Tim Claerhout

Tim Claerhout

My research focuses on the "hidden" biodiversity in cities. More specifically, two fascinating, but often overlooked groups of species: lichens and bryophytes. I try to find patterns in the distribution of species and biodiversity as a whole. Moreover, I focus on how lichens and bryophytes react and adapt to the urban environment, with a focus on the urban heat island. My research is part of a bigger project, namely the Hidden Biodiversity project.


Lichens, Bryophytes, Urban heat island, Biodiversity, Ecology, Botany, Mycology

52.164852719567, 4.4729825109243


I disentangle biodiversity patterns of lichens and bryophytes in an urban environment.

I study the effect of the urban heat island on biodiversity patterns of lichens and bryophytes in three Dutch cities: Amsterdam, Leiden and Rotterdam. Additionally, I try to couple this with the water- and temperature-regulation of these species groups. 

Moreover, I try to make citizens more aware of the diversity around them in cities. To do this, we employ citizen science whereby participants can estimate the heat stress in their environment based on the lichens and bryophytes that occur in their surrounding.

My research is part of a bigger project called Hidden Biodiversity. In this project, many institutes, businesses and municipalities work together to get a better knowledge of the biological processes in the urban environment. We work together to make our cities more diverse and more climate adaptive. 

Lichens and bryophyte research on trees in Rotterdam
Grimmia pulvinata, a typical city dweller.


Student supervision for practicals of BSc "Biodiversity of Plants".

Student supervision for practicals of BSc "Biodiversity’, Module ‘Scales of biodiversity", partim "Hidden Biodiversity"