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About usHow to find usdr. J.W.H. (Jeroen) Reneerkens

dr. J.W.H. Reneerkens

dr. J.W.H. Reneerkens
06 8669 3574 (Mobiel)


I am a field ecologist interested in the effects of environmental change on long-distance migratory birds. My research focuses on migration ecology, reproductive strategies, seasonal interactions and individual trade-offs of High Arctic shorebirds (Sanderling), and their consequences for population demography, distribution, and conservation. My research project profits from ongoing collaboration with colleagues in Africa and Europe and an international network of > 2000 volunteers.


2015 - 2019 Postdoc at the Animal Ecology Group (Netherlands Polar Programme grant),  University of Groningen

2014-2015 Postdoc at Aarhus University, Roskilde, Denmark

2010 - 2014 Postdoc at the Animal Ecology Group (METAWAD grant),  University of Groningen

2007 – 2010 Postdoc at the Animal Ecology Group (International Polar Year grant),  University of Groningen

2000 - 2006 PhD at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea  Research and University of Groningen

1999 Post graduate research (University of Washington, Canadian Wildlife Service and Royal NIOZ)

1998 Undergraduate project (Royal NIOZ and University  of Washington)

1997 Undergraduate project (Royal NIOZ and University  of Groningen)


Brlík V, Koleček J, .... Reneerkens J, ...Procházka P (65 authors) (2019). Weak effects of geolocators on small birds: a meta-analysis controlled for phylogeny and publication bias. Journal of Animal Ecology doi: i: 10.1111/1365‐2656.12962

Moreau J, Perroud L, Bollache L, Yannic G, Teixeira M, Schmidt NM, Reneerkens J, Gilg O (2018) Discriminating uniparental and biparental breeding strategies by monitoring nest temperature. Ibis 160: 13-22 DOI: 10.1111/ibi.12507

Schmidt NM, Hardwick B, Gilg O, Høye TT, Henning PK, Meltofte H, Michelsen A, Mosbacher JB, Raundrup K, Reneerkens J, Stewart L, Roslin T (2017) Interaction webs in Arctic ecosystems – determinants of Arctic change. AMBIO 46(S1):S12-S25 doi: 10.1007/s13280-016-0862-x

Jouta J, Dietz MW, Reneerkens J, Rakhimberdiev E, Hallgrimsson GT, Piersma T, Pen I. (2017) Ecological forensics: Using single point stable isotope values to infer seasonal schedules of animals after two diet switches. Methods in Ecology and Evolution  8: 492-500 DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12695

Bulla M, Valcu M, … Reneerkens J … Kempenaers B (76 authors) (2016). Unexpected diversity in socially synchronized rhythms of shorebirds. Nature 540: 109–113 doi:10.1038/nature20563   PDF (open access)

Reneerkens J, Schmidt NM, Gilg O, Hansen J, Hansen LH, Lang J, Sittler B, Piersma T (2016). Effects of food abundance and early clutch predation on reproductive timing in a high Arctic shorebird exposed to advancements in arthropod abundance. Ecology and Evolution 6: 7375–7386 doi:10.1002/ece3.2361

Lourenço PM, Alves JA, Reneerkens J, Loonstra AHJ, Potts PM, Granadeiro JP, Catry T. Influence of age and sex on winter site fidelity of sanderlings (Calidris alba). PeerJ doi: 10.7717/peerj.2517

Loonstra J, Piersma T, Reneerkens J. (2016). Staging duration and passage population size of Sanderling in the western Dutch Wadden Sea Ardea 104: 49-61. DOI: 10.5253/arde.v104i1.a4

Weiser EL, Lanctot RB, …, Reneerkens J… Sandercock  BK (51 authors) (2016). Effects of geolocators on hatching success, return rates, breeding movements and change in body mass in 16 species of Arctic-breeding shorebirds. Movement Ecology 4: 12. DOI: 10.1186/s40462-016-0077-6

Conklin JR, Reneerkens J, Verkuil YI, Tomkovich P, Palsbøll PJ, Piersma T. (2016). Low genetic differentiation between Greenlandic and Siberian Sanderling populations implies a different phylogeographic history than found in Red Knots Journal of Ornithology 157: 325-332. doi:10.1007/s10336-015-1284-4

Wirta H, Vesterinen E, Hambäck P, Weingartner E, Rasmussen C, Reneerkens J, Schmidt NM, Gilg O, Roslin T. (2015). Exposing the structure of an Arctic food web. Ecology & Evolution  5:3842-3856. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1647

Grond K, Ntiamoa-Baidu Y, Piersma T, Reneerkens J. (2015). Prey type and foraging ecology of Sanderlings Calidris alba in different climate zones: are tropical areas more favourable than temperate sites? PeerJ 3: e1125.

