NAEM 2019

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Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting

Tuesday 12 & Wednesday 13 February 2019

Conference Centre "De Werelt", Westhofflaan 2, Lunteren, The Netherlands


Each year, on the second Tuesday and Wednesday of February, the Netherlands Ecological Research Network (NERN) organises her annual conference, the Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting (NAEM). This conference is particularly geared towards people working in the field of ecology and/or evolution. It aims to strengthen the network of ecologists in the Netherlands, Belgium, and surrounding countries and provides an overview of the work carried out by the people in the network. The NAEM meeting is two full days, each day consisting of a plenary session, in which a Dutch/Flemish and an international world leader present their view on a specific topic in ecology or evolution, two sets of five parallel sessions (including more workshop-like sessions), and a poster session. Parallel sessions generally consists of 6 oral presentations, thus leading to a total of approximately 125 oral presentations. On average, we have about 75-100 scientific poster presentations during the meeting. On Tuesday evening, a more relaxed and thought-provoking presentation is generally scheduled. The NAEM meeting is organised in collaboration with the Dutch-Flemish Ecological Society (NecoV) and is financially supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

This year will be the 12th edition of the Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting (NAEM). As always, the meeting will be held at Conference Centre "De Werelt" in Lunteren. At this stage, the four plenary speakers have been confirmed. The first plenary session will be about "Rewilding in the face of Global Change", with plenary talks by Prof. Jens-Christian Svenning of Aarhus University in Denmark, about "Trophic rewilding – background, opportunities and challenges for megafauna-based restoration in the Anthropocene", and by Dr Liesbeth Bakker of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, about "Rewilding: impact on ecosystems under global change". The second plenary session will be about "Estuarine & Coastal Ecology in the Anthropocene: challenges and opportunities", with plenary talks by Prof. Laura Airoldi of the University of Bologna in Italy, about "Discovering, understanding and sustaining marine ecosystems along increasingly artificial coastlines", and by Prof. Tjeerd Bouma of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, about "Sustaining intertidal ecosystems under climate change for coastal protection". Below, you can find more details about the general set-up of the programme and about the deadlines for submission of contributions to the 2019 NAEM meeting. You are cordially invited to register your participation.

Call for submission of abstracts for a presentation in one of the parallel sessions is now open!

The parallel sessions have now been selected by the NAEM Organising Committee. They can be found in the programme below. The call for submitting an abstract for an oral presentation in one of the parallel sessions is now open and will be open until TUESDAY 11 DECEMBER 2018. That gives you just under 6 weeks to look at the programme, think about the session that you would like to present your work in, make an abstract (max. 200 words!), and submit that along with a title of your proposed talk to the conveners of the session of your choice (their e-mail addresses are hyperlinked in the programme (under their names)).

Please take note of the following regarding the submission of presentation abstracts
1. Sessions are led by conveners, who are responsible for filling their session with 6 presentations (15 minutes talk + 5 minutes discussion), one of which is given by one of the conveners or a senior speaker giving the birds-eye view on the topic.
2. Conveners will select the most applicable presentations for their session. Selected and rejected applicants will be informed by the conveners no later than MONDAY 17 DECEMBER 2018.
3. Once again, the deadline for submission of your presentation abstract to the conveners is TUESDAY 11 December 2018.
4. People that wish to give a talk in one of the parallel sessions, are asked to contact the conveners of the session, sending them the following details:
     A. Your full name and those of co-authors to be listed in the programme
     B. Your affiliation (institute + group/department)
     C. The title of the presentation
     D. A short abstract of the presentation that you propose to give (MAX. 200 WORDS)

Presenting a poster during the NAEM meeting

Besides the plenary and parallel sessions, time has been allotted to two poster sessions. Those wanting to present a poster, are asked to indicate this in the registration form on the website. It is possible for you to indicate in the registration form whether or not your poster should be linked to one of the parallel sessions. If so, we will ascertain that your poster is assigned to the poster session that is scheduled on the same day as the parallel session. If you change your plans after registering, please send an email to to indicate that you will or will not be presenting a poster during the NAEM meeting, and if you will, be sure to give the title of your poster and to indicate whether it should be linked to one of the parallel sessions. Posters presented during the NAEM meeting have to be formatted in PORTRAIT ORIENTATION and in A0-size. At the end of the meeting, the best poster (as judged by the NAEM audience) will be selected and awarded with the NECOV Poster Prize. Deadline for submission of a poster title is: Tuesday 5 February 2019.

