Dr B.J.M. Robroek (Bjorn)
Assistant professor - Aquatic Ecology and Environmental Biology
6525 AJ NIJMEGEN
Internal postal code: 31
6500 GL NIJMEGEN
Bjorn is a plant ecologist with over 20 years of experience in research that has mainly concentrated on wetlands; yet Bjorn has also worked in other environments, including arctic, montane, alpine and tropical ecosystems. Bjorn has undertaken his research at several universities in the Netherlands (WUR, UU), Switzerland (EPFL) and England (Southampton); at the latter he still holds a guest lecturer position.
Bjorn examines how plant communities shape microbial communities, how plant-microbe interactions are regulated by enviro-climatological change, and how plant-microbe associations –and changes therein– drive ecosystem processes such as carbon and nutrient cycling. Over the last decade, Bjorn has become fascinated by extreme events such as drought, fire, and changing winter conditions. Bjorn integrates ecological theory to explore to potential to use plant-microbe interaction in fast-tracking ecosystem restoration after extreme events. A novel line of research focusses on understanding species interactions along enviro-climatic gradients, with a particular focus on multitrophic interactions. Bjorn is also interested in the effects of changing winters on ecosystem processes.
To achieve his research aims, Bjorn draws on field studies, mesocosm studies and environmental gradient studies. He has been awarded a personal research grant, VENI, from the Dutch Research Council NWO, and has played an active role in an EU funded BiodivERsA project. He currently leads a NERC funded project on the effects and potential biological restoration potential of the post-fire Saddleworth/Stalybridge Moor. Bjorn is also the coordinator and principal investigator on a long-term (> 10 years) plant removal experiment in the Store Mosse National park in Sweden.
- Plant-Soil interactions
- Aquatic Ecology and Environmental Biology
- Robroek BJM et al. (2021) Rewiring of peatland plant-microbe networks outpaces species turnover. Oikos 130:339-353 (Editor’s choice). Full text
- Ritson JP, […], Robroek BJM et al. (2021) Towards a microbial process-based understanding of the resilience of peatland ecosystem service provisioning – A research agenda. Science of the Total Environment 759:1434672. Full text
- Robroek BJM, Jassey VEJ, et al. (2017) Taxonomic and functional turnover are decoupled in European peat bogs. Nature Communications 8:1161 Full text
- Robroek BJM et al. (2015) Peatland vascular plant functional types affect methane dynamics by altering microbial community structure. Journal of Ecology 103:925-934 Full text
- Robroek BJM et al. (2009) Interactive effects of water table and precipitation on net CO2 assimilation of three co-occurring Sphagnum mosses differing in distribution above the water table. Global Change Biology 15:680-691 Full text
H index: 24
- 2020 - Subject editor for Wetlands Ecology & Management More information
- 2022 - 2025 InteraCt: Networking in the peat for a sustainable climate: Peatlands have stored carbon for centuries, but changes in the climate are disrupting the carbon balance causing these ecosystems to increasingly release carbon into the atmosphere. To date, the cause for this shift in functionality has been sought in changes in abiotic conditions and their effects on plant and microbial communities. We, however, know that the peatland carbon balance is determined by the nature of plant-microbial networks. Using a climate gradient and targeted research with mesocosms, we will investigate how climate shapes plant-microbial networks, and whether network strength and specificity determines the resilience of peatlands to changing climatic conditions.
- 2021 - 2026 EU Horizon 2020 Programme Green Deal: WaterLANDS WaterLANDS will undertake hands-on restoration of specific wetland sites, covering an initial 10,500 ha, and create best practice models that can be applied to wetland restoration at other sites. By engaging with local communities and stakeholders, the project will ensure that wetland restoration results not only in environmental gains, but also social and economic benefits for the communities involved. More information
- 2021 - Junior Education Award, Faculty of Science, Radboud Universit
- 2020 - Education Award, ABO, the education commitee of BeeVee (Student Biologist Society at the Radboud University), for merit and improvind the quality of education
- 2019 - Faculty of Science, Educational Innovation prize
- 11 September 2021 - Interview in national newspaper Trouw More information
Guest lecturer University of Southampton
(01 January 2019)
University of Southampton
Boardmember Dutch Foundation for the Conservation of Irish Bogs
(01 January 2012)
Dutch Foundation for the Conservation of Irish Bogs
Subject editor for Wetlands Ecology & Management
(14 February 2020)
Wetlands Ecology and Management