Other roles and responsibilities

500 Women Scientists

I am passionate about equal opportunities for everyone in science and academia, and I regularly blog about women in science. I have been involved in 500 Women Scientists, a global movement that stands up against sexism and inequalities in academia and promotes open and inclusive science. I led the Manchester pod of 500 Women Scientists until I moved back to The Netherlands in 2019.


In 2012, I founded this special interest group of the British Ecological Society, intended to bring ecologists working on plant-soil interactions together and to provide a platform for communication and collaboration. The group now has over 350 members. I stepped back as the secretary of the group in 2016, but I am still involved in some of their activities. You can find more information on their page on the British Ecological Society website, and on their blog.

Internal responsibilities and teaching

From February 2021, I will be Programme Director of our MSc Earth Sciences degree. In this degree, we train the next generation of scientists and professionals that will contribute to addressing the major challenges of our time: global change, increasing demand for resources, and pollution.

I teach in a variety of MSc and BSc courses, of which the most important one is the 2nd year BSc Plant-soil interactions in food production systems. I set up this course from scratch and I am the coordinator of this course, which combines fundamental plant and soil science with ecology and agronomy to understand the role of plant-soil interactions in agricultural systems, how these are affected by agricultural management, and how they can be managed to make agricultural systems more sustainable.

Other current external responsibilities

Member of the Editorial Board of Ecology Letters

Additional member of BBSRC Committee E

Chair of the International Scientific Committee of the Third Global Soil Biodiversity Conference in Dublin, 2021

Member of the Ecology Faculty of F1000

Member of the Editorial Board of Soil Organisms

Member of the BBSRC Pool of Experts

Member of the Editorial Board of Oxford Bibliographies Online Ecology

Associate Editor of Journal of Ecology

Member of the British Ecological Society’s Review College