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Tom  Van der Stocken's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 300-323
4800 Oak Grove Drive
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Tom Van der Stocken

Dr. Tom Van der Stocken holds a B.S. degree in Geography from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), an M.S. degree in Physical Geography from VUB and KULeuven, and later on received a Ph.D. degree in Sciences from the VUB and Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). He worked with Prof. Philippe Huybrechts in the Ice and Climate Group (VUB) studying the routing of basal water under the Antarctic ice sheet and subglacial lake formation. As a doctoral and postdoctoral research fellow, he worked with Prof. Nico Koedam (VUB) on a mangrove ocean dispersal project and conducted fieldwork in Kenyan mangrove forests in close collaboration with the Kenya Marine Fisheries and Research Institute (KMFRI). In that same period, he investigated ocean dispersal mechanisms under controlled water and wind conditions at the Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ). Besides his research, he taught international student groups at both bachelor and master level, supervised multiple B.S. and M.S. dissertations, and co-supervised international Ecology and Biogeography excursions to various destinations (e.g., Pas-de-Calais, Andalusia, Catalonia, Tenerife). Today, he works as a Caltech Postdoctoral Research Scholar at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory with Dr. Marc Simard (JPL) and Dr. Dimitris Menemenlis (JPL). Tom's broad and multidisciplinary research interests include various aspects of physical geography and the intersection with ecology. His current research includes global ocean dispersal modeling using high-resolution oceanographic data (MITgcm) and modeling sediment emissions from major river deltas into the world's oceans. Besides, he remains strongly interested in glaciology and more particularly the work he conducted during his M.S. thesis: (sub)glacial hydrology.

  • Ph.D. degree, Sciences (Physical Geography and Ecology), Vrije Universiteit Brussel & Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • M.Sc. degree, Physical Geography, Vrije Universiteit Brussel & KULeuven
  • B.Sc. degree, Geography, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Research Interests
  • Mangroves
  • Dispersal ecology and species range dynamics
  • Sediment transport and accumulation
  • Science communication, science policy and its impacts
  • General: physical geography, biogeography

Professional Experience
  • Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Earth Science Division, Oct. 2017 - present
  • Voluntary Researcher, Ecology and Biodiversity Group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Oct. 2017 - present
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Ecology and Biodiversity Group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Oct. 2015 - Sept. 2017
  • JPL Visiting Student Researchers program (JVSRP), Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mar. - Apr. 2014 & Oct. - Nov. 2015
  • Teaching Assistant, Ecology and Biodiversity Group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Oct. 2011 - Sept. 2015 (supervisor B.Sc. and M.Sc. dissertations, co-supervisor international excursions, guest lecturer)
  • Doctoral Research Fellow, Ecology and Biodiversity Group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Oct. 2011 - Sept. 2015

Selected Awards
  • Best Postdoc Oral Presentation Award, VLIZ Marine Science Day, Flanders Marine Research Institute (2017)
  • JPL Visiting Student Researchers Program Fellowship (2015)
  • Best Student Oral Presentation Award (2nd), Society for Tropical Ecology, ETH Zürich (2015)
  • JPL Visiting Student Researchers Program Fellowship (2014)
  • Best Student Oral Presentation Award (2nd), VLIZ Marine Science Day, Flanders Marine Research Institute (2013)
  • Best Student Oral Presentation Award (3rd), Mangrove and Macrobethos Meeting (MMM3) (2012)
  • VLIR-UOS VLADOC doctoral research grant (2011-2015)