Walker BG, Meddle SL, Romero LM, Landys MM, Reneerkens J, Wingfield JC. (2015). Breeding on the extreme edge: Modulation of the adrenocortical response to acute stress in two High Arctic passerines. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A 323: 266-275 DOI:  10.1002/jez.1923 PDF

Ntiamoa-Baidu Y, Nuoh A, Reneerkens J, Piersma T (2014) Population increases in non-breeding Sanderlings in Ghana indicate site preference. Ardea 102: 131-137

Reneerkens J, van Veelen P, van der Velde M, Luttikhuizen P, Piersma T (2014) Within-population variation in mating system and parental care patterns in Sanderling Calidris alba in northeast Greenland. Auk: Ornithological Advances 131: 235-247

Klaassen RG & Reneerkens J (2014). An overview of bird tracking studies in the Netherlands. Limosa 87:58-73.

Gilg O, Moe B, Hanssen SA, Schmidt NM, Sittler B, Hansen J, Reneerkens J, Sabard B, Chastel O, Moreau J, Phillips RA, Oudman T, Biersma EM, Fenstad AA, Lang J, Bollache L (2013) Trans-equatorial migration routes, staging sites and wintering areas of a High Arctic avian predator: the Long-tailed Skua (Stercorarius longicaudus). PLoS ONE 8(5): e64614.

Lemke H, Bowler J, Reneerkens J (2012) Establishing the right period to estimate juvenile proportions of wintering sanderlings via telescope scans in western Scotland. Wader Study Group Bulletin 119: 129-132

Hansen J, Schmidt NM, Reneerkens J (2011) Egg hatchability in high Arctic breeding wader species Charadriiformes is not affected by determining incubation stage using the egg flotation technique. Bird Study 58: 522-525

Luttikhuizen PC, Bol A, Witte H, van Bleijswijk J, Haddrath O, Baker AJ, Piersma T, Reneerkens J (2011) Novel and cross-species microsatellite markers for parentage analysis in Sanderling Calidris alba. Journal of Ornithology 152: 807-810

Reneerkens J, Grond K, Schekkerman H, Tulp I, Piersma T (2011) Do uniparental sanderlings Calidris alba increase egg heat input to compensate for low nest attentiveness? PLoS ONE 6(2): e16834.

Reneerkens J, Benhoussa A, Boland H, Collier M, Grond K, Günther K, Hallgrimsson GT, Hansen J, Meissner W, de Meulenaer B, Ntiamoa-Baidu Y, Piersma T, Poot M, van Roomen M, Summers RW, Tomkovich PS, Underhill LG (2009) Sanderlings using African–Eurasian flyways: a review of current knowledge. Wader Study Group Bulletin 116: 2–20

Reneerkens J, Versteegh MA, Schneider AM, Piersma T, Burtt EH (2008) Seasonally changing preen-wax composition: Red Knots' (Calidris canutus) flexible defense against feather-degrading bacteria? Auk 125: 285-290

Rijpstra WIC, Reneerkens J, Piersma T, Sinninghe Damsté JS (2007) Structural identification of the beta-hydroxy fatty acid-based diester preen gland waxes of shorebirds. Journal of Natural Products 70: 1804-1807

Reneerkens J, Almeida JB, Lank DB, Jukema J, Lanctot RB, Morrison RIG, Rijpstra WIC, Schamel D, Schekkerman H, Sinninghe Damsté JS, Tomkovich PS, Tracy DM, Tulp I, Piersma T (2007) Parental role division predicts avian preen wax cycles. Ibis 149: 721-729 doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.2007.00693.x

Reneerkens J, Piersma T, Sinninghe Damsté JS (2007) Expression of annual cycles in preen wax composition in red knots: Constraints on the changing phenotype. Journal of Experimental Zoology 307A: 127-139

Versteegh M, Reneerkens J, Piersma T (2006) Seasonal shifts in uropygial gland secretions in Red Knots: a flexible defense against feather-degrading bacteria? Journal of Ornithology 147: 36.

