Francisca Wit

Francisca Wit enjoying the gardens during a project conference in Indonesia

As a natural scientist, I am intrigued by the Earth system components and their relationships, with a special interest in climate and sustainable land management. My research focused on the effects of soil carbon leaching due to peatland degradation on CO2 emissions and aquatic processes in Indonesia. As a researcher biodiversity at Naturalis, the aim is to implement the findings of the scientific world into our daily environment by providing knowledge and research to policy makers and private sectors. Together, we translate environmental visions and biodiversity challenges into effective, viable solutions.


Carbon cycle, peatlands, biogeochemistry, ecology, biodiversity, sustainability, soil, water, nature-inclusive agriculture 

Dr. Francisca Wit

Researcher biodiversity
NL Biodiversity and Society


Everyday, the scientific world provides us with answers to fill the knowledge gaps about biodiversity, sustainable land management and nature. The challenge lies in the implementation of this knowledge into our daily environment and life. 


Circular economy, biodiversity and peatlands

In terms of biodiversity, the environmental conditions and their challenges have gained increased awareness from our society. As a result, governmental bodies as well as private sectors are keen to implement sustainable measures and policies in order to promote a circular economy, which aims to drastically reduce residuals from agricultural and factory production lines, reduce the strain on the natural environment and increase biodiversity in the process. By means of knowledge and research, Naturalis provides a helping hand by facilitating and contributing to these circular economy projects. In addition, research data is made publicly available to raise awareness on current situations and new challenges in the field of biodiversity.

Throughout the course of these projects, I have a special interest in the degradation of peatlands and its effects on the environment in terms of geography, climate and biodiversity. 

Figure caption:

Black-water river as a result of organic carbon leaching from disturbed tropical peatlands.



Black-water river as a result of organic carbon leaching from disturbed tropical peatlands.
Black-water river as a result of organic carbon leaching from disturbed tropical peatlands.


A selection of the topics I am currently working on.

Groene cirkels

Green Circles

New way of working together with companies and local governments combined in one big network. Working together to achieve a circulair and sustainable economy.
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Eucera longicornis

Flowering Arches

Bee-friendly planting. The 'Flowering Arches', or 'Bloeibogen in Dutch, application provides insight into the common bee species and their food availability in a selected area in The Netherlands and provides specific plant advice. The tool uses…
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Solar panels

Solar park diversity

Cooperation with Solar park Shell Moerdijk where we investigate how we can improve the park's insect-diversity by testing different seed mixtures sown under the solar panels. This project will end in december 2022.
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  • Wit F., Müller D., Baum A., Warneke T., Pranowo S.W., Müller M., Rixen T., 2015. The impact of disturbed peatlands on river outgassing in Southeast Asia. Nature Communications 6: 10155.
  • Rixen T., Baum A., Wit F., Samiaji J. 2016. Carbon leaching from tropical peat soils and consequences for carbon balances. Frontiers in Earth Sciences.
  • Wit F., Rixen T., Baum A., Widodo S.W., Hutahaean A.A. 2018. The Invisible Carbon Footprint as a hidden impact of peatland degradation inducing marine carbonate dissolution in Sumatra, Indonesia. Scientific Reports 8: 174403.