Without our unexpected meeting, this publication would never have been possible
Scientists rarely get straight to the point. An ode to the unexpected discoveries: how an unexpected meeting of moth expert Astrid Groot, Professor Population & Evolutionary Biology, led to a publication in a renowned trade journal.
Rules for toxins in compost should be better and stricter
The regulations for pollution in compost are lagging behind. Experts want more measurements, legislation and standards. They believe this is badly needed, especially now that compost is becoming increasingly important as a circular soil improver. "It is an illusion that we can standardize everything, but I think it would be good if there were standards for more substances in compost," says Annemarie van Wezel, professor of environmental ecology at the University of Amsterdam.”
A chimpanzee swinging on the ropes in Artis, but also swiping on an iPad
Can you picture it already? In the chimpanzee enclosure, the chimpanzees have had a new pastime for a few weeks. They can go on a virtual food hunt on a tablet. By investigating how the chimpanzees in Artis do this, we gain insight into the development of our own brain. In De Nieuws BV, Patrick Lodiers talks about this with Karline Janmaat, professor by special appointment in cognitive behavioural ecology at Leiden University and ARTIS, and with Evy van Berlo, postdoc researcher at the University of Amsterdam
Chimpansees in Artis go on a virtual hunt for food
In Artis Zoo chimpansees search for food in a tropical forest on a tablet. Karline Janmaat, Professor in Cognitive Behavioural Ecology at IBED, is interviewed by Het Parool: "By studying the food searching behaviour and comparing it to our own behaviour, we gain insights into the develpment of our own brain."
The sea turtle is back, but the ocean floor has been stripped bare
The sea turtle has been doing well for the last twenty years. So good, in fact, that it overgrazes seagrass fields in some places. Scientists from the UvA and WUR, among others, have published about this in the scientific journal Global Change Biology. Arie Vonk, Assistant professor in Benthic Ecology at IBED, is interviewed by Folia to comment on the research.
Folia - 10 November (NL)
Supervision of discharge FrieslandCampina in Wadden Sea rattles
Dairy giant FrieslandCampina annually discharges tons of phosphates, nitrogen and other substances into the Wadden Sea, but the permit for this is very outdated. There are also gaps in supervision. Annemarie van Wezel, Professor of Environmental Ecology at IBED, comments on the issue in Pointer.
IJsselmeer, a biodiverse system?
Not only on the surface of the IJsselmeer area, but also underwater is a fascinating world full of life. However, the biodiversity of the area is under pressure. Can the tide be turned? In ONGEZOUTEN the podcast Harm van der Geest, Assistant Professor of Benthic Ecology at IBED, explains how human choices have influenced biodiversity and looks to the future. How can biodiversity be improved and what role do we play in this?
Hollywood meets science
Actor and environmentalist Leonardi DiCaprio highlighted the importance of the recent study on palm species extinction, co-authored by IBED researcher Daniel Kissling, by sharing the BBC news article on his Twitter account (20M followers) and Instragram account (55M followers).
Not all barnacle geese still migrate
The barnacle goose appears to be able to adapt faster than expected. The animals that decide to breed in the Netherlands due to changes in land use are about as successful as their counterparts that still migrate to the far north. This offers opportunities for nature, says Chiel Boom of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW). He will be awarded a PhD by the University of Amsterdam (IBED) on Friday 14 October.
Shallow Waters - Shifting geographies of two extreme urban deltas
IBED researcher Dr. Harm van der Geest is co-author of the book Shallow Waters, which explores two extreme cases of urbanized shallow water territories – Markermeer/IJsselmeer in the heart of the Netherlands and the Venetian Lagoon. One is probably the most technologically controlled water on Earth, while the other negotiates a balance of natural water cycles, extreme weather, and a robust tourist economy. Providing points of reflection for similar territories where prospective sea level rise in the near future poses urgent questions about human and more-than-human cohabitation, engineering, economy, and both ecological and social metabolisms.
The book has been selected amoung the Best Dutch Book Designs 2021 and can be viewed in the Audi gallery of the Stedelijk Museum (more info). The book has also shown in an exhibition in Onomatopee in Eindhoven (more info).
What do we know about whales?
What do we know about whales? That is the largest animal that lives on earth, this whale is on average about 30 meters long and can weigh up to 150 tons. In the Azores, an archipelago of Portugal, research is being done into the behavior of these mammals. Het Klokhuis joins IBED and NIOZ researchers on a whale expedition to find out how they (over)live under water.
