The research by Bart Hoekstra (UvA-IBED), among others, into the impact of fireworks on birds was picked up by many media in the run-up to New Year's Eve. An anthology was posted earlier in December; here's a sequel.
A deadly drug-resistant fungus called Candida auris has been spreading at an alarming rate, posing a significant threat to public health. First discovered only ten years ago, this species can cause fatal infections in individuals with compromised immune systems, and is now found worldwide. Auke de Jong warns that infections have dramatically increased over the past decade.
A new study led by Bart Hoekstra into the effect of lighting fireworks on birds has received a lot of media attention within and outside the Netherlands.
Desperation about the lack of climate policy is logical, writes Fabian Dablander. But that is precisely a reason to do something.
Local medium At5 has an extensive article and TV report about soil pollution in the Amsterdamse Bos and how the municipality of Amsterdam is keeping quiet about this. Emeritus professor of environmental chemistry Pim de Voogt (UvA-IBED) is concerned about the possible health effects of the substances found and calls for more research.
Bonobos were already known as friendly monkeys. A new study from Harvard University of the monkey species in the wild shows that they also work together with monkeys that do not belong to their own group. They groom each other, make friends and share food. IBED Scientist Evy van Berlo comments: 'If food is not scarce, you don't have to fight for it. Bonobos evolved in an area where there was usually enough food. Then aggressive behavior is undesirable.'
In the forest of Congo, women of the Mbendjele BaYaka sing more often when they search for food with women they know less well, according to research by Karline Janmaat and Henkjan Honing. NRC reports on this research into the role of music as a social lubricant.
Franciska de Vries is cited in an article of the Guardian about the nitrogen issue in the Netherlands.
Research by Hans Linssen and colleagues shows that the little swan is wintering further and further north thanks to climate change. University magazine Folia spoke to him about the research.
Through the national initiative Arise, biologists from IBED are investigating the status of biodiversity in the Amsterdam Water Supply Dunes. NRC took a look at the site with location manager Rotem Zilber. Recently, about 65 wildlife cameras have been installed in the area that fully automatically photograph mammals.
A press release about the research showing that the presumed extinct houting, a fish species that lived in North Sea estuaries, is still very much alive has been picked up by various international media. Rob Kroes explains how he and his colleagues discovered through DNA from North Sea woodfish conserved in museums that the species is genetically similar to the surviving species called European whitefish.
Newspaper De Volkskrant has a background article about the extinction of animal and plant species due to human actions. They spoke to 5 biologists who are all trying to save a species that is in danger of disappearing from the Netherlands. One of them is Gerard Oostermeijer, who is committed to a plant species called rosary.
Episode five of the popular science television program "Govert to the core of the earth" focuses on the 'living planet'. Govert Schilling discusses the origins of life on earth. One of the scientists he speaks with is Franciska de Vries. The camera crew spent a lot of time at a field experiment in the Veluwe, where Francisca de Vries and her team are investigating how much CO2 the vegetation on site absorbs from the air, what the vegetation (and soil life on site) emits and how this affects everything. Francisca also explains how plants have created a fertile, organic soil layer on the earth's crust.
This spring, experiments were carried out for the first time with the 'start-stop system' in the offshore wind farms at Borssele and Egmond aan Zee. Based on a calculation model on bird migration by Maja Bradarić and additional advice from bird migration experts. After this successful trial, the 'start-stop protocol' in wind farms in the North Sea will really start this autumn. When there is a strong migration of birds, the wind turbines almost go out.
The midge from the suborder of mosquitoes comes in more than 6,000 species and lives all over the world. There are more than 300 different species of midges in the Netherlands alone. Not all of those species sting and of the species that do, only the females do it. They sting people and animals because they need a 'blood meal' to develop their eggs. Some species can transmit viruses to other animals when they sting. " A midge looks very different from a mosquito. It is much smaller and has the shape of a fighter jet," says Piet Verdonschot "If you are bitten by a mosquito, you can sometimes kill it in time. With a midge you won't be able to do that. The moment you feel the sting, it is already gone."
