To know Earth’s species is essential for measuring and preserving biodiversity, testing biological theories, understanding ecosystem functioning, and for human welfare. Describing yet unexplored species and clarifying the circumscription and taxonomy of known species are main challenges towards comprehensive species inventories.
Our projects& activities
Projects are founded on common conceptual and technical grounds including:
- data gathering through expeditions and use of natural history collections,
- data processing in standardized workflows,
- integrative taxonomy,
- experimental design to tackle biodiversity research questions,
- outreach and education.
Examples of current research activities:
- flora projects (Flora Malesiana, Flora of the Guianas, Heukel’s Flora van Nederland),
- taxonomy, phylogenetics and biogeography of different groups of angiosperms, ferns, bryophytes, spiders, snails, leafmining Leptidoptera, and fossil micromammals,
- freshwater biodiversity (DNA Waterscan),
- Caribbean biodiversity,
- urban biodiversity,
- plant-animal relationships (including pollinators)
- mark-up of legacy literature and Dutch flora & fauna projects.
Next Generation Biodiversity Discovery aims to become a global leader in training new generations of taxonomists. Therefore, student training, always research question oriented, will be a key function of the group. Student participation in all stages of the research cycle (field work, sample processing, imaging, data generation and analysis, and publishing) will foster a high-quality learning environment. We will recruit students from a global pool of applicants. Multiple levels of curricular education and PhD/Postdoc training will be involved. PhDs will be attracted by a course introducing them to classical and modern methods and techniques, positioning them to excel within the field of biodiversity research.