Refined measuring: not conclusive for the time being
The call for more and better measurement of nitrogen emissions and deposition is increasing. One of the studies that many eyes are focused on is that of the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED). Nitrogen expert and researcher Albert Tietema and a number of colleagues have been measuring the distribution and various forms of deposition of nitrogen around two dairy farms since 1 January 2020. Tietema comments on this project in an article by Melkvee.nl
The air around us is full of it: nitrogen. It is one of the most important nutrients for plants and therefore indispensable for life on earth. Still, too much nitrogen can be a problem. IBED researchers Henrik Barmentlo and Claudia Schwennen appear on the popular Dutch educational childeren's show Het Klokhuis to explain the effects of nitrogen deposition (NL).
More than half of the world's palm trees in danger
More than a thousand species of palm tree are at risk of extinction, according to a new study co-authored by IBED scientist Daniel Kissling. Scientists used artificial intelligence to assess risks to the entire palm family, from tall trees to climbing plants. The data gives a much better idea of how many, and which, palm species are under threat. Palms are a huge plant family that provide millions of people with food, drink and shelter.
Dreaming of trout; UvA biologist and students conduct research into nature restoration in streams
Part of the Leuvenum stream on the Veluwe has been returned to nature. Do the insects and other animals thrive on it? This is what aquatic biologist Elmar Becker is investigating together with students of the course Advances in Aquatic Sciences. 'I hope that one day trout or other migratory fish will also swim in the Leuvenum stream.' Becker is interviewed for Folia (NL).
Bonaire government is not enforcing nature protection laws
The owners of TUI-resort Chogogo on Bonaire have illegaly created an artificial beach using river sand, nature protection groups state. Without the proper licences the beach is harmful for natural coral reefs. Mark Vermeij, Professor of Tropical Marine Ecology at IBED, comments on the issue in Trouw and Antillians Dagblad.
From plastic junk to toxic pesticides: the quality of our water is still not doing well.
Annemarie van Wezel, Professor of Environmental Ecology at IBED, is featured in BNR Duurzaam to speak about the water quality in The Netherlands. We are even dangling at the very bottom in Europe with regard to water quality. This can lead to a crisis similar to the current nitrogen issues in a few years, Annemarie explains.
When scientists and farmers cooperate
IBED researchers Annemarie van Wezel and Elly Morriën are interviewed by SPUI magazine on the importance of cooperation between farmers and scientists. They speak about their research for better soil management and protection of water quality.
Can a chimpanzee calculate probability?
Karline Janmaat, professor in cognitive behavioural ecology, is involved in hosting a six-part lecture series in ARTIS covering the results of the latest research on animal psychology. On 2 September Karline was featured in Humberto on radio NPO1 to speak about the series.
What are the similarities and differences between the brains of humans and animals and the way we make decisions?
Karline Janmaat gave an interview (NPO radio 1) about the six-part lecture series, developed by the University of Amsterdam, that will cover the results of the latest research on animal psychology. On October 28, the students will present, during a symposium, their ideas for behavioral research in ARTIS.
Push through with nitrogen reduction
A group of 36 leading scientists, including IBEDs Prof. Franciska de Vries and Prof. Annemarie van Wezel, are combining their voices to give a strong signal to politicians and involved parties. The science is clear: nitrogen deposition has to be reduced as soon as possible. Putting the scientific basis up for discussion is unnecessary and cause for unwanted delays.
The mouflon versus the wolf
The clash between the mouflon and the wolf in Park Hoge Veluwe is cause for discussion between mouflon enhousiasts and wolf fanatics. Jan Sevink, emeritus professor at IBED, shares his opinion on the matter in Nederlands Dagblad
Achoo! Sponges 'sneeze' to get rid of waste
Sponges sneeze in order to get rid of waste. This process produces a type of slime that is eaten by small sea creatures. This publication was featured in 250+ news articles around the globe. IBED researchers Niklas Kornder and Jasper de Goeij were interviewed for many articles.
10 August - A selection:
Too much PFAS in nature worldwide
All over the world there is too much PFAS in water and the soil. Annemarie van Wezel, Professor of Environmental Ecology at IBED, explains in NRC: 'It was already suspected that the planetary boundary had been crossed, and now it turns out that at for at least four PFAS this is the case. This shows that we have to be extremely careful with the use of persistent substances in particular, which accumulate in the environment. We need to be more critical about whether such substances are really necessary in everyday life.'
