It was a great honor to be selected as one of the three young WUR scientists (together with Joris Sprakel and Ingrid Boas) to speak at the 100 years anniversary of Wageningen University and Research. Before it started a picture was taken with all (emeritus) WUR professors, rector magnifici from all Dutch universities, mayors of Wageningen and the surrounding municipalities and the invited speaker Lee Cronin (purple trouser). During the cortege we walked with all the 'pinguins' over the campus into the lecture hall of Orion filled with about 1000 people - my husband Ties and our two daughters among them. Speeches by the rector magnificus Arthur Mol and Lee Cronin preceded our talks which were on how our research contributes to the unravelling of life. Natural ways of fighting harmful insects (me), migration patterns after a hurricane (Ingrid) and dancing molecules (Joris) were at the centre of attention. After, honorary doctorates were handed over by the rector, and the vice premier Carola Schouten and the WUR president Louise Fresco gave a speech with an intermezzo by the band Levanter. In the evening, we were invited with our partners at the gala dinner in the Hotel De Wageningse Berg and Ties and me enjoyed sitting at our assigned table together with the rector Arthur.
An interesting symposium was held at Koppert Biological Systems in Berkel and Rodenrijs on 'New techniques for better biocontrol: next-generation sequencing, genotyping and experimental evolution in insects and mites'. Guest speakers like Richard Stouthamer and Jack Werren came all the way from the U.S. It was a long day starting from 6 am at Radix building with a bus tour to Koppert, ending at 22:30 after a delicious dinner in an Italian restaurant.
Diverse dinner with a diverse group
Just after New Year we met at my place to have a dinner. Everybody brought a dish more or less typical for his/her country (the Vidi/Aspasia group represents 7 nationalities!). It was a cheerful evening and nice start of the new year...looking forward to work with a great team!
Vidi team at Netherlands Entomology Annual Meeting
Traditionally, the Dutch Entomology meeting is on a Friday just before the Christmas vacations. We heard lots of nice talks and debates on the alarming declines in insect biodiversity/biomass shown in many recent studies. Eddie presented a poster and Niccolo gave a nice presentation but more plant than insect focused...too much for the entomologists?
Four more years to go
The Vidi project is running now for a year. We conducted a couple of experiments since Lotte is back from maternity leave. Thus, we had lots of nice data to present, a fruitful discussion and a delicious lunch. Most of the users and experts came and participated. Our team increased with two new members, Setareh Mohammadin and Cindy Wang. So hopefully, until our next progress meeting, end of April 2018, we are another step further toward our goal!
Successful excursion with nice weather and lots of cabbage whites flying around!
Some black mustard plants showed strong HR that killed the butterfly eggs (dessicated).
230 participants, 63 oral presentations and 105 posters – great success!…
In a nice informal room in the Impuls building we had a fruitful second UC progress meeting. Niccolo and me updated the participants on the progress, some failures but also promising first results. Lotte, being in the middle of her maternity leave, was able to come as well. With the gained feedback and summer season ahead we are hopefully approaching more successful months. The next meeting will be at Nunhems/ Bayer in November 2017.
- Yes, finally, Eddie Griese obtained his PhD degree! October 6, 2021
- Final NWO Vidi user committee meeting September 28, 2021
- Dr. Georgios Valsamakis, congratulations to receiving your PhD! September 17, 2021
- New publication by Afentoulis et al. in Front Ecol Evol September 17, 2021
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