New model can predict carbon cycle presence on exoplanets


Life thrives at stable temperatures. On Earth, this is facilitated by the carbon cycle. Scientists at SRON, VU Amsterdam and the University of Groningen have now developed a model that predicts whether there is a carbon cycle present on exoplanets, provided the mass, core size and amount of CO2 are known.

Plants grow faster when exposed to vibratory noise


Vibrations in the earth, caused by human activity such as traffic, industry and wind turbines, affect the soil and influence processes such as plant growth. This is the conclusion reached by fieldwork and lab studies conducted by a team of researchers at VU Amsterdam, led by biologist Wouter Halfwerk.

Mátyás Bittenbinder: one of the 30 talents under 30


Proudly listed on EWMagazine’s ‘30 under 30’ this year is biologist Mátyás Bittenbinder. According to the news magazine, these are the thirty young and talented individuals to watch. The thirty millennials on the list are all stars in their fields: from sports to politics, to the business community and science.

Inger Leemans and Guido van der Werf appointed members of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences


The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences has chosen twenty-three new members, including Inger Leemans and Guido van der Werf of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Faster analysis of brain tissue from Alzheimer’s patients


Scientists from the VU and Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc, used new imaging techniques to study brain tissue faster and better. This allows them to better understand Alzheimer’s disease in different patients.

Two Science teams ‘Appreciated’ for their commitment to science communication


Although interaction between science and society is of enormous importance, science communication is still far from being recognised as integral to the tasks of science. The pilot fund ‘Science communication by scientists: Appreciated!’ takes a step towards showcasing and rewarding the many scientists who have dedicated themselves to science communication.



Scientists from the Athena Institute at VU Amsterdam interviewed more than 80 citizens from eight European countries to investigate how they are coping with the complexities of the coronavirus pandemic. It turns out that many of the participants are experiencing tremendous stress as a result of the pandemic. To cope with this, many citizens are putting their emotional needs before rational considerations.

How do plants protect themselves from too much sunlight?


A team of physicists from Amsterdam and chemists from Leiden, led by VU biophysicist John Kennis, have demonstrated that the photosynthetic protein PsbS changes shape in response to excess sunlight.

Coronavirus: Updates and FAQs


Last change on Wednesday 21 April: Starting April 26 corona measurements for higher education will be relaxed.

VU's community involvement reflected in Times Higher Education Impact Ranking 2021


The Impact ranking of Times Higher Education (THE) strongly reveals the social commitment of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. VU research and education of VU Amsterdam is among the top 5 percent of 1115 participating universities worldwide when it comes to impact on the Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG's) Climate Action; Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; Gender equality and Reduced inequalities.

500,000 Euros for use of artificial intelligence in particle research


The Netherlands eScience Center has honoured the software project of theoretical physicist Juan Rojo (VU/ Nikhef). The project focuses on the use of graphics processors and self-learning computers for research into the strong nuclear force.

Entrepreneurship at VU Amsterdam. The bar cannot be set high enough


With an investment of 78 million euros, the Amsterdam-based medical high-tech company LUMICKS is taking a big step forward in the further development of the next generation of instruments for biological research and drug development. The company started in 2014 in the basement of VU Amsterdam. The company now almost has one hundred and fifty employees.

Toby Kiers awarded Vici grant for research on fungal networks


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam’s evolutionary biologist Toby Kiers has been awarded a Vici grant worth 1.5 million euros. This personal grant, awarded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO), is intended for her research into how fungi take decisions when trading nutrients with their host plants. The question is how these organisms, which do not have brains, process and share information in their complex networks in such a way that they can carry out the right trading strategies.

Geometry of rivers strongly determined by movements in the earth’s crust


Rivers shape the landscape, but pinpointing the processes that determine the shape of rivers is a challenging puzzle. A new analysis of global climate, topography and tectonic data reveals that the course of rivers worldwide is largely determined by movements of the earth’s crust. The climate has far less influence than was thought. This discovery was made by a team of Swiss, American and Dutch researchers, including VU Amsterdam earth scientist Wouter Berghuijs.

Three science Master’s programmes rise above in Keuzegids Masters 2021


Several Master's degree programmes at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam are above the national average, including three programmes at the Faculty of Science. This is the result of student evaluations scores for the 2021 Keuzegids student guide to Master’s programmes.