Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment
Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment

News Archive

Cum laude PhD thesis Els Faassen (WIMEK-WU): The role of BMAA in neurological diseases such as Alzheimer or Parkinson The neurotoxin BMAA is suspected to play a role in a.o. Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Humans could be infected through contaminated water or food, such as fish and shellfish. However, whether BMAA was really present in aquatic systems, and at what levels, became the subject of a fierce scientific debate. And of the PhD thesis of Els Faassen. She promoted last Friday cum laude. Her promotor was Marten Scheffer. Co-promotor was Miquel Lurling.
Monday 11 July 2016
Paris Agreement climate proposals need a boost to keep warming well below 2 °C The Paris climate agreement aims at holding global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and to 'pursue efforts' to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. To accomplish this, countries have submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) outlining their post-2020 climate action. Here we assess the effect of current INDCs on reducing aggregate greenhouse gas emissions, its implications for achieving the temperature objective of the Paris climate agreement, and potential options for overachievement.
Thursday 30 June 2016
WIMEK (WU) delegation visits Tsinghua University In the first week of June a delegation of the WIMEK research school of WUR paid a visit to Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. In the year to come, both universities will work on the establishment of a Tsinghua-Wageningen Research Centre on Liveable Cities. This research centre (the name is still under negotiation of course) fits well in the ongoing activities within both universities, and the exchange of staff, PhDs as well as MSc-students would benefit both partners in a number of circumscribed respects.
Thursday 30 June 2016
SENSE PhD candidate Sanne Muis (IVM, VU) publishes in Nature Communications The paper "A global reanalysis storm surges and extreme sea levels" of Sanne Muis was published in Nature Communications of 27 June.
Wednesday 29 June 2016
Dutch plastic waste streams contaminated with banned toxic chemicals Collaborative research from VU institute Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) and IVAM UvA BV, led by IVM researcher Heather Leslie, shows that plastic waste streams in the Netherlands are contaminated with persistent organic pollutants.
Monday 27 June 2016
Circulaire economie: Innovatie meten in de keten Hoe de voortgang van een transitie naar een circulaire economie (CE-transitie) in productketens kan worden gemeten is een belangrijke vraag. Het PBL heeft samen met de Universiteit Utrecht een denkkader ontwikkeld voor CE-transities in productketens en de rol van innovatie daarin. Het denkkader is toegepast op een aantal cases. Zo is vastgesteld welk type informatie nodig is om de voortgang van CE-transities in productketens te meten.
Monday 27 June 2016
Implementing the Paris Climate Agreement: New types of governance needed COP 21 in Paris (i.e. the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) is widely regarded as a success, reaffirming that multilateralism works and that governments can overcome their short-term political differences to address global challenges. SENSE general director Phillip Pattberg (VU) was there and shares his views.
Thursday 23 June 2016
Flood-risk communications should be specific, tailored, and utilise social networks Effective flood-risk communications should include specific information on how householders can protect themselves and their property against flooding, a recent Dutch study by SENSE researchers (VU) concludes. The researchers’ evaluation of communication strategies also highlights an important role for social media in spreading messages about flood risk and protection.
Thursday 23 June 2016
Copernicus Institute (UU) Compensates its Carbon Emissions from Business For the fourth consecutive year, the Copernicus Institute has managed to decrease its total emissions from business travel. Each year, the Copernicus Institute makes an inventory of all business trips by plane, train or car, and calculates the resulting carbon emissions. This year’s inventory showed that the total emissions for 2015 decreased by 20% with respect to 2014, yielding 165 tonne CO2eq or 1.2 tonne CO2eq per person. About half of this reduction can be attributed to fewer long haul flights; the other half is due to increasing efficiency of aviation traffic.
Tuesday 14 June 2016
SENSE MSc Honours Awards 2015-2016 Wednesday May 4, six student of the SENSE MSc Honours Programme 2015-2016 presented their PhD research proposal to the SENSE Doctorate Committee. The best three PhD research proposals received an award of €1000, €500 and €250. The winners were Yujia Yuo, Maartje van der Knaap, and Aristofanis Tsiringakis.
Tuesday 31 May 2016