Huge genetic study provides insight into how genes influence hundreds of human traits


An international research team led by Danielle Posthuma of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Amsterdam UMC has analyzed the results of more than 500 genome-wide studies for over 500 human traits, to provide novel insight into how our genome is linked to trait variation.

More persistent heat, drought and rain in a warming world


Europe, North America and parts of Asia can expect not just more intense but also longer lasting periods of heat, drought and rain during summer as the planet warms, worsening impacts on health and agriculture, according to a study by researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Climate Analytics and Humboldt University of Berlin.

Vulnerable connections are disrupted across a wide range of brain disorders


Brain disorders share common disruptions of specific connections in the brain, according to an international group of neuroscientists led by researchers from the Complex Trait Genetics group of the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Amsterdam UMC (location VUmc).

Bats use leaves as mirrors to find prey in the dark


Bats can find motionless insects on leaves in the dark only by echolocation. This was thought to be impossible, because insects are acoustically camouflaged by the loud echo of the leaves which confuses their echolocation system. Biologists from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama have now discovered how bats overcome this problem.

Jeroen Aerts and Sanne Muis receive 2019 AGU Natural Hazards Focus Group Awards


The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has awarded Jeroen Aerts the Gilbert F. White award in recognition of his original contributions to the natural hazards and disaster risks field.

Mareanne Karssen new Director of Education at Faculty of Science


Mareanne Karssen has been appointed as the new Director of Education of the faculty. She currently works at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam as Programme Manager for Education.

We indirectly lose a lot of nature due to urban expansion


Urban expansion leads to little direct loss of natural areas, but much larger indirect loss through displacement of agricultural land. This is the main result from new research by VU environmental geographer Jasper van Vliet.

Communication between brain cells contributes to shared symptoms across mental disorders


Genes related to specific biological mechanisms in the brain are involved in the development of multiple mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, autism spectrum disorder and ADHD.

Did microbial activity exist on Earth and Mars in ancient times?


Earth scientist Mónica Sánchez-Román receives a 350,000 euros grant to investigate how geobiological processes influence the formation of carbonate molecules.

Theoretical chemists uncover dual-activation mechanism for aromatic Diels-Alder Reactions


Making using of state-of-the-art quantum chemical calculations, a team of researchers led by Trevor A. Hamlin, Koop Lammertsma, and Matthias Bickelhaupt of the Department of Theoretical Chemistry at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, have pinpointed the operative mechanisms behind the ultra-fast aromatic Diels-Alder cycloaddition in heteroatom-substituted bent benzene rings, compared to planar benzene.

How do changes in the savannah affect the carbon cycle?


An international research team led by VU Professor of System Ecology Hans Cornelissen receives 330,000 euros from NWO-ENW for climate research on African savannahs.

Opening of the Academic year: We are in charge


The opening of the academic year 2 September 2019

NWO-Demonstrator Grant for Methane Leak Detection


Imran Avci and professor of Experimental Physics Davide Iannuzzi have been awarded an NWO-Demonstrator Grant.

Drones observe rapid erosion of permafrost coastline in the Arctic


An international team of researchers from the University of Edinburgh, University of Exeter, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Alfred Wegener Institute and GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, flew drones for high-resolution surveys to observe erosion on Qikiqtaruk, (Inuvialuktun for Herschel Island), Canada.

Marie Curie ITN on the future of Water Governance


The European Union has awarded a prestigious grant of four million Euros for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) to the NEWAVE ‘Next Water Governance’ proposal lead by Dr. Jampel Dell’Angelo and Prof. dr. Dave Huitema.