I (Isabelle) van der Zanden

I (Isabelle) van der Zanden

PhD student

Personal page at NIOO

Research conducted by the Laboratory of Nematology is part of the research program of the Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences (EPS) and the C.T. de Wit Graduate School for Production Ecology & Resource Conservation (PE&RC).

About me:

I am a soil ecologist, with a bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Amsterdam and a master's degree in Soil Science from Ghent University. During my masters I focussed my research on agroforestry and ecological agricultural systems. Currently I am working on food forests in a TKI consortium, more information about this project can be found through this link (in Dutch). 

Food forest research

Temperate food forests have gained attention over the last decade because of their potential to contribute to restoration of biodiversity and carbon storage. So far scientific research has been limited to case studies and identifying socio-economic values. Within the TKI consortium I will compare belowground ecosystem processes, including decomposition, nutrient cycling and carbon storage between food forest and other land-use systems and aim to unravel the role of the soil food web within these processes. Moreover, I am responsible for developing a monitoring plan to study soil development in two large scale (20 and 30 ha.) food forests in the Netherlands. 

To do so I will use various field and lab methods, for instance, combining classical microscopy with molecular techniques to learn about the soil food web. With the obtained knowledge the projects aim is to better understand the role food forests can play in developing a resilient and future-proof agricultural system in the Netherlands.