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Dr. J.G.B. (Gerard) Oostermeijer

Assistant Professor
Faculty of Science
Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics
Photographer: SH Luijten

Visiting address
  • Science Park 904
  • Room number: C3.212
Postal address
  • Postbus 94240
    1090 GE Amsterdam
  • Research
    Arnica (Arnica montana) is one of the endangered plant species that we study. Currently, we're comparing the changes in genetic diversity, reproductive success and population size between 2000 and present in a series of populations to which either no plants or seeds from other populations were added and populations that received "accidental" genetic rescue from past experiments.

    My main research focuses on conservation genetics and population viability of (endangered) species, ranging from various plant species to carabid beetles and rabbits. In particular, I am interested in the interplay between demography, local adaptation and genetic processes such as inbreeding and outbreeding depression. Even though it is now widely acknowledged that genetics is a very important component of both short- and long-term population viability, it is still hardly being incorporated in species recovery projects across the globe (read our recent paper in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment: Pierson et al. 2016). One of my missions is to change this disregard of genetics, so that we can make species conservation efforts much more effective than they are at present.

    With this aim, we founded Science4Nature in 2012. Using IBED-knowledge and lab- and greenhouse facilities, Science4Nature is currently performing a large number of applied species conservation/restoration projects, funded mainly by subsidies from provinces. Projects range from demographic monitoring of Fritillaria meleagris along the IJssel river and Thesium humifusum in the coastal dunes, analysis of genetic diversity in the rare weed Arnoseris minima in the entire country, to ex situ breeding program-assisted species recovery projects on Primula vulgaris, Antennaria dioica, Lathyrus linifolius, Phyteuma spicatum, and Scorzonera humilis.

    In addition, we work on various biodiversity research projects related to connectivity and gene exchange, e.g. in the context of so-called "ecoducts" built to connect previously fragmented nature reserves and on biodiversity in the urban ecosystem of the city of Amsterdam. I am one of IBED's ambassadors in the collaborative networks Amsterdam Green Campus and Groen Kapitaal Academie.

    Currently, we work on answering the following questions:

    • what is the relative importance of demography, genetics and reproductive biology for the (meta)population viability of endangered species?
    • in which ways can the (genetic) composition of source material increase the likelihood of success of genetic rescue and (re)introductions?
    • do the negative effects of outbreeding depression outweight the positive effects (inbreeding mitigation) of genetic rescue?
    • how do naturally rare (endemic) species deal with the potentially detrimental effects of small population size and isolation?
    • does the construction of corridors between nature reserves increase gene exchange among fragmented populations?
    • in which ways can we increase biodiversity in the urban ecosystem?
    • which effects does the increasing (recreational) use of urban green areas affect biodiversity?
  • Publications


    • Schaminée, J. H. J., Bohm, S., Ehrens, R., Oostermeijer, J. G. B., Luijten, S., van Rooijen, N. M., & Verschoor, G. (2022). Gentianen in het Mergelland: de hoogste tijd voor actie: Deel 1: Inleiding, verspreiding, ecologie en levensstrategie. Natuurhistorisch Maandblad, 111(1), 25-33.
    • Schaminée, J. H. J., Bohm, S., Erens, R., Oostermeijer, J. G. B., Luijten, S., van Rooijen, N. M., & Verschoor, G. (2022). Gentianen in het Mergelland: de hoogste tijd voor actie: Deel 2: Plantensociologische positie en toekomst. Natuurhistorisch Maandblad, 111(4), 96-102.


    • Oostermeijer, G. (2020). Methods for studying urban biodiversity. In N. Verloo, & L. Bertolini (Eds.), Seeing the City: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Study of the Urban (pp. 177-195). (Perspectives on Interdisciplinarity; Vol. 6). Amsterdam University Press. [details]


    • Marrero, M. V., Oostermeijer, G., Nogales, M., van Hengstum, T., Saro, I., Carqué, E., Sosa, P. A., & Bañares, Á. (2019). Comprehensive population viability study of a rare endemic shrub from the high mountain zone of the Canary Islands and its conservation implications. Journal for Nature Conversation, 47, 65-76. [details]


    • Barmentlo, S. H., Meirmans, P. G., Luijten, S. H., Triest, L., & Oostermeijer, J. G. B. (2018). Outbreeding depression and breeding system evolution in small, remnant populations of Primula vulgaris: consequences for genetic rescue. Conservation Genetics, 19(3), 545-554. Advance online publication. [details]
    • Seijmonsbergen, A. C., De Jong, M. G. G., Hagendoorn, B., Oostermeijer, J. G. B., & Rijsdijk, K. F. (2018). Geodiversity mapping in alpine areas. In C. Hoorn, A. Perrigo, & A. Antonelli (Eds.), Mountains, Climate and Biodiversity (pp. 155-170). Wiley Blackwell. [details]


