dr. MJ (Marie) Zwetsloot

dr. MJ (Marie) Zwetsloot

Assistant Professor


I joined the Soil Biology Group in 2019 after having completed a research MSc in soil science and PhD in plant ecology at Cornell University in the United States. My research focuses on the role of plant-soil interactions in carbon and nutrient cycling. I am particularly interested in understanding how different plant species modify and respond to their environment through root exudation and altering root growth patterns. By studying these processes in agroecosystems using trait-based approaches, I aim to determine how plant diversity can be utilized to reduce nutrient inputs and support the provision of multiple ecosystem functions from agricultural land. This requires novel approaches to assessing soil multifunctionality that are meaningful to different stakeholders.

In my research, I have worked in natural and managed ecosystems from the microbial to the ecosystem scale. To address the complexity of interactions taking place at the interface between plants and soil, I combine research methodologies from different fields including chemical ecology, plant ecophysiology, and soil biogeochemistry. I also apply different modelling approaches to quantify and monitor the supply of multiple ecosystem functions from biodiverse agroecosystems.



I teach in the following courses:

  • Introduction to Organic Production Systems (PPS31806)
  • Functional Agricultural Resource Management (FSE21806)
  • The Living Soil (SBL51306)



Biodiverse agroecosystems: I am the co-leader of the biodiverse agroecosystems research line of the soil cluster at Wageningen University, which brings together scientists from the different soil chair groups to share research insights and develop new projects related to the functionality of aboveground and belowground biodiversity in agroecosystems.

BIOSIS platform: Together with colleagues from the Soil Biology Group, we developed an online platform for assessing the contribution of soil biology to the delivery of soil multifunctionality in different ecosystems. Follow this link to learn more: https://biosisplatform.eu [this website will launch end of August].