Dr. Jan Peter van der Sleen

  • Scientific staff
  • Research
  • Group: Auen-Institut
  • Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)

    Institut für Geographie und Geoökologie
    Abteilung Aueninstitut
    D-76437 Rastatt

Peter van der Sleen


  • forest ecology
  • fish ecology
  • global change

Current position

2017 - Postdoctoral Researcher. Institute of Geography and Geoecology, department of Wetland Ecology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany.

Previous positions

Nov 2015 - July 2017 Postdoctoral Researcher. Marine Science Institute, University of Texas, USA.
Aug 2014 - Feb 2015 Post-doctoral researcher. Forest Ecology and Management Group, Wageningen University, the Netherlands.
Jan 2011 - July 2017 Freelance editor of a book ‘Field guide to the fishes of the Amazon, Orinoco and Guianas’.


Feb 2010 - Jun 2014 PhD candidate. Forest Ecology and Management Group, Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Title thesis: Environmental drivers of tree growth: a pan-tropical study of stable isotopes.
Sep 2006 - Feb 2009 Master Tropical Ecology. Utrecht University, the Netherlands, and the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia, Brazil. Degree awarded with honors (cum laude).
Sep 2003 - Jun 2006 Bachelor Biology. Utrecht University, the Netherlands. Bachelor thesis nominated for the best thesis award 2006.

Awards and honors

Apr 2016 Publication Award (first price) at the NERN (Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting), Lunteren, the Netherlands.
May 2013 Best oral presentation at the TRACE (Tree Rings in Archaeology, Climatology and Ecology) meeting, Viterbo, Italy.
Feb 2009 MSc degree at the Utrecht University concluded with Honors (Cum Laude).


Contributions in peer-reviewed journals
2019Black, B. A., Andersson, C., Butler, P. G., Carroll, M. L., DeLong, K. L., Reynolds, D. J., Schöne, B. R., Scourse, J., van der Sleen, J. P., Wanamaker Jr, A. D., Witbaard, R. (2019): The revolution of crossdating in marine palaeoecology and palaeoclimatology. Biology Letters 15(1). 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0665

2018Black, B. A., van der Sleen, J. P., Di Lorenzo, E., Griffin, D., Sydeman, W. J., Dunham, J. B., Rykaczewski, R. R., García-Reyes, M., Safeeq, M., Arismendi, I., Bograd, S. J. (2018): Rising synchrony controls western North American ecosystems. Global Change Biology, pp. 1–10. 10.1111/gcb.14128

van der Sleen, J. P., Rykaczewski, R. R., Turley, B. D., Sydeman, W. J., García-Reyes, M., Bograd, S. J., van der Lingen, C. D., Coetzee, J. C., Lamont, T., Black, B. A. (2018): Non-stationary responses in anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) recruitment to coastal upwelling in the Southern Benguela. Marine Ecology Progress Series 596, pp. 155–164. 10.3354/meps12567

van der Sleen, J. P., Stransky, C., Morrongiello, J. R., Haslob, H., Peharda, M., Black, B. A. (2018): Otolith increments in European plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) reveal temperature and density-dependent effects on growth. ICES Journal of Marine Science. 10.1093/icesjms/fsy011

2017van der Sleen, J. P., Groenendijk, P., Vlam, M., Anten, N. P. R., Bongers, F., Zuidema, P. A. (2017): Trends in tropical tree growth: re-analyses confirm earlier findings. Global Change Biology 23(5), pp. 1761f. 10.1111/gcb.13572

van der Sleen, J. P., Zuidema, P. A., Pons, T. L. (2017): Stable isotopes in tropical tree rings: theory, methods and applications. Functional Ecology 31(9), pp. 1674–1689. 10.1111/1365-2435.12889

Vlam, M., van der Sleen, J. P., Groenendijk, P., Zuidema, P. A. (2017): Tree age distributions reveal large-scale disturbance-recovery cycles in three tropical forests. Frontiers in Plant Science 7(1984). 10.3389/fpls.2016.01984

2016Black, B. A., Griffin, D., van der Sleen, J. P., Wanamaker Jr, A. D., Speer, J. H., Frank, D. C., Stahle, D. W., Pederson, N., Copenheaver, C. A., Trouet, V., Griffin, S., Gillanders, B. M. (2016): The value of crossdating to retain high-frequency variability, climate signals, and extreme events in environmental proxies. Global Change Biology 22(7), pp. 2582–2595. 10.1111/gcb.13256

