Rieu’s research focuses on plants and how they cope with climate change - especially the increasingly frequent heatwaves. “Such periods of high temperatures are detrimental for plant fertility, causing them to produce fewer seeds and fruits. We look at the plants’ defence mechanisms and try to figure out why some plants can withstand heat better than others. The insights that are gained help to make agriculture and horticulture more sustainable and climate-proof, and improve food security,” says Rieu. He maintains that this research will continue to have great relevance in the coming years. “When a heatwave coincides with the flowering period of the tomato plants, it can destroy the entire harvest. This is a growing, global problem that transcends crop species. We try to provide nature-based solutions or solutions that we have developed ourselves by using a biotechnological approach.”
About Ivo Rieu
Ivo Rieu was born in Breda in 1975 and studied Biology at Radboud University. He graduated in 1998 and received his PhD from the same university for his PhD thesis ‘Aspects of ethylene-mediated communication in plants’. After his PhD, he worked as a postdoc for six years, initially at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Institute Rothamsted Research in the UK and then on a personal fellowship at Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg in Germany. In late 2009, he secured an appointment at Radboud University as Assistant Professor, and subsequently took up the position of Associate Professor in 2018. He obtained the ius promovendi in 2021, and now holds the position of Professor of Crop Biotechnology.