Environmental Science

The department of Environmental Science (part of the Radboud Institute for Biological and Environmental Sciences) investigates the impact of stressors on animal and plant species and humans. We aim to understand and predict both the relative and cumulative impact of anthropogenic stressors on species including humans. We translate detailed mechanisms into overarching principles, applied in models for future projections, in particular in highly populated river deltas and estuaries. The methods developed and the results obtained are used by governments, agencies, industry and consultancies.


Een vogel vliegt in de blauwe lucht

Renewed efforts needed to reach international biodiversity goals

Renewed efforts are needed to meet international biodiversity goals, according to an international study involving scientists from Radboud University, published in Science.

ERC grant

ERC Advanced Grant for research into pollution, molecular collisions

Researchers Bas van de Meerakker and Jan Hendriks have both been awarded an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) to extend their research.

Protestbord Climate Action Now. Afbeelding van Filmbetrachter van Pixabay

Radboud University will lead a research consortium on high-integrity voluntary climate action towards a net zero world

Prof. Birka Wicke and dr. Sander Chan will identify opportunities to strengthen and scale up high-integrity voluntary climate action in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a global scale.


The mission of the Environmental Science cluster of RIBES is to provide high-quality scientific knowledge that can help the world move towards greater sustainability. To achieve this, we aim to understand, project and address the impact of anthropogenic pressures on ecosystems and humans from the landscape to the global scale. We therefore investigate the entire environmental cause-effect chain from drivers to responses and from responses to drivers, also known as the DPSIR framework. We develop predictive models, where possible, based on a mechanistic understanding of the processes underlying the impacts of pressures on the environment and where needed we use descriptive statistical approaches. This enables us to explore and develop wide-ranging sustainable solutions for the environmental challenges the world faces today.


Our scientific contributions can be found in the Publications archive in Radboud Repository.

Research lines

We have carved out four interlinked main research lines: Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, Life Cycle Assessment, Biodiversity Assessment and Sustainability Transition Assessment. With these research lines, we address the Sustainable Development Goals formulated by the United Nations.


Interested in an internship or thesis at the department of Environmental Science? We offer diverse opportunities for Bachelor's and Master's students across all research themes. Internships typically last 2 months for Bachelor's students and 6 to 9 months for Master's students, depending on the programme. You can also choose to intern at an external company or university, either locally or abroad, with joint supervision from our faculty. For more information, get in touch with Steef Hanssen.

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The research department offers various Bachelor's and Master's courses. The department is closely involved in the Bachelor's Biology and Molecular Life Sciences, the new Master's Science for Sustainability (starting in September 2025), the Master's specialisations Environment & Sustainability of the Master's Biology, and the faculty-wide Master's specialisation Science, Management & Innovation



In the EU Marie Curie QTOX project, we aim to improve chemical risk assessment by bridging the gap between toxicity tests in the lab and ecologically relevant endpoints in the field.

The Power of Size

This project looks at chemical pollution, one of the fastest growing environmental problems in the world. The project derives relationships for parameters that determine the emission, fate, accumulation and effects of substances.

Protestbord Climate Action Now. Afbeelding van Filmbetrachter van Pixabay

Achieving High-Integrity Voluntary Climate Action (ACHIEVE)

The ACHIEVE research project will identify opportunities to strenghten and scale up voluntary climate action, to achieve a worldwide net-zero society by 2050.

Academic Staff

The Environmental Science department consists of PhD candidates, assistant professors, associate professors, professors, senior researchers, postdocs, and employees in the roles of management assistants and other positions. The management team (MT) consists of Prof. Ad Ragas, Prof. Birka Wicke, and Dr. Rosalie van Zelm


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Contact information


Huygens building

Heyendaalseweg 135
6525AJ Nijmegen
Postal address
Postbus 9010