Bachelor Biologie

Onderaan de pagina zijn enkele bachelortheses te vinden!

Beste (toekomstige) eerstejaars,

Hier vind je het eerstejaarsboekje: ‘van Rups tot Vlinder’, waarin je alle handige informatie bij elkaar hebt over B.V.W. ‘Biologica’, de studie Biologie en de WUR Campus. Mocht je toch nog vragen hebben contacteer dan je mentorouders of mail naar: bvw.biologica@wur.nl.

Veel succes en plezier dit jaar!

Indeling Bachelor Biologie

Basis

De Bachelor Biologie is een Nederlandstalige bachelor, maar je zal al wel te maken krijgen met Engelse boeken en handleidingen. Later in de studie komen er meer Engelstalige vakken. De bachelor bestaat uit vier verschillende onderdelen gedurende drie jaar. Je begint de studie met anderhalf jaar van verplichte vakken voor iedereen, de basisvakken dus. Hierdoor krijg je een goede indruk van wat Biologie allemaal inhoudt en zou je een keuze moeten kunnen maken welke richting je op wilt.

Specialisatie

 Het tweede onderdeel is dan ook de zogeheten specialisatie. Dit is een specialisatierichting die je meer vakken van een richting laat volgen. Deze keuze maak je in het tweede gedeelte van je tweede jaar. Je volgt deze richting tot aan het einde van de eerste helft van jouw derde jaar. De namen van deze specialisaties zijn in het Engels, maar de richting is alsnog grotendeels in het Nederlands. In Wageningen hebben wij vier specialisaties. Dit zijn de volgende:

Specialisatie A: Cell Biology and Molecular Interactions

Je kijkt naar alle processen in organismen op celniveau, de kleinste eenheid van leven. Je houdt je bezig met biologische eigenschappen van cellen en processen binnen die cel. Deze processen worden zichtbaar gemaakt met speciale technieken, tijdens je specialisatie leer je met deze technieken werken. Je kijkt in deze specialisatie veel naar DNA.

Specialisatie B: Development and Adaptation

Je vraagt je af waarom een dier of plant eruit ziet zoals het is, je probeert een relatie te ontdekken tussen de bouw en functie. Daarnaast probeer je te begrijpen hoe een organisme zich in de tijd heeft aangepast aan hun omgeving, zowel in de evolutie als in de ontwikkeling van embryo tot volwassene. Hoe kan één cel zich ontwikkelen tot een compleet organismen? Dit alles wordt bestudeerd met mutaties. Door organismen met een afwijkende ontwikkeling te bestuderen kom je veel te weten over de processen die een rol spelen in de ontwikkeling.

Specialisatie C: Health and Disease

Je kijkt bij deze specialisatie naar de gezondheid van mens en dier. Je bekijkt een probleem op alle integratieniveaus, van cel tot ecosysteem. Je leert hoe organismen hun interne milieu in stand kunnen houden. Je bestudeert de werking van het zenuwstelsel, hormonen en de energiehuishouding. Je kijkt bijvoorbeeld bij malaria naar de symptomen die een infectie veroorzaakt.

Specialisatie D: Ecology

Ecologie gaat over systemen waarin dieren, planten, micro-organismen en de omgeving elkaar beïnvloeden. Je kijkt wat er gebeurt als je uit zo’n netwerk een soort weghaalt of toevoegt. Deze specialisatie gaat over klimaatsverandering en biodiversiteit, over koolstof en nitraatkringlopen, maar ook over concurrentie en samenwerking tussen en binnen soorten. Een belangrijk onderdeel is het maken van modellen, hiermee kun je complexe systemen eenvoudiger beschrijven en voorspellingen doen.

Vrije keuze

Het derde en het vierde onderdeel van de studie vindt plaats in de tweede helft van jouw derde jaar. Als eerste heb jij bijna een half jaar de tijd om vrije keuze vakken te volgen. Deze vakken mogen over bijna alles gaan, of het nou in je interesse gebied ligt of niet. Je kan in deze periode ook naar het buitenland, maar daar staat hieronder meer informatie over.

