I am a plant pathologist interested in plant diseases of horticultural and arable crops and how to produce a healthy yield. In cooperation with clients I develop crop protection strategies. I performed my PhD at Wageningen University & Research at what is now called BU Field Crops in Lelystad. The research aimed at unravelling a new emerging disease in caraway and develop a control strategy. After that I was involved in research on vegetables and strawberries in Horst – Meterik. This involved crop physiology in general and control of pests and disease specifically.
In my current research I look for possibilities to introduce biological crop protection products (biorationals) into crop protection strategies, thus lowering the need for chemical crop protection products. Main focus is on integrated pest management for crops like potato, onion and strawberries, making use of all tools to lower disease pressure, optimize plant growth and pin point crop protection treatments based on infection risk and the characteristic of the plant protection product used. The mode of action of biorationals is often different from crop protection products and must be taken into account for a successful introduction in practise. Part of the work is detection and monitoring diseases, combining epidemiological and molecular techniques helping to predict disease pressure. I am using decision support systems and gather data for validation of the models and algorithms which provide knowledge on infection risk. I’m testing these new developed control strategies at experimental farms with the aim to introduce them in every day farmer practise.
Part of my work is for the benefit of private companies. I’m also involved in private public cooperation’s (PPS) both aiming at improving crop protection
We have possibilities for partners in a new PPS on developing sustainable agriculture and horticulture for the near future.