Dr. Johan Vellekoop, postdoctoral researcher at AMGC (VUB) and KU Leuven, 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 at AMGC (2017), on the biological and climatological changes at the last million years of the Cretaceous, and on the dinoflagellate cyst record from IODP site 364 (Chicxulub core), respectively. In 2017, he acquired a FWO postdoctoral research grant (“Recovery at Ground Zero, a unique biological record from inside the Chicxulub impact crater” – Grant 12Z6618N), to study the biological recovery following the K-Pg boundary catastrophe. 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 Paleobiologische Kring van Nederland & Vlaanderen (Paleobiological Circle of the Netherlands and Flanders), chairman of the Paleontica Foundation and coordinator of PaleoTime-NL.