Swimming in lake full of blue-green algae, cooling but not wise
With the increasing temperatures many people seek out a refreshing dive. Unfortunately, the heat also promotes the growth of dangerous blue-green algae. Petra Visser, Associate Professor of Algal Ecophysiology at IBED, comments in Brabants Dagblad on the risks of contact with blue-green algae.
Quality of Dutch waters is bad and hardly improving
The quality of Dutch waters is poor, and water managers are extremely pessimistic about the chances of improvement. Annemarie van Wezel, professor of Environmental Ecology at IBED, comments in Haarlems Dagblad: "The chemical targets are mainly not being met by problem substances from the past. They are substances such as some flame retardants that can no longer be used, but that are still in the sediments and then leach into the waters."
Dunes thrive without the fallow deer
Due to an exploding population of fallow deer, the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen turned into a barren landscape. In a few closed-off areas, nature shows its resilience. IBED PhD candidate Daan Kinsbergen studies these closed-off areas and comments in Trouw on his research.
Water crisis will be the new nitrogen crisis
Dutch water quality is getting worse and is not within set norms. Annemarie van Wezel, professor of Environmental Ecology at IBED, comments in NRC: 'Too little attention has been paid to the real causes: reducing the emission of pollutants. There are many parallels with the nitrogen crisis: the difficult measures have not been taken."
Large Dutch polar expedition sets off
Corina Brussaard, microbiologist at Nioz and professor at IBED, is interviewed by de Volkskrant on the coming Dutch polar expedition that includes climate scientists, biologist and sociologists. Brussaard: 'It's also nice to be together with so many researchers from different disciplines, and it sometimes leads to surprising research. We have the equipment to measure viruses and bacteria in seawater, and another researcher was looking at reindeer. He asked us: can you also analyze our reindeer poop? That's what we did.'
Albert Tietema, associate professor at IBED and nitrogen expert, comments in Veldpost on the ongoing research performed by IBED on the nitrogen diposition in the surroundings of two Dutch dairy farms. Albert gives an update on the progress of the research, and elaborates on the methods used for measurements.
Getting rid of PFAS: easier said than done
Annemarie van Wezel, professor of environmental ecology at IBED, shares insights on the dangers of PFAS and what can be done in the future to reduce PFAS pollution of the environment.
Largest bacterium in the world measures up to 2 centimeters
Gerard Muijzer, professor of microbial systems ecology at IBED, shares his thoughts on a new study published in Science describing the biggest bacterium in the world. The longest specimens of Thiomargarita magnifica measured up to 2 centimeters, which is around 5000 times bigger than a typical bacterium. “Even I still tell my students in lectures that bacteria are small and simple creatures, yet these kind of findings contradict that more and more,” Muijzer admits.
Largest known bacteria in the world are visible to the naked eye
Gerard Muijzer, professor of microbial systems ecology at IBED, shares his opinion about the newly published Science paper on the discovery of the worlds largest known bacterium Thiomargarita magnifica. “The impact of the study is enormous. All microbiology textbooks mention that bacteria are small and simple. However, the results described in this paper will completely change our view on these aspects,” says Muijzer
Exclusive interview with the President of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology
IBED Professor and President of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB), Astrid Groot, is interviewed by Scientia. She discusses the many ways that the society supports scientists and helps to advance the diverse field of evolutionary biology.
The animals can be saved if half of the worlds land area becomes protected
44 percent of all land area needs protection in order to prevent the extinction of endangered animals around the planet, concludes a new study published in Science. IBED researcher Daniel Kissling supervised the large-scale project and is interviewed by Trouw to elaborate on the findings.
Latest ‘plan for the planet’ calls for protecting 44% of land, home to 1.8b humans
A new study published in Science says 44% of Earth’s terrestrial area needs conservation attention to halt the runaway destruction of the natural world. IBED researcher James Allan, lead author of the study, comments on the results in South Africa Today.
Overgrowth in Noord-Holland: a nuisance for humans or a blessing for nature?
The Gooimeer and Markermeer lakes are tormented by overgrowing pondweed. Ecologist Harm van der Geest tells NH Nieuws he does not think that plants should be declared the enemy right away as overgrowth of pondweed is a sign of cleaner waters.
PFAS: how toxic is your pan?
Many very useful household products contain PFAS: a water and fat resistant chemical. This becomes an issue because these chemicals are not only very harmful to your own health and to the environment, but they are also very difficult to degrade. What should we do with such 'eternal chemicals'? Annemarie van Wezel, Professor of Environmental Ecology at IBED, explains in a video.