Important deadlines
  • Opening call for submissions of proposals for parallel sessions: Tuesday 11 September 2018 (CALL IS NOW CLOSED)
  • Deadline for submissions of proposals for parallel sessions: Tuesday 23 October 2018 (CALL IS NOW CLOSED)
  • Opening call for submissions of abstracts for an oral presentation in one of the parallel sessions: Friday 2 November 2018
  • Deadline for submissions of abstracts for an oral presentation in one of the parallel sessions: Tuesday 11 December 2018
  • Full programme online: Tuesday 18 December 2018
  • Deadline for submission of poster titles for a slot in one of the poster sessions: Tuesday 5 February 2019
  • Early-bird deadline for registration of participation: Tuesday 22 January 2019

At this moment, the call for submission of presentation abstracts for oral presentations in the parallel sessions is open (Deadline: Tuesday 11 December 2018). This means that you can now submit your presentation abstract to the conveners of the parallel session of your choice.

Tuesday 12 February
  Main Entrance Hall
08:30 Registration and coffee in the Lounge and setting up posters
10:15 Word of Welcome
  Plenary 1: “Rewilding in the face of Global Change”
Highlight of this session will follow soon.
10:30 Trophic rewilding – background, opportunities and challenges for megafauna-based restoration in the Anthropocene (Jens-Christian Svenning, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Denmark)
11.15 Rewilding: impact on ecosystems under global change (Liesbeth Bakker, Department of Aquatic Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology, The Netherlands)
12:00 Lunch in the restaurant
  Europe Hall America Hall Asia Hall Africa Hall Vide Hall
13:30 Parallel 1a:
Rewilding in the face of Global Change
Parallel 1b:
Ecological genomics - Bridging the gap between ecology and genomics
Parallel 1c:
The next generation of research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF)
Parallel 1d:
From individual fitness to population dynamics
Parallel 1e:
Ecology and Conservation
  1. Liesbeth Bakker (Netherlands Institute of Ecology)
  2. Second convener to be confirmed
  1. Chiara Bortoluzzi (Wageningen University & Research)
  2. Mirte Bosse (Wageningen University & Research)
  3. Per J. Palsbøll (University of Groningen)
  1. Yann Hautier (Utrecht University)
  2. Hans de Kroon (Radboud University Nijmegen)
  1. Rosemarie Kentie (Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research)
  2. Tamar Lok (Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research)
  3. Andrew Allen (Radboud University Nijmegen)
  1. Ignas Heitkönig (Wageningen University & Research)
  2. Rascha Nuijten (Netherlands Institute of Ecology)
  This session is linked to the first plenary session on Rewilding in the face of Global Change. A more detailed scope will follow soon. Ecological genomics is an emerging interdisciplinary field of studies that seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying responses of organisms to their natural environments. In this symposium, we will bridge the gap between ecology and genomics by exploring the potential of ecological genomics in model and non-model organisms. We will do that by exploring the benefits that ecological genomics brought to, among others, the following three areas of research: 1) the study of life history evolution and its impact on the genome architecture; 2) the genomic mechanisms of phenotypic plasticity, and 3) the genomic bases of adaptation and speciation. During the last three decades of research on BEF, we have accumulated evidence of the positive effects of biodiversity at small scales on ecosystem functioning. This session will highlight current and future directions in BEF research. This includes 1) scaling up the BEF relationship and mechanisms in space and time, 2) clarifying the buffering effect of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning in a changing world, and 3) determining the role of multitrophic interaction in driving BEF. Fitness and population dynamics are inter-related topics: fitness is about who survives and reproduces whilst population dynamics concerns how the size and structure of populations is driven by variation in demographic rates. In this session, we aim to unite long-term studies conducted at the level of individuals. By comparing factors explaining variation in survival, growth, fecundity and dispersal, we can advance our understanding of how individual fitness scales up to population dynamics. In the current time of rapid global change in climate and societies, conserving nature and natural processes has become an ever increasing challenge. In this session we (1) highlight examples of ecological research that evidently have a positive impact on the conservation of a species, habitat or ecosystem, and (2) explore avenues of future ecological and/or other research to contribute to more resilient conservation of nature and a sustainable society.
15:40 Coffee and tea in the lounge
  Europe Hall America Hall Asia Hall Africa Hall Vide Hall
16:00 Parallel 2a:
Animals adjusting to a rapidly changing world
Parallel 2b:
Nature's Followers
Parallel 2c:
Urban Ecology
Parallel 2d:
Fungal interactions in a changing world
Parallel 2e:
Carbon and Nutrient Dynamics
  1. Bart Nolet (Netherlands Institute of Ecology / University of Amsterdam)
  2. Martijn van de Pol (Netherlands Institute of Ecology)
  3. Jan van Gils (Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research)
  1. Monique de Jager (Netherlands Institute of Ecology)
  2. Marijke van Kuijk (Utrecht University)
  1. Dries Bonte (Ghent University)
