The Executive Board of Wageningen University & Research has appointed Geert Wiegertjes as Professor of Aquaculture and Fisheries. He succeeds chair holder Professor Johan Verreth, who is to given emeritus status. Wiegertjes was already personal professor at the Cell Biology and Immunology Group. His appointment will commence on 1 March 2018.
Geert Wiegertjes (1963) studied Aquaculture and Fisheries in Wageningen and graduated in 1988. He then worked as a university lecturer at the Wageningen University Cell Biology and Immunology group. In 1995 Geert Wiegertjes obtained his PhD on the theme of immunogenetics of disease resistance in fish. Five years later he became associate professor and in 2013 personal professor. In his research within the Cell Biology and Immunology Group Professor Wiegertjes focused on the health and immunology of fish.
Healthy fish in a healthy system
It is expected that the global demand for fish and shellfish will increase rapidly in the coming decades. Currently the share of aquaculture in fish consumption is about 50%. This percentage will grow as the exploitation of natural fish stocks has reached its maximum. In addition to working on sustainable fishing, the Aquaculture and Fisheries group therefore regards it as a major challenge to make use of this expected growth of aquaculture in a sustainable manner. “Efficient utilisation of natural resources is vital for this,” says Geert Wiegertjes. “Just like optimum fish health. Wageningen University & Research unites all the relevant disciplines to produce healthy fish in a healthy system.”
To meet this challenge, Professor Wiegertjes wants to bring together the forces of the various aquaculture disciplines in Wageningen and further strengthen the cooperation between all the groups and institutes working on aquaculture.
Since 2012 Geert Wiegertjes has been coordinator of the large EU programme Targetfish and he is member of the steering group of ParaFishControl, an EU Horizon 2020 research project. Wiegertjes has been the organiser of the annual internationally renowned Fish Immunology / Vaccination Workshop since 1998. He has authored close to one hundred scientific publications.