The good life

Ivo Roessink doesn’t beat about the bush: yes, he is living the good life here. ‘Here’ is the aquatic experimental station of Sinderhoeve in Renkum, possibly the least known part of WUR. It consists of 11 hectares of experimental fields on Telefoonweg, one kilometre outside Renkum.

photo Margriet van Vianen

Barely half an hour’s cycle ride from campus, it is where much of the Wageningen research on water quality and eutrophication takes place. ‘We study the ecology of water plants and duckweed, for example, in ponds, tanks and ditches. But we also research the effects of pesticides in ditches. What happens then and what kind of recovery can you expect? What are the consequences if a species disappears from the ecosystem?’ Ecotoxicologist Roessink managers the site. He got that job after completing his PhD at Sinderhoeve. He took to it like a duck to water. Working outdoors in the sun. Frogs croaking in the distance. The 20 experimental ditches are an El Dorado for these animals. The photo shows Roessink setting up a new experiment that will take two years. Duckweed is growing in 100 circular tanks under different conditions. ‘The duckweed is being subjected to varying degrees of burden from nutrients. The data that produces will be used to develop a complex ecological model.’

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