Winners 2016

Thesis Award

Each year four Wageningen University & Research students are awarded a prize for their thesis’ level of excellence by the University Fund Wageningen and KLV. One prize is awarded per education domain. The four domains are: Life Sciences, Social Sciences, Environmental Sciences, and Agrotechnology and Food Sciences.

All received nominations have been assessed by the jury. Together they have decided who won.

Jury Thesis Award 2018

The jury for the Thesis Award 2018 consists of:

  • ntb
    WUR Environmental Sciences
  • ntb
    WUR Agrotechnology & Food Sciences
  • Prof. dr. Ton Bisseling
    WUR Plant Sciences
  • Prof. dr. Onno Omta
    WUR Social Sciences

The 2017 Winners

In 2017, a total of 18 theses were submitted. A winner has been selected per domain. The overall winner will be announced during the opening of the 'Month of Education' on 24 April 2018.

These are the four winners of 2017:

Environmental sciences
Ewout Knoester
, Marine Animal Ecology Group
Title thesis: Mariculturing Coral Nearby Fish Communities of natural reefs: are the benefits of algae pastures greater than the cost of Coral Predation?
Supervisor: Dr. Ronald Osinga
Chair holder: Prof. Dr. Tinka Murk

Social sciences
Giulia Sirna
, Food Safety Law
Title thesis: "A functional comparison of non-tariff trade barriers for the example of food trade in the EU, the US and the international trade order"
Supervisors: Dr. Kai Purnhagen, Prof. Dhr. Bernd van der Meulen
Chair holder: Nadia Bernaz

Life sciences
Mihris Naduthodi
, Biotechnology
Title thesis: Metabolic Engineering of Bacillus smithii for the production of succinic acid
Supervisor: Ioannis Mougiakos
Chair holder: Prof. John van der Oost

Agrotechnology & Food Sciences

Ralph van Zwieten, Food Process Engineering
Title thesis: Clogging in membrane filtration systems: the transition from dead-end to cross-flow
Supervisors: Ties van de Laar, ir. Joris Sprakel
Chair holder: Prof. ir. Karin Schroen

Overall winner: Mihris Naduthodi, Biotechnology
By comparing the four UFW-KLV Thesis Award winners, the jury unanimously judged that the thesis of Mihris Naduthodi stood out in terms of complexity and novelty.

It involved a state of the art fundamental research on the molecular properties of the recently discovered ThermoCas9 enzyme. This led to a high impact paper in Nature Communications. This fundamental research also formed the basis for the development of a new genome editing tool, which is part of a patent that has been filed. This extends the CRISPR-Cas toolbox by which mutations can be introduced with great precision. Among other things, it can be used to create bacterial factories that can produce platform chemicals in a sustainable way, by which the use of crude oil can be reduced. 
This is really a big achievement and therefore Mihris Naduthodi has become the overall winner of the UFW-KLV Thesis Award 2017 of Wageningen University.

The 2016 winners

In 2016, in total 35 theses were sent in. Per domain one winner was selected and one overall winner.

These are the four winners of 2016:

Environmental sciences
Annemerel Mol, Environmental Technology
Title thesis: "Bioelectro chemical battery"
Supervisors: Sam Molenaar MSc, dr. ir. Tom Sleutels, dr. ir. Annemiek ter Heijne
Chair group holder: prof. dr. ir. Cees Buisman

Social sciences
Jorieke Vaanhold, Economics, Environment and Governance
Title thesis: "Price determination in the electricity imbalance market"
Supervisor: dr. Edwin van der Werf
Chair group holder: prof. dr Ekko van Ierland

Life sciences
Joëlle Janssen, Nutrition and Health
Title thesis: "A new immune regulatory role of isoleucine and valine: Shaping macrophage polarization states"
Supervisor: dr. Vincent de Boer
Chair group holder: prof. dr. Jaap Keijer

Agrotechnology and Food sciences
Justin Tauber, Molecular Life Sciences
Title thesis: "Dopant dynamics in weak crystals"
Supervisor: dr. ir. Joris Sprakel
Chair group holder: prof. dr. ir. Jasper van der Gucht

Overall winner
Justin Tauber, master student Molecular Life Sciences

The 2015 winners

In 2015, in total 21 theses were sent in. Per domain one winner was selected and one overall winner.

These are the four winners of 2015:

Environmental Sciences
Shengle Huang, Environmental Sciences
Title thesis: "Optimization of methanol-based mixed culture chain elongation"
Supervisor: dr. ir. David P.B.T.B Strik, MSc W.S. Chen
Chair group holder: prof. dr. ir. Huub H.M. Rijnaarts

Social sciences
Bas Groeneveld, Management, Economics & Consumer Studies
Title thesis: "Examining economic fluctuations and agribusiness strategies: A longitudinal perspective on economic fluctuations, Western agribusiness strategies and performance"
Supervisor: dr. E.F.M. Wubben
Chair group holder: prof. dr. S.W.F. Omta

Life sciences
Annelieke Wentzel, Animal Sciences
Title thesis: "Koi herpesvirus Il10: Bioactivity and signalling pathway"
Supervisor: M. Forlenza MSc, dr. M.C. Piazzon, prof. dr. ir. G.F. Wiegertjes
Chair group holder: prof. dr. ir. H.F.J. Savelkoul

