ERC Starting Grant (1,7 million) for Janne Koornneef


Earth Scientist Janne Koornneef was awarded an ERC Starting Grant worth 1.7 million euros, of which 200 thousand euro is earmarked for instrumentation.

Benefits of investments in dikes worldwide known


The economic benefits of building dikes to reduce flood damage far outweigh the costs at the global scale. In many parts of the world, it is even possible to reduce the economic damage from river floods in the future to below today’s levels, even when climate change, growing populations, and urbanization are taken into account.

Four Veni grants for Faculty of Science


The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded four Veni grants worth up to 250,000 euros to VU science researchers Simon Boehme, Sicco Brandsma, Cristiano Giuffrida and Liubov Amitonova.

IVM researchers help people in Limburg to be better prepared for flooding


In May 2017 IVM researchers Stefania Munaretto and Douwe de Voogt organized two participatory events, a guided walk event and a storytelling event, to raise awareness on riverine flood risk and prevention measures in Itteren and Borgharen, Maastricht.

Jacqueline van Muijlwijk appointed as professor Innovations in Human Health & Life Sciences


As of 1 September 2017, Jacqueline E. van Muijlwijk-Koezen has been appointed professor of Innovations in Human Health & Life Sciences, a chair that is embedded in the department of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences. This new Chair has a designated teaching profile and aims to apply the theory of science education within the context of human health and life sciences. The chair is part of a VU-wide program to reinforce quality of education by stimulating career tracks that combine research with a strong educational profile.

Symbiosis: the evolution of host symbiont dependence


Toby Kiers and colleagues have unraveled the factors that drive hosts, from insects to squid, to become more or less dependent on their bacterial symbionts over evolutionary time. Their results reveal how hosts become strongly dependent on relationships with symbionts that provide food, rather than protection. They also found that symbionts passed down from parents are more important to the host survival than those picked up from the environment.

Large H2020 grant for implementation of FIT4FOOD2030 project


The Athena Institute as coordinator, together with 14 other consortium partners across Europe, got an H2020 grant of 4 million euro for the FIT4FOOD2030 project.

Strong decline in savanna fires due to increasing agriculture


Savannas and grasslands cover a large share of the tropics and harbour unique biodiversity. These grasslands are characterized by frequent fires—a pattern of burning that people have used for millennia to keep the landscape free of trees and shrubs and improve grazing. According to an international team of scientists fires have been disappearing rapidly from these ecosystems, resulting in a global decline in burned area.

Driven by climate change, lightning storms spark more fires in boreal forests, new study says


A new NASA-funded study led by Sander Veraverbeke, professor at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, finds that extreme lightning storms linked to climate change were the main driver of recent massive fire years in Alaska and northern Canada, with the fires creeping farther North, potentially altering Northern landscapes.

Theoretical chemist Célia Fonseca Guerra on cover of Chemistry


Theoretical chemists Célia Fonseca Guerra and Stephanie van der Lubbe have published in the journal Chemistry. Their new work highlights the importance state-of-art bonding analysis methods for understanding and predicting accurate bonding mechanisms in chemistry.

Amsterdam School of Data Science nominated for 'ICT educator of the year'


The newly created Amsterdam School of Data Science has been successfully nominated for the Computable Award: 'ICT Educator of the Year', the winner of which will be announced on 31 October.

Karlijn Keijzer Scriptieprijs awarded to Nick Bergkamp


At 29 June, the second Karlijn Keijzer Scriptieprijs will be presented to Nick Bergkamp, MSc student in Drug Discovery and Safety (DDS) at VU University, by Jacqueline Keijzer, mother of Karlijn Keijzer.

Paul Jennings new professor of molecular toxicology


The Executive Board of the VU appoints Paul Jennings as professor at the ADMET & Molecular Toxicology chair, starting 1 July 2017, with an appointment of 1.0 fte.

Insomnia genes found


An international team of researchers has found, for the first time, seven risk genes for insomnia. With this finding the researchers have taken an important step towards the unravelling of the biological mechanisms that cause insomnia.