PE&RC Day 2021

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PE&RC Day 2021

Biodiversity: Reflecting on the past to transform the future

Wednesday 6 October 2021

Naturalis Biodiversity Center - Leiden 

Annual symposium organised by the PE&RC PhD Council (PPC) for all PE&RC members   


Biodiversity: Reflecting on the past to transform the futureLogo PE&RC day 2020.PNG

Current Biodiversity represents the result of how evolving species responses to survive and thrive over millions of years of changing biological and environmental in the varying environmental conditions on Earth. However, as we all know too well, this biodiversity is in a free fall of mass extinction due to large changes in environmental living conditions, primarily the result of mankind’s doing.

In this year’s edition of the PE&RC day, we will take you on a journey back in time to explore how past species, populations, communities, and whole ecosystems responded to and recovered from large scale change and or recover from previous mass extinction events. How did the extinction elapse? What were the implications to species networks during previous biodiversity decline? What were the responses of species drivers of recovery and speciation? Touching on different ecosystems found around the globe, we will explore these insights gained from the past which serve as an essential repository of knowledge that we can consult to help save our remaining natural heritage.
The 2021 PE&RC Day aims to learn from our planets history to uncover potential opportunities that will allow for people and nature to flourish together on our one planet. 

Programme (preliminary)
09:00 - 09:30 Registration & Coffee / Tea  
09:30 - 09:45 Welcome word by the PE&RC PhD Council (PPC) and by the Chair of the Day
Tessy Hick MSc, PhD candidate @ Wageningen University / vice chair of the PE&RC PhD Council
Prof. Bas Zwaan, Professor of Genetics @ Wageningen University / Scientific Director of the Graduate School PE&RC
09:45 - 10:15 Wild Trojan horses: Do human activities in areas with high biodiversity lead to viral pandemics?
Dr Mark Zwart, Researcher Microbial Ecology @ NIOO - KNAW
10:15 - 10:45 Winners and losers of the Anthropocene: What makes species endangered or invasive?
Prof. Dr Jacintha Ellers, Professor of Evolutionary Ecology / Head of section Animal Ecology @ VU Amsterdam
10:45 - 11:00 Coffee / Tea break  
11:00 - 11:30 Rewilding wetlands: bringing back processes from the past to conserve biodiversity of the future
Prof. dr Liesbeth Bakker, Senior Researcher Aquatic Ecology @ NIOO-KNAW
11:30 - 11:50 2021 “PE&RC Call for Institutional Collaboration” pitch session  
11:50 - 12:50 Lunch  
12:50 - 13:20 The Rise and Demise of the unique Pontocaspian biodiversity
Dr Frank Wesselingh, Senior Researcher Marine biodiversity @ Naturalis Biodiversity Center
13:20 - 13:50 How did the tropic become so diverse?
Dr William Gosling, Associate Professor in Palaeoecology @ University of Amsterdam
13:50 - 14:10 Coffee / Tea break   
14:10 - 14:40 Tracking evolution of urban biodiversity
Prof. Dr Barbara Gravendeel, Researcher @ Naturalis Biodiversity Center / Special Professor in Plant Evolution @ Radboud University
14:40 - 15:00 PE&RC Picture Competition Awards (PE&RC PhD Council)  
15:00 - 15:20 Report from 2020 “PE&RC Call for Institutional Collaboration” winners and selection of 2021 winners (Bas Zwaan, scientific director of PE&RC)  
15:20 - 15:30 Closing remarks (Bas Zwaan, scientific director of PE&RC)  
15:30 - 17:00 Museum tour  
17:00 - 18:00 Drinks at the venue  
18:00 - 20:00 Dinner  
PE&RC collaboration call and PE&RC Picture Competition Awards

More information about the PE&RC Collaboration call and the PE&RC Picture Competition Award will follow.

General information
Target Group The annual PE&RC day is meant for all PE&RC PhDs, postdocs and staff members, but non-PE&RC members are also warmly welcomed!
Event duration 1 day
Number of credits 0.3 ECTS
Venue Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden
Transportation Transportation to and from Wageningen Campus to Naturalis will be provided
Fees 1
PE&RC members Free of Charge € 25,-
All others € 25,- € 50,-

1 The course fee includes a programme, coffee/tea, lunch, and drinks


  • Payment: payment information will follow in the confirmation mail.
  • If you need an invoice to complete your payment, please send an email to, including ALL relevant details that should be mentioned on the invoice (e.g., purchase order no., specific addresses, attendees, etc.).
  • Please make sure that your payment, if applicable, is arranged within two weeks after your registration, or indicate in the registration form that you will pay in cash on the day itself.
  • It is the participant's responsibility to make sure that he/she (or his/her secretary) completes the payment correctly and in time.
PE&RC Cancellation Conditions
  • Up to 2 (two) weeks prior to the start of the event, cancellation is free of charge.
  • Up to 1 (one) week prior to the start of the event, a fee of € 10,- will be charged.
  • In case of cancellation within one week prior to the start of the event, a fee of € 25,- will be charged.
  • If you do not show at all without informing us prior to the event, a fee of € 50,- will nevertheless be charged.

Note: If you would like to cancel your registration, ALWAYS inform us (and do note that you will be kept to the cancellation conditions)


The annual PE&RC Day is organised by the PE&RC PhD Council (PPC), with the assistance of the PE&RC Office. More details about the PPC can be found here.

More information

Jacqueline Verhoef (PE&RC)
Phone: +31 (0) 317 485414


To register, please enter your details below and click "Register".


Note that when you decide to join the entire day, including the dinner, you are eligible to join transport to the venue (if arranged) or to receive a financial compensation for your travel to the venue. Hence, the question about joining the bus only appears in the registration form when you indicate that you will join the dinner.