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Isabel van Waveren

Dr. I.M. (Isabel) van Waveren, Senior researcher


Email: isabel.vanwaveren@naturalis.nl
Phone: +31 (0)71-75 17 261
Room number: DW4.E03.06
“I am interested in very early conifers, their ecology, their taxonomic affinity. I want to model selection on growth velocity.”

I am Master in sedimentology, and a quaternary palynology who did a PhD on Organic Matter composition and distribution in a marine setting (Banda Sea, Indonesia). Surprisingly I found enormous amounts of copepod egg envelopes that until then had been considered Prasinophyceae (Green Algae). After my PhD I had the pleasure of being employed as a content manager for the new to build National Museum of Natural History NATURALIS. When the position as an exhibits developer ended with the opening of the new museum, I was given the opportunity to return to a scientific position, first as a curator for palaeobotany, afterwards as a palaeobotanist.

In reorganizing the Jongmans collections as a curator, I got fascinated with the early Permian Jambi flora from the Mengkarang Formation, because of all its very early fossil plant occurrences. The most intriguing plant was a small strobilus with aberrantly early pinaceous features Tobleria biscuspis and I decided it was worthwhile to go back to the 1925 sampling localities on Sumatra. My multidisciplinary back ground became very useful to understand the sedimentology, volcanology, paleogeography, paleoecology, paleoclimatology of the Mengkarang Formation (Sumatra) yielding the very early pinaceous cone. This study is about to be completed and I now want to focus on similar strobili from Europe, the Autunian Basin in Central France in particular.

Link to video fieldwork Central France


Working experience

2003-present Research Palaeobotanist, Department of geology, Naturalis 
1997-2003 Two functions at Naturalis:
(1) Curator of Palaeobotany
(2) Geologist of Exhibits Department
1992-1997 Project Developer in Geology for Exhibits Department of Naturalis 
1990-1992  Research Assistant in Marine Biology Florida State University USA
1990-1986  Research Associate Univ of Utrecht Ph D position  Marine Palynology 
1984-1986  Research Assistant for CEGET Bordeaux France Organic Matter analysis
Research Assistant at the CNRS in Montpellier France Aeropalynology 
1980-1984  Teaching Assistant in Palynology Univ of Utrecht NL
Research Assistant in Palynology Univ of Utrecht NL
Teaching Assistant in Sedimentology Univ of Utrecht NL
Research Assistant in Sedimentology Univ of Utrecht NL
Teaching Assistant in Palaeobotany Univ of Utrecht NL

Extra curricular activities

2003-present  Member of the commission for protection of the geological landscape 
2003-2007  Editor of the employee journal of Naturalis 
1999-2004  Member of the Board of Naturalis employees 
1998-2003  Chair of the commission of professional Geologists of the KNGMG 
1996-2003  Member of the advisory working group for a National Natural History collections 
1996-1999  Secretary of the Board of the Leiden Association for Geology (LGV)
1996-1998  Chair of the commission for professional ethics of the Musea of Natural History
1996-1997 Member of the advisory group for the Dutch University collections 
1992-1997 Secretary of the Board of Natural History Musea in the Netherlands 

Educational Degrees

  • PhD (Doctor), University of Utrecht, Sciences, 1993
  • Masters (Doctoraal), University of Utrecht, Sedimentology & Palynology, 1984
  • Baccalauréat D, French School, The Hague, 1975


Research interest

  • Early Permian Conifers
  • Early Permian Seed Ferns
  • Organic Matter Taphonomy
  • Volcaniclastics
  • Copepod eggs 

Research activities

  • Organisation of 4 international expeditions to Jambi Sumatra (2003; 2004; 2006; 2008) in co-operation with the Geological Research and Development Centre, and the University of Utrecht.
  • Participation to the Muse excavation in th eBasin of Autun
  • Participation to the IGCP 575 project
  • Participation to the IGCP 469 project



Current research topics

Palaeobotany and taphonomy from Lower Permian of South East Asia


The change in floral complexion at the beginning of the Permian can be observed in the Lower Permian deposits of Sumatra (Jambi province). At the department of Palaeobotany of Naturalis Biodiversity Center, we are investigating the nature of this transition. Plant associations are analysed in detail in relation to the depositional environment and the age of the sediments in which they are found. This project is in co-operation with the Geological Research and Development Centre in Bandung (Indonesia), the department of sedimentology at the University of Utrecht, and the Fukuoka University.


