Casper van Leeuwen

Dr. Casper van Leeuwen



Droevendaalsesteeg 10
6708 PB Wageningen

+31 (0) 317 47 34 00

The Netherlands


Ecologist studying species movement and species interactions in aquatic ecosystems. I aim to understand how, why and when organisms move – and how this movement structures food webs, populations and communities.


I study the movement and interactions of plants and animals in freshwater ecosystems, with the aim to understand how, why and when organisms move – and how their consequential presence or absence affects other organisms in aquatic food webs. Freshwater ponds, lakes and rivers are suitable systems for studying movement because they are often linear (river systems) or isolated by land (ponds and lakes). I integrate studies on multiple tropic levels, including phytoplankton, zooplankton, aquatic invertebrates, plants, fish and waterbirds. How and why do organisms move through these challenging landscapes, how do they colonize and invade new areas, and how do they interact with other species to form communities and structured food webs? I study these questions on both ecological and evolutionary time scales, with applicability towards conservation and restoration.

More information can be found on



Projecten & samenwerkingen


  • Rewilding wetlands

    Project 2016–2024
    Restoring wetlands by allowing water level dynamics and connecting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems can be considered as a form of aquatic rewilding. Lake restoration project Marker Wadden and the Oostvaardersplassen marsh reset are part of our research program studying the impact of lake and wetland restoration measures on the biodiversity and functioning of aquatic ecosystems.