Treub symposium 2015

Treub Maatschappij – Society for the Advancement of Research in the Tropics & Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED), University of Amsterdam

Symposium 125 years Treub Foundation: Highlights of Dutch Research in the Tropics

Coordinators: Carina Hoorn & Daniel Kissling

Wednesday 11 November 2015


1300-1315 Opening (Why this symposium? Who/what is Treub? Who form the committee? Who can apply for grants and what should they be used for).

1315-1345 Erik de Boer (Paleoecology): ‘Shadows of the Past: A journey to prehistoric Madagascar exploring cave art, remains of extinct megafauna, and paleoecological sites in the Beanka Nature Reserve’

1345-1415 Peter van Welzen (Biogeography): ‘Plant distributions in changing times. What happens in the Malay Archipelago’

1415- 1445 Jose Joordens (Human evolution): ‘Revisiting Trinil: looking with new eyes at the classical site of Homo erectus on Java’

TEA 1445-1515

1515-1545 Tinde van Andel (Ethnobotany): ‘Local names tell us how African slaves recognized plants in the American rainforest’

1545-1615 Aafke Oldenbeuving (Enthomology): ‘Pollinator attraction in figs – the role of floral volatiles’

1615-1645 Serge Wich (Primates): ‘Orangutan conservation and drones’

1645-1800 Drinks


Erik de Boer is a paleoecologist whose research focus has been the interactions between climate, nature and humanity. He received his PhD in 2014 at the University of Amsterdam on the paleoecology of Mauritius. Currently he focuses on how long-term ecological data of the SW Indian Ocean islands can contribute to biogeographical theory and conservation management.

Peter van Welzen started his career as a plant taxonomist working on the Sapindaceae for the Flora Malesiana Project. Presently, he researches the Euphorbiaceae in an international endeavour. His interests widened and now also include phylogeny reconstruction and especially tropical plant biogeography with an emphasis on the past and the future.

Jose Joordens was trained as marine biologist and her research interests center on reconstruction of paleoclimate and paleoenvironments in relation to human evolution. She is especially interested in the emergence of early Homo. In the past 5 years she was involved in geochemical (strontium isotope) analyses on fish and shell remains from Early Pleistocene deposits of the Turkana Basin in Kenya. Her current research focus is on the bivalve shell collection from Trinil, housed in the Dubois Collection at Naturalis. The bivalve molluscs may have been collected and consumed by the hominins that were living there, and there are indications for the presence of shell tools in the collections.

Tinde van Andel obtained her MSc Biology in 1992 at the University of Amsterdam. Specialized as a Tropical Ecologist, she studied swamp vegetation in the Colombian Amazon for her MSc thesis. Her PhD study at Utrecht University (1995-2000) focused on the use of non-timber forest products by Indians in northwest Guyana. Fascinated by ethnobotany and traditional knowledge, she continued with a postdoc at Utrecht University (2005-2009) on medicinal plants of Suriname, after which she obtained a NWO-Vidi grant to trace back the origin of Afro-Surinamese plant practices in West and Central Africa (2010-2015). She was appointed in May 2015 as a Naturalis special professor in Ethnobotany at Wageningen University. In September 2015 she was appointed on the Clusius chair History of Botany and Gardens at Leiden University.

Aafke Oldenbeuving is a PhD-researcher at the University of Amsterdam as well as a biology high school teacher at the Berlage Lyceum (Amsterdam). For her research she studies the fig-wasp mutualism which is a well known
‘non-model’ model system in evolutionary biology. Aafke’s PhD-project aims to elucidate the mechanisms of pollinator attraction by figs. To do so, she combines chemical analyses of plant volatiles with field observations and behavioral experiments with fig wasps.

Serge Wich is a Dutch primatologist who currently works at Liverpool John Moores University (Liverpool, UK) as a professor in primate biology. Serge has a keen interest in the use of drones for conservation and is a Founding Director of the non-profit, His research focuses on primate behavioral ecology, tropical rain forest ecology and conservation of primates and their habitats. His research is strongly focused on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and Borneo and he uses a mixture of observational and experimental fieldwork. At present the key species Serge studies is the Sumatran orangutan where he is involved in research at various fieldsites. Serge is also involved in island-wide surveys and analyses of orangutan distribution and density and the impact of land use changes on their populations.