Press release

Thesis Award for four excellent Wageningen theses

Published on
March 11, 2015

Four students from Wageningen University have received a Thesis Award from the Wageningen University Fund. Uroš Cerkvenik from Slovenia won the Overall Thesis Award for his MSc thesis, which the jury assessed as excellent. The other students to win thesis prizes were Lena Schulte-Uebbing, Nick Middeldorp and Berend van der Meer.

Han Swinkels, president of KLV Wageningen Alumni Network, presented the Thesis Awards during the symposium that preceded the Wageningen University Foundation Day on 9 March 2015.

The winner of the Overall Thesis Award, Uroš Cerkvenik, a Master‘s student of Biology, received €1000, and there was €500 for each of the other winners. In addition, everyone received a bronze sculpture of the ‘Wageningen tree’ by Sjoerd Buisman, plus a diploma and a jury report.

Uroš Cerkvenik wrote his award-winning thesis Hearing in the field cricket Gryllus bimaculatus (de Geer): directional sensitivity in absence of frequency tuning under the supervision of Prof. Johan van Leeuwen of the Experimental Zoology Group.

The jury concluded that Cerkvenik had tackled a fundamental problem in insect biology: how do insects determine where sound comes from? He used crickets for his study. According to the jury, the thesis has important implications for the development of small acoustic sensors and is a good example of new insights being gained from evolution biology.

The other winners and their thesis subjects were:

Lena Schulte-Uebbing, Climate Studies: Wedging the Emissions Gap in Agriculture: Potential of a possible bottom-up initiative to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture’, under the supervision of Prof. Rik Leemans, Environmental System Analysis Group.

Nick Middeldorp, International Development Studies: In Honduras it is a sin to defend life’: An ethnography of the discourses, practices and dangers of opposition to mining in Honduras, under the supervision of Prof. Bram Buscher, Sociology of Development and Change Group.

Berend van der Meer, Molecular Life Sciences: Cooperative dynamics of two-dimensional soft colloidal systems - Both in equilibrium and out-of-equilibrium. Supervision: Prof. Jasper van der Gucht, Physical Chemistry and Colloid Science Group.

Wageningen University Fund

The Wageningen University Fund received 23 nominations in total. In forming their judgement, the jury paid particular attention to technical/scientific quality, written presentation, applicability in practice and the quality of the research in the academic field in question. The KLV Wageningen Alumni Network donated the prize money.