    • Grootjans, A. P., Shahrudin, R., van de Craats, A., Kooijman, A., Oostermeijer, G., Petersen, J., Amatirsat, D., Bland, C., & Stuyfzand, P. (2017). Window of opportunity of Liparis loeselii populations during vegetation succession on the Wadden Sea islands. Journal of Coastal Conservation, 21(5), 631-641. Advance online publication. [details]
    • Vanden Broeck, A., Maes, D., Kelager, A., Wynhoff, I., WallisDeVries, M. F., Nash, D. R., Oostermeijer, J. G. B., Van Dyck, H., & Mergeay, J. (2017). Gene flow and effective population sizes of the butterfly Maculinea alcon in a highly fragmented, anthropogenic landscape. Biological Conservation, 209, 89-97. [details]



    • Castro, S., Dostálek, T., van der Meer, S., Oostermeijer, G., & Münzbergová, Z. (2015). Does pollen limitation affect population growth of the endangered Dracocephalum austriacum L.? Population Ecology, 57(1), 105-116. [details]
    • Pierson, J. C., Beissinger, S. R., Bragg, J. G., Coates, D. J., Oostermeijer, J. G. B., Sunnucks, P., Schumaker, N. H., Trotter, M. V., & Young, A. G. (2015). Incorporating evolutionary processes into population viability models. Conservation Biology, 29(3), 755-764. [details]



    • Crone, E. E., Ellis, M. M., Morris, W. F., Stanley, A., Bell, T., Bierzychudek, P., Ehrlén, J., Kaye, T. N., Knight, T. M., Lesica, P., Oostermeijer, G., Quintana-Ascencio, P. F., Ticktin, T., Valverde, T., Williams, J. L., Doak, D. F., Ganesan, R., McEachern, K. A., Thorpe, A., & Menges, E. S. (2013). Ability of Matrix Models to Explain the Past and Predict the Future of Plant Populations. Conservation Biology, 27(5), 968-978. [details]


    • Ellis, M. M., Williams, J. L., Lesica, P., Bell, T. J., Bierzychudek, P., Bowles, M., Crone, E. E., Doak, D. F., Ehrlén, J., Ellis-Adam, A., McEachern, K., Ganesan, R., Latham, P., Luijten, S., Kaye, T. N., Knight, T. M., Menges, E. S., Morris, W. F., den Nijs, H., ... Weekley, C. W. (2012). Matrix population models from 20 studies of perennial plant populations. Ecology, 93(4), 951. [details]
    • Hsu, R. C. C., Tamis, W. L. M., Raes, N., de Snoo, G. R., Wolf, J. H. D., Oostermeijer, G., & Lin, S. H. (2012). Simulating climate change impacts on forests and associated vascular epiphytes in a subtropical island of East Asia. Diversity and distributions, 18(4), 334-347. [details]
    • Przybyłowicz, T., Roessingh, P., Groot, A. T., Biesmeijer, J. C., Oostermeijer, J. G. B., Chittka, L., & Gravendeel, B. (2012). Possible chemical mimicry of the European lady’s slipper orchid (Cypripedium calceolus). Contributions to Zoology, 81(2), 103-110.;idno=8102a05 [details]
    • van Hengstum, T., Lachmuth, S., Oostermeijer, J. G. B., den Nijs, J. C. M., Meirmans, P. G., & van Tienderen, P. H. (2012). Human-induced hybridization among congeneric endemic plants on Tenerife, Canary Islands. Plant Systematics and Evolution, 298(6), 1119-1131. [details]


    • Crone, E. E., Menges, E. S., Ellis, M. M., Bell, T., Bierzychudek, P., Ehrlén, J., Kaye, T. N., Knight, T. M., Lesica, P., Morris, W. F., Oostermeijer, G., Quintana-Ascencio, P. F., Stanley, A., Ticktin, T., Valverde, T., & Williams, J. L. (2011). How do plant ecologists use matrix population models? Ecology Letters, 14(1), 1-8. [details]
    • Molleman, L., Boeve, S., Wolf, J., Oostermeijer, G., Devy, S., & Ganesan, R. (2011). Commercial harvesting and regeneration of epiphytic macrolichen communities in the Western Ghats, India. Environmental Conservation, 38(3), 334-341. [details]
    • Venhuis, C., & Oostermeijer, J. G. B. (2011). Distinguishing colour variants of Serapias perez-chiscanoi (Orchidaceae) from related taxa on the Iberian Peninsula. Anales del Jardin Botanico de Madrid, 68(1), 49-59. [details]


    • Stift, M., Bregman, R., Oostermeijer, J. G. B., & van Tienderen, P. H. (2010). Other tetraploid species and conspecific diploids as sources of genetic variation for an autotetraploid. American Journal of Botany, 97(11), 1858-1866. [details]