Thesis

Het laatste onderdeel van de Bachelor Biologie is de Bachelor thesis. Dit is een onderzoek dat je gaat uitvoeren bij een onderzoeksgroep. Dit mag er een zijn van de 29 onderzoeksgroepen die bij Biologie zijn aangesloten. Zie het kopje Bachelor Thesis voor specifieke aanboden voor thesis onderwerpen.

Studeren in het buitenland

Studeren in het buitenland: het lijkt vaak moeilijker dan het is. Websites blijken ineens onvindbaar als jij ze nodig hebt, studieadviseurs krijgen kinderen, studieachterstand gooit roet in het eten. Vaak is een simpele optelsom van moeite genoeg om mensen op te laten geven. En dat is zonde, want studeren in het buitenland is hartstikke leuk.

Erasmus

Het Erasmus programma is er voor mensen die voor een periode van 3 tot 12 maanden in een ander Europees land willen studeren. Gedurende deze periode loopt je studiefinanciering gewoon door en bovendien kom je soms in aanmerking voor een extra beurs.

Dit programma heeft uitwisseling als voornaamste doel, dus het kan zijn dat sommige universiteiten studenten van bepaalde universiteiten liever aannemen, omdat er ook meer van hun studenten naar die universiteit willen. Vaak valt er echter nog wel wat te regelen.

Informatie vanuit de WUR kun hier vinden.

Mocht je nu besloten hebben dat een Erasmus uitwisseling echt iets voor jou is, dan moet je nog wel even een afspraak maken met je studieadviseur. Die kan je dan precies vertellen wat er nog allemaal moet gebeuren voordat je weg kunt.

Naast het Erasmus Mundus programma zijn er natuurlijk nog verschillende manieren om naar het buitenland te gaan. Misschien wil je wel helemaal niet naar Europa.

Dan is de website www.wilweg.nl waarschijnlijk iets voor jou. Hier kun je eigenlijk alles vinden; over stages, Masters, periodes weg, beurzen, noem maar op.

jongerenvertegenwoordiger

Wil jij de stem van de Nederlandse jongeren laten horen op verschillende internationale conferenties* over voedsel en biodiversiteit? Word onze nieuwe jongerenvertegenwoordiger!

2020 is een cruciaal jaar voor biodiversiteit. Er wordt op dit moment onderhandeld over een nieuw mondiaal akkoord over biodiversiteit, met doelstellingen voor alle landen voor het komende decennium. 

Als jongerenvertegenwoordiger vorm je de schakel tussen jongeren en de beleidsmakers. Je gaat actief op zoek naar de meningen en ideeën van allerlei verschillende jongeren, bijvoorbeeld op scholen, en bespreekt deze met sleutelfiguren op allerlei internationale conferenties. Kijk op www.njr.nl/jvbio.

Om het aanbod aan BSc theses te zien kan je hier kijken. (Deze website werkt alleen op de universiteit)

Ook is het bij het zoeken van een BSc thesis mogelijkheid aanbevolen om een leerstoelgroep die je interessant vindt te mailen met de vraag of ze een thesisplek voor je hebben. 

Bachelor thesis projecten

Project description: Anthropogenic nitrogen deposition leads to eutrophication and soil acidification globally, which may change vegetation composition and cause biodiversity loss. This can in turn lead to decreased ecosystem functioning. A possible mitigation measure is the application of rock dust, a slow-release fertilizer that can partially restore lost minerals and enhance soil buffering capacity. One big uncertainty, however, is how ungulates respond to rock dust and how this in turn influences forest regeneration and development. Past experiments focusing on N, P and/or K fertilization found increased browsing, which may hamper forest regeneration. So, will rock dust be a possible solution to improve forest quality or will we worsen regeneration problems in forest ecosystems? More information can be found on the project page: press me

Possible student projects:
1. How do ungulates use the landscape and how does this influence the forest vegetation? Long-term dataset, exclosures, experiments Best time period: March-June and for vegetation mid-August to October*
2. How do different tree species respond to rock dust? Big full-factorial experiment on 8 tree species Measurements executed March-May and July-August
3. How does rock dust influence the utilization rate of ungulate herbivores? Multiple experiments, camera traps (e.g. Snapshot Hoge Veluwe), etc. Best time period: March-June
4. How does rock dust influence ungulate food preference? Feeding experiments Best time period: March-June
5. Other projects are possible, you can give your own input! Please email Sylvana if you are interested to see what is possible. Open to: Mainly MSc thesis projects, but there might be possibilities for MSc internship/ BSc thesis/ BSc internship.

