Kirsten Siebers

PhD Candidate
Employed since: November 2021
Room: Vening Meinesz-C 2.08



According to recent estimates, we cannot account for ~99% of plastic waste that escapes into the oceans. A significant portion of this missing plastic is hypothesized to result from plastic degradation products, so-called nanoplastics. Due to their small size (< 1000 nm), they often fall below the detection limits of commonly available collection and identification methods, while those are crucial to assess the behaviour of nanoplastics in aquatic systems and their toxicology.

To extend our knowledge on nanoplastics, the aim of this project is to characterize their chemical composition, size and structure by using a toolbox of various spectroscopic methods. In addition, sampling and concentration protocols for the characterization of aquatic, environmental samples will be developed.

This project is part of a consortium with a complementary expertise, in which chemistry, physics and biology are bridged. In this interdisciplinary team we work closely with researchers from Utrecht University, Leiden University, NIOZ, and the University of Amsterdam.



2021 – present
PhD candidate at ICC under dr. Florian Meirer and prof. dr. ir. Bert Weckhuysen 

2019 – 2021
MSc Nanomaterials Science at Utrecht University

MSc thesis at Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis, Utrecht University: ‘Visualization and quantification of fragmentation in olefin polymerization catalysts’ (daily supervisor: Max Werny MSc, supervisor: dr. Florian Meirer)

Internship at Shell Global Solutions, Amsterdam: ‘Hydrothermal stability of hydrogenation metals in zeolitic catalysts’.

2016 – 2019
BSc Chemistry at Utrecht University

BSc thesis at Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis, Utrecht University: ‘Re-use of the by product hydrochloric acid to produce valuable chemicals’ (daily supervisor: Bas Terlingen MSc, supervisor: dr. Robin Geitenbeek)

2010 – 2016
Pre-university education (Gymnasium) at Gymnasium Celeanum, Zwolle

Born February 19th in Zwolle, Netherlands


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