On 1st of September, the chair group Marine Animal Ecology (MAE) celebrated its 5th anniversary with some activities on the waters of Vathorst in Amersfoort. The balancing on sub boards went a little shaky at first, but soon resulted in standing with steady confidence: symbolic for how MAE started 5 years ago.
An unusual start
Professor Tinka Murk remembers well how she had to start a new chair group within the animal sciences department with little means: without having an own room or even a chair, without an own lab, and sharing a secretary with other groups.
The first year was therefore challenging, but at the same time rewarding as well. While waiting for an own lab, the necessary sharing of labs resulted in inspiring collaborations with other groups. Further, Tinka Murk indicates to have felt very welcomed by the other ASG chair groups. In 2016, MAE’s own lab was opened by Arthur Mol and Martin Scholten.
Building up education
From the start, many students showed interest in the MAE chair group, and fortunately so many thesis or internship students could be accommodated thanks to a good cooperation with Wageningen Marine Research. New courses were also initiated to meet the interest.
Research of MAE
Diede Maas nicely designed a new webpage, where an oyster and a pearl shaped scheme show the expertises developed and research lines that further crystallised. For example, the group is able to grow its own sponges and coral in the lab, and has options to measure biodiversity on the spot with modern DNA techniques, which takes them at the forefront of their research domain.
After having grown tremendously over the past 5 years, MAE can proudly say to currently consist of a successful team of about 35 persons who are all very committed to their work, and bring lots of different expertise, networks, and capacities to the group.