Bewick’s swans fly less far during their autumn migration when the weather is warm. Climate change has therefore led to a shift in their common wintering areas.
Chemicals & Chemistry daily published an article about the IBED research showing that the harmful cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa PCC7806 is more resistant to hydrogen peroxide at elevated CO2.
The BBC currently has a weekly podcast about the wonderful world of bacteria. In episode 3, 'Our interconnected planet', Franciska de Vries is a guest. Almost at the beginning of the broadcast, she speaks about, among other things, the origins of bacterial life on Earth.
In the TV program about the discharge of toxic substances by the Chemical company Chemours, Annemarie van Wezel gave an nterview.
"Smarter tests are urgently needed" says Piet Verdonschot. "Changed behavior of organisms can also have major consequences. If a substance slows them down, their chances of survival may decrease. And if one species disappears, an entire ecosystem can collapse."
This summer, a group of Master's students in Biology conducted research into blue-green algae in the Sloterplas and the Nieuwe Meer. University magazine Folia went along and made a report in which, in addition to several students, supervisors Yuri Sinzato and Petra Visser also have their say.
Research by William Gosling and Crystal McMichael takes a new look at the resilience of the largest rainforest in the world: the Amazon. Historical land use there has led to forest areas that are more resistant to forest fires and drought. In Folia they talk about their studies.
The Ocean Cleanup, the prestige project that earned former TU Delft student Boyan Slat international fame, has been running for ten years now. The popular science website NEMO Kennislink addresses the question of whether the project is indeed the solution against plastic in the oceans. Antonia Praetorius raises several questions, including regarding ecological damage caused by the method used
On September 12, the highly anticipated report by Albert Tietema and Emiel van Loon was published regarding their research into the spatial distribution of nitrogen deposition around dairy farms. The report received a lot of media attention, and it was striking that various media gave their own interpretation to the research. In an interview with Folia, the researchers also discuss these incorrect interpretations. According to them, the results do not mean that buying out peak loaders is useless, or that this study puts a bomb under the government's policy on nitrogen. In the trade journal Boerderij, Tietema also addresses the (unjustified) claim that the research shows that the RIVM's OPS model significantly overestimates nitrogen deposition.
Annemarie van Wezel was recently heard and read in various media about pollution of the environment with PFAS. On Radio1 she discussed the pollution found in the water near Leidschenveen and gave more explanation about the problem with PFAS in general. Annemarie Van Wezel comes into the broadcast around 00:41:45 in the recording; the accompanying report on a residents' meeting in Leidschenveen about the PFAS found starts around 00:37:45. In addition, she and Mohammad Sadia recently spoke with the investigative journalism platform Follow the Money about the PFAS problem.
Flying further does not ensure a higher chance of survival or breeding success during the migration of lesser black-backed gulls, according to research by IBED together with NIOZ. The Leeuwarder Courant paid attention to the study and spoke about it with Roos Kentie.
Mark Vermeij's research showed how important some fish are for the survival of coral reefs. Take the parrotfish, a species that likes to eat algae. “Due to an excess of nutrients in the water, you sometimes get competing algae to bloom, which means that corals don't have room to grow. Therefore, provide a good population of herbivorous (plant-eating, MK) fish, such as parrotfish, and a reef's chance of recovery increases enormously. So don't fish it all out."
In the course of every summer, the quality of bathing water is a thorny issue. Researchers from the University of Amsterdam come to the Veerplas near Harlem to conduct research into blue-green algae. Annemieke comes to Spaarnwoude every week to take samples. She is still busy with her research, but confirms that there are blue-green algae in the water.
The sea water in the Caribbean recently rose above 38 degrees in some places. Mark Vermeij explains in the Reformatorisch Dagblad what this does to the local coral reefs.
Male moths get part of the chemicals that they use during courtship from plants. Researchers from the University of Amsterdam and North Carolina State University published at the beginning of August about this study in the scientific journal Current Biology. Astrid Groot is one of the researchers and talked about this discovery "It is a new discovery that the courtship pheromone of this moth contains substances from plants".