Selected Publications
  1. Van der Stocken T. and D. Menemenlis (2017). Modeling the role of dispersal vector interactions and oceanic features on the potential for long distance dispersal in mangroves. Biotropica 49 (4): 472-481.
  2. Van der Stocken T., López-Portillo J. and N. Koedam (2017). Latitudinal pattern in the timing of mangrove propagule release: a meta-analysis of world data. Aquatic Botany 138: 92-99.
  3. Ngeve M., Van der Stocken T., Menemenlis D., Koedam N. and L. Triest (2017). Hidden founders? Strong bottlenecks and fine-scale genetic structure in mangrove populations of the Cameroon Estuary complex. Hydrobiologia 803 (1): 189-207.
  4. Ngeve M., Van der Stocken T., Sierens T., Koedam N. And L. Triest (2017). Bidirectional gene flow on a mangrove river landscape and between catchment dispersal of Rhizophora racemosa (Rhizophoraceae). Hydrobiologia 790: 93-108.
  5. Triest L., Hasan S., Mitro P. R., De Ryck D. and T. Van der Stocken (2017). Geographical distance and large rivers shape genetic structure of Avicennia officinalis in the highly dynamic Sundarbans mangrove forest and Ganges Delta region. Estuaries and Coasts (online).
  6. Satyanarayana B., Van der Stocken T., Rans G., Arachchilage K., Kodikara S., Ronsmans G., Jayatissa L. P., Husain L., Koedam N. and F. Dahdouh-Guebas (2017). Island-wide coastal vulnerability assessment of Sri Lanka reveals that sand dunes, planted trees and natural vegetation may play a role as potential barriers against ocean surges. Global Ecology and Conservation 12: 144-157.
  7. Ngeve M., Van der Stocken T., Menemenlis D., Koedam N. and L. Triest (2016). Contrasting effects of historical sea level rise and contemporary ocean currents on regional gene flow of Rhizophora racemosa in Eastern Atlantic mangroves. PLoS ONE 10(3): e0150950
  8. Koedam N., Dahdouh-Guebas F., Barcellos R. L. and T. Van der Stocken (2016). Mangroves - captured by the keen eye of a 17th century landscape painter. Dutch Crossing 41: 247-263.
  9. De Ryck D., Van der Stocken T., Koedam N., van der Ven R., Adams J. and L. Triest (2016). Dispersal limitation of Avicennia marina among deep inlets of South African coastline in strong contrast to high connectivity among East African mangroves. Marine Ecology and Progress Series 545: 123-134.
  10. Van der Stocken T., Hugé J., Deboelpaep E., Vanhove M. P. M., de Bisthoven L.-J. and N. Koedam (2016). Academic capacity building: holding up a mirror. Scientometrics 106: 1277-1280.
  11. Van der Stocken T., Vanschoenwinkel B., De Ryck D. J. R., Bouma T. J., Dahdouh-Guebas F. and N. Koedam (2015). Interaction between wind and water as a driver of passive dispersal dynamics: implications for potential effective dispersal. PLoS ONE 10 (3): e0121593.
  12. Van der Stocken T., De Ryck D. J. R., Vanschoenwinkel B., Deboelpaep E., Bouma T. J., Dahdouh-Guebas F. and N. Koedam (2015). Impact of landscape structure on propagule dispersal in mangrove forests. Marine Ecology Progress Series 524: 95-106.
  13. Robert E. M. R., Oste J., Van der Stocken T., De Ryck D.J.R., Quisthoudt K., Kairo J.G., Dahdouh-Guebas F., Koedam N. and N. Schmitz (2015). Viviparous mangrove propagules of Ceriops tagal and Rhizophora mucronata, both Rhizophoraceae, show different dispersal and establishment strategies. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 468: 45-54.
  14. Goessens A., Satyanarayana S., Van der Stocken T., Quispe Zuniga M., Mohd-Lokman H., Sulong I. and F. Dahdouh-Guebas (2014). Is Matang mangrove forest in Malaysia sustainably rejuvenating after more than a century of conservation and harvesting management? PLoS ONE 9(8): e105069.
  15. Van der Stocken T., De Ryck D., Balke T., Bouma T. J., Dahdouh-Guebas F. and N. Koedam (2013). The role of wind in hydrochorous mangrove propagule dispersal. Biogeosciences, 10: 895-925.
  16. De Ryck D., Robert E. M. R., Schmitz N., Van der Stocken T., Di Nitto D., Dahdouh-Guebas F. and N. Koedam (2012). Size does matter, but not only size: two alternative dispersal strategies for viviparous mangrove propagules. Aquatic Botany 103: 66-73.

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