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Personal profile

Personal information


Professor Jacob de Boer is the head of  Environmental and Health. He is professor in Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Chemosphere (Elsevier). In 2013 he was appointed by the Chinese government as National Expert for China for the period 2013-2018. 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 organizations. He has published over 200 peer reviewed articles, 20 book chapters and one book on the analysis and monitoring of environmental contaminants. He has organized many workshops, is a regular contributor to 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 more than 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 was guest-editor of special issues for Trends in Analytical Chemistry (2006, 2013), Chemosphere (2008, 2010, 2013, 2016), Molecular Nutrition and Food Research (2008), and Journal of Chromatography A (2009).


  • 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
  • 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

  • 2017 -  Head of VU Dept. Environment & Health
  • 2012-2015 Director of IVM (VU)
  • 2009-2012  Deputy Director IVM (VU)
  • 2006-now  Chair of Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology (VU)
  • 2006-2016 Head Dept. Chemistry and Biology, IVM (VU)
  • 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)

Liana Bastos Sales
Louise van Mourik
Nick Zwart
Ike van der Veen
Martin Brits
Cornelius Rimayi
Kumelachew Mulu Loha
Ewa Skocszynska
Leonardo Mena Rivera

Selected publications

  • Leslie, H., P.E.G. Leonards, S. Brandsma, J. de Boer, N. Jonkers (2016). Propelling plastics into the circular economy - weeding out the toxics first. Environ. Intern. 94, 230-234.
  • Ballesteros-Gómez, A.M., A. Covaci, J. de Boer (2016). Screening of additives in plastics with high resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry and different ionization sources: direct probe injection (DIP)-APCI, LC-APCI and LC-ion booster ESI. Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 408, 2945-2954.
  • Van Mourik, L., C. Gaus, P. Leonards, J. de Boer (2016).  Chlorinated paraffins – trends in environmental levels - review. Chemosphere 155, 415-428.
  • 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. 85, 9572-9580.
  • Brandsma, S.H., J. de Boer, P.E.G. Leonards (2014). Organophosphorus flame retardants (PFRs) and plasticizers in house and car dust and the influence of electronic equipment. Chemosphere 116, 3-9.
  • Veen, I. van der, J de Boer (2012). Phosphorus flame retardants: Properties, production, environmental occurrence, toxicity and analysis. Chemosphere 88, 1119-1153.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • De Boer, J., P.G. Wester, J.C. Klamer, W.E. Lewis and J.P. Boon (1998). Brominated flame retardants in sperm whales and other marine mammals - a new threat to ocean life? Nature 394, 28-29.

Ancillary activities

  • Elsevier | Amsterdam | Redacteur | 2011-10-01
  • Shanxi Dingxiang Shenyu Science an Technology Co Ltd | Xinzhou, Shanti, China | Adviseur | 2013-07-14

Ancillary activities are updated daily

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

  • 13 Similar Profiles
Flame Retardants Chemical Compounds
Mass spectrometry Chemical Compounds
Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers Chemical Compounds
Gas chromatography Chemical Compounds
Polychlorinated Biphenyls Chemical Compounds
Liquid chromatography Chemical Compounds
Organic pollutants Chemical Compounds
Gas Chromatography Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2003 2018

A review of semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) in the indoor environment occurrence in consumer products, indoor air and dust

Lucattini, L., Poma, G., Covaci, A., de Boer, J., Lamoree, M. H. & Leonards, P. E. G. Jun 2018 In : Chemosphere. 201, June, p. 466-482 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Volatile Organic Compounds
Consumer products
indoor air
volatile organic compound

Contaminants of emerging concern in the Hartbeespoort Dam catchment and the uMngeni River estuary 2016 pollution incident, South Africa

Rimayi, C., Odusanya, D., Weiss, J. M., de Boer, J. & Chimuka, L. 15 Jun 2018 In : Science of the Total Environment. 627, p. 1008-1017 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Contaminants of emerging concern in the Hartbeespoort irrigation Dam catchment and Umngeni River estuary, South Africa

Rimayi, C., Odysanyaa, D., Weiss, J., de Boer, J. & Chimuka, L. 2018 In : Science of the Total Environment. 627, p. 1008-1027 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Effects of environmentally relevant sub-chronic atrazine concentrations on African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) survival, growth and male gonad development

Rimayi, C., Odusanya, D., Weiss, J. M., de Boer, J., Chimuka, L. & Mbajiorgu, F. Jun 2018 In : Aquatic Toxicology. 199, June, p. 1-11 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Xenopus laevis