Although Peter Coesel has officially retired, he still conducts research into desmidiaceae at the UvA two days a week. In the Netherlands he is regarded as the expert in the field of these beautiful single-celled organisms. NRC has an interview with him about his passion
The widely accepted concept of 'the tree line' - the boundary in, for example, the mountains or in the direction of the North Pole above which no more trees can grow - is less simple than it seems. NRC has a background article about the fact that it is less easy to say exactly where the tree line is than you might think. One of the experts who will be speaking is Henry Hooghiemstra (UvA-IBED).
In certain areas in the Amazon, forests that were altered by humans during the past several hundred years may contain higher abundances of plant species that are more resilient to modern fire or drought events. This is the message of a new perspective paper in the scientific journal People and Nature by Crystal McMichael and William Gosling.
Astrid Groot is among the team of researchers from the UvA and North Carolina State University that made a significant discovery. They successfully pinpointed the precise combination of pheromone chemicals employed by male moths during their courtship rituals. This breakthrough sheds light on the intricate chemical blend utilized by both male and female moths within this moth group for essential short-range communication. The results of their study were published in the esteemed scientific journal Current Biology.
After years of being eaten bare by thousands of fallow deer, nature in the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen is slowly recovering. Sixteen landscaped exclosures in the nature reserve should provide insight into the recovery of the flora and fauna without the presence of the hungry deer. The research is approached on a large scale: ten researchers with various specialisms keep an eye on developments within and outside the exclosures with volunteers. One of them is Gerard Oostermeijer, who specializes in the ecological effects of endangered and invasive species, in this case a large grazer with an insatiable appetite for rare flora.
Heat waves are currently occurring in many regions around the world. In many ocean regions, this could lead to major coral bleaching in the coming months. "The fact that sea temperatures are so high so early in the summer is extraordinary," Verena Schoepf told the Science Media Center (SMC). "Many coral reefs in the Caribbean are already severely depleted and only have a few corals left. In the coming weeks and months, coral reefs in the northern hemisphere in particular are at greater risk of bleaching."
Daily newspaper FD has an article about how landscape restoration through the construction of hedges and hedgerows brings farmers and nature organizations together. In this article, Kenneth Rijsdijk talks about the ecological importance of hedges
IBED is currently conducting research into the blooming of blue-green algae in the Grote Plas of the Delftse Hout area. Folia spoke to Dedmer van de Waal (UvA-IBED & NIOO) about this research. He expects that due to climate change we will increasingly have problems with blue-green algae in recreational lakes.
It is important to limit the impact of new offshore wind farms on birds as much as possible (the choice of location for wind farms, additional measures and constant research and monitoring help reduce the number of victims among birds at sea). For example, the University of Amsterdam made a model to predict the flight of migratory birds and to determine in which nights the largest part passes. At those times, the blades can be stopped in advance.
A new model clarifies why millions of years ago more animal species from Asia made the leap to the Australian continent than the other way around: the climate in which the species evolved played an important role. This study was published by the renowned scientific journal Science on 7 July, with two co-authors from the Universities of Amsterdam and Utrecht.
Daily newspaper AD has an article about bird collisions with windmills. Willem Bouten (UvA-IBED, emeritus) speaks in it. He talks about possible measures, including the bird radar developed at the UvA, which can be used to predict when large groups of birds will pass by and wind turbines should be shut down for a while. The article has also appeared in the regional newspapers affiliated with the AD group (eg De Stentor).
University magazine Folia focuses on the project of Lies Jacobs and Antonia Praetorius on microplastics that are released during the washing of clothes. The piece mainly deals with the citizen science aspect of the project.
During work on the estate it was discovered that peat was dug on a large scale around 1470, and was probably also sold illegally outside the borders. Jan Sevink talks about this special discovery
The Dutch version of New Scientist reports on a new study according to which plants transfer many gigatons of CO2 to their mycorrhizal fungi every year. For example, these soil fungi living on and around plant roots absorb a significant part of human CO2 emissions, according to the researchers involved. Elly Morriën, who was not involved in the research herself, comments.
