Student testimonial

Testimonial Rutger Wilschut

Via a lecture during the course Frontiers in Biology I became familiar with the research about multitrophic interactions of range expanding plant species of the Terestrial Ecology Department of the NIOO. This topic interested me that much that I attempted to arrange an MSc-thesis project at the NIOO.

Via a lecture during the course Frontiers in Biology I became familiar with the research about multitrophic interactions of range expanding plant species of the Terrestrial Ecology group of the NIOO
Rutger Wilschut

November 2013

student Rutger Wilschut.JPG

However, during my introductory meeting with Wim van der Putten, who leads the nematology-related research in the NIOO, I also heard about the research of Koen Verhoeven on epigenetics in dandelion (Taraxacum officinale). Epigenetics is one of the hot topics in ecology and I left my plans of doing research on range-expanders for a study on epigenetic and phenotypic variation in natural clonal lines of dandelion. For half a year I did a lot of diverse lab work, greenhouse experiments and diverse (statistical) analyses which lead to cool data that can probably be used for a publication later on. The NIOO is a wonderful place full of kind, enthusiastic and ambitious scientists and therefore a very nice place to do a thesis or internship, especially when you aim to do a PhD in the future. In the end also my intentions of doing research on range-expanders were satisfied as I got offered a PhD-position in a new line of research on plant-soil interactions of species that expand northward through Europe.