  2. Matty Berg (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
  1. Alena Gsell (Netherlands Institute of Ecology)
  2. Silke Van den Wyngaert (IGB Leibniz - Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries)
  3. Hans-Peter Grossart (IGB Leibniz - Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries)
  1. Mariet Hefting (Utrecht University)
  2. Paul Bodelier (Netherlands Institute of Ecology)
  3. Elly Morriën (University of Amsterdam)
  There is ample evidence that the world is changing more rapidly than ever before as a result of direct and indirect human influence. In fact, changes are occurring so fast that we as ecologists can study the way organisms are responding to these changes. In this session, we want to show examples of animals trying to cope with these changes by behavioural, physiological or somatic changes. Using modern technology, we have become nature’s followers: we can camera trap every animal that lives in an ecosystem and gps-track individuals over long periods of time. In this session, researchers will present what they are monitoring, how and why they are doing this, and how the excessive amounts of obtained data are analysed. Urban ecosystems cover a small but continuously increasing proportion of land surfaces, and tend to differ greatly from natural or rural areas in several biogeochemical/physical drivers of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Urbanisation therefore imposes a strong selection pressure and environmental filter. Because it is a global phenomenon, it provides a unique opportunity to study adaptive strategies of species towards often extreme human impacts like pollution, fragmentation and warming. We welcome contributions that aim to achieve an integrated understanding of the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of species in urban environments, especially those that advance insights into the processes that characterise winner species. Fungi are known for their detrimental (e.g. parasitism) and beneficial (e.g. mutualism) interactions with other organisms and even for switching their interaction type when environmental conditions change. Thereby, their ecological role can greatly change, resulting in different food-web interactions and ecosystem level outcomes. The aim of this session is to highlight the ecological role of terrestrial and aquatic fungi in ecosystem processes, the diversity and variability of their interactions and their response to environmental change. Ecosystems can be significant carbon sources or sinks depending on their management. There is a growing concern that ecosystems will increasingly function as CO2-source as climate warms and nutrient enrichments increase. Concurrently, initiatives as 4p1000 claim that a slight increase in ecosystem C-sequestration could fully compensate anthropogenic increases of atmospheric CO2. This session provides a platform for a wide range of studies on carbon and nutrient dynamics in the context of climate change mitigation.
18:10 Drinks in the Lounge and from 18:30 onwards dinner in the restaurant
19:30 Poster session 1
21:00 Evening Programme: Will follow soon
Wednesday 13 February
07:30 Breakfast in the restaurant
08:00 Registration for those coming on Day 2 only
  Europe Hall America Hall Asia Hall Africa Hall Vide Hall
08:30 Parallel 3a:
Full annual cycle research in ecology
Parallel 3b:
Management of (overabundant) herbivore populations
Parallel 3c:
Soil Ecology
Parallel 3d:
Ecological consequences of rapid evolution
Parallel 3e:
Governing dynamics of community assembly: from big data to best practices
  1. Magali Frauendorf (Netherlands Institute of Ecology)
  2. Morgan Brown (University of Amsterdam)
  1. Daan Bos (Altenburg & Wymenga ecological consultants)
  2. Ronald C. Ydenberg (Simon Fraser University Burnaby, Canada)
  3. E. Emiel van Loon (University of Amsterdam)
  1. Davide Francioli (Wageningen University & Research)
  2. Ciska Veen (Netherlands Institute of Ecology)
  1. Steven Declerck (Netherlands Institute of Ecology)
  2. Jacintha Ellers (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
  1. Edwin T. Pos (Utrecht University)
  2. Marco D. Visser (Princeton University)
  Annual cycles consist of breeding and non-breeding periods that are often clearly separated in space and time, but that are biologically intricately linked. These inter-seasonal effects are poorly understood but are crucial to understand population dynamics and space use, making full annual cycle research important for effective conservation and management. This session examines how environmental conditions and individual state in one season carry over to influence the performance in the subsequent season, and what the consequences of these seasonal interactions are. In the cultural landscape there are obvious fields of tension between human interests and highly abundant herbivores. Mitigation of problems may be achieved a.o. using technical measures, the influencing of animal behaviour, or more or less carefull population management. This session aims at providing a platform for studies that test and develop theory or practical instruments for wild-life management, as well as case studies where the scientific basis and effectivity of actual management decisions are being evaluated. In terrestrial ecosystems, soil organisms  are involved in a series of important ecological processes and functions, such as nutrient cycling, support of plant growth, degradation of pollutants and buffering against acute environmental changes. In this session, we focus on the ecological and functional role that (micro)organisms play in soil ecosystems. The