PE&RC Day 2021 - Online

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PE&RC Day 2021

Biodiversity: Reflecting on the past to transform the future

Wednesday 6 October 2021

- ONLINE -  (Registration is closed)

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

This year we were hoping to welcome you at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden. Unfortunately, due to the current Covid-19 situation we had to decide to schedule this year’s edition again as an online edition. But this year, the full programme will be run! We hope you will join us.


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. 

09:30 - 09:45 Welcome word by the PE&RC PhD Council (PPC) and a PE&RC representative
Claudius van de Vijver, Head PhD Programme  PE&RC
Tessy Hick MSc, PhD candidate @ Wageningen University / chair of the PE&RC PhD Council
09:45 - 10:15 Wild Trojan Horses: Do human activities in areas with high biodiversity lead to viral outbreaks?
Dr Mark Zwart, Researcher Microbial Ecology @ Netherlands Institute of 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 @ Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) / Professor in Rewilding Ecology @ Wageningen University
11:30 - 12:00 Predicting ecosystem collapse in the Caspian Sea 2100 and what we can do about it
Dr Frank Wesselingh, Senior Researcher Marine biodiversity @ Naturalis Biodiversity Center
12:00 - 13:00 Lunch break  
13:00 - 13:30 How did the tropic become so diverse?
Dr William Gosling, Associate Professor in Palaeoecology @ University of Amsterdam
13:30 - 14:00 Tracking evolution of urban biodiversity
Prof. dr Barbara Gravendeel, Researcher and joint group leader @ Naturalis Biodiversity Center / Special Professor in Plant Evolution @ Radboud University
14:00 - 14:25 PE&RC Picture Competition Awards 2021 (PE&RC PhD Council)  
14:25 - 14:40 Coffee / Tea break (voting Picture Awards)   
14:40 - 14:50 Announcement winners PE&RC Picture Competition Awards 2021  
14:50 - 15:10 Report from 2020 “PE&RC Call for Institutional Collaboration” winners  
15:10 - 16:25 2021 “PE&RC Call for Institutional Collaboration” pitch sessions  
16:25 - 16:45 Short break (voting PE&RC Collaboration call)  
16:45 - 17:00 Announcement of winners “PE&RC Call for Institutional Collaboration 2021” (Bas Zwaan, scientific director of PE&RC)  
17:00 - 17:05 Closing remarks (Bas Zwaan, scientific director of PE&RC)  
PE&RC collaboration call

In 2018, PE&RC initiated a call to stimulate collaboration between PE&RC members of Wageningen University and PE&RC members of other institutes via joint short-term PhD and/or postdoc projects. After three successful years, the call is set out again for 2021. To this end we invite academic staff members of PE&RC to submit a proposal for institutional collaboration within PE&RC. More information can be found here. Please be informed that pre-proposals must be submitted by e-mail to on or before 1 October 2021.

The PE&RC Picture Award (deadline 29 September 2021, extended to Friday 1 October 2021!)

Based on the great success of previous PE&RC day editions we decided to again organize a Picture Award competition for our PhD community!
To give everyone a chance to win, we divided the competition into three categories:


So take this opportunity and submit a beautiful/meaningful/weird/tear-jerking picture of your PhD work. Show us what you’ve got!
The top 3 will be awarded a prize with a value of € 75,-, € 50,-, and € 25,- per category. You can now submit your pictures for the competition here. This is also the place to find all the relevant details about the competition.

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
PE&RC members Free of Charge
All others € 25,-


  • 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 1 (one) week prior to the start of the event, cancellation is free of charge.
  • In case of cancellation within one week prior to the start of the event, a fee of € 10,- will be charged.
  • If you do not show at all without informing us prior to the event, a fee of € 25,- 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".