I am Franciska de Vries, a soil and ecosystem ecologist. I am interested in how plants and soil organisms interact, and how incredibly important these interactions are for everything.
I was born in Friesland, the northern, rural part of The Netherlands, famous for its water and its cows. My mother grew up on a farm, and my father’s parents had a village shop. My dad worked as an accountant and my mum worked as a French teacher. I grew up amidst the green pastures in Friesland, with their meadow birds, and I love the typically Dutch landscape. You can read a bit more about my mother’s side of the family here (in Dutch).
I started getting really interested in nature and nature conservation when I was in high school, and I joined IVN. Because I wanted to go as far away from the place I grew up as possible, I chose to study Environmental Sciences in Wageningen. During the first year I got more and more interested in soil science, and being taught by some inspiring teachers made me appreciate the biodiversity in soil.
After a slow start (it took me 7 years to complete my BSc and MSc), my career has followed a pretty much straight (but not necessarily easy) path in academia, focussing on the effects of global change on soil organisms, and the consequences for soil functioning.
This blog is about the science I do, the science I find interesting, and the science that I think everyone should know about. It is about being a female academic, and about the joys and struggles that that brings. It is about my love for writing, about appreciating the soil, and about academia in general. Occasionally, I just like to rant.
Hi Franciska, Didn’t know about this list but I fully endorse that their is a need to support women in soil science. Just want to send a “hello” from Sweden to the U.K. Best wishes ANKE P.S. I just provided my details for the list 🙂