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Ronald Vonk

Dr. R. (Ronald) Vonk, Senior researcher - Taxonomy and Systematics


Email: ronald.vonk@naturalis.nl
Phone: +31 (0)71-75 17 325
Room number: C02.14, Darwinweg 2


Research interest


Subterranean life

One of the processes shaping and determining subterranean biodiversity is the well-known evolutionary mechanism of convergence. Crustaceans (“Kreeftachtigen”) are a large group of arthropods that have successfully invaded the underground habitats of caves, coral rubble and beach sand interstices and ocean floor sediments. Some groups, like amphipods, isopods and copepods have colonised terrestrial and marine groundwater environments and show a remarkable versatility in adapting to subterranean conditions.

Gura Ici islands, North Moluccas, Indonesia

In the underground, life becomes slower and reductive forces cause functions and connected organs to disappear. The underground is an environment that, once colonized and adapted to, does not allow for fast and easy dispersal of its inhabitants anymore. However, in spite of this constraint, species, placed by taxonomists in supposedly related groups can be found in this milieu spread out over large distances and different continents. This points to vicariance or convergence, unknown travelling abilities, ancient and recent invasions.

Apart from the purely ‘museum’ interest in stygobiont / thalassoid crustaceans just as they are – inconspicuous, silent, and sometimes beautifully adapted remnants of bygone eras – there is the wider perspective of finding relations between animal evolution and geological history


groundwater crustacean biodiversity, adaptive shifts, marine interstitial

Current research topics

Biogeography and taxonomy of Ingolfiellid reef sand amphipods in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea

Eocene isopods from reef environments in Northern Italy


Instituto Mediterraneo de Estudios Avanzados (CSIC-UIB), Spain.

The Civic Natural History Museum of Verona, Italy

Geological and Palaeontological Museum of Padova University, Italy




Organismen in het milieu, 1st year B.Sc. University of Amsterdam

Research Skills, 3rd year B.Sc. University of Amsterdam

Available student projects



Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Vonk R., Lau Y.W. 2017. Microcharon quilli, a new asellote isopod crustacean from interstitial spaces in shallow coralline sands off St. Eustatius, Caribbean Netherlands. Marine Biodiversity 47: 139-147.
Go to website (DOI)

Burridge A.K., Tump M., Vonk R., Goetze E., Peijnenburg K.T.C.A. 2017. Diversity and distribution of hyperiid amphipods along a latitudinal transect in the Atlantic Ocean. Progress in Oceanography: pending.
Go to website (DOI)

Hoeksema B.W., Reimer J.D., Vonk R. 2017. Editorial: biodiversity of Caribbean coral reefs (with a focus on the Dutch Caribbean). Marine Biodiversity 47: 1-10.
Go to website (URI)

Journals non-SCI, peer-reviewed

Vonk R., Jaume D. 2017. Hypogean amphipods from mountain springs on south Madagascar. 8: 497-498.
Go to website (URI)


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Vonk R., Latella L., Zorzin R. 2015. Eocene isopods of Pesciara di Bolca (Italy) revisited. Journal of Crustacean Biology 35: 540-546.
Go to website (DOI)


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Aliabadian M., Nijman V., Mahmoudi A., Naderi M., Vonk R., Vences M. 2014. ExcaliBAR: a simple and fast software utility to calculate intra- and interspecific distances from DNA barcodes. Contributions to Zoology 83: 79-83.
Go to website (DOI)

Vonk R., Jaume D. 2014. Syntopy in rare marine interstitial crustaceans (Amphipoda, Ingolfiellidae) from small coral islands in the Molucca Sea, Indonesia. Marine Biodiversity 44: 163-172.
Go to website (DOI)

Vonk R., Gable M. 2014. Infaunal Zoogeography and Intergeneric Character Blending: The Case of Metaniphargus shiroi sp. nov.(Crustacea: Amphipoda: Hadziidae), from Interstitial Beach Water on Akajima Island, the Kerama Islands, Southwestern Japan. Zoological Science 31: 491-499.
Go to website (DOI)

Vonk R., Jaume D. 2014. Ingolfiella maldivensis sp. n. (Crustacea, Amphipoda, Ingolfiellidae) from coral reef sand off Magoodhoo island, Maldives. ZooKeys 449: 69-79.
Go to website (DOI)

Journals non-SCI, peer-reviewed

Vonk R. 2014. Ypresian isopod crustaceans from Monte Bolca and Monte Postale (Italy). Rendiconti della società geologica Italiana (online) 31: 223-224.
Go to website (DOI)


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Iannilli V., Vonk R. 2013. A new Ingolfiellid (Crustacea, Amphipoda, Ingolfiellidae) from an anchialine pool on Abd al Kuri Island, Socotra Archipelago, Yemen. ZooKeys 302: 1-12.
Go to website (DOI)

Vonk R., Jaume D. 2013. A new ingolfiellid amphipod crustacean from sandy beaches of the Gura Ici Islands, Western Halmahera (North Moluccas). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 61: 547-560.

