Joep De Leeuw

Head of Institute of Freshwater Research


I am senior researcher and associate professor in aquatic ecology with special interest in fish and bird ecology as well as ecosystem functioning.

As Head of the Institute of Freshwater Research, I am responsible for the development of scientific research, higher education, management advice and information, as well as financial, technical and administrative support of our work.

Since 1999 I have been leading research groups (scientists, field and laboratory assistants, MSc and PhD students) in contract research, governmental, and academic environments, both on the national and international level. I have been actively involved in the transformation of a governmental research institute into an academic research institute in both my current job at SLU and previously at Wageningen-IMARES, the Netherlands.


Master's course Ecology for Fish Management and Conservation (course leader)

Supervision Master's students and internships



My work and research interests are mainly aquatic ecology and management of aquatic resources. I am specialized in fish ecology and bird ecology of large lakes and large floodplain rivers.

My research topics cover:

• Ecology and animal behaviour

• Inland fisheries and fish stock management

• Nature, landscape and habitat conservation and restoration

• Monitoring, ecological assessment, and human impact studies

• Climate change and regime shifts



2009 – present day. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Resources (until 30 June 2011 part of Swedish Board of Fisheries), Institute of Freshwater Research, Drottningholm, Sweden - Head Institute of Freshwater Research, senior researcher and associate professor in aquatic ecology

1999- 2009. Wageningen IMARES, Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies (until 2006: Netherlands Institute for Fisheries Research RIVO), IJmuiden, part of Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR), the Netherlands - Senior researcher and head of research group Inland Fisheries and research group Ecology, respectively.

1997-1999. University of Wageningen, Aquaculture and Fisheries Group, Wageningen / Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Centre for Limnology, Nieuwersluis, the Netherlands - Postdoc researcher

1991-1997. University of Groningen, Groningen / Ministry of Transport and Public Works, Lelystad, the Netherlands - Researcher and doctoral student

Publikationer i urval

Górski, K., J.J. De Leeuw, H.V. Winter, V.V. Khoruzhaya, V.S. Boldyrev , D.A. Vekhov and L.A.J. Nagelkerke 2016. The importance of flooded terrestrial habitats for larval fish in a semi-natural large floodplain (Volga, Russian Federation).  Inland Waters 6: 105-110 doi: 10.5268/IW-6.1.914.

Górski, K., A.D. Buijse, H.V. Winter, J.J. de Leeuw, T.J. Compton, D.A. Vekhov, D.V. Zolotarev, J.A.J Verreth, and L.A.J. Nagelkerke 2013. Geomorphology and flooding shape fish abundance and distribution in a large-scale temperate floodplain. River Research and Applications 29: 1226-1236. DOI: 10.1002/rra.2610.

Górski, K. L.V. van den Bosch, K.E. van de Wolfshaar, H. Middelkoop, L.A.J. Nagelkerke, O.V. Filippov, D.V. Zolotarev, D.A. Vekhov, S.V. Yakovlev, A.E. Minin, H.V. Winter, J.J. de Leeuw, A.D. Buijse and  J.A.J. Verreth 2012. Post-damming flow regime development in a large lowland river (Volga, Russian Federation): implications for floodplain inundation and fisheries. River Research and Applications 28: 1121-1134. DOI: 10.1002/rra.1499.

Tulp,  I., H. Schekkerman, J.J. de Leeuw 2012. Eggs in the freezer: energetic consequences of nest design in tundra breeding shorebirds. PLoS ONE 7(6): 7(6): e38041. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038041

Górski, K., J.J. de Leeuw, H.V. Winter, D.A. Vekhov, A.E. Minin, A.D. Buijse and L.A.J. Nagelkerke 2011. Fish recruitment in a large, temperate floodplain: the importance of annual flooding, temperature and habitat complexity. Freshwater Biology 56: 2210-2225.

Górski, K., H.V. Winter, J.J. de Leeuw, A.E. Minin and L.A.J. Nagelkerke 2010. Fish spawning in a large temperate floodplain: the role of flooding and temperature. Freshwater Biology 55: 1509–1519, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2427.2009.02362

Van de Wolfshaar, K E., A. C. Ruizeveld de Winter, M. W. Straatsma, N. G. M. Van den Brink & J. J. De Leeuw 2010. Estimating spawning habitat availability in flooded areas of the River Waal, The Netherlands. River Research and Applications 26: 487–498. DOI: 10.1002/rra.1306.

De Leeuw, J.J., W. Dekker & A.D. Buijse 2008. Aiming at a moving target, a slow hand fails! 75 years of fisheries management in Lake IJsselmeer, the Netherlands. Journal of Sea Research 60:21-31.

De Leeuw, J.J. & H.V. Winter  2008. Migration barriers for rheophilic fish in the large lowland rivers Rhine and Meuse, the Netherlands. Fisheries Management and Ecology 15: 409-415.

Teal, L.R., J.J. de Leeuw, A.D. Rijnsdorp & H. van der Veer 2008. Effects of climate change on growth of 0-group sole and plaice. Marine Ecological Progress Series 358: 219-230.

