The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences has selected sixteen new members. One of the new members is Wim van der Putten, Professor of Functional Biodiversity, Wageningen University and Head of the Department of Terrestrial Ecology, Netherlands Institute for Ecology. Academy members are prominent researchers active in all the disciplines. New members are nominated by peers from within and outside the Academy.
The Academy has approximately five hundred members, divided between its Humanities and Social Sciences Division and its Science Division. Members are appointed for life. The new members have been installed on Monday 28 September 2015 at the Trippenhuis Building, the Academy’s headquarters. Wim van der Putten (born in 1958), Head of the Department of Terrestrial Ecology, Netherlands Institute for Ecology; Professor of Functional Biodiversity, Wageningen University & Research Center, is an internationally recognised leader in the field of soil ecology. For example, he has done pioneering research into the role of soil-borne pathogens in the natural development of plant communities. Thanks to his work, we now have a better understanding of how terrestrial ecosystems work, what the influence is of biodiversity, and how we can more accurately predict the way plant communities adapt to the changing climate. Van der Putten’s emphasis on aboveground-belowground linkages has even led to the development of a new ‘subdiscipline’ within soil ecology.