See papers.


The Jongmans collection is being registered and digitalized.

Supervision PhDs


I am coaching a PhD student in palaeobotany.



Development of two courses for the University of Leiden:

            1. Key Evolutionary Innovations for Plants;
            2. Flora provinces through time.

Supervision MSc Students

2012 Supervisor - Akkermans K. - Pseudobornia ursinia, morphology, ecology and phylogeny

Supervision BSc Students

2014 Supervisor - Pas J. van der - Dicranophyllum gallicum: a new variety, habit reconstruction and discussion of environmental frame
2014 Supervisor - Poppe L. - Dicranophyllum gallicum: a new variety and its affinities discussed
2013 Supervisor - Pombo Geertsma I. - Cyclostigma kiltorkense and a new cone: Ursastrobus densifolium, Upper Devonian Lycopsids from Bear Island
Available student projects



Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Matysova P., Booi M., Crow M.C., Hasibuan F., Putri Perdono A., Waveren I.M. van, Donovan S.K. 2018. Burial and preservation of a fossil forest on an Early Permian (Asselian) volcano (Merangin River, Sumatra, Indonesia). Geological Journal 53: 2352-2370.
Go to website (DOI)

Waveren I.M. van, Booi M., Crow M.J., Hasibuan F., Konijnenburg‐van Cittert J.H.A. van, Putri Perdono A., Schmitz M., Donovan S.K. 2018. Depositional settings and changing composition of the Jambi palaeoflora within the Permian Mengkarang Formation (Sumatra, Indonesia). Geological Journal 53: 2969-2990.
Go to website (DOI)

Chapters in books

Cleal C.J., Stolle E., Waveren I.M. van, King S., Didari V. 2018. Macrofloral Biostratigraphy of the Upper Bashkirian Kozlu Formation, Zonguldak Coalfield, North Turkey. In: Nugaliev D., Barclay M., Nikolaeva S. Silantiev V., Zharinova V., Vasilyeva O. (eds.). Advances in Devonian, Carboniferous and Permian Research: Stratigraphy, Environments, Climate and Resources: 15-19 82-90: Filodiritto, Bologna,


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Cleal C.J., Stolle E., Waveren I.M. van, King S., Didari V. 2017. Carboniferous plant fossils from northern Turkey in the Jongmans collection, Naturalis, Leiden. Paleontological Journal 51: 84–91.

Pas J. van der, Poppe L., Waveren I.M. van 2017. Ontogenetic variability in old and new collections of Dicranophyllum gallicum Grand’Eury from the late Palaeozoic of Europe. Phytokeys 88: 123-149.
Go to website (DOI)

Guimaraes da Silva W., Souza P.A., Waveren I.M. van 2017. New insights on the systematic classification of certain palynological taxa (Tintinnomorphs) from Holocene deposits of the coastal plain of southern Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Paleontologia 20: 321-332.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Booi M., Waveren I.M. van, Konijinenburg-van Cittert J.H.A. van 2014. Wood anatomical variability in Early Permian ‘araucarioids’. IAWA Journal 35: 307-331.
Go to website (DOI)

Crippa G., Angiolini L., Waveren, I.M. van, Crow M.J., Hasibuan F., Stephenson M.H., Ueno K. 2014. Brachiopods, fusulines and palynomorphs of the Mengkarang Formation (Early Permian, Sumatra) and their palaeobiogeographical significance. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 79: 206 – 223.
Go to website (DOI)

Booi M., Waveren I.M., Konijnenburg-van Cittert J.H.A. van 2014. Wood anatomical variability in Early Permian ‘araucarioids’. IAWA Journal 35: 307-331.
Go to website (DOI)

