how pelagic fauna are adapted to a life in the deep sea with emphasis on growth, reproduction and feeding strategies. This helps to understand and predict the ability of pelagic and deep-sea organisms to cope with climate change and environmental impacts.

Awards and Funding

  • Emmy Noether Junior Research Group awarded by the German Research Foundation
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Cluster of Excellence 'Future Ocean', funded by the German Research Foundation
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship of the Monterey bay Aquarium Research Institute funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation
  • Rubicon Postdoctoral Fellowship awarded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research

Memberships, Community and Editorial Functions

  • 2020   Associate Editor Marine Biology
  • 2019   Reviewer for DFG grant proposals
  • 2019   Thesis examiner Rhodes University, South Africa
  • 2013-2018    Member of the Cluster of Excellence ‘Future Ocean’
  • 2016-present   Associate Editor Deep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers.
  • 2015-present   Editorial Board Member of Scientific Reports Nature Publishing Group
  • 2013   PhD examiner for Melbourne University, Australia
  • 2006-present   Provided referee reports on manuscript submissions for 25 scientific journals.

  • Since 2019   Invited member of the Helmholtz Pelagic Optics Initiative
  • Since 2019   Member of the American Society for Limnology and Oceanography
  • Since 2018   Invited member of the GEOMAR Technology and Logistics Council (“Beirat”)
  • Since 2017   Member of the Deep-Sea Biology Society
  • Since 2015   Collaborator in the SFB 754 "Climate-Biogeochemistry Interactions in the Tropical Ocean"
  • Since 2015   Member of the Climate Change Working Group in the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative
  • Since 2012   Elected council member of the Cephalopod International Advisory Council



Research cruises of the last 5 years (total 30 multiday cruises; > 360 days)

2019   R/V Western Flyer, 7 days MBARI Midwater Ecology Expedition Monterey Bay. Chief scientist Dr. BH Robison

2019   R/V Polarstern  PS121, 35 days, ancillary user project CARCASS investigating the role of plankton and nekton in the biological carbon pump using deep-sea landers, PELAGIOS, Multinet, CTD and eDNA collection. Chief Scientist Dr. K Metfies (AWI)

2019   R/V Poseidon  POS532, 21 days investigating the role of gelatinous zooplankton in the biological carbon pump in Cape Verde waters, manned submersible JAGO, PELAGIOS, Multinet, CTD and eDNA collection. Chief Scientist Dr. HJT Hoving

2018   R/V Heincke HEI518, 9 days investigating nekton and plankton in the Norwegian Sea. PELAGIOS, Multinet, Trawl, Baited camera landers. Chief Scientist Dr. U Piatkowski

2018   R/V Poseidon  POS520, 17 days, Investigating pelagic communities in Cape Verde waters using manned submersible JAGO, PELAGIOS, Multinet, CTD and eDNA collection. Chief Scientist Dr. HJT Hoving

2017   R/V Maria S. Merian MSM61, 9 days, Studying pelagic communities of macrozooplankton and nekton at time series station CVOO, Senghor seamount and mesoscale eddies. Deployment of seamount observatory. Chief Scientist Dr. B Fiedler

2017   R/V Meteor M138, 33 days, Cruise for SFB754 project. Deployment PELAGIOS for investigating vertical ecological zonation of the oxygen minimum zone off Peru. Chief Scientist Prof. Dr. H Bange.

2016   R/V Western Flyer, 7 days MBARI Midwater Ecology Expedition Monterey Bay. Chief scientist Dr. BH Robison

2015   R/V Meteor, 38 days from Mindelo, Cape Verde to Recife, Brazil. Deployment of towed pelagic in situ observation system PELAGIOS. Chief scientist Prof. P Brandt

2015   R/V Maria S. Merian, 19 days, Las Palmas, Spain to Mindelo, Cape Verde. Deployment of PELAGIOS, responsible for GEOMAR team (5 students and 1 technician). Chief scientist Dr. B Christiansen

2015   R/V Walther Herwig III, 16 days from Dakar, Senegal to Mindelo, Cape Verde. Mesopelagic trawl sampling. Chief Scientist Dr. H Fock

2015   R/V Western Flyer, 10 days La Paz to La Paz, Mexico. MBARI Midwater Ecology Expedition Gulf of California, pelagic ROV surveys. Chief scientist Dr. BH Robison


Selected Publications

Hoving, H.J.T., Neitzel, P., Hauss, H., Christiansen, S., Kiko, R., Robison, B.H., Silva, P, and Körtzinger, A. (2020) In situ observations show vertical community structure of pelagic fauna in the eastern tropical North Atlantic off Cape Verde. Scientific Reports 10:21798 doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-78255-9

Lischka, A, Lacoue-Labarthe, T, Bustamante, P, Piatkowski, U, Hoving HJT. (2020) Trace elements in the boreoatlantic gonate squid (Gonatus fabricii) demonstrate its ecological key role in polar regions of the Atlantic Ocean. Environmental Pollution 256: 113389   https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2019.113389

Hoving, HJT, Christiansen, S, Fabrizius, E, Hauss, H, Kiko, R, Linke, P, Neitzel, P, Piatkowski, U. and Körtzinger, A. (2019) The Pelagic In situ Observation System (PELAGIOS) to reveal biodiversity, behavior and ecology of elusive oceanic fauna.Ocean Science 15 (5) 1327-1340 doi.org/10.5194/os-2018-131.

Christiansen, S*, Hoving, HJT*, Schütte,F, Hauss,H, Karstensen,H, Körtzinger,A, Schröder,S, Stemmann,L, Christiansen,B, PicheralM, Brandt,P, Robison,BH, Koch,R, Kiko, R. (2018) Particulate matter flux interception in oceanic mesoscale eddies by the polychaete Poeobius sp. Limnology and Oceanography https://doi.org/10.1002/lno.10926 *equal contribution

Schwarz, R, Piatkowski, U, Hoving, HJT. (2018) The impact of environmental temperature on the lifespan of octopods. Marine ecology Progress Series 605: 151-164       

Hoving HJT, Bush SL, Haddock SHD, Robison BH. (2017) Bathyal feasting: post-spawning squid as a source of carbon for deep-sea benthic communities. Proc. R. Soc. B 284: 20172096

Purser A, Marcon Y, Hoving, HJT, Vecchione M, Piatkowski U, Easone D. Bluhm H, Boetius A. (2016). Association of deep-sea incirrate octopods with manganese crusts and nodule fields in the Pacific Ocean. Current Biology Volume 26 (24), 1268-1269

Hoving HJT, Laptikhovsky VV, Robison BH. (2015).  Vampire squid’s reproductive strategy is unique among coleoid cephalopods. Current Biology   25 (8): 322–323