*We are always looking for multiple students to help with the annual vegetation inventory from mid-August (3rd week) to the end of October. MSc theses using this data will start 1-2 months ahead with proposal writing.

Pre-requisite: knowledge about native flora and the ability to work with Heukels or other reliable flora guides.

Preferably: good general understanding about statistics and basic skills in R

Topic(s): Biodiversity and functional diversity/ Plant-animal interactions/ Population and forest dynamics/ Sustainable forest management/ Forest restoration and succession / Ecosystem services / Agroforestry/ Ecophysiology

Region(s): The Netherlands, forests on sandy soils at the Veluwe, mainly situated in De Hoge Veluwe National Park. Some projects also include other habitat types on sandy soils in Noord-Brabant and Gelderland. Climate(s): Temperate zone Corona proof: Yes

Used skills: Depending on the project: data analysis in R(Studio), possibly Canoco; field work; flora species inventory; working with camera traps; soil and/or leaf chemical analysis (lab work), basic lab work.

Offer to which study programs: BBN (=BSc Forest and Nature Conservation) MFN (=MSc Forest and Nature Conservation BBI (=BSc Bioloy) MBI (=MSc Biology) BPW (=BSc Plant Sciences) MPS (=MSc Plant Sciences)

Contact: Sylvana.harmsen@wur.nl
The Wild service tree (Sorbus torminalis) is discussed as interesting species to be planted in Dutch forest, because it is known to be drought resistant. Yet, also other factors are relevant to select for this species to be introduced into Dutch forests. What about frost resistance? Invasiveness? Availability of plant material? An interesting subject to explore. For more information and for who to contact, click the link below!

Wild service tree (Sorbus torminalis) - an interesting species for Dutch forests?
The Tapinoma nigerrimumcomplex is a group of four cryptic ant species, of which currently three are found to be invasive in the Netherlands. Originating in southern Europe, their invasion is thought to be fueled by human action: spreading via plant material (imported exotic plants or secondary infestations at sites of import).Due to its captivating Dutch common name (“Mediterraan draaigatje”) the attention of the media for these invasive ants has been relatively high, resulting in the discovery of at least 29 infestations afterthe first notice in 2016.

These infestations, occurring mostly in urban areas, can have serious consequences for the local flora and fauna (including humans). Colonies experience exponential growth thanks to their hyperpolygynic nature (having many thousands of reproducing queens) and can occupy areas of up to 35,000 m2, suppressing native ants, undermining sidewalks, and invading homes to look for food and shelter. In some cases, people have moved away or threaten to do so.Controlling these invasive antshas thus far been attempted with mixed results, in part by a lack of legally permitted methods.

This poses further risks, as unsanctioned biocide use and “do it yourself” solutions are liable to present larger dangers for the environment than the ants themselves.Activity of these ants is highest between March and September, though areas with problems indoors may experience nuisances all year long. During the active period, ample ants of all life stages are available for sampling outdoors. For several well-visited colonies, we have collection material available at The Dutch Pest & Wildlife Expertise Centre(Kennis-en Adviescentrum Dierplagen –KAD).

Aim: In this project, you will be determiningthe exact species of the ants in the Tapinoma nigerrimumcomplex collected throughout The Netherlands. This may provide valuable insight in its spread, possible elucidating the timing and source.Such insights into the biology of a pest can help to designsustainable pest management strategies.

Approach: Ants from the T.nigerrimumcomplex will be collected throughout The Netherlands, and in collaboration with Dr. Jitte Groothuisfrom the KAD in Wageningen. Collected samples will be stored at the Laboratory of Genetics after which DNA will be extracted. Using PCR and sequencing of mtDNA COImarkers, we will identify the species status of the sampled colonies andtry to determinethe relationship between them.