Journals non-SCI, peer-reviewed

Gand G., Steyer S., Chabard D., Pellenard P., Glé L., Waveren I.M. van 2014. Études géologiques 2013 et projets 2014 sur l'Autunien du bassin d'Autun. Bulletin de la Société d’Histoire Naturelle d'Autun 206: 7-20.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Donovan S.K., Waveren I.M. van, Portell R.W. 2013. Island slopes and jumbled shell beds. Journal of the Geological Society 170: 527-534.
Go to website (DOI)


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Cleal C.J., Waveren I.M. van 2012. A reappraisal of the Carboniferous macrofloras of the Zonguldak - Amasra Coal Basin, north-western Turkey. Geologia Croatica 65: 283-297.
Go to website (DOI)


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Cleal C.J., Oplustil S., Thomas B.A., Tenchov Y., Abbink O.A., Bek J., Dimitrova T., Drabkova J., Hartkopf-Froeder C., Hoof T. van, Kedzior A., Jarzembowski E., Jasper K., Libertin M., McLean D., Oliwkiewicz-Miklasinska M., Psenicka J., Ptak B., Schneider J. W., Schultka S., Simunek Z., Uhl D., Waksmundzka M.I., Waveren I. van, Zodrow E.L. 2009. Late Moscovian terrestrial biotas and palaeoenvironments of Variscan Euramerica. Netherlands Journal of Geosciences - Geologie en Mijnbouw 88: 181-278.

Booi M., Waveren I.M. van, Konijnenburg-van Cittert J.H.A. van 2009. Comia and Rhachiphyllum from the early Permian of Sumatra, Indonesia. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 156: 418-435.
Go to website (DOI)

Booi M., Waveren I.M. van, Konijnenburg-Van Cittert J.H.A. van 2009. The Jambi gigantopterids and their place in gigantopterid classification. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161: 302-328.

Crow M.J., Waveren I.M. van, Donovan S.K. 2009. Tobler's oyster and the age of the Tabir Formation, Jambi Province, central Sumatra. Geological Journal 44: 117-121.
Go to website (DOI)


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Waveren I.M. van, Abbink O.A., Hoof T.B. van, Konijnenburg-van Cittert J.H.A. van 2008. Revision of the Late Carboniferous megaflora from the De Lutte-06 well (Twente, the Netherlands), and its stratigraphical implications. Netherlands Journal of Geosciences - Geologie en Mijnbouw 87: 339-352.

Booi M., Waveren I.M. van, Konijnenburg-van Cittert J.H.A. van, Boer P.L. de 2008. New material of Macralethopteris from the Early Permian Jambi flora (Middle Sumatra, Indonesia) and its palaeoecological implications. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 152: 101-112.
Go to website (DOI)

Chapters in books

Waveren I.M. van 2008. 1975 Slecht meisjes jaar. Siccard Point Geoconsult, Heiloo.


Edited books

Waveren I. van, Mulder E., Geluk M., Westerhoff W.E., Wong Th. (eds.). 2003. De Ondergrond van Nederland. Geologie van Nederland 7 379 p. NITG - TNO, ISBN 9789059860070.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Waveren I.M. van, Visscher H. 1994. Analysis of the composition and selective preservation of organic matter in surficial deep-sea sediments from a high productivity area (Banda Sea, Indonesia). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 112: 85-111.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Troelstra S.R., Klaver G.J., Kleijne A., Kroon D., Marle L.J. van, Meyboom W., Paverd P.J. van de, Situmorang M., Waveren I.M. van 1989. Actuomicropalaeontology and sediment distribution of 3 transects across the Banda Arc, Indonesia (Snellius II Expedition, Cruise G5). Netherlands Journal of Sea Research 24: 477-489.

Waveren I.M van 1989. Palynofacies analysis of surface sediments from the northeastern Banda Sea (Indonesia). Netherlands Journal of Sea Research 24: 501-509.

Waveren I.M. van 1989. Pattern analysis of organic component abundances from deltaic and open marine deposits - palynofacies distribution (East Java, Indonesia). Netherlands Journal of Sea Research 23: 441-447.