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IBED in the media

IBED researchers frequently appear in the media to present their research and its applications to a wider audience to strengthen the link between Science and Society. Here you can find an overview of IBED research that appeared in magazines/newspapers or was broadcasted on radio/TV (mainly in Dutch).

Onderzoek: oppervlakte koraalriffen wereldwijd gehalveerd sinds jaren ‘50

Klimaatverandering, overbevissing, vervuiling: koraalriffen krijgen zware klappen te verduren en zijn nog maar half zo groot als in de jaren vijftig. Canadese wetenschappers schetsen in een nieuwe studie de gevolgen van koraalverlies voor ecosystemen wereldwijd. Onder ander prof. Mark Vermeij heeft kritiek op het onderzoek.

Dolphins Eavesdrop on Each Other to Avoid Awkward Run-Ins

Cetaceans travel in groups and constantly chitchat: Clicks, buzzes, and whistles help them make sense of their underwater existence. Their social world is a sonic one. New findings by an international team with Fleur Visser, underscores the complexity of marine mammals’ social life and cognition. It may also help save the snoopy cetaceans.

Plankton and whales make life on earth possible, but the question is for how long?

According to the United Nations, 30 per cent of the oceans must have a protected status by 2030. 'This is necessary because they are rapidly becoming acidic. And that has major consequences for the quality of life on earth' says IBED researcher Katja Peijnenburg.

How clean or polluted is the eastern part of the Netherlands?

Medicine residues are an ever-increasing threat. They get into the sewers through urine and faeces and ultimately into the surface water, says Annemarie van Wezel, professor Environmental Ecology and director of IBED.

A predator misses more often than it hits something

How is it possible that predators are often so unsuccessful at hunting? 'This is something that has occupied biologists for decades', says Ben Martin in NRC.

After his death, the dodo got a silly image and a lump on his beak

The dodo has long been extinct, but the flightless bird still lives on in illustrations. Scientist Alexandra van der Geer (Naturalis Biodiversity Center) studied it together with Kenneth Rijsdijk of IBED.

What does a seagull eat?

To answer this question you can look at the vomit balls, with undigested fish remains (or spare ribs) that you find next to a gull's nest. But it can also be done in a modern way, says IBED researcher Roos Kentie in Vroege Vogels: 'The type of food of a gull, land or sea, high or low on the food chain, leaves its mark in the bird's blood!'

'We have to make nature resilient to climate change'

You wouldn't say it these days, but in recent years the Netherlands had warm and dry summers in due to climate change. The prospect is that this will happen more often. Folia spoke to IBED professor Franciska de Vries, who is investigating the effects of climate change on ecosystems and the soil: 'The most important thing is good soil management.'

NWO-Vidi grants worth €800,000 for 13 UvA researchers

Mirage News reports about 13 UvA reserachers receiving an NWO-Vidi grant, including IBED reserachers Verena Schoepf and Ben Martin. 

Unravelling the mystery of falcons' 'zig-zag' migrations

Daily Mail Online reports about a new study of former IBED PhD candidate Wouter Vansteelant, in which he shows that birds fly longer routes as they travel between the Canary Islands and Madagascar to make use of strong tailwinds. 

Pesticides do often not protect crops at all

In many cases, chemical pesticides that are supposed to protect our crops hardly seem to work. IBED researchers Arne Janssen and Paul van Rijn discovered on the basis of mathematical simulations why this is the case and tell more about their research on the website of the NewScientist. 

University of Amsterdam measures nitrogen deposition with biomonitors

Media platform GroeneRuimte writes about IBED research, financed by Mesdag foundation, on nitrogen deposition around two farms and in nature reserves. This study is in line with the recommendation of the Nitrogen Problems Advisory Board chaired by Johan Remkes to measure nitrogen deposition instead of just calculating it. One of the methods used for this is biomonitors.

Question about research Jasper de Goeij in national VWO high school exam biology

One of the questions in the national VWO high school exam for biology concerned a study of IBED researcher Jasper de Goeij on the sponge loop. 

