Rens Brouwer

Rens Brouwer |  Visiting Student

Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences (The Netherlands)

Since I was young I’ve been amazed by the way nature almost always finds a solution to survive, even in the harshest environments. Over the years I got more and more interested in the mechanisms that are behind this quest for survival. This curiosity encouraged me to follow the BSc ‘Forest and Nature Management’ with a major in ‘Tropical Forestry’ at VHL in the Netherlands. In 2015 I went on an internship in Costa Rica where I investigated plant reproductive traits along an altitudinal gradient.  This research stimulated my interest in plant functional traits and how these traits can be used as a proxy to assess the functioning of an ecosystem. At the moment I’m in the final phase of my BSc. My final thesis research, conducted within the FER lab, is on leaf functional traits relationships.

My interest lies in ecological research and how the outcomes of all these studies, ultimately, can be used for new nature conservation approaches. Currently, I’m exploring the world of plant functional traits in tropical ecosystems but I’m also interested in sustainable natural resource use, the effect of climate change on ecosystems, and basically anything that requires me to go out in the field.

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