Treub symposium 2016

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

Biodiversity and global change in the Tropics

Coordinators: Carina Hoorn & W. Daniel Kissling

Thursday 17 November 2016


1330-1335 Opening

1335-1345 Rene Boot (Tropenbos International | Ecology and Biodiversity, University of Utrecht | Chair Treub): “Introduction to the Treub Maatschapij”

1345-1415 Suzette Flantua (Paleoclimate, University of Amsterdam): “Plant distributions and climate change in the Andes”

1415-1445 Patrick Jansen (Plant-animal interactions, Wageningen University): “Disruption of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor”

1445- 1515 Jose Joordens (Human evolution, University of Leiden): “Revisiting Trinil: reports from the August expedition”

TEA 1515-1545

1545-1615 Sancia van der Meij (Marine invertebrates, Naturalis): “What makes a good home? Factors influencing host specificity in coral-associated fauna”

1615-1645 Roy Erkens (Plant molecular phylogeny, Maastricht Science Programme): “Evolutionary patterns in the pantropical plant family Annonaceae”

1645-1715 Marieta Braks (Entomology, RIVM):Zika: the new face of an old problem”

1715-1900 Drinks


Rene Boot studied ecology and graduated (PhD) in 1990 at Utrecht University. After graduating he worked for fifteen years in forest research and development projects in the field in Guyana and Bolivia. Currently he is Chair of the Treub Maatschappij, a Dutch society that promotes academic research in the tropics. He also is director of Tropenbos International, a Dutch foundation governed by an international board and funded by the Dutch government, EU and other donors. The mission of this foundation is to improve governance and management of tropical forests through research, capacity building and promoting dialogue. Furthermore Rene is special professor in Sustainable Tropical Forest Management at Utrecht University, where he teaches research policy linkages to MSc and PhD students. He also is member of the editorial board of the Journal Tropical Ecology, Chair of the Tresor Foundation, and member of the board of the Prince Bernhard Chair for International Nature Conservation. The Tresor foundation manages a tropical forest reserve in French Guyana and the Prince Bernhard Chair for International Nature Conservation promotes academic research in support of nature conservation.

Suzette Flantua is a biologist with a strong biogeographical background and interest. She aims at integrating knowledge from the palaeoecology, biogeography and landscape ecology. Her forte is implementing Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing tools to a wide range of research questions in Venezuela, Colombia and the Amazon basin. Currently she is a PhD candidate and completing her project at the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam. Her research is focused on spatial modelling of ecosystem responses through time based on fossil pollen records in South America. As part of her project she updated the compilation of the Latin American Pollen Database, making it the most complete overview of palynological research in the Neotropics.

Patrick Jansen is associate professor at Wageningen University and staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. He is an ecologist active in both tropical and temperate ecosystems, especially forests, with a broad interest in community ecology and dynamics. He leads the Vertebrate Program of CTFS-ForestGEO (, a global network of 63 large-scale forest dynamics plots, and is one of the coordinators of the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring program (, in which camera traps are used to monitor the status of terrestrial mammals across 17 protected tropical forests. Most of his published work deals with seed dispersal by rodents, notably in French Guiana and Panama, and the use of camera traps for studying terrestrial mammals.

Jose Joordens was trained as marine biologist, obtained a PhD in Earth Sciences and is now working at the Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University. Her research interests center on reconstruction of paleoclimate and paleoenvironments in relation to human evolution. 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 early hominin biogeography and evolution in Africa (NWO-Veni grant), and she is setting up a collaborative archaeological project to re-excavate the famous Homo erectus site of Trinil on Java, Indonesia.

Salomon Kroonenberg (1947) is retired professor of geology at Delft University of Technology. He obtained his PhD at the University of Amsterdam on the Precambrian of the Guiana Shield in Suriname, a subject to which he returned after his retirement. He worked from 1972 to 1982 as a geologist in Suriname, Swaziland and Colombia, from 1982 to 1996 as a professor of geology at the Agricultural University Wageningen, and from 1996 until his retirement in 2009 in Delft. He authored or co-authored around 150 papers and four books on a large variety of subjects, ranging from Caspian sea-level change to the geological evolution of the Amazonian Craton. His book for non-specialists The human scale, the earth 10,000 years from now (2006), generated much media attention. He is a honorary professor at Moscow State University. Details at

Roy Erkens studied biology at Utrecht University and continued his studies there as a PhD-student, and later as Assistant Professor. In 2012 he moved to Maastricht University where he is currently Lecturer Evolutionary biology and Botany at the Maastricht Science Programme. He also lectures on evolution and creative problem solving in the master programme Systems Biology of Maastricht University. His research focuses on the pantropical plant family Annonaceae, specifically the Neotropical genus Guatteria. He studied this group during his PhD research as well as during the VENI grant that followed after this. Guatteria is one of the larger genera of its family (c. 180 species) and is being used to study patterns of diversification and biogeography in the Neotropics. Furthermore, he does systematic work on Guatteria and some smaller Annonaceae genera and contributes this knowledge to for instance Flora do Brasil and Flora Mesoamericana. Since 2016 he is also a member of the IUCN Global Tree Specialist Group and associate editor for the journal Frontiers of Biogeography. Lastly, he devotes substantial time to science communication with public lectures and (local) radio and television appearances. More info at:

Marieta Braks is a medical entomologist with the Dutch National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), the Netherlands. After studying biology at the University of Utrecht, she obtained her Ph.D. in Entomology from the Wageningen University in 1999. Subsequently, she worked seven years in the USA first as a postdoc at the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory and at the Entomology Laboratory of the University of California at Riverside and later as an employee of the Department of Vector – borne diseases of the California State Department of Public Health in Sacramento. During this period her research was focused on the invasion ecology of the yellow fever mosquito, and the Asian tiger mosquito in the US and in Brazil, but also the behavior of the mosquitoes transmitting West-Nile virus. With extensive experience in the surveillance and control of vectors and diseases, she returned to the Netherlands to work at the Centre for Zoonoses and Environmental Microbiology of the RIVM in 2007. In addition to national activities, she takes part in international networks and projects related to vector-borne diseases. In the coming years she will provide scientific support to the Dutch Caribbean and sustainable mosquito control.