Sheil, D., Eastaugh, C. S., Vlam, M., Zuidema, P. A., Groenendijk, P., van der Sleen, J. P., Jay, A., Vanclay, J. (2016): Does biomass-growth increase in the largest trees? – Flaws, fallacies, and alternative analyses. Functional Ecology 31(3), pp. 568–581. 10.1111/1365-2435.12775

van der Sleen, J. P., Dzaugis, M. P., Gentry, C., Hall, W. P., Hamilton, V., Helser, T. E., Matta, M. E., Underwood, C. A., Zuercher, R., Black, B. A. (2016): Long-term Bering Sea environmental variability in a centennial-length biochronology of Pacific Ocean perch (Sebastes alutus). Climate Research 71, pp. 33–45. 10.3354/cr01425

2015Groenendijk, P., van der Sleen, J. P., Vlam, M., Bunyavejchewin, S., Bongers, F., Zuidema, P. A. (2015): No evidence for consistent long-term growth stimulation of 13 tropical tree species: results from tree-ring analysis. Global Change Biology 21(10), pp. 3762–3776. 10.1111/gcb.12955

Romero-Seas, A., Toledo, M., Zuidema, P. A., van der Sleen, J. P. (2015): Radial growth of two timber species, Yesquero Blanco (Cariniana ianeirensis) and Serebó (Schizolobium parahyba) in a humid forest in the Province Guarayos, Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Bolivia Ecológica 50(1), pp. 25–38.

van der Sleen, J. P., Groenendijk, P., Vlam, M., Anten, N. P. R., Boom, A., Bongers, F., Pons, T. L., Terburg, G., Zuidema, P. A. (2015): No growth stimulation of tropical trees by 150 years of CO2 fertilization but water-use efficiency increased. Nature Geoscience 8(1), pp. 24–28. 10.1038/ngeo2313

van der Sleen, J. P., Groenendijk, P., Zuidema, P. A. (2015): Tree-ring δ18O in African mahogany (Entandrophragma utile) records regional precipitation and can be used for climate reconstructions. Global and Planetary Change 127, pp. 58–66. 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2015.01.014

van der Sleen, J. P., Vlam, M., Groenendijk, P., Anten, N. P. R., Bongers, F., Hietz, P., Pons, T. L., Zuidema, P. A. (2015): (15)N in tree rings as a bio-indicator of changing nitrogen cycling in tropical forests: an evaluation at three sites using two sampling methods. Frontiers in Plant Science, section Functional Plant Ecology, article 229 6, pp. 1–11. 10.3389/fpls.2015.00229

2013Stropp, J., van der Sleen, J. P., Quesada, C. A., ter Steege, H. (2013): Herbivory and habitat association of tree seedlings in lowland evergreen rainforest on white-sand and terra-firme in the upper Rio Negro. Plant Ecology & Diversity 7(1-2), pp. 255–265. 10.1080/17550874.2013.773103

van der Sleen, J. P., Soliz Gamboa, C., Helle, G., Pons, T. L., Anten, N. P. R., Zuidema, P. A. (2013): Understanding causes of tree growth responses to gap formation: Δ13C-values in tree rings reveal a predominant effect of light. Trees - Structure and Function 28(2), pp. 439–448. 10.1007/s00468-013-0961-2

Zuidema, P. A., Baker, P. J., Groenendijk, P., Schippers, P., van der Sleen, J. P., Vlam, M., Sterck, F. (2013): Tropical forests and global change: filling knowledge gaps. Trends in Plant Science 18(8), pp. 413–419.

2012Martí­nez Ramos, M., Barraza, L., Balbanera, P., Bongers, F., van der Sleen, J. P. (2012): Manejo de bosques tropicales: bases científicas para la conservación, restauración y aprovechamiento de ecosistemas en paisajes rurales. Investigación Ambiental. Ciencia y Politica Publica 4(2), pp. 111–129.

2011Stropp, J., van der Sleen, J. P., Assunção, P. A., da Silva, A. L., ter Steege, H. (2011): Tree communities of white-sand and terra-firme forests of the upper Rio Negro. Acta Amazonica 41(4), pp. 521–544. 10.1590/S0044-59672011000400010 PDF

Book chapters
2010Stropp, J., Ancieto, L., Ramirez, E., Brazão, R., van der Sleen, J. P. (2010): Herbivoria e especificidade de habitat de árvores; florestas de campinarana e de terra firme no alto rio Negro. pp. 181–191. In: Cabalzar, A. (ed.): Manejo do Mundo. Conhecimentos e práticas dos povos indígenas do rio Negro (noroeste amazônico).

2017van der Sleen, J. P., Albert, J. S. (ed.) (2017): Field guide to the fishes in the Amazon, Orinoco and Guianas. 464 pp., Princeton University Press (Princeton, USA) 10.2307/j.ctt1qv5r0f