    • Cascante-Marin, A., von Meijenfeldt, N., de Leeuw, H. M. H., Wolf, J. H. D., Oostermeijer, J. G. B., & den Nijs, J. C. M. (2009). Dispersal limitation in epiphytic bromeliad communities in a Costa Rican fragmented montane landscape. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 25(1), 63-73. [details]
    • Cascante-Marín, A., Wolf, J. H. D., & Oostermeijer, J. G. B. (2009). Wasp florivory decreases reproductive success in an epiphytic bromeliad. Plant Ecology, 203(1), 149-153. [details]
    • Hooftman, D. A. P., Hartman, Y., Oostermeijer, J. G. B., & den Nijs, J. C. M. (2009). Existence of vigorous lineages of crop-wild hybrids in Lettuce under field conditions. Environmental Biosafety Research, 8(04), 203-217. [details]



    • Luijten, S. H., Dierick, A., Oostermeijer, J. G. B., Raijmann, L. E. L., & den Nijs, J. C. M. (2000). Population size, genetic variation, and reproductive succes in the rapid declining, self-incompatible perennial (Arnica montana) in The Netherlands. Conservation Biology, 14(6), 1776-1787.


    • Oostermeijer, JGB., & van Swaay, CAM. (1998). The relationship between butterflies and environmental indicator values: a tool for conservation in a changing landscape. Biological Conservation, 86(3), 271-280.


    • Luijten, SH., vanLeeuwen, NC., Oostermeijer, J. G. B., & DENNIJS, HCM. (1996). Reproductive success and clonal genetic structure of the rare Arnica montana (Compositae) in the Netherlands. Plant Systematics and Evolution, 201(1-4), 15-30.


    • Oostermeijer, JGB., vanEijck, MW., vanLeeuwen, NC., & denNijs, JCM. (1995). Analysis of the relationship between allozyme heterozygosity and fitness in the rare Gentiana pneumonanthe L. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 8(6), 739-757.
    • Petanidou, T., den Nijs, J. C. M., Oostermeijer, J. G. B., & Ellis-Adam, A. C. (1995). Pollination ecology and patch-dependent reproductive success of the rare perennial Gentiana pneumonanthe L. New Phytologist, 129(1), 155-163.




    • Luijten, S., & Oostermeijer, J. G. B. (2021). Is opbrengen van maaisel effectief? Planten, 15, 22-24.
    • Oostermeijer, J. G. B., Luijten, S., & Vergeer, P. (2021). Waarom zaaien soms nodig is. Planten, 16-18.
    • Schaminée, J. H. J., Bijkerk, J., Bohm, S., 't Hart, J., Kragt, L., van der Meer, S., Oostermeijer, J. G. B., van Rooijen, N. M., & van Treuren, R. (2021). Het Levend Archief en de borging van het botanisch erfgoed in Nederland. Stratiotes, 57, 5-15.


    • Grootjans, A., Stuyfzand, P., Everts, H., de Vries, N., Kooijman, A., Oostermeijer, G., Nijssen, M., Wouters, B., Petersen, J., & Shahrudin, R. (2014). Ontwikkeling van zoet-zoutgradienten met en zonder dynamisch kustbeheer : een onderzoek naar de mogelijkheden voor meer natuurlijke ontwikkelingen in het kustgebied. Directie Agrokennis, Ministerie van Economische Zaken. [details]


    • Sosa, P. A., González Pérez, M. A., González-González, E. A., Rivero-Santana, E., Naranjo-Cigala, A., Oostermeijer, G., Pestano-Brito, J. J., & Van Hengstum, T. (2010). Biología de la Conservación de Endemismos Vegetales de los Parques Nacionales Canarios: Caracterización genética y demográfica. In L. Ramírez, & B. Asensio (Eds.), Proyectos de Investigación en Parques Nacionales: 2006-2009 (pp. 225-248). (Naturaleza y parques nacionales. Serie investigación en la red). Organismo Autónomo Parques Nacionales. [details]

    Membership / relevant position

    • Oostermeijer, G. (2018-2028). Stichting Het Levend Archief, founded in 2018, works on safeguarding genetic diversity of wild plant species of the Netherlands via in and ex situ (…), Stichting Het Levend Archief.

    Media appearance



    • Maes, D., Mergeay, J., WallisDeVries, M. F., Van Dyck, H., Nash, D. R., Vanden Broeck, A., Oostermeijer, G., Kelager, A. & Wynhoff, I. (2018). Data from: Gene flow and effective population sizes of the butterfly Maculinea alcon in a highly fragmented, anthropogenic landscape. DRYAD.
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    • Kennisnetwerk Ont.+ Beh. Natuurkwaliteit
      Lid deskundigenteam Duin- en Kustlandschap
    • Stichting Science4Nature
    • Stichting Het Levend Archief