Speakers Dies Natalis

Martin Kropff

Martin Kropff

Martin Kropff is Rector Magnificus of Wageningen University and Vice-president of Wageningen University and Research Centre. He completed his Master’s in biology at Utrecht University and his PhD at Wageningen University, both cum laude.

After his PhD, he went to the Philippines to lead the international programme on systems analysis and simulation of the International Rice Research Institute for a period of four years.

He returned to Wageningen University to become professor in, what is now called, the chair group of Crop and Weed Ecology.

From 1998 to 2002 he was scientific director of the C.T. de Wit graduate school.

Lisa Becking.jpg

Lisa Becking

Lisa Becking is a tropical marine ecologist with the Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies (IMARES) of Wageningen UR. After obtaining a MSc degree in Biology at the University of Amsterdam, she worked at Tokyo University (Japan) as a fellow of the Japan Prizewinners Programme of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. Subsequently she conducted her PhD research at Naturalis Biodiversity Center and Leiden University. Presently she is a NWO Rubicon postdoctoral researcher at the University of California Berkeley (USA) and in July she will start a project funded by the NWO-Veni Fellowship.

Lisa Becking has a long-held interest in the ecological and evolutionary processes contributing to the formation of marine biodiversity patterns. A major focus of her research is on marine lakes - islands of sea. With the aid of an integrated combination of genomics, environmental analyses, and palaeontology she studies how marine diversity has adapted in response to past and current environments, and the associated relevance of this dynamic to future global change.

Ruben Smit website.jpg

Ruben Smit

Ruben Smits' documentary The New Wilderness has brought Holland’s nature back into the spotlight. The New Wilderness was awarded the Rembrandt award as well as the prestigious ‘Gouden Kalf’ award.

In a passionate address Ruben Smit will share his work and reveal the source of his commitment: the amazement with, and fascination for, nature.

His scientific background as a PhD ecologist at Wageningen University has greatly influenced the way he works. He uses the ecosystem view, where the storylines in the nature documentary focus on interaction and collaboration between animals and species. He will focus on the role of the individual, and illustrate how it is the individual that is best capable of telling the story of nature’s intricacy and complexity. A unique key-note address, and an ode to nature, against the backdrop of unique, previously unreleased film fragments.

More information on Ruben and his work can be found here.

Lourens Poorter.jpg

Lourens Poorter

Lourens Poorter is a personal Professor in functional ecology, at the Forest Ecology and Forest Management group, Wageningen University. He studied biology at Wageningen University, and obtained his PhD at Utrecht University.
He is a tropical forest ecologist and has worked for more than 25 years on the ecology and management of tropical forests worldwide. His research focuses on functional ecology; how the characteristics of species (their functional traits) shape species performance, distribution, and species coexistence, and how they scale-up at the community level, determining ecosystem processes, and the services these ecosystems provide to society.

Marleen Kamperman.jpg

Marleen Kamperman

Marleen Kamperman is an Assistant Professor at the Physical Chemistry and Colloid Science Laboratory at Wageningen University, the Netherlands.

She received her PhD in Materials Science & Engineering from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, where she worked in the group of Prof Ulrich Wiesner on the development of ordered mesoporous high-temperature ceramics using block copolymers.
From 2008 to 2010, she was a postdoctoral researcher in the Functional Surfaces group of Prof Eduard Arzt at INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials in Saarbrücken, Germany, where she worked on the development of bio-inspired responsive adhesive systems. Her research focuses on the biologically inspired synthesis of polymers and nanostructured surfaces with controlled adhesive properties.



Founded in 1919, the Wageningen Student Choir and Orchestra (WSKOV) is almost as old as the university itself. It has a rich history of international tours, unforgettable performances and memorable parties. Today, a section of the orchestra will take the stage to perform the first movement of Mozart’s Clarinet concerto in A major. Our soloist is Jelmer de Moed, a valued ex-member of the WSKOV and now a student at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Our conductor is Frank Adams.
This season there will be two major concerts: the Carmina Burana by Orff and Symphony no. 5 by Mahler. For more information, visit our website: www.wskov.nl


Fascinating nature


9 March 2015
11.45 - 14.30 Symposium
14.30 - 17.00 Official Dies celebration


Plantsoen 3
6701 AS Wageningen