Used skills: Molecular laboratory techniques: DNA extraction, PCR analysis, sequence analysis, data analysis.Field work:insect collecting
Required skills:Basic knowledge of genetics, evolutionary and molecular biology. For example, obtained through (but not limited to): Molecular and Evolutionary Ecology (GEN20306).
In addition: an interest in entomological and ecological fieldwork is required.
Contact: Dr. Bart Pannebakker –Laboratory of Genetics –bart.pannebakker@wur.nl–0317-485330Dr. Jitte Groothuis –Kennis-en Adviescentrum Dierplagen-jgroothuis@kad.nl
Additional information: Seifert, Bernhard & d’Eustacchio, Dario & Kaufmann, Bernard & Centorame, Massimiliano & Lorite, Pedro & Modica, Maria Vittoria. (2017). Four species within the supercolonial ants of the Tapinoma nigerrimumcomplex revealed by integrative taxonomy (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecological News. 24. 123-144.

If you are interested in a doing aproject that combines field work with molecular techniques, and work on an invasivespecies that raises a lot of currentinterest,please get into touch.
Hi biologists,

I have a BSc thesis project available, starting in January! It involves practical work 🙂

The aim of this project is to unravel how insect herbivory affects seed yield and quality in Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis). It involves practical work such as measurements for early and late seed set, yield and quality. You will work on plants of various Brassica rapa lines, which were grown in the field under various conditions: grown in an organic field with no further treatment, grown in an organic field with added insect herbivores, grown in a field which is treated with pesticides preventing insect herbivory. If you are interested in the project, or want to know more (there’s more projects coming up after January, on seed production as well as pollination), feel free to contact me at hanneke.suijkerbuijk@wur.nl
The practice of growing multiple crops in the same field has recently been getting increasing attention. But what are the best combinations of crops? In this project, you will help answer this question. You will help gather existing information, and then be guided in performing a (Bayesian) classification analysis. You will learn how to conduct scientific research spanning multiple fields, be introduced to less well known data analysis methods (no previous knowledge required) and work on a question which is of real interest to growers. The start date is flexible, and if the project is executed during the field season, there will also be opportunities to join field work activities. For more information: check tip.wur.nl or get in touch with annet.westhoek@wur.nl.
Aphids are serious pests in greenhouse vegetable crops. It has recently been found that some aphids carry endosymbionts that can make them resistant to parasitoid wasps. To optimize parasitoid wasp biocontrol and make biological control a better alternative to pesticides, we are studying the effects of endosymbionts on the effectiveness of aphid biocontrol in Dutch greenhouses. We are looking for BSc and MSc students who can do their internship/thesis during 2019 or 2020. Projects can involve field work such as greenhouse sampling and sampling aphids outside, molecular work (DNA extraction, PCR, barcoding, sequencing) on aphids and endosymbionts, and laboratory cage studies on aphid performance or parasitoid wasp virulence. If you are interested, don’t hesitate to contact me at Helena.Donner@wur.nl.
Do you love plants and insects? Do ecological interactions fascinate you? Would you like to work with different species of insects that interact with each other by feeding on the same host plant? And are you interested in finding mechanisms that could underlie such interactions?

If the answers to the questions above are a firm “Hell yeah!”, then maybe doing a thesis in this project is something for you! We’re studying the effects of leaf feeding herbivores (caterpillars and aphids) on the roots of cabbage plants, and how that affects root feeding herbivores. We focus on greenhouse studies supported by molecular work to unravel the mechanisms behind these interactions, in order to gain new insights in ecology and plant defence in the roots. Since the project is quite broad, students can opt to focus more on the molecular work, or more on greenhouse studies.

If you’re interested, please contact Peter Karssemeijer (peter.karssemeijer@wur.nl) for more information.