In May, windmills off the Dutch coast were shut down for the first time to allow migratory birds to pass through. Ecologist Maja Bradaric talks to Kester Freriks about the model she designed for this.
Radio program Vroege Vogels made a report on the spot of the pilot project Maatwerk met Meetwerk in the Liefstinghsbroek nature reserve in Groningen. The project revolves around the fine-meshed measurement of actual nitrogen deposition in the area. UvA-IBED is one of the (many) partners of the project.
On the occasion of the International Day of Biodiversity 2023, the scientific publisher Elsevier published a report this week that takes an in-depth look at Dutch biodiversity research compared to that of other countries worldwide. Daniel Kissling leads the list of 12 most productive biodiversity researchers in the Netherlands.
For her PhD project, Nelleke Buitendijk investigated the impact of grazing by geese on agriculture, and how to deal with the interests of farmers versus those of nature when it comes to these animals. She talked about this in the program dr. Kelder & Co on NPO Radio 1.
Researchers at IBED are developing methods to quantify and predict bird migration in collaboration with different stakeholders. A predictive model developed by Maja Bradarić, together with Bart Kranstauber, Willem Bouten and Judy Shamoun-Baranes during her PhD, is now part of protocol for wind energy curtailment over the North Sea developed by Rijkswaterstaat for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. The protocol was tested for the first time at two offshore windparks near Borselle and Egmond aan Zee on 13 May 2023. The research is part of the Open Technology Programme, project Interactions between birds and offshore wind farms: drivers, consequences and tools for mitigation (project number 17083), which is financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) Domain Applied and Engineering Sciences, in collaboration with the following public and private partners: Rijkswaterstaat and Gemini wind park
The deposition of nitrogen in the dunes has decreased considerably since the early 1990s. This has led to less high and less dense grass mats in the dune landscape. Good news, because the soil now receives more sunlight, which offers opportunities for the dune pansy, the dune heron's bill and other species that belong in the Dutch dunes. However, species richness has not yet been restored. This has emerged from new research by Annemieke Kooijman in collaboration with Waternet Amsterdam.
Bird boxes with smart cameras help biologists determine what bird parents feed their young. The NOS has a news item about this. They spoke to Emily Burdfield-Steel, who uses this technology to investigate, among other things, whether birds in the city have a different diet than birds in the forest.
The windmills in Borssele and Egmond aan Zee were temporarily shut down on Saturday. A test to help migratory birds safely across the North Sea. IBED researcher Maja Bradarić explains this further.
Daily newspaper "NRC" has an interview with Evy van Berlo (IBED) about her research into the behavior of bonobos. For her PhD research at Leiden University, she conducted years of research with these great apes and with human visitors in the Apenheul.
Between 1 May and 1 October, biologists from IBED, together with colleagues from NIOO-KNAW, are conducting research into blue-green algae in the large lake in Delftse Hout. The aim of the research is to gain more insight into blue-green algae and the toxins they produce. The local newspapers of the AD group, among others, reported on this, as did the program Early Birds, and De Telegraaf also published a (very concise) report
Washing clothes may be cool for us, but not so nice for the surface water. Every wash of synthetic clothing releases plastic microfibers that are bad for the environment. At the University of Amsterdam, an entire team has conducted research into this with the help of so-called 'citizen scientists'. In the lab you can't really imitate washings that we all do every day. Bernou Boven is one of the researchers.
'Look, there's F.AXF. In any case, it's back!" When gull researcher Roos Kentie walks into 'her' gull colony on Texel for the first time this year, she almost automatically looks for familiar birds. At first glance, she cannot easily tell the different herring gulls and lesser black-backed gulls apart, but thanks to the colored rings with letter codes, which a few dozen of the many hundreds of birds wear on one of the legs, some gulls do become 'old acquaintances'.
The Nederlands Dagblad has an article about the health effects of PFAS and how you can avoid coming into contact with these chemical compounds. They are present in many everyday products, from shower gel and make-up to frying pans and certain foods. One of the experts speaking is Annemarie van Wezel.
