Hans Zweers

Ing. Hans Zweers


Droevendaalsesteeg 10
6708 PB Wageningen

+31 (0) 317 47 34 00

The Netherlands


... don't think in problems but in challenges!
The chemical laboratory can make the difference ...



In 1990 Hans started as a lab technician in the Environmental Chemistry department of the Wijnand Staring Center in Wageningen, later Alterra at Wageningen University and Research. In the years that followed, he held this position in the various departments that arose from this. From nutrient analysis he developed more towards the analysis of organic contaminants (PAHs, mineral oil, PCBs, flame retardants, pesticides and herbicides), doing fieldwork and setting up experimental setups for determining greenhouse gases, degradation studies, etc.. For this he used techniques such as liquid and gas chromatography in combination with universal detectors and mass-selective detectors.

In 2011, he started as a lab technician at the Microbial Ecology department at NIOO-KNAW. At the chemical lab he developed methods for trapping and measurement of volatile organic compounds that are used as communication substances by plants, bacteria and fungi, the determination of greenhouse gases, organic components such as pharmaceuticals and the determination of stable isotopes. The techniques used are liquid and gas chromatographs in combination with universal and mass selective detectors such as MSMS, QTOF and IRMS, and themal desorption sample introduction.

Projecten & samenwerkingen


  • Scents in the dark: exploring volatile emission in the rhizosphere

    Project 2016–Present
    The overall objectives of this project are: 1) to establish within NIOO the best methodology for measuring volatile emission from the rhizosphere and 2) to determine the contribution of bacteria to rhizosphere volatile emission.
  • ClipsMicro: Climate proof soils by steering soil and residue microbiomes

    Project 2022–2028
    To mitigate climate change, global agricultural soils needs to store more carbon and emit less greenhouse gasses (GHG). In ClipsMicro, together with partners in agro-business, this is realised by steering soil microbes by application of novel, refined compost and crops that can reduce emissions of GHG.
    Soil from 70 year composting trial
  • VolControl: Enhancing Production of Pathogen-Suppressing Volatiles

    Project 2022–2026
    VolControl will examine the possibility to enhance control of soil-borne fungal crop diseases via stimulation of production of pathogen-suppressing volatiles by soil microbes. The working hypothesis is that these volatiles will be released by bacteria upon decomposition of selected organic materials that contain precursors of suppressive volatiles. During the first phase of the project, different organic materials will be screened and the ones that give the most promising results will be further tested for disease suppressing performance in greenhouse - and field trials. In addition, information will be provided on the identity of the produced suppressing volatiles and the microbes that release these volatiles. The project will be done in close collaboration with participating companies to optimize application perspectives
    VolControl Project overview
  • Unravelling the ecological role of bacterial terpenes

    Project 2017–2020
    The overall objective of this project is to decipher the ecological functions of bacterial terpenes in the rhizosphere.
    Biological role of microbial terpenes
  • Volatile mediated interactions between methanotrophs and heterotrophs

    Project 2016–Present
    Methanotrophic bacteria are crucial in the regulation of methane concentration in the atmosphere and therefore for regulating our climate.
    Approaches for studying
  • Clever Cover cropping. Synergistic Mixtures for Sustainable Soils

    Project 2015–2020
    Since recently, Dutch farmers are required to grow cover crops in mixtures of at least two plant species.
    In the Clever Cropping Project we investigated whether mixtures of cover crops have beneficial effects on soil microbiology and associated functions.
    In long-term field experiments and laboratory incubations, we assessed emissions of greenhouse gasses and the diversity, abundance, and activity of microbial groups involved in environmentally relevant processes.
    While in laboratory incubations we could clearly find increased beneficial microbial functioning associated with mixtures of cover crop residues, we could not observe this in a 5-year field experiment.
    Overall, the use of cover crop mixtures did not have significant beneficial effects on soil microbial functioning but also no negative effects on for example greenhouse gas emissions.
    Gas flux measurements in Cover crops