Miriam van Heist

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Miriam van Heist
PhD Programme Coordinator

Email: miriam.vanheist@wur.nl
Tel: +31 6 28521546: 

About me
I am a biologist with additional training in vegetation surveys and mapping. I started my career as a university lecturer and consultant for mapping and GIS projects in Botswana and Uganda, where I got interested in resource management by local communities. I then worked at the international forest research institute CIFOR, in Indonesia, on developing participatory approaches to biodiversity and resource surveys. We asked forest-dependent communities in remote parts of Kalimantan and Papua their views on what was most important to them and helped them communicate these to local governments.

After 10 years in Indonesia, my partner and I went back to Uganda to lead a small research station for conservation related studies in Bwindi National Park. We hosted and guided national and international MSc and PhD students in their fieldwork. We came back to Europe in 2014, for my partner’s job at the University of Life Sciences, Norway. Over the years there, I worked as a consultant with the Rainforest Foundation, as well as a project administrator for a research centre for environmental radioactivity. In lean times, I have taught biology at secondary schools. Quite a mixed bag of job experience, as you can see!

Now back in the Netherlands since 2021, I am happy to have found work in a research and education environment again. I feel at home in WUR’s international research setting and hope I can contribute to students’ training and thriving.