Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
OnderzoekGELIFESAbout us

GELIFES @ Youtube

Ongoing research

The movies on these pages give an impression of current and completed research projects within the institute and their societal impact.

Night owls

September 2017 - It is possible to adjust the internal clocks of night owls by exposing them to blue light every morning for 30 minutes. This is one of the conclusions of Moniek Geerdink, who will be awarded a PhD by the University of Groningen on Friday 29 September.
‘By adjusting their internal clocks to an earlier time, the sleep patterns of night owls can be better attuned to normal office hours. Night owls can then get more sleep before the alarm clock goes off in the morning. Exposure to blue light also makes them feel more alert in the morning,’ says Geerdink.

See also the movie on the project

Sleep deprivation

March 2017 - In the current 24-hour economy, many people suffer from sleep deprivation, which has a major impact on the brain and the capacity to learn. Neuroscientist Robbert Havekes, of the Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences, is investigating the effects of sleep deprivation on how the brain performs. Havekes and his colleagues from Germany, South Korea and the US have been awarded a grant of € 1.25 million from the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP), which funds interdisciplinary research in the life sciences. Havekes will receive about a quarter of the grant, which will enable him to appoint a PhD student and purchase equipment.

Bird-friendly farming

June 2016 - Last year, bird researcher Raymond Klaassen won the prestigious Herman Klomp Award. Klaassen is currently studying the Montagu's harrier's migratory behaviour and habitat use. Ultimately, he wants to enable the development of new agricultural techniques that are friendly to nature and farmland birds. Klaassen and his colleagues regard the Montagu's harrier as a flagship species for all farmland birds: If the harrier fares well, then so do all farmland birds.

Suzuki fruitfly

March 2016 - The European fruit industry is being threatened by a new insect pest from Asia, the Suzuki fruitfly. The species first appeared in the Netherlands in 2012, and has already caused tens of millions of euros of damage to countries' fruit industry. Pesticides have turned out to be ineffective, and are harmful to the environment. Other methods to combat the pest have met with equally little success. Biologist Bregje Wertheim is conducting research on the Suzuki fruitfly as part of a consortium of researchers and private-sector partners with the aim of developing an integrated, biological pest control programme. Wertheim's colleague in Groningen Leo Beukeboom is also involved, as are Marcel Dicke and Bart Pannebakker from Wageningen University, the company Koppert Biological Systems and the applied research institute WUR-PPO-Fruit. The goal is to protect fruit crops and to stop the exponential growth of the exotic insect species.

Sustainable development

March 2015 - Professor of Community and Conservation Ecology Han Olff has been awarded € 1 million to study an area with massive wildlife migration, the Great Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem (Tanzania and Kenia). Working in close collaboration with the local population, the long-term consequences of better protection of the unique biodiversity of the area are being studied. The Serengeti study is part of a larger international project within the framework of Horizon 2020, which has received € 10 million in funding.

Last modified:06 December 2017 3.48 p.m.