Pesticides above the standard in a third of drinking water sources in the Netherlands

The quality of our drinking and surface water is under pressure. Substantive amounts of chemicals find their way into the water. Prof. Annemarie van Wezel, professor of environmental ecology at IBED says on EenVandaag that the Netherlands is actually at the bottom of Europe when it comes to water quality.  If it is up to the drinking water companies, more needs to be done to keep them clean.

Gull’s family dinner

Do parents of Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gulls adapt their foraging behaviour to their chicks’ needs? IBED researcher Roos Kentie wrote a blog about her research for  the British Ornithologists’ Union.

Fleur Visser studies unknown dolphin species

National newspaper AD published an article about the research of  IBED researcher Fleur Visser who studies beaked whales, which are one of the most mysterious hunters in the deep sea. Thanks to scientific research, slowly their secrets are being revealed.

Agricultural pesticides are often superfluous when natural enemies of the pest species are present

Several media report about the new research of IBED researchers Arne Janssen and Paul van Rijn on the effectiveness of agricultural pesticides when natural enemies are present. 

UvA awards six Honorary Medallions to UvA researchers

Folia reports about the UvA annual Medallion Day, where amongst others IBED Prof. Willem Bouten was awarded an honorary medallion. 

Pesticides only tested separately, but not together: experts are concerned

According to supermarkets there are no real issues with pesticides in fruit and wine as the amounts are below the legal standard. However, this standard does not take into account the sum of toxic substances that are already present in the environment. IBED professor Annemarie van Wezel explains on EenVandaag why she is critical regarding the current authorization policy for new pesticides.

Court decision may have major consequences for the use of pesticides near nature reserves

A ruling by the court about the use of pesticides near a protected nature reserve in Drenthe could have major consequences for the use of pesticides in the rest of the country. In the future, a nature permit may always have to be applied for near protected areas. IBED professor Annemarie van Wezel explains in national newspaper Volkskrant that if there are concerns about a nature reserve, measures can always be taken in the context of, for example, spatial planning. 

Franciska de Vries on Foodlog about the nitrogen problem

IBED soil ecologist Franciska de Vries argues in an article on the much-read weblog Foodlog why the Agrifacts Foundation's argument that the government does not take the soil into account as the main source of nitrogen emissions is incorrect.

The Human Epoch: When Did the Anthropocene Begin?

Humans and their activities hijacked Earth. Scientists, amongst whom IBED researcher Yoshi Maezumi, investigate when the takeover began.

Primate ecology and evolution shaped by two most consumed plant families

Several online media report about new research of IBED researcher Daniel Kissling and colleagues that highlights the importance of detailed dietary studies to better understand primate ecology and evolution.

Unrest about nitrogen from soil

According to the Agrifacts foundation (Staf), the government ignores the soil as the largest source of nitrogen. Scientists, including IBED researcher Franciska de Vries, state that this is not true as nitrogen is part of the natural cycle.

Podcast ArchaeoChats with Yoshi Maezumi

IBED researcher Yoshi Maezumi, a paleoecologist specializing in the legacy of human land use and fire management in modern ecosystems, is invited to talk on the podcast series ArchaeoChats. Yoshi is a Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Amsterdam and she combines archaeology and paleoclimate data to tell the story of plant cultivation, domestication, and the spread of food production in tropical South America. 

This forest has stayed wild for 5,000 years — we can tell because of the soil

In a new study in PNAS, researchers determined that a rainforest in the Putumayo region of Peru has been home to relatively unaltered forest for 5,000 years, meaning that the people who have lived there found a long-term way to coexist with nature–and the evidence is in microscopic bits of silica and charcoal in the soil. Bioengineer.org reports about this study that was co-authored by UvA resaerchers Crystal McMichael and Britte Heijink. 

Stricter rules needed to contain the spread of harmful PFAS

The drinking water quality in the Netherlands is very good, but to prevent people from ingesting too much of the harmful PFAS, the rules must be tightened up and enforced better. That is what IBED professor Environmental Ecology Annemarie van Wezel says on NOS Radio 1. 

