Dr. ir. Mariska te Beest

Dr. ir. Mariska te Beest

Associate Professor
Sustainability Science and Education
+31 30 253 2500
m.tebeest@uu.nl

My main research interest lies in systems ecology and conservation, with a strong focus on plant communities, global change and the ongoing biodiversity crisis. I’m specifically interested in ecological feedbacks between plants and climate, fire, herbivory and the soil compartment. I have worked extensively with invasive alien plants, focusing on factors that determine community invasibility, such as natural disturbance regimes, plant-soil feedbacks and resource competition, as well as factors that determine species invasiveness, such as plant functional traits, niche dynamics and evolutionary processes. Most of my research is related to open systems, including both the grassy biomes (savannas and grasslands) of the South and the tundra’s of the North. Working across systems and hemispheres enables identifying similarities and differences and allows for challenging current ecological paradigms.

 

My current research interests include: (1) Climate-vegetation feedbacks in grassy biomes, focusing on effects of fire and elevated temperatures, (2) Using plant traits to predict ecological responses, (3) Invasion ecology, and (4) Woody encroachment of open ecosystems and the cascading consequences for climate, e.g. via surface albedo.

 

I am involved in the BSc programme Global Sustainability Science and the MSc program Sustainable Development, where I teach courses and supervise student research projects on ecology, environmental science and nature conservation.