Meet our teams

Are you interested in working at Wageningen Environmental Research? And do you want to know more about the working atmosphere, colleagues and expertises? Our teams are happy to introduce themselves to you! Feel free to contact a team leader for more information.

Soil, Water and Land Use

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Team leader: Mirjam Hack

Team members

The Soil, Water and Land Use team works with knowledge from field, lab and models used for current and future soil and water.

In the Soil, Water and Land Use team we work on soil geography, soil physics and soil hydrology. Our work focuses on soil degradation, sustainable soil and water management for agriculture and ecology, on the water-food nexus and climate adaptation.

When you want to know more about soil information, the soil physics lab, the Soil-Water-Atmosphere-Plant-model SWAP, the Soil Health Index (SHI), soil-groundwater maps and geomorphology, peat soils and subsoil compaction, come to us!

Animal Ecology

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Team leader: Marion Kluivers-Poodt

Team members

The Animal Ecology team represents high-level independent ecological research aimed at wildlife, conservation values ​​and functioning of ecosystems, and sustainable use of the living environment.

We study the influence of human activities on ecosystems functioning, the resulting pressure on nature and environment in state and recovery potential, and the impact on biodiversity and health risks for humans. From DNA to landscape scale, we unravel ecological processes and relationships between species, and interactions with environmental and management variables. We contribute to the development of sustainable and nature-based solutions. We advise policy, spatial planning and conservation management in the context of nature and environmental conservation and management, to prevent social nuisance and damage and to further develop sustainable use of soils, landscapes and water.

Applied Spatial Research

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Team leader: Wies Vullings

Team members

Applied Spatial Research is a very diverse group: Geodesk, landscape architects, data quality expertise centre, software developers, cartographers and spatial data/ information researchers. But what binds us is spatial data. We often act as a broker between policy, science and technology and always look for smart spatial solutions for a sustainable and economically responsible future at local, national and international level. The fitness for use principle, making sure that the solution is usable, is always central.

Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA)

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Team leader: Sara Ahrari

Team members

ERA is a world leading centre of expertise for environmental risk assessment in the area of pesticides and other compounds. We take pride in our highly qualified staff and advanced laboratories, including unique outdoor test facilities. We develop models and conduct experimental research to predict the behaviour of organic contaminants in the environment, and to determine their effects on ecosystems. In addition, we offer consultancy and training on sustainable pesticide management in upcoming economies.

Earth Observation and Environmental Informatics

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Team leader: Sander Janssen

Team members

The Earth Observation and Environmental Informatics team contributes to spatial competences for a sustainable world through #remotesensing, #drones, #bigdata, #opendata, yield forecasting, ecosystem services and geo-ICT.

Biodiversity and Policy

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Team leader: Joke de Jong

Team members

Together with clients, partners and stakeholders, the Biodiversity & Policy team works to realise a robust, sustainable, liveable, profitable and biodiverse landscape. This on both international and local level. In our research we assume that nature offers solutions for many issues on the road to a sustainable environment.

B & P is a diverse team focused on three knowledge pillars; a) information and data processing (modelling and GIS), b) ecology and ecosystems (flora and fauna) and c) governance and policy. We are knowledge partners for financiers, policy-makers, legislators and regulators, users, managers, the business community and civil society organisations.

Sustainable Soil Management

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Team leader: Gert-Jan Reinds

Team members

The mission of the team Sustainable Soil Management is to contribute to improved soil management practices and soil quality for the benefit of resource use efficiency and recycling in biomass production systems. In doing so we help to increase food, feed, and fibre production alongside improved water and air quality. We focus on the chemical, biological and hydrological characteristics of soils, and how those relate to the use and recycling of carbon, water, nutrients, metals, fertilisers, manures, and wastes.

Regional Development and Spatial Use

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Team leader: Corine van As

Team members

Team Regional Development and Spatial Use is a team of over 30 highly motivated researchers, with a focus on urban and rural areas. We do research and provide evidence-based advice.

We approach issues from both social and technical point of view, taking an integrated approach when possible. Because in the spatial domain, a variety of societal challenges meet. Such as biodiversity, future proof agriculture, circularity, the energy transition, climate adaptation.

We work for and collaborate with national and international governments, private parties, other knowledge institutions and civil society. Examples of our products and services are policy evaluations, scenario’s, visualizations, maps, strategies, lectures and more.

Vegetation, Forest and Landscape Ecology

Team leader: Nina Smits

Team members

The Vegetation, Forest and Landscape Ecology team consists of about 30 people and conducts research from an ecological perspective on possibilities for conservation, restoration, development and sustainable use of vegetation, forests and landscapes. We focus on how management, policy and climate intervene in ecological processes and in our advice and products we focus on resulting consequences for biodiversity, specific policy goals and ecosystem services.

Climate Resilience

Team leader: Annemarie Groot

Team members

The Climate Resilience team delivers sustainable solutions for climate change challenges. Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of the present time. The impact of climate change and the risk of floods, droughts and heat waves on society will increase in the next decades. Team Climate Resilience aims at setting up, facilitating and carrying out climate and adaptation research for business solutions, policy strategies, and developing climate services. This is done by doing excellent research and making use of tools and knowledge instruments, and guidance.

Water and Food


Team leader: Karin Andeweg

Team members

The Water and Food team delivers innovative solutions to sustainably increase the value of land and water resources for food production, the quality of fresh water ecosystems and the resilience of deltas.

The Water and Food team develops innovations and strategies to face challenges of water and food security and climate change. We offer core expertise to assist governments and agencies in offering solutions related to smart water management, freshwater ecology, water and nutrient resource-efficient food production systems, optimizing water resources, water-saving practices, and in assessment of water-food security risks to contribute to political stability in regions.