Professor Carlo Heip was the former director and now senior advisor of the Royal Netherlands Institute of Sea Research and professor at the universities of Groningen (Netherlands) and Gent (Belgium). He has conducted research on benthic biology with a gradual shift from brackish waters and population dynamics of meiofauna (seventies) to impact studies and ecotoxicology (seventies and early eighties) to biogeochemistry and ecology of sediments (nineties) in estuarine, shallow coastal and deep-sea environments. In the first decade of the 21st century he became engaged in several international marine biodiversity programmes and was active in the Scientific Steering Committees of Diversitas, SCOPE and the Census of Marine Life. He was also general coordinator of the EU Network of Excellence MarBEF (Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning).
He was the principal scientist for over 20 major four year projects in basic research and over 20 applied research projects in Belgium and was a member of the national IGPB committee and chair of the national LOICZ committee in the Netherlands. He has coordinated many EU Projects including JEEP (Joint European Estuaries Project, ECOFLAT (Ecology of Tidal Flats), MATURE (Ecology and Biogeochemistry of the Maximum Turbidity Zone, BIOMARE’ (Implementation of Long Term Large Scale Marine Biodiversity Research in Europe), MARBENA (Infrastructure for Marine Biodiversity Research in Europe) and the Network of Excellence MARBEF (Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning), EU 6th FP.