Dr. Johan Vellekoop, postdoctoral researcher at KU Leuven and the Free University Brussels (VUB), studied Earth Sciences at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. After graduating in 2010, he started a PhD at the same university, on the environmental consequences of the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary impact. He defended his PhD dissertation, entitled “Bolide impact and long- and short term environmental change across the Cretaceous Paleogene boundary” in January 2015. His PhD research resulted in several papers in high-ranking journals such as PNAS and Geology, on the global impact winter following the Chicxulub impact. Following his PhD, Johan did postdocs at KU Leuven (2015-2017) and the VUB (2017), on the biological and climatological changes in the last million years of the Cretaceous, and on the dinoflagellate cyst record from IODP site 364 (Chicxulub core), respectively. In 2017, he acquired an FWO postdoctoral research grant, to study the biological recovery following the K-Pg boundary catastrophe.
Throughout his carreer, his research has focussed on Maastrichtian and K-Pg boundary stratigraphy, paleoecology and paleoclimatology, using a wide range of different methods and proxies, including organic-walled dinoflagellate cysts, foraminfera and other micro- and macro fossils, and both organic and inorganic goechemistry.
In 2018, Johan started up the “Maastrichtian Geoheritage Project”, a collaboration between researchers from KU Leuven, VUB, the University of Maastricht and the Natural History Museum of Maastricht, with the goal to preserve the geological heritage of the original type-locality of the Maastrichtian in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Johan has a passion for science communication, in particular on the subjects of paleontology and paleobiology. He is a board member of the Paleobiological Circle (de Paleobiologische Kring van Nederland & Vlaanderen), chairman of the Paleontica Foundation and coordinator of PaleoTime-NL.