Theo works at Alterra as landscape ecologist since 1993, mostly in international projects on land use and biodiversity. The landscape approach has been a central theme during his entire career, whether as a land use and natural resources planner in Botswana and Ghana, as ecologist in the Netherlands, or in development of ecological networks in Europe and his current work on landscape change processes.
Natura 2000 is an important part of the work. He is leading the internation project 'Biogeographical Process, knowledge exchange and faciltation of meetings and seminars on management of Natura 2000. This project is in close cooperation with the European Commision. In the past he was involved in various activities related to N2000, from site selection (e.g. area selection for the birds Directive in Luxembourg), Habitat monitoring (Croatia) and evaluation of effectiveness (Netherlands, Turkey). In 2016 he finalised a study for DG-Environment on the "umbrella-effect" of Natura 2000 areas, how non-target species (common species) benefit. This involved European terrestrial mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, butterflies and plants.
Besides research skills, his background enables him to advise and facilitate development processes. He has experience in capacity building and project development and was involved in multi-disciplinary projects in multi-cultural environments.
He is a project leader and advisor for several international projects in landscape ecology, in different regions in Ukraine, Italy, UK, Poland, Bosnia/Serbia/Croatia, Russia and Israel. He was expedition coordinator for biodiversity assessment of the Pechora River / Ural mountains in Russia. As capacity builder and advisor he supported different organisations and governmental departments in improved management, project design and execution and brokering of funds, in particular in West and Southern Africa.
Theo finalised his PhD with FNP in 2017, with the publication of his thesis: Europe, the paradox of landscape change. The thesis deals with landscape change processes and (European) policy. This study evolved from the EU-Volante project, in which data from case study areas were collected in Greece, Italy, Denmark, Austria, Romania and the Netherlands (Heerde).