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Projects - dr. GA (Arjen) de Groot

As a conservation ecologist at Alterra, I apply molecular tools in order to 1) assess and monitor the viability of populations of endangered species, 2) investigate key ecological processes determining population functioning, 3) assess levels of species and genetic diversity within and across habitats.

Current key projects:

1) Non-invasive genetic monitoring of a reintroduced otter population
Long-term monitoring of demographic and genetic viability of a reintroduced population of Eurasian otters, using non-invasive sampling (spraints).

2) EcoFINDERS
Within the EU FP7-project EcoFINDERS, various European partners collaborate to gain more insights in links between soil diversity and ecosystem services, across different soils, climate types and land uses. To allow rapid screening of many soils throughout Europe, new tools are being developed for high-throughput species identification based on the DNA contained in soil extracts. Alterra participates by developing and applying a new approach for the DNA barcoding of soil mites.

3) Early detection of invasive crayfish via eDNA in water samples
Development of a molecular based detection system for invasive crayfish species in the Netherlands, based on the DNA present in water samples.

4) Assessment of ecosystem services of wild pollinators for Dutch fruit growers
Assessing the relative contribution of wild pollinators and honey bees to fruit yields of apple and blueberry. Economic valuation of the ecosystem services conducted by wild pollinators: how important are the local abundance and species richness of pollinators for fruit yield.