Death of rare bearded vulture could have been prevented with alarm system

A wind turbine blade put an abrupt end to the life of a French bearded vulture in the Wieringermeer last week. Could this has been prevented? Nu.nl mentions the research of Willem Bouten who works on developing a system to track migratory birds via radar. Wind farms can then be temporarily switched off when bird flocks.

Reducing CO2 can still save coral reefs

Noordhollands dagblad reports about a new study of IBED researchers Verena Schoepf and Niklas Kornder in PNAS showing that coral reefs can still recover if CO2 drastically decreases. 

International  media attention for moth research Astrid Groot

An international team of biologists, including IBED professor Astrid Groot has discovered which gene allows male moths of the European corn borer to smell female pheromones. This discovery can be used, among other things, to better protect crops against eating by these moths. Various international media write about this and quote Groot.

UvA and Natuurmonumenten study the effect of drought on nature

In the coming years, the University of Amsterdam and Natuurmonumenten jointly study the effect of drought on nature on the Veluwe. Test set-ups are used to see what the result of less rainfall is at various locations. The research is funded by the ERC starting grant of IBED Professor Franciska de Vries.

The outlook for coral reefs remains grim unless we cut emissions fast — new research

IBED researcher Verena Schoepf published an opinion paper together with her colleague Christopher Cornwall about their new research. Based on their new study they estimate that even under the most optimistic emissions scenarios, we’ll see dramatic reductions in coral reef growth globally. The good news is that 63 per cent of all reefs in this emissions scenario will still be able to grow by 2100.

John Parsons in NRC on breaking down chemicals in the soil with plants

NRC Handelsblad published an article about the discovery that a genetically modified version of the well-known plant of thale cress is capable of breaking down an explosive substance in the soil. IBED environmentalal chemist John Parsons comments; he points out that these plants can never get the whole soil clean, only the places where they root. 

A sympathetic adoptive mother - Primate Bonobo female adopts an orphan

Why would a Bonobo female take care of a young monkey that is not hers or even from her own group? Yet it happens. IBED researcher Karline Janmaat responds in newspaper NRC Handelsblad to a new publication in Scientific Reports. 

Did the Amazon rainforest contribute to the ‘Little Ice Age’ of the 1600s?

Scientists, including IBED researcher Crystal McMichael, have found new evidence as they scrutinize a theory that Amazon re-growth, following European colonization, affected global climate. National Geographic and Scientias report about this new study. 

Research into the recovery of the ecosystem after a period of overgrazing

Multiple online media report about research of PWN and IBED on the effects of overgrazing on the dune ecosystem. By closing off certain parts of the dunes to grazers, more insight is gained into the recovery of an area after a period of overgrazing. It turns out that one growing season can already make a huge difference.

Climate proof agriculture?

Better storage of organic matter in soils can reduce CO2 emissions, states IBED researcher Franciska de Vries in newspaper Leeuwarder Courant. 

Peak Amazon population in year 1000

The population of the Amazon region probably peaked around the year 1000, well before the arrival of the European colonizers. In the centuries before that arrival, the population of the Amazon region probably even declined. Newspaper NRC reports about these new findings published in the scientific journal Science, of which one of the authors is IBED researcher Crystal McMichael.

Mapping the path to rewilding: the importance of landscape in restoring biodiversity

Rewilding - a hands-off approach to restoring and protecting biodiversity - is increasingly employed across the globe to combat the environmental footprint of rapid urbanization and intensive farming. ScienceDaily reports about a presentation of IBED researchers Kenneth Rijsdijk and Harry Seijmonsbergen at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2021: 'It is the landscape that ultimately decides the outcome of rewilding efforts.'

The police is puzzled: where is the drug waste?

Last year more drug laboratories were dismantled than the year before, but less dumped drug waste was found than expected. Big question: where is that waste? IBED researcher Thomas ter Laak talks about one of the options in Nieuwsuur: drug waste is dumped in waste water.