Agrotechnology and Food Sciences
Michiel Karrenbelt, Bioinformatics & Biotechnology
Title thesis: "Yeast-like development in Aspergillus niger; A quest for genetic determinants of morphogenesis in strive for tailor made morphologies"
Supervisor: dr. Peter Schaap
Chair group holder: prof. V.A.P. Martins dos Santos

Overall winner
Annelieke Wentzel, master student Animal Sciences

F.l.t.r.: prof. Peter Schaap (received the prize on behalf of Michiel Karrenbelt), chair of the jury prof. dr. Martien Cohen Stuart, prof. dr. Leontine Visser, Bas Groeneveld, prof. dr. Herman Eijsackers, Shengle Huang, prof. dr. ir. Pierre de Wit, Annelieke Wentzel (overall winner)
F.l.t.r.: prof. Peter Schaap (received the prize on behalf of Michiel Karrenbelt), chair of the jury prof. dr. Martien Cohen Stuart, prof. dr. Leontine Visser, Bas Groeneveld, prof. dr. Herman Eijsackers, Shengle Huang, prof. dr. ir. Pierre de Wit, Annelieke Wentzel (overall winner)

The 2014 winners

In 2014, in total 23 theses were sent in. Per domain one winner was selected and one overall winner.

These are the four winners of 2014:

Environmental Sciences
Lena Schulte-Uebbing, Climate studies
Title thesis: "Wedging the emissions gap in agriculture: Potential of a possible bottom-up initiative to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture"
Supervisor and chair group holder: prof. dr. Rik Leemans

Social Sciences
Nick Middeldorp, Sociology of Development and Change
Title thesis: "In Honduras it is a in to defend life: An ethnography of the discourses, practices and dangers of opposing to mining in Honduras"
Supervisor: prof. dr. Bram Buscher
Chair group holder: Ellis Oudendijk

Life Sciences
Uroš Cerkvenik, Biology
Title thesis: "Hearing in the field cricket Gryllus bimaculatus (de Geer): directional sensitivity in absence of frequency tuning"
Supervisor and chair group holder: prof. dr. ir. Johan van Leeuwen

Agrotechnology and Food Sciences
Berend van der Meer, Molecular Life Sciences
Title thesis: "Cooperative dynamics of two-dimentional soft colloidal systems - Both in equilibrium and out-of-equilibrium"
Supervisor and chair group holder: prof. dr. ir. Jasper van der Gucht

Overall winner
Uroš Cerkvenik, master student Biology, Experimental Zoology

F.l.t.r.: dr. Han Swinkels (president of KLV), Lena Schulte-Uebbing, Jacqueline Zappeij (mother of Nick Middeldorp), Berend van der Meer, Uroš Cerkvenik (overall winner) and prof.dr. Just Vlak (president of the jury)
F.l.t.r.: dr. Han Swinkels (president of KLV), Lena Schulte-Uebbing, Jacqueline Zappeij (mother of Nick Middeldorp), Berend van der Meer, Uroš Cerkvenik (overall winner) and prof.dr. Just Vlak (president of the jury)

The 2013 winners

In 2013, in total 20 theses were sent in. Per domain one winner was selected and one overall winner.

These are the four winners of 2013:

Environmental Sciences
Margot Andrieu
Title thesis: "Assessment of the fate and effects of antibiotics on freshwater econosystems surrounding catfish farms in the Mekong delta (Vietnam)"
Supervisor: Paul van den Brink
Chair group holder: Marten Scheffer

Social Sciences
Patrick Ilg
Title thesis: "Intergenerational discounting and long-term effects in the context of Nuclear Waste Management: An economic analysis of the Asse salt mine in Germany"
Supervisor: Silke Gabbert, Hans-Peter Weikart
Chair group holder: E.C. van Ierland

Life Sciences
Walinka van Tol
Title thesis: "Memory of the mini wasps: Genetic basis of difference in learning rate beteween two hymenopteran parasitoids: Nasonia vitripennis and Nasonia giraulti"
Supervisor: H.M. Smid, Katja Hoedjes
Chair group holder: Marcel Dicke

Agrotechnology & Food Sciences
Ties van de Laar
Title thesis: "Flow of jammed binary suspensions in microchannels"
Supervisor: C.G.P.H. Schroën, J. Sprakel
Chair group holder: R.M. Boom

Overall winner
Ties van de Laar

The 2013 winners

The 2012 winners

Per domain one winner was selected and one overall winner.

These are the four winners of 2012:

Environmental Sciences
Anna Wegner
Title thesis: "Effects of nanopolystyrene on the feeding behaviour of the blue mussel"
Supervisor: Bart Koelmans
Chair group holder: Marten Scheffer

Social sciences
Sebastian Hoenen
Title thesis: "Do patents increase ventue capital investments between rounds of financing?"
Supervisor: Christos Kolympiris
Chair group holder: Onno Omta

Agrotechnology and Food Sciences
Frans Boogaard
Title thesis:"Comparison of two fundamentally different approaches to manipulator motion planning"
Supervisor and chair group holder: Eldert van Henten

Life Sciences
Hanna Rövenich
Title thesis: "Identification of novel Cladoporium fulvum effector proteins"
Supervisor and chair group holder: Pierre de Wit

From left to right: Sebastian Hoenen, Anna Wegner, Hanna Rövenich, Frans Boogaard
From left to right: Sebastian Hoenen, Anna Wegner, Hanna Rövenich, Frans Boogaard