Nelleke Buitendijk

Nelleke Buitendijk MSc

PhD Student
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Visiting Address

Droevendaalsesteeg 10
6708 PB Wageningen

+31 (0) 317 47 34 00

The Netherlands


My research focuses on the direct and indirect effects of disturbance on geese, and the interactions between geese and agriculture.


I am an enthusiastic researcher with diverse interests and an interdisciplinary background. Currently I am in the last year of my PhD, in which I study how disturbance affects barnacle geese, and what this means for agricultural damages. I look specifically at vigilance and response to disturbance in different areas in Friesland, to better understand the landscape of fear of barnacle geese, especially in response to active scaring practices. Furthermore, I study the effect geese can have on vegetation, and how this is affected by the timing of grazing and by the level of disturbance geese experience. During fieldwork I have observed barnacle goose behavior, measured grass height, counted droppings, taken samples, and equipped a number of barnacle geese with GPS-transmitters. Now I am hard at work bringing this all together in the chapters of my PhD thesis. 

In addition to ecology, I have an interest in game development and citizen science, and in particular the area where these two meet: games which involve the general public in science, either to aid in solving complex issues, such as fold-it, or through communication and education. I believe games can be an interesting and valuable tool in creating understanding among the different stakeholders involved in complex ecological problems. 

Observing barnacle geese in Friesland
Photo: Nelleke Buitendijk
Observing barnacle geese in Friesland
Camera-trap catching geese taking off
Photo: Nelleke Buitendijk
Camera-trap catching geese taking off
Barnacle goose carrying a GPS-tag
Photo: Nelleke Buitendijk
Barnacle goose carrying a GPS-tag
Field set-up to study the effect of goose grazing on grass development
Photo: Nelleke Buitendijk
Field set-up to study the effect of goose grazing on grass

Research groups





Master Forest and Nature Conservation - Ecology; Wageningen University and Research

Projects & collaborations