It is not common to see arthropods predating birds. My research team in the Lined Seedeater Project filmed a wasp predating nestlings while monitoring nests. This finding is unique and presents a new perspective on the role of insects and other arthropods as predators of vertebrates. I want to better understand this phenomenon so in this thesis the student will revise an exciting compendium of existing literature to get together all the information available in arthropods as bird predators. The goal of this project is to better understand the dimension of this ‘cross-predation’ relationship. If you're interested message filipe.cunha@wur.nl.
Risk-taking behaviors (i.e. anti-predatory behaviors) have been reported to be male-biased in several species. In primates, this sex bias in anti-predatory behavior seems to be prevalent and not explained by parental care. Risk-taking behaviors such as anti-predatory behaviors are hypothesized to be male services in which those individuals can advertise their phenotypic quality. Group of primates frequently face predators while moving, but not always engage in mobbing, or counter-attacking events. In some of those encounters, primate groups move away from the predators. However, it is unclear if the group movement follows a sex-biased order. If risk-taking behaviors towards predators are indeed a sexually selected male service we would expect that males would be the last ones to escape a risky situation, and/or have the highest proximity with predators. In this project, the student will have the chance to explore existing literature in primates encountering predators and analyze the sex-biased in this behavior. If you're interested message filipe.cunha@wur.nl.
Plumage badges and other adorns are often associated with male phenotypic quality. In this thesis, the student will test this idea in the Lined Seedeater (Sporophila lineola), a small neotropical passerine species in which males have a conspicuous back and white plumage with distinguishable facial badges. To conduct this project the student will analyze images and have access to our database. If you're interested message filipe.cunha@wur.nl.
We are looking for a highly motivated, independent (bachelor/master) student to join us during the 2020 fieldwork and help us to study urban and forest birds. You will have the opportunity to learn several different methods to work with birds in the field. There are also possibilities to learn other experimental methods. You will also receive training in how to develop your researcher skills.

A short background
Urbanization provides a fantastic opportunity to study the evolutionary processes in action. Cities profoundly change the environment, putting organisms under contrastingly distinct selective pressures when compared to natural environments such as forests. For example, urban environments are warmer, noisier and with much more light at nightin comparison to forests. Due to these strong and distinct pressures, and sometimes restricted gene flow, organisms in cities are known to undergo rapid phenotypic and genetic changes.We are interested in using these differences between urban and forest environments to study the evolution of biological clocks.

What will you do?
You will help to monitor the great tit breeding season. We will monitor birds nesting in a forest and a city in the Netherlands. We will follow the whole breeding from nest building until chick fledgling. You will be involved when we catch, ring and measure adult birds and chicks. You will also help to collect activity and nest incubation data of birds in cities and forests using RFID tags and temperature loggers. Possible questions for students include (but are not limited to):

* Do forest and city birds have different reproductive success?
* Is the activity pattern of forest and city birds different?
* Is the incubation pattern of forest and city birds different?

Students can also come up with their own research questions if they fit in the scope of this project. Apart from field-based ecological questions, we can also discuss possibilities to study the biological clocks of birds in captivity.

Requirements:

* A good planning/organizing capacity.
* A valid driver’s license is essential.
* The fieldwork starts preferably in April 2020 and lasts through to June/July, but specific dates can be negotiated. Previous experience with avian fieldwork is helpful but not a requirement as training will be provided.

For more information and questions, contact dr. Barbara Tomotani: b.tomotani@nioo.knaw.nl.
Supervisor(s)
S. Pino Cobacho, M. J. A. Christianen
Examiner(s)
M.J.A. Christianen
Contact info
sara.pinocobacho@wur.nl
Begin date
2020/03/26
End date
2021/03/26

Description
Start date is very flexible.

Massive algal blooms such as the ones of Sargassum in the Caribbean region are becoming more and more common due to a combination of climate and anthropogenic drivers. The arrival of these massive concentrations of macroalgae to tropical coasts affects the ecology of coastal ecosystems. These impacts are transferred through connected ecosystems and they could potentially lead to cascading failure. This project consists in conducting a bibliographic review of the main ecological implications of macroalgal blooms to tropical coasts, and how their effects are facilitated or buffered through biogeochemical fluxes existing between the different habitats.
Supervisor(s)
S. Pino Cobacho, M. J. A. Christianen
Examiner(s)
M.J.A. Christianen
Contact info
sara.pinocobacho@wur.nl
Begin date
2020/03/27
End date
2021/03/26

Description
Start date is very flexible.

Coastal infrastructure development, the close proximity of cities- and human influence in general- are intensifying the fluxes of biological and chemical pollutants into the tropical coastal zone. These pollutants have the potential of causing toxicity or disease to mangrove, seagrass and coral species that commonly occur in association within the seascape. This project consists in conducting a bibliographic review on the most common pollutants reaching the tropical seascape, their origin, and the physiological response and damage to the affected species.