Prof. Dr. Paul Opdam

Prof. Dr. Paul Opdam Has for many years headed a group of landscape ecologists from Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra), Green World Research in their acquisition of fundamental knowledge about the functioning of wildlife populations in fragmented landscapes. This knowledge has been used to underpin and optimise the National Ecological Network in the Netherlands, and to assess its efficacy. Paul’s wish: To make the reservoir of knowledge usable for planners, so that in the long term the sustainability of nature in the Netherlands is guaranteed. His ambition: sustainability certification for regional plans in the Netherlands.

Dr. Eveliene Steingröver

Eveliene is interested in the application of ecological knowledge in nature conservation policy and in spatial planning. She often acts as a process facilitator: for example, in processes to do with nature conservation policy, such as the implementation of the EU Habitats and Birds Directives. Her strengths: Her analytical mind, ability to ask pertinent questions and to retain an overview. Her philosophy: “We don’t supply solutions, we supply opportunities. We want to produce insights into how sustainable nature conservation can be attained in the Netherlands concomitantly with other functions."

Dr. Hans Baveco

Hans is a true scientist and a builder of population dynamics models used to study the preconditions for sustainable populations of many species. The knowledge acquired from this underpins the rules devised for “Planning for nature”. His ambition: “An interactive model that planners can use to lay out an area and that at the touch of a button gives insights into the impacts of the sustainable occurrence of species.”

Drs. Sabine van Rooij

An applied research scientist with extensive experience in landuse studies that have nature conservation as their aim. Sabine’s contribution: Translating fundamental knowledge into handy steps and diagrams, for practical application. Her motivation: “So much is known about the spatial requirements for the sustainabe occurrence of species, so let’s use this knowledge to get results in the field.”

Dr. Willemien Geertsema

Willemien is interested in connecting ecological knowledge of flora and fauna with ecosystem services from which people benefit, for example, natural pest control in agriculture.  She is especiallly interested in the effect of climate change on the functioning of ecosystems. She likes to apply her knowledge in projects where participants of different scientific disciplines collaborate with practitioners. Her view: "the value of nature for people should play a larger role in planning processes".

Team ecological networks and ecological models and monitoring

In these teams research on the development of (animal)populations, vegetation types and plant species, including the conditions for sustainable existance, has been done for decades. This research varies from monitoring to modelling of populations and vegetation types and from building the scientific knowledge to the apllication in policeis and planning.