29 September 2016

Several awards and PhD positions

Utrecht botanists succesful at home and abroad

Things are going well for the botanists at Utrecht University. Over the past few months, it has become abundantly clear that Utrecht’s botanists have earned an excellent scientific reputation both in the Netherlands and abroad.

For example, two Master’s students from the Institute of Environmental Biology (IEB) have received a PhD Fellowship from the top sector Horticulture & Starting Materials. The Graduate School Horticulture and Starting Materials programme offers excellent Master’s students the opportunity to submit a proposal for PhD research in collaboration with a consortium of knowledge institutions and businesses. Master’s students Laura Dijkhuizen and Niels Aerts were awarded two of the four PhD positions available with the NWO-ALW programme. IEB researchers Marcel van Verk and Henriette Schlupman supervised Niels and Laura, and are the chief applicants for the consortia involved.

Three members of the IEB were also recently selected as Web of Science Highly Cited Researchers. The researchers are Kees van Loon (Emeritus Professor of Phytophathology), Corné Pieterse (Professor of Plant Microbe Interactions) and Rens Voesenek (Professor of Plant Ecophysiology). A total of five botanists were selected for the Netherlands as a whole, three of which are affiliated with Utrecht University.

And finally, early this month it became clear that the group led by Rens Voesenek is doing extremely well. Four of his group members won awards at the International Society of Plant Anaerobiosis Conference in Denmark. Rashmi Sasidharan won the prize for the Outstanding Scientist Award, while Sjon Hartman won the Best Poster Award. Nikita Sajeev won third place in the same category. Also, Elaine Young came in second for the category Best Oral Presentation by Master’s or Graduate Students.