Gholamhosseini A., Vardakis M., Aliabadian M., Nijman V., Vonk R. 2013. Hybridization between sister taxa versus non-sister taxa: a case study in birds. Bird Study: the Journal of the British Trust for Ornithology 60: 195-201.

Aliabadian M., Beentjes K.K, Roselaar C.S., Brandwijk H. van, Nijman V., Vonk R. 2013. DNA barcoding of Dutch birds. ZooKeys 365: 25-48.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Jaume D., Vonk R. 2012. Discovery of Metacrangonyx in inland groundwaters of Oman (Amphipoda: Gammaridea: Metacrangonyctidae). Zootaxa 3335
Go to website (URI)


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Vonk R., Hoeksema B.W., Jaume D. 2011. A new marine interstitial Psammogammarus (Crustacea,Amphipoda, Melitidae) from Gura Ici Island, off western Halmahera (North Moluccas, Indonesia), and an overview of the genus. ZooKeys 128: 53-73.
Go to website (DOI)


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Vonk R., Jaume D. 2010. Glyptogidiella omanica gen. et sp nov., an inland groundwater bogidiellid from Oman with enlarged coxal plate V (Crustacea, Amphipoda). Zootaxa 2657: 55-65.

Brehier F., Vonk R., Jaume D. 2010. First South American phreatogammarid, with comments on the arrangement of coxal and sternal gills, and on the biramous condition of the seventh pereiopod in amphipods. Journal of Crustacean Biology 30: 503-520.
Go to website (DOI)

Chapters in books

Irham M., Schram F.R., Vonk R. 2010. A new species of Pygocephalomorpha (Eumalacostraca, Peracarida) from the Leitchfield Formation, Lower Carboniferous (Mississippian) of Grayson County, Kentucky, U.S.A. Crustaceana Monographs 14


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Nijman V., Booij J., Flikweert M., Aliabadian M., Freitas J.A. de, Vonk R., Prins T.G. 2009. Habitat use of raptors in response to anthropogenic land use on Bonaire and Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. Caribbean Journal of Science 45: 25-29.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Hulsman H., Vonk R., Aliabadian M., Debrot A.O., Nijman V. 2008. Effect of introduced species and habitat alteration on the occurrence and distribution of euryhaline fishes in fresh- and brackish-water habitats on Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao (South Caribbean). Contributions to Zoology 77: 45-51.

Nijman V., Vonk R. 2008. Blurring the picture: introductions, invasions, extinctions - biogeography in a global world. Contributions to Zoology 77: 67-70.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Vonk R., Schram F.R. 2007. Three new tanaid species (Crustacea, Peracarida, Tanaidacea) from the lower cretaceous alava amber in northern Spain. Journal of Paleontology 81: 1502-1509.

Vonk R., Schram F.R. 2007. Rapaleleupia, a new name for Paraleleupia Vonk and Schram, 2003 (Crustacea : Amphipoda : Ingolfiellidea) preoccupied by Paraleleupia jeannel, 1949 (Insecta : Coleptera : Staphelinidae : Pselaphinae). Journal of Crustacean Biology 27: 693-693.

Vonk R., Nijman V. 2007. Contributions to Zoology, the Journal - diversity in research topics and changes over the last 27 years. Contributions to Zoology 76: 281-283.

Edited books

Lavalli K.L., Spanier E., Vonk R. (eds.). 2007. The Biology and Fisheries of the Slipper Lobster. Crustacean Issues 17 400 p. CRC Press Inc., ISBN 9780849333989.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Iannilli V., Holsinger J.R., Ruffo S., Vonk R. 2006. Two new genera and two new species of the subterranean family Bogidiellidae (Crustacea, Amphipoda) from groundwaters in northern Oman, with notes on the geographic distribution of the family. Zootaxa 1208: 37-56.