Do most new animal species emerge outside the species-rich tropics?

IBED researchers Isabel Smallegange and Willem Renema respond in newspaper Volkskrant to a new study published in Science about a theory that new species emerge outside of the species hotspots. 

Risk of loosing migratory birds from weather radar

A weather radar can also show migratory birds, however this type of data is now at risk of dissapearing due to new European policies. Newspaper NRC reports about a letter of IBED Prof. Judy Shamoun-Baranes and colleagues published in Science. 

The life story of a spoonbill called Sinagote

Newspaper Trouw repoted about the new book called 'Sinagote', co-authored by IBED researcher Prof. Willem Bouten. This book tells the life story of a spoonbill called Sinagote and the importance of looking, thinking and acting beyond our national borders when protecting our migratory birds.

The evolutionary biologist and the stunning moth sex

IBED evolutionary biologist Astrid Groot tells in a podcast of 3FM about an unplanned bycatch in her research when studying sex smells in moths. She finds the answer to an evolutionary riddle that science could only dream of... 

Glyphosate appears to be difficult to eliminate

Every spring sprayed fields are a reason to start the discussion about the use of glyphosate. This is why producer Bayer instructs farmers to get rid of dead plant stuff as soon as possible after use. IBED Prof. Annemarie van Wezel points out in newspaper De Volkskrant  that it is inevitable that glyphosate from the farmladen ends up in ground, runoff and adjacent ditch water. 

Radar counts birds above Artis

In Artis Zoo, on the edge of the elephant enclosure, an advanced radar has recently been installed that counts the birds, insects and bats that are flying over day in, day out, 24/7. 'Because the device also looks at the wing beat, it even sees the difference between, say, a gull and a duck,' explains IBED Professor Judy Shamoun-Baranes on Vroege Vogels Radio.

Laser scanning data provide insight into butterfly microhabitats

Airborne laser scanning creates high-resolution 3D images of the landscape. IBED researchers Szófia Koma and Daniel Kissling in collaboration with the Dutch Butterfly Conservation used these data to study the habitat preferences of butterflies. They found that the structure of the vegetation determines the occurrence of butterflies. Even the habitats of small invertebrates can be studied in this way. This work was featured in Nature Today.

Prof. Annemarie van Wezel in NRC about Roundup and bumblebees

Newspaper NRC reports about a new British study on the toxicity of the commonly used weed killer Roundup to bumblebees. IBED Professor Environmental Ecology Annemarie van Wezel responds.

Environmental DNA can be pulled from the air

A proof-of-concept study uses eDNA in the air to detect mammals, expanding the technique beyond aquatic sampling. IBED research Kathryn Stewart comments on the new study in The Scientist Magazine: 'It’s exhilarating to see somebody take it one step further and ask what other kinds of media we can extract DNA from.'

Whales that dive very deep

Why do beaked whales and other cetaceans sometimes dive miles deep? A group of international researchers has now for the first time found clear explanations for this. It has to do with certain prey animals, which can be found in the deep sea. Vroege Vogels had a conversation with whale expert and IBED researcher Fleur Visser.

After meteorite impact, the jungle became darker forever

66 million years ago, a meteorite hit and made the dinosaurs disappear. Before that, the tropical rainforest had a much more open structure than after it. This is the main conclusion of a new Science publication on which IBED researcher Joost Duivenvoorden responds in newspaper NRC Handelsblad.

The elephants of Artis have a new neighbor: the bird radar

Since last week, every bird that moves above Artis has been recorded by a white box next to the elephants. IBED Professor Judy SHamoun-Baranes explains how they are using this bird radar to gain insight into biodiversity as part of the national biodiversity monitoring project ARISE. 

Scientists excited about rare peat layer from the ice age in construction pit

Scientists, including IBED emeritus professor Jan Sevink, have come across a layer of peat from the ice age in Lage Vuursche, estimated to date from 13-14 thousand years ago. This rare find gives a picture of the vegetation during a short warmer period, which came to an abrupt end and was followed by a very cold phase in the latter part of the ice age. 