American researchers have found an unexpected source of PFAS in sewage: toilet paper. These harmful substances in our sewage water eventually end up in the surface water again, with adverse effects for ecosystems and humans. Such research is also being carried out by, among others, Skylar Xie and Ioanna Gkika in the research group of ecotoxicologist Michiel Kraak . All three agree that the results of the American study mainly confirm what we already knew: PFAS are everywhere, including in household products
Daily newspaper NRC has a critical article about the organization Agrifacts, supplier of information about the agricultural sector to political party BBB, among others. Although the organization claims to be independent, it is funded by interest groups. Franciska de Vries speaks, among others, and criticizes the statements made by Agrifacts regarding nitrogen
The stagnation of water quality in the Netherlands could lead to a crisis that is ten times greater than the current nitrogen crisis. That is what Professor Piet Verdonschot says in the run-up to the water board elections.
The elections for the Regional Public Water Authorities are in two weeks. But shouldn't we abolish them? Piet Verdonschot, special professor of ecological water management at IBED, talks about this in the radio program “Dit is de Dag”
PFAS compounds have been found in the blood of more than 330 animal species in the wild, according to a new report from advocacy organization Environmental Working Group (EWG). Annemarie van Wezel (UvA-IBED) calls this 'alarming' in an article on RTL Nieuws. According to her, it shows how persistent PFAS are.
Humans are destroying the rainforest at such a rapid rate that natural recovery processes can no longer keep up. “Our main concern is that deforestation will reach a tipping point where the forest can no longer recover,” says earth scientist Carina Hoorn, who was involved in the analysis.
Much more biodiversity restoration is possible along field margins, says Kenneth Rijsdijk. Then hedges should return.
Student Jorin Veen recently graduated cum laude with Karline Janmaat (UvA-IBED) for research into the evolution of human brains. According to him, the unusual size of our brains has to do with the way we used to collect food. He talks about this in the Radio 1 news.
The number of microplastics in our living environment is increasing daily. Not only should more research be done into the shared effects of this, but we should also look at how we can reduce our emissions, reports TNO. Bernou Boven explains in the radio program "Vroege Vogels" whether we can adjust small things in our washing behavior, so that fewer microplastics are released in the washing machine.
The rate of deforestation in the Amazon is greater than previously thought. There is therefore a risk that a threshold value will be reached, after which the ecosystem will change irreversibly. And that could have catastrophic consequences for the global climate system, writes a UN panel of leading scientists on 27 January in Science. Carina Hoorn is one of them. 'Man's influence in the Amazon is now so great that the natural processes in an area of millions of square kilometers have no time to recover.
The rainforest on the Amazon is home to around one tenth of all known plant and vertebrate species on earth. Human activity could seal its demise. On December 13, 2022, Maja Bradarić was promoted to the other bird trek on the Noordzee and the mogelijkheid die trek te Voorspellen. Rijkswaterstaat had the University of Opdracht given for the separate area. Het voorspellingsmodel dat dit onderzoek heeft vororttzt is a relevant part of a curtailment procedure for wind energy at sea: het (nagenoeg) stopzetten van wind turbines zodra er massale vogeltrek over sea op rotorhoogte wordt monitored.
Antonia Praetorius, Lies Jacobs and Bernou Boven are leading a public survey that checks how many microplastics are released during the washing of clothes in an average Dutch household. Daily newspaper "Trouw" visited their lab at the Amsterdam Science Park.
A new research shows that both bonobos and humans are more interested in photos of conspecifics showing emotion than in neutral photos. But while in humans our attention is drawn to photos of people we know, in bonobos attention is more quickly drawn to the emotion of individuals unknown to them.
On 13 December 2022, Maja Bradarić obtained her PhD on the subject of bird migration in the North Sea and the possibility of predicting that migration. Rijkswaterstaat had commissioned the university to carry out this study. The prediction model that this research has produced is an important part of a curtailment procedure for offshore wind energy: the (virtually) shutting down of wind turbines as soon as massive bird migration over the sea at rotor height is expected.