PhD Thesis Tom Nijman © Elma Hogeboom 2023


to the defence of Tom Nijman

Methane cycling in shallow lakes

Date: 26 May 2023

Time: 12:30 h

The story behind

The COver Design

For this cover design Elma Hogeboom dove deep into the thesis subject. As a fun experiment, she decided to use the subject matter for her material choices, by using algae that were an actual part of the lakes that Tom studied. For the green colour, she made an experimental paint from spirulina green pigment and a binder of Irish moss (which is an algae, as opposed to what the name leads you to believe). By doing so, she has turned the materials she uses into their own storytellers, creating art that is both environmentally conscious and holistic in nature.


PhD Thesis Tom Nijman © Elma Hogeboom 2023

a peek behind the scenes

Making paint from Annatto seeds for a cover design

science meets art meets sustainability

About GreenThesis

Elma Hogeboom is a natural scientist-turned-artist with a passion for sustainability. As a designer I soon learned that many inks and paints used by artists are not so pretty in terms of their environmental performance. In fact, many art materials contain heavy metals and other toxic substances you’d rather not put on your hands or wall.

Leveraging my science background, I researched eco-friendly art alternatives. The result was a green art materials database out of which I could draw to create my works of art that are both beautiful and sustainable

When some years ago I designed the sustainable cover for my husband’s PhD thesis, it needed to be digitized and printed many times. Clearly, it felt only natural to have the dissertation and cover sustainably printed. But yet again I was in for a not-so-green surprise: eco-friendly printing is not common practice.

Hence I dove into my books once more and decided to found ( With GreenThesis, I offer PhD candidates with a green heart the option to both design and print their thesis in an eco-friendly manner. From plastic-free packaging to printing on agricultural waste, and from vegan inks to bike delivery, I can help you find a sustainable solution. 

Elma Hogeboom - Duurzaam Designer en Owner at

"A small publishing company with a big passion for sustainability"

Hightree® Sustainable Publishers

From sustainable Design to printing your PhD Thesis

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