Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

Core committee

The core committee oversees the organisation of all activities of the PhD/PD council, including monthly seminars and open meetings with IBED management.

PhD researchers, IBED management and the overarching FNWI PhD council all independently voiced the need for (re)establishing a PhD and PostDoc council during summer 2014. The core committee initiated the new council in the subsequent months and oversees the organisation of all activities of the council, including monthly seminars and open meetings with IBED management. The committee publishes minutes of all its meetings online and actively solicits input from PhDs and PostDocs with regard to important debates in the organisation of the institute.

2017 Core Committee:

  • Ms L.C.G. (Louise) Lassalle MSc

    PhD Candidate

    Chair of the committee
    T: 0205258421

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Louise joined the theoretical ecology team at IBED in september 2014 as a PhD candidate. She is part of the PhD council because she feels concerned about creating a nice and productive working enviroment. Louise also hopes being part of the council will help her understand better how a research institute works and will bring many opportunities to meet other PhDs from IBED and exchange ideas. 


Ernesto is a PhD student interested in studying the evolutionary processes that occur in nature and in man-made environments. Previously, he obtained two bachelors in Ecuador, one in Biology and one in Applied Ecology. Later on, he obtained my masters degree in Ecology and Evolution at the UvA. Currently, he is doing his PhD in the Evolutionary Biology group within IBED, looking at the genomic signals left by the process of host-race formation in a pest mite species. After being part of the UvA for the last three years, he joined the PhD Council to help develop a platform that enhances the grad-school experience, and also to proactively link the interests of the students in the institute with those of the faculty. 


Tom started his PhD project in the Microbial Systems Ecology group in February 2014, after getting his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Life Science and Technology at the University of Leiden and the University of Technology Delft. He studies the ecophysiology of sulfur-oxidizing bacteria originating from the extreme environment of soda lakes, which have a high pH and are often extremely saline. Tom joined the council because he enjoys helping to improve the environment the PhD students and postdocs work in and gaining a better understanding of the inner workings of the institute and the university.


Renske Onstein is a Postdoc in macro-evolution and -ecology, associated to IBED's Computational Geo-Ecology group. She is interested in global diversity patterns and the processes driving those. Currently her research focuses on the interaction between frugivores and fruit functional traits and how this may have affected diversification rates in the palm family. Renske joined the PhD and Postdoc Council to help connect young researchers across the Institute and to plan activities and events.


Jacques started as a postdoc in the theoretical ecology group at IBED in July 2015. His research is partly experimental and partly theoretical, with a focus on the role of dispersal in eco-evolutionary dynamics.

Jacques joined the PhD/Postdoc council to help postdocs to connect, highlight opportunities that could aid in postdoc development, but also provide a platform for postdocs to view their concerns.


Baptiste is a PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam (ESS & AEE) and at the VU University of Amsterdam (Department of Molecular Cell Biology) since May 2015. His researches are focused on the adaptation of microorganisms to environmental pollution and its implication in the biodegradation of persistent chemicals. Baptiste joined the PhD/PD council to contribute to the social life of the university, and to try to connect the PhD students and postdoc of the University of Amsterdam and the Vu University of Amsterdam.


  • Ms M.J. (Marian) Cabrera Pantoja MSc

    PhD Candidate

Marian did her bachelor in Biology in Colombia, and since her undergraduate thesis, she is strongly interested in ecology. Between 2009 and 2011, she did her Master in Ecology and Evolution at the University of Amsterdam. After getting some job experience back in Colombia, in 2013 she joined again the UvA, working this time on her  PhD project in the Paleocology and Landscape Ecology Group. Her project focuses on understanding how plant traits and functional diversity in paramo ecosystems respond to different scenarios of land use, and how plant traits influence paramo recovery through the effect on biomass production.

She think the Council committee is a good place for exchanging ideas form members with different backgrounds. This advantage can help us to address, in a very creative way, most issues that concerns the IBED. 


  • Ms S.F. (Silke) van Daalen MSc

    PhD Candidate
    T: 0205258419

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Silke spent most of her master’s program Ecology and Evolution doing research with the Theoretical Ecology group at the UvA. She has just started her PhD on developing Markov chains with rewards models for calculating the lifetime reproductive output of a species, and applying these methods to human, plant and animal populations.

Silke joined the PhD council to become more involved in the organization of IBED. She hopes to contribute to a friendly working and learning environment, where PhD’s and Postdocs can come together to meet each other, discuss their work, solve problems, and generally have a good time at IBED.


Published by  IBED


9 January 2017