Prof. dr J. de Boer

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+31 20 59 89530
faculteit der bètawetenschappen ( environm&health )
Department Head


Professor Jacob de Boer is director of IVM and Professor in Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology. His own research group (Dept. Chemistry and Biology) consists of  twelve, mainly senior, researchers, a laboratory with ten technicians and ten Ph D students. He is Editor-in-Chief of Chemosphere (Elsevier). In 2013 he was appointed by the Chinese government as National Expert for China. He is a member of the CEFIC LRI Scientific Advisory Panel (ESAP), the Board of the International BFR symposia series, and the QUASIMEME Scientific Advisory Board. He has coordinated a number of European Research projects and a large number of research projects for international organizations and industrial umbrella organizations. He has published over 180 peer reviewed articles on the analysis and monitoring of environmental contaminants. He has organized many workshops, is a regular contributor to several radio and television documentaries and news programs on chemical substances, and he is a regularly invited speaker at international symposia. 

Professor De Boer has worked for almost 40 years on the contamination of the environment with persistent organic pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), brominated and organophosphorus flame retardants, chlorinated paraffins and many other contaminants. Nowadays, he is also working on micro-plastics and marine litter. He gained a lot of experience in the organisation of international interlaboratory studies on contaminants and on the production of (certified) reference materials for contaminant analysis. He is an advisor for UNEP and various other international organizations. He is member of the editorial board of the Handbook of Environmental Chemistry (Springer), and J. Environ. Sci. Health part A (Taylor and Francis) and was guest-editor of special issues for Trends in Analytical Chemistry (2006, 2013), Chemosphere (2008), Molecular Nutrition and Food Research (2008), and Journal of Chromatography A (2009). He is currently supervising ten PhD students.


  • Analytical chemistry
  • Environmental chemistry
  • Gas Chromatography/mass spectrometry
  • Preparation of (certified) reference materials
  • Proficiency tests and interlaboratory studies
  • Quality assurance
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Flame retardants (BFRs, CFRs, PFRs)
  • Marine litter and micro-plastics
  • Offshore pollution
  • Effect-directed analysis
  • Advice on highly toxic substances
  • Food safety (chemical)

Academic training

  • 1975     BSc Analytical chemistry, Haarlem, The Netherlands
  • 1995     PhD Analytical chemistry, VU University, Amsterdam (Prof. Brinkman), The Netherlands

Professional employment history

  • 2012-now Director of IVM
  • 2009-2012  Deputy Director IVM 
  • 2006-now  Chair of Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology, Head Dept. Chemistry and Biology, Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), VU University, Amsterdam. 
  • 2005-2006 Professor Analytical Environmental Chemistry, Wageningen University, Depts. of Toxicology and Fisheries and Fish Farming (Personal professorship, 20%). 
  • 2002-2005 Head Dept. Environment and Food Safety, RIVO (Contract-based laboratory, accredited under the Dutch   Council for Accreditation (R097, ISO 17025 and ISO 9001) 
  • 1992-2005 Senior scientist, Head Environmental Research Group and Deputy Head of the Dept. Environment, Quality, Technology and Nutrition, RIVO 
  • 1986-1992 Junior scientist, RIVO 
  • 1976-1986 Head of laboratory, RIVO 
  • 1974-1976 Technician, Netherlands Institute for Fisheries Research (RIVO), IJmuiden, The Netherlands

Supervision PhD students

Stefan van Leeuwen (2009)
Annelies Hommersom (2010)
Thijs van Boxtel (2010)
Eszter Simon (2013)
Sicco Brandsma (2014)
Joantina van Esterik (2015)
Sara Tufi (2016)
Xiju Ouyang (2016)

Jan Brant
Liana Bastos Sales
Martin Brits
Martine van den Heuvel
Cornelius Rimayi
Ewa Skocszynska
Nick Zwart

Selected publications

Link to full publication list at IVM since 2006

  • Ballesteros-Gomez, A., J. de Boer P.E.G. Leonards (2013). Novel Analytical Methods for Flame Retardants and Plasticizers based on Gas Chromatography, Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography and Direct Probe Coupled to Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization-High Resolution Time-of-Flight-Mass Spectrometry. Anal. Chem., in press, DOI: 10.1021/ac4017314
  • Leeuwen, S.P.J. van, B. van Bavel, E. Abad, H. Leslie, H. Fiedler, J. de Boer (2013). POPs analysis reveals issues in bringing laboratories in developing countries to a higher level. TrAC Trends Anal. Chem. 46, 198-206.
  • Veen, I. van der, J de Boer (2012). Phosphorus flame retardants: Properties, production, environmental occurrence, toxicity and analysis. Chemosphere 88, 1119-1153.
  • De Boer, J. (2010). Chlorinated paraffins. Handbook of Environmental Chemistry (Eds. O. Hutzinger, D. Barcelo). Volume: Chlorinated paraffins (Ed. J. de Boer). Springer Verlag GmbH, Heidelberg, Germany.
  • De Boer, J., Q.T. Dao, S.P.J. van Leeuwen, M.J.J. Kotterman, J.H.M. Schobben (2010). Thirty year monitoring of PCBs, organochlorine pesticides and brominated diphenylethers in eel from The Netherlands. Environ. Pollut., 158, 1228-1236.
  • Harrad, S., C. de Wit, M. A.-E. Abdallah, C. Berg, J.A. Björklund, A. Covaci, P.O. Darnerud, J. de Boer, M. Diamond, S. Huber, P. Leonards, M. Mandalakis, C. Ostman, L. Småstuen Haug, C. Thomsen, T.F. Webster (2010). Indoor Contamination with Hexabromocyclododecanes, Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers, and Perfluoroalkyl Compounds: An Important Exposure Pathway for People? Environ. Sci. Technol. 44, 3221-3231.
  • Belpaire, C.G.J., G. Goemans, C. Geeraerts, P. Quataert, K. Parmentier, P. Hagel, J. de Boer (2009).  Decreasing eel stocks : survival of the fattest Ecol. Freshwater Fish. 18, 197-214.
  • Gerssen, A., P. P.J. Mulder, A.M. Elhinney; J. de Boer (2009). Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method for the detection of marine lipophilic toxins under alkaline conditions. J. Chromatogr. A 1216, 1421-1430.
  • De Boer, J., H. Leslie, S.P.J. van Leeuwen, J.-W. Wegener, B. van Bavel, G. Lindström, H. Fiedler (2008). UNEP intercomparisons and training on POPs analysis under the Stockholm Convention. Anal. Chim. Acta 617, 208-215.
  • Skoczynska, E., P. Korytar, J. de Boer (2008). Maximizing chromatographic information from GCxGC-ToF-MS. Environ. Sci. Technol. 42, 6611–6618.
  • Covaci, A., Gerecke, A.C., Law, R.J., Voorspoels, S., Kohler, M., Heeb, N.V., Leslie, H., Allchin, C.R., de Boer, J. (2006). Hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs) in the environment and humans: a review. Environ. Sci. Technol. 40, 3679-3688.