R.W.C. Boone (Rosa) MSc

PhD candidate - Ecology

R.W.C. Boone (Rosa) MSc
Visiting address

Heyendaalseweg 135
Internal postal code: 31

Postal address

Postbus 9010

Farmers used to smell the land to determine if the soil was healthy. But to know what happens underground, you need more than a strong sense of smell. To bridge this gap, Rosa Boone is developing an ‘electronic nose’; a sensor technology that allows farmers to measure the health of the soil. Soil gases have the potential to be a proxy that could help monitoring the soil microbial community. To do this, it is also important to know what makes soil healthy.

Ever since watching the documentary Green Gold (Groen Goud, VPRO,) Rosa became fascinated with the idea of nature restoration. After having finished a bachelors in Future Planet Studies at the UvA with a major in Earth Sciences, it became clear to her that when you want to restore an ecosystem, you have to start at the very foundation – the soil. That’s why she chose to pursue a masters in Earth Science (UvA). Besides soil science, she also developed skills in remote sensing and ArcGIS. Having done a few research assistant jobs, she made the choice to start a PhD at the Radboud Nijmegen (2021-2025), where she is researching the potential of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) as a proxy for soil health. Besides this, she works together with scientist, organisations and farmers within the interdisciplinary project “Living Lab – Ooijpolder Groesbeek”, to identify the successes but also thresholds of nature restoration in the rural area. Specifically, she seeks to explain how different levels of agricultural practices impact soil biodiversity and functionality in grasslands and how a farmer can gain from more nature-inclusive measures.
In addition to her research, Rosa actively engages with farmers who are dedicated to “regenerate” the soil, collaborating with initiatives like Bodemzicht and Lenteland (Ervekiekebos) and artists who aim to make soil health more accessible and relatable to a wider audience. With this, she tries to bridge to gap between science, agriculture and society.

Ancillary activities