Isabelle van der Zanden

Isabelle van der Zanden MSc

PhD Candidate


Droevendaalsesteeg 10
6708 PB Wageningen

+31 (0) 317 47 34 00

The Netherlands



I currently work on food forests, zooming into the belowground aspects to look for drivers of diversity and productivity. In general, I am interested in applying ecological knowledge to develop and study nature-based farming systems.


My PhD project is part of a larger research consortium with the aim of providing food forest with the much needed fundamental and practical knowledge. Focussing on above and belowground biodiversity, carbon storage, and economic viability.


Projecten & samenwerkingen


  • Soil biodiversity and functioning in food forests

    Project 2020–2025
    Temperate food forests have gained attention over the last decade because of their potential to contribute to restoration of biodiversity and carbon storage. So far scientific research has been limited to case studies and identifying socio-economic values. In this project, we aim to understand how food forestry affects belowground biodiversity and functioning (including carbon storage) compared to other types of land use (e.g., arable farming, grassland). We collect field observations and use controlled experiments. This project is part of a larger TKI program, where also aboveground biodiversity and earning models of food forests are investigated. For information see:
    Field work in the food forest