Vonk R., Nijman V. 2006. Sex ratio and sexual selection in wormshrimps (Crustacea, Amphipoda, Ingolfiellidea). Contributions to Zoology 75: 189-194.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Fraaije R.H.B., Schram F.R., Vonk R. 2003. Maastrichtiocaris rostratus new genus and species, the first cretaceous cycloid. Journal of Paleontology 77: 386-388.

Ham H.L. van der, Vonk R. 2003. A phylogenetic analysis of the Eriopisa complex (Crustacea : Amphipoda : Melitidae) and a new species from beach interstitia in Venezuela. Journal of Natural History 37: 779-796.
Go to website (DOI)

Vonk R., Schram F.R. 2003. Ingolfiellidea (Crustacea, Malacostraca, Amphipoda): a phylogenetic and biogeographic analysis. Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde 72: 39-72.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Ruffo S., Vonk R. 2001. Ingolfiella beatricis, new species (Amphipoda : Ingolfiellidae) from subterranean waters of Slovenia. Journal of Crustacean Biology 21: 484-491.

Edited books

Kensley B, Brusca RC. Editor R. Vonk (eds.). 2001. Isopod Systematics and Evolution. Crustacean Issues 13 357 p. ISBN 9058093271.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Schram F.R., Shen Y.B., Vonk R., Taylor R.S. 2000. The first fossil Stenopodidean. Crustaceana 73: 235-242.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Vonk R., Seveso S., Notenboom J. 1999. Netherlands biospeleological explorations in Turkey, 6. The groundwater amphipod Bogidiella turcica n. sp and other bogidiellids (Malacostraca, Amphipoda) in southwest Turkey. Crustaceana 72: 817-835.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Koenemann S., Vonk R., Schram F.R. 1998. Cladistic analysis of 37 mediterranean Bogidiellidae (Amphipoda), including Bogidiella arista, new species, from Turkey. Journal of Crustacean Biology 18: 383-404.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Schram F.R., Vonk R., Hof C.H.J. 1997. Mazon Creek Cycloidea. Journal of Paleontology 71: 261-284.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Stock J.H., Vonk R. 1992. Marine interstitial amphipoda and isopoda (Ccrustacea) from Santiago, Cape Verde Islands. Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde 62: 21-36.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Vonk R. 1991. 2 marine interstitial Metaniphargus species (Crustacea, Amphipoda) from Hawaii and the Cayman Islands. Stygologia 6: 111-118.

Stock J.H., Vonk R. 1991. New species of Dulzura, genus of Hadzioid amphipoda hitherto known only in the Indo-Pacific, discovered in Cabo Verde (Atlantic Ocean). Cahiers de Biologie Marine 32: 477-486.

Vonk R., Sanchez E. 1991. A new marine interstitial ingolfiellid (Crustacea, Amphipoda, Ingolfiellidea) from Tenerife and Hierro. Hydrobiologia 223: 293-299.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Stock J.H., Vonk R. 1990. Stygofauna of the Canary Islands, 23. A freshwater amphipod from La Gomera, Melita dulcicola n.sp.. Annales de Limnologie - International Journal of Limnology 26: 29-37.
Go to website (DOI)

Stock J.H., Vonk R. 1990. Stygofauna of the Canary Islands, 15 marine interstitial Isopoda Asellota of the superfamily Gnathostenetroidoidea. Cahiers de Biologie Marine 31: 5-24.

Vonk R. 1990. Psammogammarus Stocki n.sp. (Crustacea, Amphipoda, Melitidae) from beach Interstitia on Tenerife - stygofauna of the Canary Islands .21. Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde 60: 271-276.

Vonk R. 1990. Thalassostygius exiguus ng., n.sp., a new marine interstitial melitid (Crustacea, Amphipoda) from Curacao and Klein Bonaire (Netherlands Antilles). Stygologia 5: 43-48.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Vonk R. 1988. Amsterdam expeditions to the West-Indian Islands .55. Psammomelita uncinata n.g., n.sp. (Crustacea, Amphipoda, Melitidae) from infralittoral sand interstices on Curacao. Stygologia 4: 166-176.

Vonk R. 1988. The Niphargus kochianus group (Crustacea, Amphipoda) in the Aquitanian Basin, southwestern France, and a supposed case of introgressive hybridization. Stygologia 4: 177-191.


Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Vonk R., Stock J.H. 1987. Psammogammarus longidactylus n.sp., a new cave amphipod (Crustacea) and other stygobiont amphipods from Bonaire. Stygologia 3: 241-251.