Nearly half of planet's land in need of 'conservation attention' to halt biodiversity crisis
Almost half the planet’s land surface needs extra conservation protection if the biodiversity crisis is to be halted. This was shown in a study by 19 scientists from institutions in the UK, US, Australia, Italy and the Netherlands that was published in Science. James Allan, who led the research at UvA, says in The Guardian that the study shows the urgency of the biodiversity crisis, as well as the opportunity to act.
Fast beaked whales hunt in the deep sea
The TV show on nature ‘ Vroege Vogels’ interviews Fleur Visser on her research into the unusual hunting strategies of beaked whales.
What goes wrong with the Dutch water quality?
The Netherlands will almost certainly not be able to meet European water quality standards by 2027. How is that possible? Annemarie van Wezel states that we avoid intervening where it really hurts: reducing the emissions of nutrients and chemicals.
Self-medication by dolphins
Fleur Visser comments on research by a German and Swiss team and the Dolphins Watch Alliance who found that beaked whales use chemicals released by corals to cure skin diseases.
Where have the hedges gone?
Several media report on the presentation of a book by Kenneth Rijsdijk entitled: ‘Heg, een behaaglijk landschap voor mens en natuur’.
The book is a plea for the return of hedges to the landscape, as this simple intervention is good for nature, species richness, carbon capture and flood prevention. The book was presented to the directors of NIOO-KNAW and Stichting Deltaplan Biodiversiteitsherstel on 16 May.
Rivers suffer from colorful fashion
The dyeing of textiles is the most polluting part in the production of our clothing. This is mainly due to the large amount of water needed for the dye baths, Annemarie van Wezel told the NOS..
Climate change will lead to more and earlier algal blooms
Blue green algae already affect the quality of swimming waters. Petra Visser explains in RTL nieuws that the health effect should be taken seriously: ‘The poison is comparable to that of a cobra’
Surprising hunting strategy of beaked whales
Fleur Visser explained in Vroege Vogels that North Sea beaked whales differ greatly from related species in their swimming and hunting strategies. They swim and hunt much faster and make shorter deep dives. It explains how the different species do not 'get in the way' in the deep sea. The great diversity of specialized strategies allows each species to be successful in its own deep-sea niche.
This may be the most important creature on earth…
Katja Peijnenburg tells about plankton in the Ocean series of Klokhuis
Walking lecture as part of the StrandLAB Festival
On May 13, Harm van der Geest and architect Lada Hršak will give a walking lecture along the coastal strip of the IJmeer as part of the StrandLAB Festival. They talk about their study Shallow Waters, which they presented earlier at the architecture biennale in Venice.
Peatlands are much better CO2 sponges than tropical jungle
In the newspaper Trouw, Jef Huisman comments on a Science paper by Utrecht ecology colleagues, which shows that peatlands, mangroves and other wetlands are of great importance for the natural storage of CO2.
How can we make new nature?
On April 24, Harm van der Geest gave a children's lecture in Nemo about new nature.
On May 3, he explains to Folia what it is like to teach such a different target group.
Nature is an ally in the fight against climate change. Why do we use it so little?
IBED researchers Dr Boris Jansen, Prof. Franciska de Vries and Prof. Annemarie van Wezel wrote an opinion paper in the newspaper Trouw, in which they state that we should use nature much more in the fight against climate change.
More collision risks for migratory birds
On the way between their breeding and wintering areas, European breeding birds encounter more and more obstacles like wind turbines and high-voltage cables. Newspaper NRC talked to IBED Professor Willem Bouten about the effect of energy infrastructure on migratory birds following a recent article that he co-authored in the Journal of Applied Ecology.
How to design safe and sustainable chemicals
Phys.org reports about a new study by IBED researchers Joanke van Dijk, Hannah Flerlage, Annemarie van Wezel and colleagues, that was recently published in Chemosphere. They present a new method for (re)designing safe and sustainable chemicals.
Less biodiversity: a quiet disaster with giga consequences
It is well known that our climate is not doing well, but far fewer people know that the loss of biodiverisyt is a crisis that is not inferior to it in terms of impact. IBED Prof. Franciska de Vries talks about biodiversity as the source of life on BNR radio.
Vroege Vogels TV about Plankton
The 100th episode of Vroege Vogels TV is all about the basis of life: plankton. These almost invisible animals and plants are of vital importance for life on earth. IBED and Naturalis research Katja Peijnenburg tells about her research on sea butterflies and how these organisms are largely affected by ocean acidication.
