Future For Nature Academy

Join me and become a part of the Future For Nature Academy (FFNA)! FFNA is an initiative started for and by young motivated nature conservationists in the Netherlands to create a platform where they can find each other and build a network. In the theme ‘Future For Nature’ (FFN) several national activities will be organized. These activities will be announced on the facebook page. This page will also keep you up to date about the most recent developments in nature conservation.

Past FFNA events included a lecture about wildlife trafficking with Ofir Drori and a live-stream with Jane Goodall.

Many inspiring activities are coming up this winter/spring of 2017:

Lecture by Wietse van der Werf – Utrecht – 21st of February
Movie Night + Expert Introduction – Utrecht – 1st of March
Political Debate on Sustainability – Wageningen – 8th of March
Seminar and masterclass with WEESThe impact of human activity on wild great apes in non-protected forests – Wageningen – 16th of March
Future For Nature Day – Wageningen – 30th of March
Levende Natuur Documentary with Q&A Ruben Smit – Velp – 3rd of April

During the Future For Nature Day, you can meet the true heroes of conservation, there is even the possibility to become their “Buddy”. Also the three national winners of the FFNA photo contest will be announced.

Become a Buddy for Nature
Trailer recording MOOC

Explore Animal Behaviour

This month our free online course ‘Introduction to Animal Behaviour‘ became available for everyone to follow self-paced. 

This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) ran the first time from  August to October 2016 and is now archieved on the EdX platform, so that the videos are still accessible. You can explore the various behaviours animals adopt in order to meet the challenges of their daily lives. The course is aimed at anyone looking to broaden their understanding of animal behaviour beyond nature documentaries or a typical high school education.

We designed the course with three people of the Behavioural Ecology Group of Wageningen University & Research. Dr James Savage (now part of University College Cork) was the driving force behind this fantastic idea. Together with James and Prof Marc Naguib, I designed and recorded a number of short lectures too (max. 7 min.). Since I am especially fascinated with animal social behaviour, most of my lectures have something to do with sociality, for example my lectures on ‘social networks’ and ‘social learning’. Also, we thought it was really important to give people more insight into the scientific process of studying animal behaviour. So we additionally created lectures such as ‘the scientific method’ and ‘good scientific practice’.

Discover how animals learn, communicate, find food, avoid predators, and interact socially. Watch this welcome video and find out if this course might be something for you. You can subscribe for free via the EdX platform.


New job!

March 2017, I will start as a postdoc with the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, also known as IGB-Berlin. Supported by a 12-month IGB-fellowship, I will study the social network dynamics of guppies, both in the wild (Trinidad!) and in the lab.

I will keep you up to date with my experiences and findings in the field (and the lab) via my website. As a teaser, some pictures from last year’s field work in this beautiful country:

Want to know a bit more about the institute I will spend the next 12 months?

The Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) is a creative, lively and diverse place for conducting research and teaching. Scientists from a whole range of disciplines work under one roof at our Berlin and Neuglobsow sites. Hydrologists, chemists, physicists, microbiologists, limnologists, fish ecologists and fisheries biologists from all over the world investigate the fundamental processes governing rivers, lakes and wetlands, and join forces to develop measures conductive to sustainable water management. In the process, we think beyond individual disciplines and spatial boundaries. After all, it will only be possible to develop solutions to the major challenges of the future by taking an integrative research approach.


Share Passion for Nature

Nature Today shares stories from biologists, naturalists and conservationists about topical events in nature. Share your latest findings and observations by sending them to naturetoday@wur.nl.

Since 2008 biologists of nature organisations and knowledge institutes in The Netherlands publish two stories per day on Natuurbericht.nl. On 26 November 2015 Natuurbericht.nl changed into Naturetoday.com. Nature Today aims to inform society on topical developments in nature via:

  1. Results from existing ecological monitoring programs and studies;
  2. Available ecological knowledge at nature organisations and knowledge institutes.
  3. New programs and ICT technologies for analyses, forecasts and (live) visualisation of events in nature.

The vision of Nature Today is: By continuously and actively informing the public and specific target groups on topical developments in nature people will become more connected with nature, they will get more knowledge on nature, they will better appreciate nature and they will be more motivated to contribute to monitoring, management and preservation of nature.

Currently mainly stories on topical developments in nature in the Netherlands are published in Dutch on Nature Today. But we want to change that! In the coming months we want to, more and more, involve biologists from other countries to also publish their stories on Nature Today. Join us, and share your story, findings and observations.


Calvin and Hobbes

CALVIN: If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I’ll bet they’d live a lot differently.

HOBBES: How so?

CALVIN: Well, when you look into infinity, you realize that there are more important things than what people do all day.

HOBBES: We spent our day looking under rocks in the creek.

CALVIN: I mean other people.

-Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes