Projects from Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management Group
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Spatio-temporal patterns in zooplankton communities in Dutch floodplain systems
The lower river Rhine has been extensively modified throughout history, resulting in a drastic loss of important habitats, and hence the decline or even disappearance of many of its original fish species. Especially floodplains act as critical habitat for many of these fishes. Survival of larval and ...
Supervisor: Edwin Peeters (AEW) / Leo Nagelkerke (AFI) / Twan Stoffers (AFI)
Soundscapes of fresh waters
Sound is an important element in daily life. Also under water, a variety of sounds can be present. Studies performed mainly in the marine environment indicate that certain sounds may be regarded as noise pollution (e.g. off shore wind mills, boats) and that sound might differ among ecosystems. Furth ...
Supervisor: Edwin Peeters / Ivo Roessink
Research in Donana National Park, Spain
The Donana region is located on the Atlantic coast of south-western Spain. An area of about 1,200 km2 within this region comprises both a National and a Natural Park. The Donana National Park (ca. 54,000 ha) was designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1980 and a Wetland Site of International Imp ...
Supervisor: Staff AEW
Can fishes disperse the seeds of aquatic macrophytes? An experimental study
Field studies have shown that fish play an important role in the dispersal of seeds of aquatic macrophytes. Many fishes consume seeds, transport them internally (i.e. within their digestive tract) to new locations and excrete them intact during defecation. Experimental studies revealed that seed ret ...
Supervisor: Dr. Bart Pollux (EZO), Dr. Casper van Leeuwen & Dr. Bart Nolet (NIOO)
Biodiversity in polders and ditches
Biodiversity is an important topic in water quality management. Locally biodiversity can be stimulated by creating variability in environmental conditions. However, the spatial distribution of biodiversity in e.g. polders is rather unclear. Do there exist 'hotspots' of biodiversity, what is the rela ...
Supervisor: Edwin Peeters
Managing Eutrophication: what is the effect of alum and aluminium-modified zeolite treatment in the sediment of lakes?
Eutrophication and cyanobacterial blooms are still a great challenge to lake managers. Alum treatment is currently used as a solution to the problem, mainly in the USA. However, little is known about how alum changes abiotic factors (e.g. pH) in the sediment of the lakes. You will do fieldwork and l ...
Supervisor: Miquel Lurling / Maira Nunes Teixeira Mucci
Forming vivianite in lake sediments by adding Iron (II) chloride to manage eutrophication
Topic: Mitigating eutrophication and cyanobacteria blooms Managing Eutrophication in a cheap, easy, safe and efficient way is still a challenge. Here, we would like to test if adding Iron (II) chloride directly in the sediments will be able to block phosphorus release by forming vivianite, a hydrat ...
Supervisor: Miquel Lurling / Maira Nunes Teixeira Mucci
Lanthanum release from the mineral, Rhabdophane, under different pH
Lanthanum (La) modified bentonite has been used in lakes to manage eutrophication. The lanthanum in contact with phosphate will form the mineral rhabdophane. Modelling reveals that rhabdophane is stable over a wide range of pH, however this has not been tested experimentally.  ...
Supervisor: Miquel Lurling / Maira Nunes Teixeira Mucci
Effects of climate change (increased CO2 and temperature and their combination) on the structure and functioning of aquatic ecosystems
Topic: Stress ecology and risk assessment ...
Supervisor: Paul van den Brink
Mechanisms of toxicity of neonicotinoid insecticides, like imidacloprid, towards aquatic arthropod species
Topic: Stress ecology and risk assessment ...
Supervisor: Paul van den Brink
Effects of antibiotics used in aquaculture on the structure and functioning of aquatic ecosystems with a special reference to the microbial community
Topic: Stress ecology and risk assessment ...
Supervisor: Paul van den Brink
Spatial modelling of lake ecosystems with PCLake (2D)
PCLake has been a valuable tool for detecting critical nutrient loads for lakes. This is done in 0D, so as completely mixed systems. In large heterogeneous lakes it makes more sense to model this more spatially (2D). You will build a case of a specific lake to show the added value of 2D modelling.  ...
Supervisor: Jeroen de Klein
Application of PCLake+ (deep lakes) to a typical deep lake
PCLake+ is a newly developed version of the lake ecosystem model PCLake. It models deep lakes with stratification. We will build a case study on Rappbode Reservoir (Germany), a deep water body up to 80 meters, to test the performance of the model. ...
Supervisor: Jeroen de Klein / Annette Janssen
Greenhouse gas emissions from riparian areas along streams
For biodiversity and peak flow reduction Water boards have restored natural streams by redesign and reconnecting floodplain areas. This will also lead to increased residence time and built up of organic sediments. In aerobic conditions (high temperature, low waterdepth) this might lead to more CO2 a ...
Supervisor: Jeroen de Klein
Effect of floating solar panels on lake water quality
Due to energy transition there is a pressure to install solar panels on surface water. But, what kind of effects might this have on the water quality ? You will study this using the lake ecosystem model PCLake. ...
Supervisor: Jeroen de Klein / Edwin Peeters
Invasive seagrass expansion in the Caribbean and impacts of temperature, eutrophication and grazing (fieldwork).
In this project, you will investigate the impact of grazing and nutrients on the ecosystem services and the resilience (ability to recover from disturbance) of seagrass in Bonaire. Additionally, there are many options to design and carry out side experiments of your choice. ...
Supervisor: Marjolijn Christianen
Introduction of European flat oyster to the North Sea, facilitation of the native by the invasive oyster
In this project, you will investigate how to restore oyster reefs and how these can impact ecosystem services. Additionally, there are many options to design and carry out side experiments of your choice. ...
Supervisor: Marjolijn Christianen
Harmful algal blooms under climate change (internship/thesis)
Since 2012, massive algal blooms formed by the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium ostenfeldii have been recurring in the “Ouwerkerkse kreek” in the Netherlands. A. ostenfeldii produces potent neurotoxins, which can accumulate is shellfish and pose a health risk for humans. Consumptions of these shellf ...
Supervisor: Karen Brandenburg (,
Dr. Dedmer van de Waal (
Title Freshwater shrimps as new standard test organism
Description In ecotoxicology a few standard test species are used to determine the hazard of chemicals. For aquatic invertebrates these species comprise Daphnia and Chironomus but lately the use of a macro-crustacean is discussed. Potential species could be indigenous Gammarus and Asellus species bu ...
Supervisor: Ivo Roessink (Wageningen Environmental Research)
Edwin Peeters
Sediment ecotoxicology
Although it is long recognized that water quality is important for a healthy aquatic ecosystem, lately it is realized that the quality of the sediment can be equally important. Sediments act a s a sink were contaminants can reside for much longer than they were present in the water column. Ergo cont ...
Supervisor: Ivo Roessink (Wageningen Environmental Research)
Edwin Peeters
Harmful cyanobacterial blooms: Woronichinia, an important bloom species in The Netherlands
In freshwater systems all over the globe eutrophication causes nuisance cyanobacteria blooms. The cyanobacteria blooms can be hazardous to animals because many cyanobacteria are capable of producing potent toxins. In The Netherlands, the cyanobacteria protocol emphasizes five important bloom forming ...
Supervisor: Miquel Lurling, Els Faassen
Harmful cyanobacterial blooms: Effect of elevated temperatures on the Daphnia-Microcystis interaction
Future climate scenarios predict higher temperatures that consequently may affect growth and activity of organisms, timing of events and influence population dynamics. In freshwater systems, warming is expected to act in synergy with eutrophication aggravating nuisance cyanobacteria blooms. The cyan ...
Supervisor: Miquel Lurling, Els Faassen
Effects of herbicide on terrestrial vegetation
At the Sinderhoeve experimental area near Renkum effects of a herbicide on the vegetation along crop fields will be studied by the ERA group of WUR. Different aspects of the application will be studied in close cooperation with ERA team members. ...
Supervisor: Gertie Arts (
Edwin Peeters (
Use and risks of pesticides applied in concurrent rice-fish-prawn systems in Bangladesh
The production of rice, fish and prawns in concurrent systems represents an ‘ecologically sound’ alternative to intensive (monoculture) agricultural systems, as allows a maximal re-utilization of nutrients by maintaining ecological integrity and profitability. The recent introduction of pesticides i ...
Supervisor: Andreu Rico and Paul van den Brink
Impact of pharmaceuticals on aquatic ecosystems
Description Via Sewage Treatment Plants a lot of pharmaceuticals meant for human consumption only reach our environments. Although direct mortality of aquatic organisms was never observed at environmental realistic concentrations there is a building body of evidence that these concentrations might r ...
Supervisor: Ivo Roessink (Wageningen Environmental Research)
Edwin Peeters
Testing a promising restorative method for restoration mangroves and seagrass, and inhibiting expansion of invasive plants (Fieldwork Bonaire).
The rapid loss of productive and species-rich mangroves and seagrass beds is impacting not only endangered species but also the well-being of hundreds of millions of people worldwide. In addition to protecting these ecosystems, there is an urgent need for innovations in large-scale restoration of th ...
Supervisor: Name:Marjolijn Christianen (AEW-WUR);
Name:Sabine Engel (STINAPA Bonaire)
Name: Karin Didderen (Bureau Waardenburg)
Ditches and biodiversity
Ditches are characteristic for the Dutch polder landscape and their total length in The Netherlands has been estimated at 275.000 km. Ditches are not inhabited by species that are solely restricted to this man made water type but it is the species composition of the inhabiting community that disting ...
Supervisor: Edwin THM Peeters
Limits to the growth of Water Soldier (Stratiotes aloides)
Earlier research indicated that the growth of water soldier can be unstable. The growth of this floating plant is relatively fast under favourable conditions, however, this growth may suddenly stop and large parts decay. The focus in this study will be on growth potential of Stratiotes under differe ...
Supervisor: dr ir Henk de Vries (Vlinderstichting)
dr ir Edwin Peeters (WUR-AEW)
Effects of multiple stressors on aquatic ecosystems. (Thesis/Internship)
Worldwide, freshwater ecosystems face a variety of threats due to human activities such as pollution by pesticides and down-the-drain chemicals, salinization, eutrophication, over-exploitation and reduction of natural habitats by water abstraction. Pressure on these ecosystems is expected to be even ...
Supervisor: Paul van den Brink (
The effect of horizontal and vertical biodiversity on stability of food webs. (Thesis/Internship)
Whether biodiversity can increase stability (i.e., resistance and resilience) is one of the most controversial issues in ecology. While some studies mathematically showed that biodiversity tended to destabilize community dynamics, a number of results from theoretical and experimental studies proved  ...
Supervisor: Name: Paul van den Brink
Biodiversity in a fishway
Fishways have been constructed in many water ways to facilitate dispersal of fishes. Areas that used to be unaccessible for certain fish species now may serve as good habitats. Due to the construction of fishways, habitats may have been altered, not only for fish but also for other aquatic organisms ...
Supervisor: Dorine Dekkers (AEW-WUR)
Edwin Peeters (AEW-WUR)
In cooperation with Barend van Maanen (Waterboard Limburg)
Well-hidden but still there: patterns of cryptic speciation in Dutch rotifer populations
The rotifer Brachionus calyciflorus is a rotifer occurring in a wide variety of habitats, ranging from mesotrophic to hyper eutrophic ponds and lakes. Recent studies have suggested the existence of cryptic species for this taxon. In this project, we want to genetically characterize natural populatio ...
Supervisor: Steven Declerck, Dr.
M. Lurling
Harvesting duckweed
Dense layers of duckweed are frequently observed in ditches in the Netherlands. Due to this dense layer exchange of oxygen between air and water is blocked, resulting in anoxic conditions in those ditches with all negative consequence for life. Removal of duckweed might be a good measure to keep the ...
Supervisor: dr Edwin THM Peeters
Submerged aquatic macrophytes and climate change
Climate is changing with milder and wetter winters and warmer and dryer summers in the temperate region. Changes in climate resulted in changes in phenology of terrestrial plants like leaf bud burst or flowering. Also lengthening of growing season is observed. For aquatic macrophytes this is less we ...
Supervisor: dr Edwin THM Peeters
Culturing mayflies in the laboratory
Mayflies are good indicators of water quality because they are amongst the most sensitive freshwater invertebrates regarding organic contaminants (i.e. pesticides). Currently mayflies are used in laboratory testing but in Europe all test organisms are still collected in the field. This presents some ...
Supervisor: Ivo Roessink (Wageningen Environmental Research)
Edwin Peeters
Disease at ease? Climate change impacts on phytoplankton parasites
The dynamics of phytoplankton communities differ greatly in both time and space. These dynamics strongly depend on factors that affect growth and mortality of individual species or genotypes. Important mortality factors include species specific grazing, or infection by parasites that can even select ...
Supervisor: Thijs Frenken, Dedmer van der Waal, Edwin Peeters
Modeling competition between submerged and floating plants in ditches
Macrophytes are an important component of ditch ecosystems. Submerged macrophytes and floating plants compete for resources with submerged plants being better competitors for nutrients and floating plants better competitors for light. Ditches might be completely covered by submerged macrophytes, by  ...
Supervisor: Edwin THM Peeters
Optimal harvesting duckweed: a modeling approach
Dense layers of duckweed are frequently observed in ditches. Due to this dense layer exchange of oxygen between air and water is blocked, resulting in anoxic conditions in those ditches with all negative consequence for life. Removal of duckweed might be a good measure to keep the oxygen condition a ...
Supervisor: Edwin THM Peeters
Intensity of agricultral practice and ecological quality in drainage ditches
Agricultural practice is influencing the water quality and the ecological quality in adjacent drainage ditches in most polders in the Netherlands. This is a.o. due to the use of fertilizers and pesticides, the hydrological requirements and maintenance of the watercourses. In some areas agricultural  ...
Supervisor: Edwin Peeters
Habitat preferences of the trichopteran larvae Brachycentrus subnubilus
Brachycentrus subnubilis i is a rare trichopteran species in the Netherlands that disappeared in many parts of Europe the last century. Interestingly there are some recordings available (e.g. from the Netherlands. Like many trichopteran species, this species is strongly dependent on ...
Supervisor: Dorine Dekkers (
Edwin Peeters (
Impacts of environmental factors on the absolute and relative abundances of cyanobacteria and their toxins in Dutch lakes
Harmful cyanobacteria pose a major threat to human and animal health. Their dense summer blooms make many surface waters in the Netherlands unsuitable for recreation. The Dutch water boards have monitoring programs on harmful cyanobacteria, and relevant environmental parameters, in bathing waters. T ...
Supervisor: Dedmer van de Waal Email:
Miquel Lurling
Functional aquatic systems in hydroponic growing systems
Hydroponic cultivation is the growing system of the future. In such systems plants are grown without substrate, with their roots directly in water. This way of production allows for more efficient use of water and better crop management. However, the water will inevitably host a wide diversity of li ...
Supervisor: Tycho Vermeulen (Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture)
Edwin Peeters (WU Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management Group)
Effect of chemicals used in Asian aquaculture on aquatic ecosystems in the Tropics
A wide range of antibiotics, disinfectants and pesticides are used to treat against parasites and kill unwanted organisms in aquaculture farms of South-East Asia. Residues of these compounds are released into the environment with aquaculture effluents, which may lead to adverse effects on the adjace ...
Supervisor: Andreu Rico Artero, Paul van den Brink
Temperature impact on nutrient limitation in shallow lakes: a mesocosm experiment
In 2014 a large mesocosm experiment studying the effect of warming on shallow lakes will be initiated at the NIOO-KNAW in Wageningen. One of the things that will be looked into is the effect of warming on the nutrient fluxes in shallow lakes. Warming may alter nutrient fluxes in various ways. It is, ...
Supervisor: Sarian Kosten (RUN-NIOO)
Edwin Peeters (AEW-WUR)
Effect of warming on the importance of methane derived carbon for aquatic food webs.
In 2014 a large mesocosm experiment studying the effect of warming on shallow lakes will be initiated at the NIOO-KNAW in Wageningen. One of the things that will be looked into is the effect of warming on methane production and methane oxidation. Methane is an important greenhouse gas and a consider ...
Supervisor: Paul Bodelier (NIOO-KNAW)
Sarian Kosten (RUN-NIOO)
Edwin Peeters (AEW WUR)
Behaviour of aquatic macroinvertebrates
Behaviour becomes increasingly important in eco(toxico)logical studies since it is a sensitive endpoint. Although different studies have been performed, little is known of the behaviour of benthic macroinvertebrates. Visual observations of behaviour (by the naked eye or videotaping) in combination w ...
Supervisor: Edwin Peeters
Variability in behavioural patterns of macroinvertebrates
Preliminary studies showed that the behaviour of the freshwater shrimp Gammarus pulex showed large variation. In this project the variation in individual shrimps will be compared with the variation of the population. Specimens will be exposed different times to the same stressor and the consistency  ...
Supervisor: Edwin Peeters
Helophytes along ditches in the Netherlands
Ditches are important waterways in the Netherlands. On the banks various helophytes may occur. Dutch regional waterboards collected data on these plants over a long period. The data are stored in a database. With the aid of multivariate statistics it will be explored which species co-occur and which ...
Supervisor: Edwin Peeters
Invasive freshwater crayfish research
Imported for restaurants, private ponds, or benefiting from the recent connection between Rhine and Danube river basins exotic crayfish are still establishing themselves in Dutch surface waters today. The latest inventory states that in The Netherlands now 8 species of freshwater crayfish are presen ...
Supervisor: Ivo Roessink (WENR), Edwin Peeters (AEW)
Assessing water quality using citizen science data
Citizens are becoming more and more important in collecting data about their own environment. There are projects running that generate citizen science data about water quality. Are those data reliable? Provide they additional information waterboard authorities do not collect? Can those data be helpf ...
Supervisor: Edwin Peeters
Studying behavior of aquatic macroinvertebrates using video cameras
Behavior of animals in influenced by many different factors. Besides various chemicals, all kinds of ecological factors play a role. For example, the presence of a place to shelter will influence the behavioral pattern as well as the competition between animals from different species. Video taping ...
Supervisor: Edwin Peeters & Ivo Roessink
Impacting decomposition in aquatic environments
Decomposition of organic material by detritivores is one of the main processes in ecosystems. Decomposition of allochthonous material is in streams very important, but less is known of the breakdown of this matter in standing waters like small ponds or ditches. Also, the decomposition of autochthono ...
Supervisor: Edwin Peeters
Swimmers itch (zwemmersjeuk)
The water board Rivierenland has asked Alterra to set up an investigation into an effective approach to swimmer's itch in recreational lakes. Swimmer's itch is an inflammatory reaction in the skin where larvae of the worm Trichobilharzia ocellata have penetrated, during or after bathing in natural f ...
Supervisor: Edwin Peeters (
Breath in – breath out: respiration in lakes
In 2014 a large mesocosm experiment studying the effect of warming on shallow lakes will be initiated at the NIOO-KNAW in Wageningen. One of the things that will be looked into is aquatic respiration. Primary production in aquatic systems has historically received much more attention than respiratio ...
Supervisor: Sarian Kosten (RUN-NIOO)
Edwin Peeters (AEW-WUR)
Optimal growth conditions for Azolla filiculoides
The waterfern Azolla filiculoides lives in symbiose with Anabaena. Therefore, Azolla is able to colonize waters without nitrogen. Studies showed that adding nitrogen may enhance the growth of this fern. Unclear is which sources of nitrogen and in which combinations result in the highest growth. In a ...
Supervisor: Edwin Peeters
Distribution of Azolla filiculoides in the Betuwe
Azolla filiculoides occurs in the Netherlands, but to what extend is rather unknown. Some observations are available from the Betuwe (NL). A further inventory may shed light on its present distribution. Relatively simple measurements in water where they occur may reveal relevant factors for its occu ...
Supervisor: Edwin Peeters
Competition among floating plants
Different floating plants can be present on the surface of a water body, like species of Lemna, Wolffia, Spirodella, Ricciocarpus and Azolla. They all have to compete for the same resources (nutrients & lights) and they may differ in growth characteristics. When and under which conditions a species  ...
Supervisor: Edwin Peeters
Toxic effects of antibiotics on freshwater algae populations and communities
Antibiotics used in animal production and in human medicine may enter the environment through the discharge of waste-water effluents and have been detected in several rivers all over the world. Yet there is limited knowledge on the way and extent to which aquatic ecosystems might be impacted by anti ...
Supervisor: Andreu Rico, Miquel Lürling, Paul van den Brink
Drought at Sea / Droogte op Zee
De afgelopen zomers waren bijzonder warm en droog. Dit leidde tot tal van gevolgen voor de natuur en voor de gebruikers van water. Droogte is zelfs niet zonder gevolgen voor de kustgebieden en de zee. Daar is toch water zat, hoezo dan? Dat is aan jou om uit te werken. Waar kun je aan denken? Droog ...
Supervisor: Name: Dr. Martin Baptist; Email:
Name: Mischa Streekstra;
Who lives below the reef?
Corals create immense three dimensional structures that are colonised by a colourful mix of benthic animals, plants and cyanobacteria. These groups living 'below' the reef play essential roles in ecosystem functioning by nutrient cycling. Still, these habitats are very heterogenous and difficult to  ...
Supervisor: Name: Mischa Streekstra
Ecological success of removal pharmaceuticals
An outdoor experiment will be setup by a PhD student (Koen van Gein) in order to test methods to remove pharmaceuticals from (effluent) water. In this study, different removal strategies will be applied and evaluated for their effects on the aquatic ecosystems with special attention for macroinverte ...
Supervisor: Paul van den Brink (WENR/AEW)
Koen van Gein (ETE)
Effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on invertebrate populations
Imidacloprid is one of the major insecticides which is used worldwide. It belongs to the family of neonicotinoid insecticides. Several studies indicate that imidacloprid is partly responsible for declining of honeybee colonies in United States in 2006 – 2007, followed by other countries. Non-targete ...
Supervisor: prof Paul van den Brink (
Duckweed in the City
Surface waters in various cities are covered with floating duckweed. Due to the dense layer of duckweed, anoxic conditions in the underlaying water column may occur. This might drastically affect animal life. Water managers are willing to take measures (e.g. removing duckweed) in order to improve th ...
Supervisor: Edwin Peeters (
Resilience of aquatic systems
Resilience is the capacity of a system to cope with perturbation and still develop. Theoretical work on resilience has been done (see e.g. , and a lot of knowledge has been obtained through modelling. However, how can such a concept be defined, applied and measured in re ...
Supervisor: Edwin Peeters
Safe Operating Space of aquatic ecosystems
Safe Operating Space (SOS) is a relatively new concept that states that there are tresholds that should not be transgressed. Most ecosystems are influenced by a variety of simultaneously operating environmental factors. Frequently, those variables are interconnected and thus a safe boundary for one  ...
Supervisor: Edwin Peeters
Modelling climate change-related feedbacks between seagrasses and suspended sediment in the Rødsand lagoon (Denmark)
Seagrass beds constitute vital parts of shallow marine ecosystems providing food, habitat, and nursery areas for other marine organisms, besides having positive effects on water quality by nutrient recycling, dampening of waves and stabilizing sediments. However, seagrasses are also vulnerable ...
Supervisor: Jasper Dijkstra, Deltares, department Ecology and Sediment Dynamics
Egbert van Nes, Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality management Group (
Spatio-temporal patterns in macrofaunal communities in Dutch floodplain systems
The lower river Rhine has been extensively modified throughout history, resulting in a drastic loss of important habitats, and hence the decline or even disappearance of many of its original fish and macrofaunal species. Especially floodplains act as critical habitat for many of these species. Survi ...
Supervisor: Edwin Peeters (AEW) / Leo Nagelkerke (AFI) / Twan Stoffers (AFI)
Analysing patterns in long-term macroinvertebrate monitorings data
From the 1980s onward, water boards collected data on macroinvertebrates and stored them in a large database. This database offers opportunities to look for any pattern in that data set. Statistical analyses will be part of it. ...
Supervisor: Ivo Roessink
Edwin Peeters
Tool for detecting changes in macroinvertebrate monitoring data
Water boards collect data on aquatic invertebrates. This data is usually stored in a database. How can the water board authority detect whether newly added monitoring data deviate from older observations and indicate a possible change in water quality? ...
Supervisor: Bastiaan van Zuidam (Waterboard Rijn en IJssel)
Edwin Peeters
Resilience of aquatic macroinvertebrates
There is a lot of theory on the topic of resilience. However, how can resilience be measured in animals? In this project, behavioral responses of macroinvertebrate species to stressors in a changing world will be studied to find out whether there are indications of resilience in the animals.  ...
Supervisor: Edwin Peeters
Ivo Roessink
Iron deficiency in tropical oceans?
The iron hypothesis suggests that the availability of iron contributes to the degradation of Caribbean coral reefs. Aeolian dust from the Sahara desert is suggested to enrich the Caribbean basin with bioavailable iron, and so lift nutrient limitation for algae that can displace corals and other reef ...
Supervisor: Name: Mischa Streekstra
Dispersal of wetland plants by waterbirds (Thesis/Internship)
Further detailed infromation available on:  ...
Supervisor: Casper van Leeuwen (NIOO,
Edwin Peeters (WUR,
Effects of nature friendly banks on ecology of water courses
The NGO FLORON, in cooperation with Wageningen University performs a study into the effects of Nature friendly banks on the ecology of water course. Different water board authorities have built these kinds of banks to promote ecological quality. Data from a monitoring program will become available.  ...
Supervisor: Edwin Peeters (WUR)
Michiel Verhofstadt (Floron)
Understanding the nutritional conditions for the occurrence of water lice (Asellus) in drinking water distribution systems (Thesis/Internship)
The microbiological quality of drinking water in our drinking water distribution systems depends on multiple factors, for example the temperature and the concentration of biodegradable organic carbon in the drinking water, defined as the biological stability. Growth of Aeromonas bacteria in the dist ...
Supervisor: Nikki van Bel, KWR Watercycle Research Institute (; 030-6069516)
Edwin Peeters (AEW-WUR)
Effects of grazing and enhanced nutrients on the ecosystem services, resilience and competitive abilities of native and invasive seagrass (Thesis/Internship)
In this project, you will research the impact of grazing and nutrients on the ecosystem services and the resilience (ability to recover from disturbance) of seagrass. As an invasive seagrass species (H. stipulacea) is spreading in Bonaire, we also want to study competition between native (T. testu ...
Supervisor: F.O.H. Smulders (
M.J.A. Christianen (
Habitat preferences of the stonefly Taeniopteryx schoenemundi (Negendoornige wintersteenvlieg)
Description Taeniopteryx schoenemundi is a rare stonefly species in the Netherlands that disappeared in many parts of Europe the last century. Interestingly there are some recent recordings available (e.g. in Germany and Belgium as well as in the southern part of the Netherlands. Li ...
Supervisor: Dorine Dekkers (
Edwin Peeters (
Influence of ageing on the vector effect of micro-plastics.
Evaluate the effect of ageing on chemical transfer from micro-plastics in organisms' gut to investigate how much chemicals are bioavailable from environmentally realistic micro-plastics compared to the virgin micro-plastics which have largely been used in most ecotoxicology studies.  ...
Supervisor: Bart Koelmans / Nur Hazimah
Fate and effects of micro- and nano-plastics
Micro- and nano-plastics form a threat to water quality. Several aspects could be studied. If you have own ideas feel free to discuss with supervisor.  ...
Supervisor: Bart Koelmas
Phosphorus sorption capacity of sediment in lakes treated with lanthanum modified bentonite.
Lake de Kuil (NL) was successfully treated in 2008 and 2017 with a lanthanum modified bentonite to manage eutrophication and cyanobacterial blooms. Little is known about the phosphorus sorption capacity of the sediment after the treatment. You will do fieldwork and lab experiments.  ...
Supervisor: Miquel Lurling / Maira Nunes Teixeira Mucci
AEW Research Topic of Your Own Interest
If you have a topic related to the field of AEW and you think this is really interesting as a topic for a Thesis, first contact the respective coordinator listed above. ...
Supervisor: AEW staff
Cascading impacts from human settlements on tropical seagrass beds and coral reefs.
Climate change is expected to cause the displacement of tens of millions by 2050 driven by changes in their local environmental conditions and the intensification of natural disasters. A large human exodus is foreseen and the first human relocations are already taking place across the world. Human r ...
Supervisor: S. Pino Cobacho, M. J. A. Christianen
Modelling dengue dynamics and resilience
The student will focus on the analysis of an epidemiological compartmental model for dengue, a tropical mosquito-borne disease. These models divide the population into several compartments depending on their epidemiological state: susceptible, infected, recovered... In the case of vector-borne dis ...
Supervisor: Clara Delecroix (
Ingrid van de Leemput (
Microbial detoxification potential of red mangrove Rhizophora mangle in laboratory experiment
Mangroves, seagrasses and coral reefs commonly occur in association in the tropical coastal zone, where they are often subject to wastewater pollution. These habitats are connected through chemical and material interactions (ecosystem connectivity) that provide them with a higher ecological resilien ...
Supervisor: S. Pino Cobacho, M. J. A. Christianen
Climate refugees in tropical coasts- A governance perspective
Climate change is expected to force the displacement of tens of millions by 2050 due to changes in their local environmental conditions and the intensification of natural disasters. Human relocation might pose a significant threat to the tropical coastal biome (mangroves, seagrasses and corals) when ...
Supervisor: S. Pino Cobacho, M. J. A. Christianen
The smell of the sea
Algae secrete Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Some of these substances reach concentrations so high that people can smell them. This is the case for dimethylsulphide, which is yielding that special ocean smell in the air. I would like you to review scientific literature what other volatile substa ...
Supervisor: (0317 487068)
PH-buffering capacity of red mangrove Rhizophora mangle in laboratory experiment
Mangroves, seagrasses and coral reefs are well-known for acting as global carbon sinks, and they commonly occur in association in the tropical coastal zone. These habitats are connected through chemical and material interactions (ecosystem connectivity) that provide them with a higher ecological res ...
Supervisor: S. Pino Cobacho, M. J. A. Christianen
Early warning signals of disease using google search behaviour or social media data
We want to study whether it is possible to detect early-warning signals of upcoming diseases, or disease eradication, in google search behavior and/or social media data. Early warnings signals are indicators of an upcoming sharp change. When a system approaches a critical threshold, we may see minor ...
Supervisor: Clara Delecroix (
Ingrid Van de Leemput (
Effect of temperature on oysters
Thesis/internship: Within the project FutureMares there is interest in studying the effect of heatwave on the performance of oysters. An experiment will be done with oysters from different parts of Europe. The student is expected to contribute and may analyse the resul ...
Supervisor: Brenda Wallis
Edwin Peeters
Impact of multiple stressors on macrophytes in an outdoor experiment
Thesis/Internship. In an outdoor experiment the impact of mulitple stressors on macrophytes will be evaluated at the NIOO station in Wageningen. Nutrients and temperature or chemical exposure will be taken as stressors but this is not fixed yet. Literature study, experimenten and data analyses w ...
Supervisor: Thijs Frenken
Edwin Peeters
Internship at the Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany, starting in September 2013.
Background: Due to anthropogenic activities (burning of fossil fuels and alteration in land-use) atmospheric CO2 levels are rising at a yet unprecedented rate. As a consequence, more CO2 will be taken up by the surface ocean water and increase aquatic CO2 concentrations. These alterations will lead  ...
Supervisor: Tim Eberlein (AWI), Björn Rost (AWI), Dedmer van de Waal (NIOO-KNAW, The Netherlands)
Staff AEW
Elements of danger: The biological stoichiometry of toxin production by harmful algae and cyanobacteria
Phytoplankton are of paramount importance in our lakes and oceans as they transform inorganic nutrients into organic compounds, by the use of light energy. In doing so, they provide food for the entire aquatic food web. Yet, it is not all healthy that is produced by these microbes, and many species  ...
Supervisor: Dr. Dedmer van de Waal
Veenfilter voor het zuiverste water
Door welvaart en hoge gemiddelde levensduur raakt West Europa sneller vervuild met indringende gevaarlijk stoffen als medicijnen-, en hormonenresten. Deze hebben al op kleine concentratie vergaande impact op het milieu en uiteindelijk op het leven op aarde. De veenfilter gebruikt natuurlijke materia ...
Supervisor: Emy Visser Tauw
Edwin Peeters WUR
Aqua Farm: research on aquatic organisms that purify wastewater and produce high-quality fabrics
Internship or Thesis. Effluent from sewage treatment plants (STPs) is discharged into surface waters which causes pollution (including high nutrient levels) of aquatic ecosystems. The project 'aqua farm' takes another angle to purify waste water by using flora and fauna that also produces as much ...
Supervisor: Lara Schuiijt, Piet Verdonschot (Wageningen Environmental Research)
Edwin Peeters (Wageningen University)
Global modelling of aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem services
Water bodies around the world suffer from increasing anthropogenic pressure such as land-use changes, hydrological disturbance, overexploitation and climate change. The GLOBIO-Aquatic model aims to link these broad-scale anthropogenic pressures on lakes, wetlands and rivers to their biodiversity and ...
Supervisor: Dr. Jan Janse, PBL and NIOO
Ir. Annette Janssen, NIOO
Monitoring fish migration facilities
In cooperation with regional waterboards a program has been set-up to monitor the efficiency of fish migration facilities. Fish will be caught, identified and length will be measured. Main question is whether the facility is used by the target species and by all size classes. Special attention will  ...
Supervisor: Edwin Peeters (WU)
Mark van Heukelum (Arcadis)
Publiceren van milieuinformatie van diergeneesmiddelen bij het Bureau Diergeneesmiddelen
Het Bureau Diergeneesmiddelen (BD) is onderdeel van het Agentschap voor het College ter Beoordeling van Geneesmiddelen en is gevestigd in Utrecht ( Het BD beoordeelt het (pré-)klinisch onderzoek van diergeneesmiddelendossier, inclusief de gegevens over de risico’s voor het milieu in  ...
Supervisor: Johan Schefferlie (06-27745906;
Paul van den Brink (WU-AEW)
Doorzicht en de aanwezigheid van waterplanten als fonteinkruidsoorten en kranswieren in Ketelmeer
In het kader van de monitoringsopgave voor het project Zomerbedverlaging Beneden-IJssel moeten we een onderzoek uitvoeren naar groeiplaatsomstandigheden van waterplanten in het Ketelmeer en in een nevengeul van de IJssel. Meer expliciet: om de relatie tussen het doorzicht en de aanwezigheid van wate ...
Supervisor: Henrico de Groot (Arcadis)
Edwin Peeters (AEW WUR)
Industrial Training at Royal HaskoningDHV Chemical Safety, 2016-2017
Description Royal HaskoningDHV is an international consultancy and engineering firm and well known because of for example the special, eye catching projects and buildings like the palm tree shaped islands of Dubai, the coastal defence project of Jakarta and our unique waste water treatment concept ...
Supervisor: Paul van den Brink (WUR)
Christiaan van Daalen / Berend Mensink (RHDHV)
Warming and herbivory in aquatic ecosystems
Climate warming has threatened our planet, and strongly impacted our ecosystems. Trophic interactions are also altered by climate warming. Since most of the aquatic animals are omnivorous, and herbivory is more popular at lower latitudes, temperature may play an important role in this trend. So will ...
Supervisor: Liesbeth Bakker (NIOO:
Peiyu Zhang (NIOO:
Edwin Peeters (WUR:
Herbivorie op waterplanten (Stage bij Waardenburg)
Stageproject bij Bureau Waardenburg: herbivorie op waterplanten De aanwezigheid van waterplanten is een voorwaarde voor een rijk onderwaterleven. Waterplanten bieden structuurrijk habitat aan vissen en macrofauna, houden het water helder en dienen als voedselbron voor herbivoren. Helaas is de pla ...
Supervisor: Bart Grutters, Bureau Waardenburg, (; T: 0345 51 27 10)
Edwin Peeters, WUR, (
Effects of effluents from wastewater treatment plants on microbial biofilms and their ecosystem functions
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Division of Water Research, in Magdeburg, Germany A MSc student will work on this project in a streamside mesocosm facility next to a local wastewater treatment plant (WWTP); experiments will be run in flumes fed with stream water from before and after ...
Supervisor: Miquel Lurling (
Dr. Patrick Fink, Department of River Ecology ( and Department of Aquatic Ecosystem Analysis (
Critical nutrient loads as ‘tipping points’ towards cyanobacterial dominance in stream biofilms
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Division of Water Research, in Magdeburg, Germany One or two MSc students will work on this project in a streamside mesocosm facility; experiments will be run in flumes fed with natural stream water; flumes will be supplied with a gradient of nitrogen  ...
Supervisor: Miquel Lürling (

Dr. Patrick Fink, Department of River Ecology ( and Department of Aquatic Ecosystem Analysis (
Application of Shell’s screening toolbox for rapid assessment of effluent risks
Over the last decade Shell has developed a tiered assessment approach to assess the risk of discharges in a structured way. Within this tiered assessment framework, a set of dedicated tools are available to measure elements of risk (PBT criteria). With the need to become more effective in quickly  ...
Supervisor: Mathijs Smit, Eco toxicologist, Shell International
Paul van den Brink, Wageningen University
Kansen en bedreigingen voor de houting
Inleiding en probleemstelling De houting of Noordzeehouting (Coregonus oxyrinchus) is een anadrome vissoort, die echter ook standpopulaties kent. De soort leeft in scholen in het pelagiaal. In het najaar trekt de vis over een korte afstand de rivieren op voor de paai. De paai vindt plaats op de di ...
Supervisor: Willie van Emmerik (Sportvisserij Nederland)
Edwin Peeters (AEW-WU)