Search staff/organisations WH van der Putten
Name WH van der Putten

Job details
OrganizationDepartment of Plant Sciences
Organization UnitLaboratory of Nematology
Phone+31 317 473 599
Secretarial phone+31 317 482 197
Phone 2+31 317 473 400
Fax+31 317 473 675
Note for telephonist
Note by telephonist
Visiting addressDroevendaalsesteeg 1
Postal addressPostbus 8123
Regular availability
Mo Tu We Th Fr
Ancillary activities
  • Diverse advisory boards wetenschappelijke congressen - Diverse wetenschappelijke verenigingen
    Jun 2021 - Present

    GSBI congres Ierland (2022), Eurosoil 2021 Zwitserland

  • Voorzitter Heinekenprijs Milieu - KNAW
    Mar 2021 - Mar 2027

  • Special Professor - Chinese Institute of Grassland Research
    Aug 2020 - Present

    Gezamenlijk onderzoek naar graslandherstel in Binnen-Mongolie

  • Member Assembly Mission Board Soil Health and Food - Europese Commissie
    Apr 2020 - Present

  • Advisor 111 programme - Sun-Yat Sen University Guangzhou
    Aug 2019 - Present

    Scientific advisor of an centre of excellence in Guangzhou

  • Lid Natuurwetenschappelijke Commissie - Nationaal Park de Hoge Veluwe
    Mar 2019 - Mar 2026

  • Lid van de RNTW - KNAW
    Jan 2017 - Present

    Adviesraad van de KNAW

  • Member daily board Centre for Soil Ecology NIOO-WUR - NIOO-KNAW
    Sep 2015 - Present

  • Lid van de KNAW - KNAW
    May 2015 - Present

  • Member of the daily Board - Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative
    Aug 2011 - Present

  • Handling/Associate Editor - Science Magazine en Ecology Letters
    Jan 2006 - Present

    artikelen beoordelen en (laten) uitsturen voor review

  • Afdelingshoofd / onderzoeker - KNAW/Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie
    Apr 1984 - Present


Research conducted by the Laboratory of Nematology is part of the research program of the Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences (EPS) and the C.T. de Wit Graduate School for Production Ecology & Resource Conservation (PE&RC).


Between Heaven and Earth: Multitrophic Interactions.
This research uses conceptual approaches towards the unraveling of the relation between above and below ground multitrophic interactions. Direct and indirect plant defense strategies, succession and biodiversity are important concepts herein. One of the most important research questions is "How are below and above ground multitrophic interactions connected en related to genetic, species and spatial diversity?"

For example, plants van defend themselves against above and below ground parasites. Some defense mechanisms are always active, i.e. thorns of a plant, we refer tot this as constitutive defense. In addition, the defense may be triggered: (secundary) chemical plant compounds. Volatile compounds, released by plants when attacked by caterpillars, are used to attract natural enemies of the caterpillars. We have indication that these kind of interaction take place in soil as well.

How is the defense system within a plant organized over below and above ground parts? A general plant response is transport of defense compounds to the tips of fresh leaves when attacked by above ground enemies. What happens to the leaves if the root is attacked? The response appears related to the combination of plant species and root grazer. For example, defense compounds were in certain circumstances equally divided over all leaves when attacked by parasites. The reason is still unclear. It is possible that compounds that are used to regenerate the root system are produced in old leaves. In addition, it seems that the direction of transport of nutrients is dependent on the kind of root grazer. In case of nematode infestations, the defense compounds head a different direction then compared to a carrot fly (Psila rosae (F.). The plant defense compounds seem to be taken up by caterpillars, wasps and their natural enemies (hyperparsitoids). These insects can be literally regarded as "are what they eat". By focus on multitrophic model systems we try to infer general patterns from the diversity of systems.

Research group:

  • Morgane van Antro
  • Zhaoqi Bin
  • Yuting Dong
  • Steven de Goede
  • Xu Han
  • Keli Li
  • Luis Merloti
  • Christian Pena
  • Paola Rallo
  • Sophie van Rijssel
  • Haymanti Saha
  • Xianhui Shi
  • Guus Teunisse
  • Isabelle van de Zanden

>> More Research group (website van NIOO, department of Terrestrial Ecology)


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For more information see Education page of our website.

Student testimonials:

Teaching subjects:

  • NEM-90303 - Functional Biodiversity
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