Winter, H.V. M. Lapinska & J.J. de Leeuw 2008. The River Vecht fish community after rehabilitation measures: a comparison to the historical situation by using the River Biebrza as a geographical reference. River Research and Applications 23: 1–13. DOI: 10.1002/rra.1081

De Leeuw, J.J., R. ter Hofstede & H.V. Winter 2007. Sea growth of anadromous brown trout (Salmo trutta). Journal of Sea Research 58: 163-165.

De Leeuw, J.J., A.D. Buijse, G. Haidvogl, M. Lapinska, R. Noble, R. Repecka, T. Virbickas, W. Wiśniewolski & C. Wolter 2007. Challenges in developing fish-based ecological assessment methods for large floodplain rivers. Fisheries Management and Ecology 14: 483–494.

Schmutz S., A. Melcher, C. Frangez, G. Haidvogl, U. Beier, J. Böhmer, J. Breine, I. Simoens, N. Caiola, A. de Sostoa, M.T. Ferreira, J. Oliveira, G. Grenouillet, D. Goffaux, J.J. de Leeuw, R.A.A. Noble, N. Roset & T. Virbickas 2007. Spatially based methods to assess the ecological status of riverine fish assemblages in European ecoregions. Fisheries Management and Ecology 14: 441–452.

Grenouillet, G., N. Roset, D. Goffaux, J. Breine, I. Simoens, J.J. de Leeuw & P. Kestemont 2007. Fish assemblages in European Western Highlands and Western Plains: a type-specific approach to assess ecological quality of running waters. Fisheries Management and Ecology 14: 509-517.

Tjørve, K.M., H. Schekkerman, I. Tulp, L.G. Underhill, J. J. de Leeuw & G.H. Visser 2007. Growth and energetics of a small shorebird species in a cold environment: the Little Stint Calidris minuta on the Taimyr Peninsula, Siberia. Journal of Avian Biology 38: 552-563.

Navodaru, I., A. D. Buijse, M. Staras, J.J. de Leeuw & I. Cernisencu, 2006. Changes in fish populations in Danube delta lakes: effects of hydrology and water quality change. Review of results and potential for rehabilitation. Ecohydrology & Hydrobiology 5: 245-256.

De Leeuw, J.J., A.D. Buijse, R.E. Grift, H.V. Winter 2005. Management and monitoring of the return of riverine fish species in the Netherlands. Large Rivers 15 (1-4) / Archiv für Hydrobiologie Suppl. 155: 391-412.

De Leeuw, J.J., L.A.J. Nagelkerke, W.L.T. van Densen, K. Holmgren, P.A. Jansen & J. Vijverberg, 2003. Biomass size distributions as a tool for characterising lake fish communities. Journal of Fish Biology 63: 1454-1475.

De Leeuw, J.J., 1999. Food intake rates and habitat segregation of tufted duck and scaup exploiting zebra mussels in the IJsselmeer area. Ardea 87: 15-31.

De Leeuw, J.J., M.R. van Eerden & G.H. Visser, 1999. Wintering tufted ducks (Aythya fuligula) diving for zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) balance feeding costs within narrow margins of their energy budget. Journal of Avian Biology 30: 182-192.

De Leeuw , J.J., P.J. Butler, A.J. Woakes & F. Zegwaard, 1998. Body cooling and its energetic implications for feeding and diving of tufted ducks. Physiological Zoology 71: 720-730.

De Leeuw, J.J., 1996. Diving costs as a component of daily energy budgets of aquatic birds and mammals: generalizing the inclusion of dive-recovery costs demonstrated in tufted ducks. Canadian Journal of Zoology 74: 2131-2142.

Carbone, C., J.J. de Leeuw & A.I. Houston, 1996. Adjustments in the diving time budgets of tufted duck and pochard: is there evidence for a mix of metabolic pathways? Animal Behaviour 51: 1257-1268.

De Leeuw, J.J. & M.R. van Eerden, 1992. Size selection in diving tufted ducks (Aythya fuligula) explained by differential handling of small and large mussels (Dreissena polymorpha). Ardea 83: 353-362.

De Leeuw, J.J. & J.H. Beekman 1991. Growth and biometry of mute swan Cygnus olor cygnets in Groningen, The Netherlands. Wildfowl Suppl. 1: 288-295


Books and book chapters

 Van Eerden, M.R. & J.J. de Leeuw 2010. How Dreissena sets the winter scene for water birds: dynamic interactions between diving ducks and zebra mussels. In: The Zebra Mussel in Europe (Eds. G. Van der Velde, S. Rajagopal & A. bij de Vaate). Backhuys Publishers, Leiden/Margraf Publishers, Weikersheim. pp 251-264.

Dekker, W. & J.J. de Leeuw, 2003. Bird-fisheries interactions: the complexity of managing a system of predators and preys. In: (I.G. Cowx, Ed) Interactions between Fish and Birds: implications for management. Fishing News Books, Blackwell Science, pp 3-13.

Mous, P.J., W. Dekker, J.J. de Leeuw, M.R. van Eerden & W.L.T. van Densen, 2003. Interactions in the utilisation of small fish by piscivorous fish and birds, and the fishery in IJsselmeer. In: (I.G. Cowx, Ed) Interactions between Fish and Birds: implications for management. Fishing News Books, Blackwell Science, pp 84-118

De Leeuw, J.J. 1997. Demanding divers. Ecological energetics of food exploitation by diving ducks. PhD Thesis, University of Groningen, the Netherlands (ISBN 90-369-1207-5)