Course theme

Type of course


Aquatic Ecology: Robustness of aquatic ecosystems CANCELLED

  • 02 - 07 April 2023
  • Stay Ok Bunnik
  • Environmental Life Sciences
  • 2.0 ECTS


Aquatic ecosystems play a crucial role in human health and well-being as a source of drinking water and food (irrigation, fisheries, and aquaculture), recreation, and tourism. Aquatic systems also provide diverse habitats, support high levels of biodiversity and vital ecosystems services and play a vital role in the global carbon cycle and in various nutrient cycles. Aquatic ecosystems, however, are under severe anthropogenic pressure such as urbanisation, eutrophication, inorganic pollution, acidification, invasive species, extraction of upstream water, and climate change. Unprecedented rates of global change add a sense of urgency to study the impacts of anthropogenic pressures, and to develop ways to restore and improve the robustness of urban aquatic ecosystems against these pressures.

In this 5-day course we will provide a multifaceted overview of the science on aquatic ecosystems and the means by which its robustness can be restored or even improved. The course will consist of a combination of lectures provided by a team of international expert scientists, followed by plenary discussions. In addition, the participants will be working in small teams on specific group work projects. Aside from updating and deepening your scientific knowledge in the field of aquatic ecology, this course also offers an excellent opportunity to broaden your network and to interact with world-class scientists in this field!

Programme and course set up

This course will be structured around three main themes: the past (wat happened), present (where we now) and future (what are potentially positive outcomes, and how do we get there). A detailed draft programme can be found below when more speakers have been confirmed. Note that this programme and the lecture titles are still tentative, but this should give some impression about the course topics. The group work will be centred around the future theme. Participants will from project teams and will be invited to choose a predefined topic of attention within this general theme, or to propose a topic themselves for the group work assignment. During the course, the groups will collect the relevant information for their group work projects from the lectures, from individual meetings with the lecturers during the week, from the excursion, and from the literature. Based on this, the groups can work out a product of their choice (e.g., an opinion paper, a grant proposal, a journal manuscript, etc.), which will be presented on Friday morning.

Day 1 : Sunday the 2th April
Afternoon:  Arrival at course venue around 4-5 PM
1. Welcome drinks and dinner
2. Introductory lecture (course aims and themes, group work setup)

Day 2 : 3rd of April
Morning session 1: Introduction to aquatic Ecology
Afternoon: Excursion on the river “Kromme rijn”
Evening: Pitch presentations about group work projects

Day 3 : 4th of April
Morning session 2: Aquatic Ecology: the past
Afternoon: Group work activity
Evening: Leisure Lecture

Day 4 : 5th of April
Morning: The present, confirmed speakers: prof. A van Weezel (University of Amsterdam)
Evening: Guest lecture

Day 5 : 6th of April
Morning session 3: The future of aquatic Ecosystems
Afternoon: Update on group work projects and continuation of group work activity
Evening: Plenary debate sessions / preparing final group work presentations

Day 6: 7th of April
Morning: Final presentations of the group work projects
Afternoon: Travel back home (around 14:00 after Lunch)

Course organisers Lecturers

  • Dr Miquel Lurling, Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management, Wageningen University
  • Dr Lisette de Senerpont Domis, Department of Aquatic Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology
  • Dr Liesbeth Bakker, Department of Aquatic Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology
  • Dr Harm van der Geest, Department of Freshwater and Marine Ecology, University of Amsterdam
  • Dr Annelies Veraart, Department of Aquatic Ecology and Environmental Biology, Radboud University

Confirmed speakers

  • Prof. Annemarie van Wezel

Detailed information

Target Group: The course is aimed at PhD candidates, postdocs, and other academics
Course duration: 5 days
Language of instruction: English
Frequency of recurrence: Every three years

Course fee

  • PE&RC / WIMEK / VLAG / WIAS / WASS / EPS / RSEE PhD candidates with an approved TSP: €350 (early bird) / €400 (regular)
  • SENSE PhDs with an approved TSP: €700 (early bird) / €750 (regular)
  • All other PhD candidates, and postdocs and staff of the above mentioned graduate schools: €740 (early bird) / €770 (regular)
  • All others: €1090 (early bird) / €1140 (regular)

1 The course fee includes accommodation, all meals, course materials, coffee/tea, and water. It does not include beverages in the bar.
 2 The Early-Bird Fee applies to anyone who REGISTERS ON OR BEFORE 20 February 2023


  • 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 he/she (or his/her secretary) completes the payment correctly and in time.

Cancellation Conditions

  • Up to 4 (four) weeks prior to the start of the course, cancellation is free of charge.
  • Up to 2 (two) weeks prior to the start of the course, a fee of € 350,- will be charged.
  • In case of cancellation within two weeks prior to the start of the course, a fee of € 750,- will be charged.
  • If you do not show at all, a fee of € 1090,- will nevertheless be charged.

Note: If you would like to cancel your registration, ALWAYS inform us. By NOT paying the participation fee, your registration is NOT automatically cancelled (and do note that you will be kept to the cancellation conditions)

Also note that when there are not enough participants, we can cancel the course. We will  inform you if this is the case a week after the early bird deadline. Please take this into account when arranging your trip to the course (I.e. check the re-imburstment policies).

More information

Peter Vermeulen (WIMEK): or


To register, please go to the registration form.

Former occurrences of this course

18-23 March 2018

  • PE&RC and WIMEK, Wageningen University
  • Once every three years
  • Min. 20 / Max. 40 participants
  • Basic knowledge of Aquatic ecology is assumed
  • 2 March 2023