Koos Biesmeijer is head of the Pollinator Ecology research group in Naturalis and professor of Natural Capital at Leiden University. He co-operates with many scientific and societal partners to improve the Dutch landscape for pollinators and biodiversity in general. He is advisor on biodiversity at the province of Zuid Holland and vice-chair of the nature conservation organisation Natuurmonumenten.
Natural capital, ecosystem services, biodiversity change, conservation, social (bee) behaviour, bees and beekeeping
I am an ecologist working on biodiversity change for 20 years with a focus on interactions between pollinators and plants. I was the first to documented large-scale linked pollinator and plants declines (Biesmeijer et al. 2006 in Science) and am leading research on sustainable crop pollination in the UK and Europe, am involved in research on drivers of pollinator change and urban pollinators as well as native honeybees, the impact of fragmentation on native pollinators and the impact of invasive plants on ecosystems.
After a PhD and Postdoc in tropical bee ecology at Utrecht University (Netherlands), I investigated honeybee ecology and communication at Cornell University (USA) and declines in European plants and pollinators at Leeds University. Currently, I am working at Naturalis Biodiversity Center where I lead a team studying functional biodiversity, ecosystem services and biodiversity change. My activities often involve international partners (EU, UK, India, Brazil, Kenya), organizations (FAO, Apimondia, IUCN), industry and research networks.
I believe that, as a scientist, one has the obligation to find ways to make knowledge useful for our society and to inform decision-makers about important issues. In my case, this is biodiversity. Even the restricted topic of pollinators and pollination touches upon many different sectors and societal stakeholders (e.g. agriculture, chemical industry food security, science, nature conservation, beekeeping, economy). Making a difference is, therefore, a real challenge.
A selection of the topics I am working on currently.
- Biesmeijer, J. C., Roberts, S. P., Reemer, M., Ohlemüller, R., Edwards, M., Peeters, T., ... & Settele, J. (2006). Parallel declines in pollinators and insect-pollinated plants in Britain and the Netherlands. Science, 313(5785), 351-354.
- Potts, S. G., Biesmeijer, J. C., Kremen, C., Neumann, P., Schweiger, O., & Kunin, W. E. (2010). Global pollinator declines: trends, impacts and drivers. Trends in ecology & evolution, 25(6), 345-353.
- Dauber, J., Biesmeijer, J. C., Gabriel, D., Kunin, W. E., Lamborn, E., Meyer, B., ... & Settele, J. (2010). Effects of patch size and density on flower visitation and seed set of wild plants: a pan‐European approach. Journal of Ecology, 98(1), 188-196.
- Potts, S. G., Ngo, H. T., Biesmeijer, J. C., Breeze, T. D., Dicks, L. V., Garibaldi, L. A., ... & Vanbergen, A. (2016). The assessment report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services on pollinators, pollination and food production.
- González-Varo, J. P., Biesmeijer, J. C., Bommarco, R., Potts, S. G., Schweiger, O., Smith, H. G., ... & Vilà, M. (2013). Combined effects of global change pressures on animal-mediated pollination. Trends in ecology & evolution, 28(9), 524-530.