Franciska de Vries in the Leeuwarder Courant about the importance of climate change in the elections

How important is the theme of climate change in the upcoming elections? And which party is best to vote for if you find this theme important too? The Leeuwarder Courant submitted these questions to the scientists of their Climate Panel, including IBED professor Franciska de Vries.

How a bird of prey can prevent the construction of a wind turbine 'in your backyard'

Wind turbines and birds are not a good combination: birds are at risk due to generating renewable energy.  On the Veluwe the protected status of the honey buzzard has put the arrival of dozens of wind turbines on hold. IBED professor Willem Bouten explains in a web article of Pointer (KRO-NCRV) that with a good understanding of the behavior of birds, the right measures can be taken at the right time to prevent bird casualties.

Climate change: Sea butterflies already struggle in acidifying Southern Ocean

SciTechDaily reports about a new publication of Naturalis and IBED researchers Katja Peijnenburg, Lisette Mekkes and colleagues. The study shows that sea butterflies experience difficulties in building their shells in today’s Southern Ocean. This will become even more difficult in the upcoming decades.

Jasper de Goeij talks about sponge research in Vroege Vogels

IBED reseacher Jasper de Goeij talks on the radio show Vroege Vogels about his research on sponges: an animal that is the oldest from of multicellularity and shows remarkable similarities with our intestinal system. During the interview Jasper explains how sponges can dine in a marine dessert and tells about the importance of sponges for coral reefs. 

Bird ringing of great importance: 'Human actions have an effect on animals'

Ringing herring and black-backed gulls is important to keep track of the colonies. IBED reseracher Roos Kentie tells about her research on NH nieuws: 'We conduct research with the aim of mapping changes in the environment and their effect on populations.'

Visualizing the process of digestion in the oldest known animal-microbe symbiosis

Phys.org reports about a new study of IBED researchers Meggie Hudspith, Jasper de Goeij and Gerard Muyzer, in which they have been able to visualize for the first time how tropical sponges and their symbiotic bacteria work together to consume and recycle organic food.

Will the marbled crayfish become the next successful invasive crayfish?

Researchers from Naturalis and IBED special chair Wetland Restoration Ecology Piet Verdonschot have recorded the characteristics of the various species of crayfish found in the Netherlands. Based on their analysis, they expect that the marbled crayfish could become a successful invasive species.

BioJournaal about the call to iclude soils in international agreements on the protection of biodiversity

A group of international biologists, including IBED professor Franciska de Vries, urges in the scientific journal Science not to forget the soil and soil life in international agreements on the protection of biodiversity. Soil protection currently plays a marginal role in international treaties, while healthy soils are essential for the health of the rest of the ecosystem. Professional medium BioJournaal took over the call.

PhD candidate Lisette Mekkes on 'Nieuws en Co' Radio 1

IBED & Naturalis PhD candidate Lisette Mekkes explains on radio 'Nieuws en Co' about her newest publication on the adaptability of pteropods to changing ocean conditions like acidification. She performed her research on board of a large research vessel along the United States West Coast.

How rock flour should restore nature that is affected by nitrogen deposition

Vulnerable nature reserves have become very acidic due to many years of nitrogen deposition. Rockflour seems to be a promising way to do something about this. IBED emeritus professor Jan Sevink explains in Pointer Radio (NPO Radio 1) that more research is needed before rock flour can be used on large scales to restore nature. 

The mandrills in Artis are up to date

Do monkeys have a sense of time? Yes, according to research with mandrills in Artis. Trouw published an article on the research of Artis professor of cognitive behavioral ecology and UvA researcher Karline Janmaat and her student Kavel Ozturk, in which they found that mandrills can keep track of how many days have passed in order to allow them to be the first to gather the food.

Money for coral and climate research

The newspaper Antilliaans Dagblad reports out the the Caribbean Research program of the Dutch Research Council (NWO), that allocated 7 million euros to study corals and climate change. IBED professor of Tropical Marine Ecology Mark Vermeij is one of the research leaders.