The Spinoza Prize 2023 awarded to Toby Kiers (VU Amsterdam)

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Dear members of PE&RC,

On the 7th of June NWO announced that Professor Dr. Toby Kier of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and one of PE&RC’s leading members has been awarded the prestigious Spinoza Prize. PE&RC congratulates Toby with this prize and looks forward to how it will contribute to novel discoveries in the research field she has such an outstanding track record.

Toby Kiers.JPG
Professor Toby Kiers

Prof. Kiers is an evolutionary biologist with a keen interest in the symbiotic relationship between plants and mycorrhizae and she showed that this relationship and the evolutionary stability thereof can be explained using market theory. In so doing she was the first to apply economic principles beyond the animal kingdom. In an NWO Zwaartekracht programme that she leads, she, together with a large group of biologists and biophysicists, explores these symbiotic interactions across wide variety of plant species to explore further options for sustainable agriculture. As the founder of the Society for the Protection of Underground Networks (SPUN), Prof Kiers is an active ambassador for the preservation of soil biodiversity. Finally, she is strongly engaged with the general public e.g. through presentations such as her recent TED talk and publications in journals like National Geographics and documentaries.