Staff members with discipline Ecology
Academia develops at the interface of different fields. This is one reason why the University of Groningen is home to a wide range of fields, each with a great number of subject specialists. The overview below, which is based on a standard categorization of fields, will help you find the right expert for each field. If you cannot find the expert you are looking for in this list, try searching via a related field or faculty; you may find him or her there.
Simulation models & programming (C/C++, NetLogo)
Web & wiki development & maintenance
Research data stewardship
Community phylogenetics, phylogenetic community ecology, diversification models, experimental evolution
Wadden Sea Ecology
Social behaviour in animals
Ecology of fresh water invertebrates
Identification of the unifying principles that explain spatial patterns in a wide range of ecosystems is an important goal of my work. I build on the work of Alan Turing (the activator-inhibitor principle of pattern formation), Albert Einstein (Brownian motion resulting from interactions between organisms, or atoms in Einstein’s case), and John Cahn (the phase separation principle from material science, explaining aggregations of animals).
Using self-organization for virtual ecosystems
Scientific results are not always easily accessible for the general public, creating a communication gap between science and society. To bridge this gap, I use modern computer graphics to visualise my self-organisation models, and to depict how the ecosystems would actually look like. Please look at my personal website for more information: http://johanvandekoppel.nl
Integrating math with experiments
Integration of experimental and mathematical approaches is an important characteristic of my work. I try to develop general concepts that should work in many ecosystems, but provide clear-cut examples of these concepts in my study systems (mussel beds, salt marshes, intertidal flats), and try to experimentally test both the assumptions and predictions of these models.I am a member of the Spatial Ecology group at NIOZ-Yerseke since 2002, first as a postdoc researcher, and as a tenured senior scientist since May 2007. Since November 2011, I am honorary professor at the University of Groningen. My area of expertise is the spatial ecology of intertidal ecosystems, and spatial ecology in general.
In a wide range of ecosystems, facilitative interactions take place between different species. So-called facilitation cascades can play an important role in structuring species communities on both the long and short-range scale, and may positively influence biodiversity. By studying these interactions, I intend to show the importance of facilitation cascades for nature conservation policies.
With multibeam scatter data (Delft), underwatervideo (me) and box core data (Yerseke), the total Dutch Continental Shelf is investigated, determining vulnerability of the various communities to ease environmental policy and management.
- the degree to which plant remains (mainly seeds and pollen) in various natural and anthropogenic features reflect the local and region vegetation
- the translation of palaeoecological data into vegetation
- the integration of archaeological and historical sources
- integrated research and publishing strategies of ‘specialists’ and ‘generalists’
Selection of current research projects and cooperations
Arable farming in salt marsh landscape. In 2015, I was awarded a NWO VENI grant to study early crop cultivation in the coastal salt marshes of the Netherlands and Germany. In this project, I participate with a number of people and institutions, both outside and inside academia. An incomplete list:
Prof Dr Karl-Ernst Behre, Lower Saxony Institute for Historical Coastal Research: review of crops
Dr Welmoed Out, Moesgaard museum: palaeoecological analysis of tillage levels
Dr Niek Scheepens, University of Tübingen: partner for experimental agriculture
It Fryske gea, Landscape organisation of the province of Friesland: experimental agriculture
Swifterbant project. An ongoing project led by Professor Daan Raemaekers studying the Neolithic settlements in the Dutch Flevoland region
Medieval house Agde. Project in cooperation with Professor Henny Groenendijk, focusing on plant remains from early modern mortar obtained from a house in southern France
The ecological impact of Roman Expansion. A project dealing with a Roman agricultural landscape in the vicinity of Rome (Italy). In cooperation with, amongst others, Dr Tymon de Haas and Dr Gijs Tol
Medieval Groningen. A project in cooperation with historian Jeroen Benders, in which we integrate archaeobotanical and historical sources dealing with the availability of various crop plants in the Groningen area between AD 850 and AD 1600
Advent city. A project led by Dr Frigga Kruse, dealing with an early 20th century mining exploration camp on Svalbard
Palaeoassocia 2.0 A project in cooperation with Dr Otto Brinkkemper and Dr Onno van Tongeren to improve a previously published vegetation reconstruction method
I have a broad knowledge in plant and microbial (bacteria and fungi) ecology and have competence in bioinformatics and data analysis of molecular data.
Science, Business & Policy
Innate immunity in insects