potential of contemporary evolution to lead to rapid trait change is increasingly being recognized. Microevolutionary dynamics can be so fast as to affect the outcome of species interactions, geographic range shifts and the stability of populations and communities. By presenting in-depth case studies on a wide variety of organism types, this session will illustrate how rapid evolutionary change provides a pathway to a broad range of ecological dynamics. Big data in ecology is pushing new boundaries for ecological analyses, but it also brings novel pitfalls and dangers. Global datasets offer a grand opportunity to disentangle the governing dynamics of ecosystems, but it also sets novel challenges: the need to develop efficient analytical tools and new evidentiary standards to prevent spurious correlations. How to deal with these challenges and where to go from here? How do we go from big data to best practices?
10:40 Coffee and tea in the lounge
  Plenary 2: "Estuarine & Coastal Ecology in the Anthropocene: challenges and opportunities"
Will follow soon
11:00 Discovering, understanding and sustaining marine ecosystems along increasingly artificial coastlines​ (Laura Airoldi, Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy)
11.45 Sustaining intertidal ecosystems under climate change for coastal protection (Tjeerd Bouma, Department of Estuarine & Delta Systems, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, The Netherlands)
12:30 Lunch in the restaurant
13:30 Poster Session 2
  Europe Hall America Hall Asia Hall Africa Hall Vide Hall
15:00 Parallel 4a:
Estuarine & Coastal Ecology in the Anthropocene
Parallel 4b:
Using small-scale data for large-scale questions
Parallel 4c:
Tropical Ecology
Parallel 4d:
Understanding spatial patterns in biodiversity
Parallel 4e:
Host associated microbiome interactions and their implications for host ecology
  1. Karin van der Reijden (University of Groningen)
  2. Laura Govers (Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research)
  3. Oscar Bos (Wageningen Marine Research)
  1. Melinda de Jonge (Radboud University Nijmegen)
  2. Coline Boonman (Radboud University Nijmegen)
  3. Leila Meyer (Federal University of Goiás, Brasil)
  1. Patrick Jansen (Wageningen University & Research / Smithsonian Institution)
  2. Marielos Peña Claros (Wageningen University & Research)
  3. William Gosling (University of Amsterdam)
  1. Jeroen van Leeuwen (Wageningen University & Research)
  2. Stefan Geisen (Netherlands Institute of Ecology)
  1. Ellen Decaestecker (KU Leuven)
  2. Jie Hu (Utrecht University)
  Coastal sees, such as the North Sea, provide us with food, protection, and recreation possibilities and are valued for their ecological wealth. Simultaneously, these systems are increasingly threatened by global change, rising world populations and coastal urbanization. To conserve these ecosystems, scientific knowledge of mechanisms and processes driving coastal ecosystem degradation is essential. In this session, we provide a platform for scientific research that supports evidence-based conservation, sustainable management and habitat restoration of coastal seas. In ecology, we try to understand the relationship between organisms and their environment at different scales: from local populations to meta-communities to global patterns in biodiversity. While research questions may change with scale, the data that is used in analyses remains the same. In this session, we focus on how small-scale data is used to answer macroecological questions, and aim to highlight the relevance of large-scale studies for improving our understanding of general ecological concepts. This session deals with studies focused on tropical ecosystems, including terrestrial as well as marine systems. We particularly welcome talks focused on explaining the extraordinary high biodiversity, or on understanding anthropogenic impacts on this diversity. The spatial distribution of organisms is still largely unknown, either due to lack of quantitative data in general, or to the lack of harmonization of existing data sets. Harmonization necessitates knowledge on both biological methods and spatial statistics and databases. Linking spatial patterns in organism distribution to environmental properties and management lead to further understanding of these patterns. Talks covering these issues in the spatial distribution of soil-, aboveground or aquatic organisms are welcome. The microbiome is highly complex and flexible, and can respond rapidly to changes in host genotypes/diets or (a)biotic environmental disturbance, e.g. via chemical communication. Host associated microbiomes may thus represent an important source of metabolic flexibility for the host and comprise interactions among individuals inside a specific community. In this symposium, we aim to understand interactions between microbiomes and host genetics, microbiome mediated local adaptation, microbiome interactions at the community level and what the implications are for host ecology and ecosystems in general.
17:20 Awards and Closing Ceremony
18:00 Farewell drinks
18:30 Dinner and NERN board meeting
19:30 End / Travel Home (Shuttle available between Conference Centre and Lunteren Station)
Fees 1
MSc students / PhD candidates (2 days, with Bed & Breakfast) € 170,- € 205,-
Others (2 days, with Bed & Breakfast) € 200,- € 240,-
Single room surcharge €   50,- €   50,-
MSc students / PhD candidates (2 days, without Bed & Breakfast) € 150,- € 180,-
Others (2 days, without Bed & Breakfast) € 175,- € 210,-
MSc students / PhD candidates (1-day visitor) € 100,- € 125,-
Others (1-day visitor) € 120,- € 145,-