Reneerkens J, Piersma T, Sinninghe Damsté JS (2005) Switch to diester preen waxes may reduce avian nest predation by mammalian predators using olfactory cues. Journal of Experimental Biology 208: 4199-4202 doi: 10.1242/jeb.01872

Reneerkens J, Korsten P (2004) Plumage reflectance is not affected by preen wax composition in red knots Calidris canutus. Journal of Avian Biology 35: 405-409 DOI: 10.1111/j.0908-8857.2004.03317.x

Piersma T, Lindström A, Drent RH, Tulp I, Jukema J, Morrison RIG, Reneerkens J, Schekkerman H, Visser GH (2003) High daily energy expenditure of incubating shorebirds on High Arctic tundra: a circumpolar study. Functional Ecology 356-362 PDF

Krijgsveld KL, Reneerkens J, McNett GD, Ricklefs RE (2003) Time budgets and body temperatures of American golden plover chicks in relation to ambient temperature. Condor 105: 268-278 PDF DOI: 10.1650/0010

Reneerkens J, Piersma T, Sinninghe Damsté JS (2002) Sandpipers (Scolopacidae) switch from monoester to diester preen waxes during courtship and incubation, but why? Proceedings of the Royal Society of London series B-Biological Sciences 269: 2135-2139 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2002.2132

Reneerkens J, Piersma T, Ramenofsky M (2002) An experimental test of the relationship between temporal variability of feeding opportunities and baseline levels of corticosterone in a shorebird. Journal of Experimental Zoology 293: 81-88 DOI: 10.1002/jez.10113

Reneerkens J, Morrison RIG, Ramenofsky M, Piersma T, Wingfield JC (2002) Baseline and stress-induced levels of corticosterone during different life cycle substages in a shorebird on the High Arctic breeding grounds. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 75: 200-208 PDF  DOI: 10.1086/340853

Piersma T, Reneerkens J, Ramenofsky M (2000) Baseline corticosterone peaks in shorebirds with maximal energy stores for migration: A general preparatory mechanism for rapid behavioral and metabolic transitions? General and Comparative Endocrinology 120: 118-126 DOI: 10.1006/gcen.2000.7543


Reneerkens J.(2018) Drieteenstrandloper. In: Vogelatlas van Nederland. Broedvogels, wintervogels en 40 jaar verandering. SOVON Vogelonderzoek Netherlands pp. 276-277.


  • Open competition (non-programmed curiosity-driven research)- NWO 4-year PhD grant  301 k€  (2018)
  • New Netherlands Polar Programma, post-doc - NWO/ALW 256 k€  (2015)
  • Guest researcher grant - Aarhus University (2014)
  • INTERACT grants for international access for transport to and accomodation in Northeast Greenland (2011, 2012, 2014)
  • World Wildlife Fund, 25 k€ grant for fieldwork in Greenland (2013)
  • METAWAD, 3 m€ grant from the Dutch Ministery of Infrastructure and the Environment (2011) (with Prof. Dr. T. Piersma)
  • Several travel and publishing grants for an accompanying journalist to write a popular scientific book about my field research (2007)
  • NWO / International Polar Year, post-doc 332k€ (2006) (with Prof. Dr.T. Piersma)
  • Travel grant Working Group International Waterbird and Wetland Research for 1 month, 3 persons expedition to Mongolia (2005)


  • Ibis, the international journal of avian science, associate editor; 2012 – present
  • Wader Study, editor; 2013- present
  • Limosa, Dutch ornithological journal, editor; 2002-2014


  • Flyway Ecology, MSc course, University of Groningen (2017)
  • Ecology & Evolution, BSc course, University of Groningen (2011, 2012, 2013, 2016)
  • Database management with Access (full week),  PhD course, Legon University, Accra (2015)
  • Conservation Biology (Lecture), BSC course, University of Groningen (2011)
  • Ecological Interactions (organisation, month of lectures and practicals) BSc course, University of Groningen (2010)
  • Ecological Interactions field course, University of Groningen (2010-2012)


  • Numerous international and national journals, newspapers, radio and television interviews
  •  A Dutch popular scientific book (336 pp) “A Greenlander in Africa. The amazing journey of sanderlings” (Publisher: Bert Bakker) about my field research was published (2010; 3 sold out editions) and avaliable as e-book since 2012 (Fosfor Publishers).
  • Subject of a video weblog from Greenland (6 episodes) - Birdlife Netherlands
  • 1-6 times annually I orally present my scientific results to broad non-scientific audiences
  • Two blogs in July 2018 on received considerable media-attentiona and resulted in interviews in Scientific American, and for Dutch national radio.
  • Expert opinion on a Science article for BioNieuws 19 November 2018

Laatst gewijzigd:02 juli 2019 07:38

Contact information

Building 5172 Room 0540

Job title:
Building 5172 Room 0540
+31 6 8669 3574 (Mobile)