KNAW grant for five UvA biologists
Biologists Martijn Bart, Ineke Knot, Rob Kroes, Gea van der Lee and Benjamin Mueller from the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (UvA) have received a grant from the KNAW Ecology Fund. The grant will allow them to carry out field work for their research.
The biologists are working on various studies all over the world. Martijn Bart is researching how sponges function in deep-sea reefs. Benjamin Mueller focuses on how they function in tropical coral reefs. Rob Kroes is tracking the migration of fish in the Markermeer, a Dutch lake. Gea van der Lee is using isotope research to learn about the influence of eutrophication on aquatic food webs. Ineke Knot is the only biologist who is not working with aquatic organisms. Instead, she uses a portable DNA sequencing technique to monitor the health of great apes in Tanzania.
Although the researchers submitted their requests independently of each other, it is striking that four of the five IBED biologists also work for the same department, soon to become the Freshwater and Marine Ecology (FAME) department, beginning 1 May 2017, following the merger of the Aquatic Microbiology department and the Aquatic Environmental Ecology department. By means of an interdisciplinary approach, the department aims to unravel the workings of both freshwater and saltwater ecosystems.
The KNAW Ecology Fund supports ecological field work both at home and abroad, and ecological research abroad carried out by young researchers who work in the Netherlands. Projects on fundamental scientific issues and research which aims to find an effective solution to problems encountered in the field are eligible. An expert jury of members of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) selects the winning proposals. Five of the eighteen awards in this round went to the UvA biologists.