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  1. bacLIFE: How AI distinguishes the good from the bad and the ugly

    A study published in Nature last month described how researchers used artificial intelligence to predict the "lifestyle" of certain bacteria (meaning whether they are beneficial or harmful). For this, the researchers created an algorithm named "bacLIFE", which compares the genome of a species with unknown lifestyle, to that of similar species with known lifestyles.
    bacterial culture on plates
  2. Buzzing decline: Dutch landscape is losing insect-pollinated plants

    The Netherlands is losing plant species that rely on pollination by insects. Leiden environmental scientist Kaixuan Pan demonstrates this after analysing 87 years of measurements from over 365,000 plots. The news is alarming for our biodiversity and food security. "75 per cent of our crops and 90% of the wild plants rely on insects."
    Hommel bestuift dopheide
  3. National Growth Fund finances Dutch Holomicrobiome Institute

    The government of the Netherlands has allocated €200 million from the country’s National Growth Fund for a public-private consortium that will conduct research into 'microbiomes' and economically interesting applications thereof. In the consortium, NIOO is partnering with ten Dutch universities, five university-medical centres, four universities of applied sciences, many other knowledge organisations and together with dozens of small and large companies and societal organisations.
  4. Earthworms winners of humid 2023 & Leeuwarden bags the title Soil Animal City of the Year

    Press release
    Spring has started in the Netherlands, and that means our soil life is very active again. How much do we know of the creatures living under our feet? That is where the citizen science project of the Soil Animal Days comes in. What did the results of 2023 show us? Earthworms like wet weather and managed to retain their position in the national soil animals Top 3: they were spotted in 87% of gardens. And in Leeuwarden, people searched for soil animals with such enthusiasm and a clear focus on the importance of soil animals that the Frisian capital may proudly call itself Soil Animal City of the Year.
    Infographic with 2023 results
  5. How genetic research contributes to effective lion conservation

    Human measures to protect lions have an impact on the genetic health of populations. Dutch and Kenyan scientists discovered this by analysing the DNA of 171 Kenyan lions. "By fencing reserves, for example, the chance of inbreeding increases." With the knowledge and tools from the research, management authorities in Kenya can better protect their valuable wildlife in the future.

  6. Suzanne McGowan appointed Professor of Aquatic Ecosystem Dynamics

    Meet the new Special Professor of Aquatic Ecosystem Dynamics: Suzanne McGowan. As of 2024 she is appointed at Utrecht University. Her chair offers a unique combination between the university's faculties of Science and Geosciences. McGowan integrates this with her main affiliation as the Head of Aquatic Ecology at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW). As a professor, she aims to uncover how water ecosystems have been functioning, and how the major changes on our planet affect this.
    Suzanne McGowan
  7. Wageningen Microbiome Center launched

    Today saw the launch of the Wageningen Microbiome Center, during the yearly Dies celebration of Wageningen University. Within this new Wageningen-wide collaboration, NIOO is jointly working with Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and UNLOCK on stimulating microbiome research - by sharing research infrastructure and knowledge.
    Microbiomes are everywhere
  8. Jos Raaijmakers new member KHMW: ‘Build a bridge between science and society’

    The Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities (KHMW) has appointed Jos Raaijmakers, professor of Microbial Interactions and diversity, as a new scientific member.
    Jos Raaijmakers
  9. Costs of scaring grass-eating barnacle geese often outweigh the benefits

    At the current population sizes, the practice of scaring geese off pastures in the province of Friesland probably ends up costing more than it saves. Ecologist Monique de Jager and colleagues from the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Utrecht University, Wageningen University & Research and the University of Amsterdam conclude this based on a model study, that was conducted as part of the Dutch contribution to European goose management. The results suggest that scaring geese is cost-effective only when there are few geese in the area.
  10. The Centre for Soil Ecology goes national

    Today, on World Soil Day, it is the perfect moment to present the new National Centre for Soil Ecology. All soil ecologists working in the Netherlands can now connect to the initiative that originally started in Wageningen.
    Scientists involved in the new National Centre for Soil ecology together
  11. Wim van der Putten and Jos Raaijmakers named 'Highly Cited Researcher' for sixth year running

    Clarivate Analytics has published its annual list of highly cited researchers. NIOO-researchers Jos Raaijmakers and Wim van der Putten are included for the sixth year running.
    Clarivate 2022
  12. The Galápagos Microbiome Project: voyage of discovery to an invisible world

    How unique and diverse is the invisible life of the Galápagos Islands? That is the key question to which a team of international researchers, led by the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), is seeking answers. This year, they went on an expedition to the iconic islands to study the microbial life there. Insights from their research can contribute to the conservation of indigenous plant species and, in particular, Scalesia: the giant daisy.
    Galapagos Microbiome Project - sampling the microbiome of endemic Scalesia plants