Symposium Nature Calls - Wageningen

All biologists share a common interest in natures. To celebrate this shared interest Biologica organised a symposium called ‘Nature Calls’, this was also to celebrate the 6th lustrum of Biology association Wageningen ‘Biologica’. They invited all biologists and other interested parties in Wageningen and the surrounding areas to visit the symposium. The general theme of the symposium was ‘sounds in the biology’. And the event a success! With almost 200 students, teachers and parents visiting the event, the room in the Junushoff Theather was completely filled.

The major of Wageningen, Geert van Rumund, opened the symposium, thereafter Dr. MSc. Fons Debets, who works at the department of genetics, announced the first speaker of the event. The first speaker of the evening was Dr. Wouter Halfwerk, who works as animal ecologist at the VU in Amsterdam and who works at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. He is doing research regarding the effects of noise created by humans on the communication of a large diversity of animals. He won several awards, for example the Heineken Young Scientist Award 2016 for the  environmental sciences and he published several articles in Science. During the symposium he told us about his research regarding the Tungura frogs in Panama and his research regarding the Great Tit at the NIOO. It’s a dream of every biologist to go to a foreign country and do research in one of the jungles, therefore everybody was very enthusiastic about Wouters stories.

The next speaker at the event was Dr. Ronald Pennings, ENT doctor at the Radboud UMC in Nijmegen. Ronalds works together with scientists in the biomedical world to research the possibilities of genetic therapy to prevent deafness. The presentation was specifically about the results of deafness for humans, genetic causes of deafness, cures for deafness and as the last item he talked about the new therapies to counter deafness. The whole audience was astonished by the presentation. Scientific breakthroughs in the biology bring new solutions to cure deafness within research.

After a coffee break it was time for the last speaker to attend. Dr. Guillaume Dezecache came from the Institut Jean Nicod at the Ecole Normale Supériere of Paris, but works most time of the year in Uganda, where he researches the development of alarm signals of young chimpanzees. For this research he stays, just like Jane Goodall, for months in the forest to collect the data and to study the wild chimpanzees. Again the audience was listening  with great attention to all his stories.

After all the speakers were thanked for their participation to the symposium, we provided drinks for all the attendees. Thanks to University Fund Wageningen (UFW) we could organise this wonderful event. With almost 200 participants we can state that this symposium was an enormous success and we left the attendees with an inspired and motivated feeling. They can now dream about an academic career similar to those of the speakers that they heard at the symposium. 

‘Thanks to the funding of University Fund Wageningen, it was made possible to let people be astonished and amazed by nature!’