Orka-fear preditcs sonar avoidance
Whales and dolphins that react strongly to the presence of orcas also react strongly to sonar noise. They miss out on food because they don't forage much when that noise is heard. IBED Postdoc Fleur Visser responds to these new research resulst in Bionieuws.
High temperatures at the poles: 'We should be much more concerned'
Temperatures of 20 to 30 degrees above average have been recorded in Antarctica and in the Arctic in recent weeks. How did that happen? And are we actually paying enough attention to the issue? IBED professor Francsiska de Vries responds to this news and the new IPCC climate report in Folia.
GLUBS library will map sounds of marine mammals, fish and invertebrates
Researchers from different countries will bring together sounds from marine mammals, fish and invertebrates in a large database called GLUBS. IBED researcher Fleur Visser talks about the new library at NPO Radio 1.
Traces of paramos in the Amazon from 15 million years ago?
A team of scientists, led by IBED researcher Carina Hoorn, made an unprecedented discovery: they found evidence of fossil traces of paramo plants in the Amazon. The Colombian newspaper El Espectador reports about the research that shows that there is a vital connection between this region and the Andes, but that humans are now destroying it.
The predator is faster, and still his prey escapes (in most cases)
The predator is bigger, stronger and faster than its prey. That is the rule in nature. And yet in 90 percent of the cases, the prey manages to escape. How is that possible? Newspaper Trouw writes about the research of IBED Researcher Ben Martin, who studies how prey escape their predator in coral reefs.
Solution for avian influenza: 'Eating less poultry and eggs'
The avian influenze outbreaks in the Netherlands have been increasing since 2014, this year there were already 28 outbreaks. How worrisome is that? IBED Professor Bart Nolet, special chair waterfowl movement ecology, tells us what the behavior of migratory birds teaches us about avian influenza.
What is so interesting about studying dodos? Lucien Geelhoed from Radio Weetlust talks with IBED researcher and dodo expert Kenneth Rijsdijk about the fact that the dodo was much more than a clumsy bird. Kenneth also talks about other aspects of his work.
Dog poo harmful to nature areas
IBED researchers Henrik Barmentlo talks to Nieuwsuur about how dog waste may harm nature reserve biodiversity by fertilising the soil.
Franciska de Vries in 'Met het oog op morgen' about a dog ban on the Veluwe
Farmers are calling for a dog ban on the Veluwe now that Flemish resaerch shows that dog poo contributes to the nitrogen problem. IBED professor Franciska de Vries comments on the research in the radio program 'Met het oog op morgen'.
How mites manipulate plants
Spider mites can suppress the natural defense system of plants by manipulating the plant genes with proteins in their saliva. This allows them to propagate themselves faster. EOS Wetenschap reports about the PhD research of Josephine Blaazer, under supervision of IBED researcher Merijn Kant, that reveals new insights in this mechanism and offers perspectives for a new form of pest control.
Hungry sea sponges feast on fossils atop an extinct underwater volcano
In the Arctic Ocean, scientists have discovered a thriving ecosystem where food appeared to be nearly nonexistent. IBED researcher Jasper de Goeij responds to the study for National Geographic: 'The finding that sponges use food sources that other organisms cannot is very cool.'
How the discovery of a moth sex gene could lead to crucial insecticide
European corn borer moths are one of the biggest causes of damage to crops, tunneling their way through vegetables and fruit. It costs nearly $2 billion a year in the U.S. to monitor and control the hungry insect. AgroPages reports about a recent study that reveals a way to predict mating habits and develop a possible 'insecticide' to stop reproduction comes from the European corn borer moth’s reproductive genes. The study was co-authored by IBED professor Astrid Groot.
Fungi in the city
There are thousands of billions of kilometers fungal threads in the city. They are extremely important for plants to absorb nutrients. But how much influence do these fungi actually have? Can fungi help the unhealthy trees in Amsterdam? IBED researcher Vincent Merckx thinks so. Together with Biology student Cas Verbeek they sample fungi all over the city. Radio Vroege Vogels joined them on one of their excursions.
Two little swans researchers on the road
They share a love for the Bewick's Swan and together they represent more than forty years of research into this water bird. However, they had never met each other: the newly started Bewick's Swan researcher Hans Linssen (PhD candidate at IBED) and Bewick's swan 'guru' Wim Tijsen. Together with radio Vroege Vogels they traveled to the Randmeren to look at their research object.