1 The participation fee includes coffee/tea/water, lunches, and dinners.
2 The Early-Bird Fee applies to anyone who REGISTERS ON OR BEFORE 22 JANUARY 2019


  • Availability of hotel rooms at the conference centre may be limited. Rooms are filled on a first come, first served basis!
  • If you need an invoice to complete your payment, please send an email to, including ALL relevant details that should be mentioned on the invoice (e.g., purchase order no., specific addresses, attendees, etc.).
  • The Early-Bird policy is such that the moment of REGISTRATION (and not payment) is leading for determining the fee that applies to you.
  • Please make sure that your payment is arranged within two weeks after your registration.
  • It is the participant's responsibility to make sure that payment is completed correctly and in time.
NERN Cancellation Conditions
  • Up to 4 (four) weeks prior to the start of the event, cancellation is free of charge.
  • Up to 2 (two) weeks prior to the start of the event, a fee of € 50,- will be charged.
  • In case of cancellation within two weeks prior to the start of the event, a fee of € 100,- will be charged.
  • If you do not show at all, a fee of € 150,- will nevertheless be charged.

Note: If you would like to cancel your registration, ALWAYS inform us (and do note that you will be kept to the cancellation conditions).

NAEM Organising Committee
  • Dries Bonte, Ghent University
  • Hans Cornelissen, VU University Amsterdam
  • Chris Smit, University of Groningen
  • Liesje Mommer, Wageningen University & Research
  • Kenneth Rijsdijk, University of Amsterdam
  • Patrick Jansen, Wageningen University & Research
  • Merel Soons, Utrecht University
  • Dedmer van de Waal, Netherlands Institute of Ecology
  • Johan van de Koppel, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
  • Maurice Hoffmann, Netherlands Flemish Ecological Society
  • Nadia Soudzilovskaia, Leiden University
  • Lennart Suselbeek, Netherlands Ecological Research Network
  • Claudius van de Vijver, Netherlands Ecological Research Network
More information

Dr Claudius van de Vijver (NERN)
Phone: +31 (0) 317 485116

Dr Lennart Suselbeek (NERN)
Phone: +31 (0) 317 485426


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