Search staff/organisations LFM Marcelis
Name LFM Marcelis

Job details
DescriptionHead of chair group Horticulture and Product Physiology
OrganizationDepartment of Plant Sciences
Organization UnitHorticulture & Product Physiology
Phone+31 317 485 675
Secretarial phone+31 317 484 096
Phone 2
Note for telephonist
Note by telephonist
Visiting addressDroevendaalsesteeg 1
Postal addressPostbus 16
Side activities
  • Chief editor of the section Crop and Product Physiology - Frontiers in Plant Science
    Sep 2017 - Present

    Chief editor of the section Crop and Product Physiology of the open access journal Frontiers in Plant Science

  • ISHS country representative of the Netherlands - ISHS Council
    Aug 2014 - Present

    Representing The Netherlands in the council of the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS)

  • Advisor of the Mars One foundation - Mars One foundation
    Jan 1901 - Present

    Leo Marcelis is an advisor of the Mars One foundation. Mars


Chair Group

The greenhouse horticultural sector in The Netherlands is world leading. The sector is highly innovative and is continuously in search for new knowledge. This demands for a strong horticultural chair group at Wageningen University.

It is our mission to conduct high quality fundamental research and educating students. We want to provide the scientific basis that is required for sustainable crop production and high product quality in horticulture.

We want to explore and exploit the physiology of plants. Our research focus is on how physiological processes in crops, plants and plant organs interact with the abiotic environment and how this affects crop production and product quality. Using a systems analytical approach, questions from horticultural practice are translated into fundamental research topics, aiming to explain mechanisms. These questions can be related to improving yield and pre- and post harvest quality, energy saving, and efficient water use. In this way the research and education will also contribute to sustainably feeding the world with healthy high-quality products.

Chair Horticulture and Product Physiology: Inaugural address

Expert Profile
Social media
  Leo Marcelis on Linkedin

Key publications
Publication lists


"LED it be 50%" Saving 50% energy use in greenhouse Horticulture by smart LED lighting

By the smart use of LED lighting in greenhouses, the energy consumption of tomato growers can be reduced by 50%. In the LED it be"  research programme eight PhD candidates and 3 postdocs will investigate the possibilities to enable this.

50% energy saving requires a system innovation. New lamps, different wavelengths, intensities, timing and positions of lamps are needed. This demands a coordinated change of growth conditions and crop management, but also adapted cultivars. Different types of plant responses at different time scales need to be optimized. This can only be realised by a coordinated effort of researchers from different disciplines together with different types of companies. In this program tomato is used as a model crop.


  • Comprehensive physiological and genetic understanding of signalling effects of light on plants, focusing on plant architecture, growth, disease resistance and plant-water relations as well as their interactions;
  • Based on this understanding, develop novel 3D simulation techniques to simulate the spatial heterogeneity of multispectral light distribution, leaf temperature and photosynthesis of plant canopies;
  • New concepts for integrating different plant sensors and crop models to phenotype (characterise) plants for energy efficiency;
  • Optimized operational rules for light intensity and spectrum in space and time. Understand the principles behind the optimal results and translate to rules to be used in practice;
  • Development of a management support system for energy efficient production.

Partners of  β€˜LED it be 50%’ programme

In the programme entitled LED it be 50%, which is led by Leo Marcelis,  Wageningen University cooperates with the universities of Utrecht, Leiden, Delft and Eindhoven. Withing Wageningen University several groups are involved: the chair group horticulture & Product Physiology, Farm Technology and Wageningen UR Plant Breeding. The university groups cooperate with growers organisation LTO Glaskracht Nederland, LED-producer Philips, breeding companies RijkZwaan, Nunhems and Bejo, automation companies HortiMax and B-Mex, plant raising companies Van der Lugt Plantenkwekerij and Westlandse Plantenkwekerij and research organisation Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture.

Phd Projects

  • LED lighting in greenhouse horticulture – Photomorphological responses in relation to growth and production (Pavlos Kalaitzoglou)
  • LED lighting in greenhouse horticulture - Photosynthetic acclimation and estimation of carbon fixation (Craig Taylor)
  • Dynamic transitions of leaf photosynthesis in response to changes in light intensity (Elias Kaiser)
  • Healthy fruits by localised LED lights on fruits (Nikos Ntagkas)
  • Unraveling the dual propagation strategy of plants (Faline Plantenga)
  • Abiotic stress in tomato (Alejandro Bustamente)
  • Genetic regulation of the cell cycle in tomato fruit by a network of transcription factors and its modification by growth conditions: a systems biology approach to explain tomato fruit growth and quality (Robert Okello Ongom)
  • The effect of genotype and environment on root exudation (René Kuijken)
  • Improving and quantitative understanding of Light Use Efficiency of greenhouse grown crops (Tao Li; finished 2015)
  • Growth and development in relation to shoot apex temperature in greenhouse crops (Andreas Savvides; finished 2014)

Webinars on fertilization in horticulture


In co-production with Wageningen UR the Haifa Group has organized a series of four webinars delivered by Prof. Dr. Leo Marcelis of the Horticulture & Product Physiology group.

In 4 online seminars of 1 hour Prof. Marcelis presented practical key topics on advanced fertilization:
1. Optimizing quality
2. Optimizing growth
3. Optimizing color and appearance
4. Optimizing nutrition and climate

Watch first webinar on optimizing quality at :

Watch second webinar on optimizing growth at:

Watch third webinar on optimizing color and appearance at:


Watch fourth webinar on optimizing nutrition and climate a


TIME SCALE: water and nutrient supply to plants for future space missions (ISS, Mars, Moon)

Scientific knowledge on whole-plant physiology and fundamental processes under Moon and Mars gravity conditions is essential to ensure a safe and reliable food supply in future space exploration. The knowledge will impact not only on innovations of life supports systems in space but also on agriculture on Earth. The EU (Horizon2020) has funded the TimeScale project, which project develops modular equipment in scalable advanced life support systems for space exploration (International Space Station, Moon, Mars). In this project Wageningen University cooperates with 7 European universities and companies.

In this project the role of Wageningen University is to design a water and nutrient delivery system for crop cultivation in life support systems in space. The technical focal point will be to provide a healthy root zone environment, avoiding hypoxia, while having optimal availability of water and nutrients in a closed loop system. To create this environment online monitoring and control systems of oxygen availability and nutrient solution composition will be developed. The scientific objective is to assess and model water, nutrient and oxygen uptake and physiological transport in the plant. A scientific mechanistic model simulating water uptake, transpiration, cation uptake and distribution in the plant as well as oxygen consumption of roots will be developed and tested on ground. Arabidopsis thaliana, lettuce and tomato (mini varieties) will be used as model plants for food crops.


more info about this project at:


I am coordinator and teacher in the course HPP20306 Physiology and development of plants in horticulture

I am teacher in the course HPP31806 ' Advanced methods plant-climate research in controlled environments'

I am teacher in the summer school Greenhouse Horticulture

  • HPP-20306 - Physiology and Development of Plants in Horticulture
  • HPP-31806 - Advanced Methods for Plant-Climate Research in Controlled Environments
  • HPP-50401 - Capita Selecta Horticulture and Product Physiology
  • HPP-50403 - Capita Selecta Horticulture and Product Physiology
  • HPP-50404 - Capita Selecta Horticulture and Product Physiology
  • HPP-50406 - Capita Selecta Horticulture and Product Physiology
  • HPP-70424 - MSc Internship Horticulture and Product Physiology
  • HPP-70427 - MSc Internship Horticulture and Product Physiology
  • HPP-70430 - MSc Internship Horticulture and Product Physiology
  • HPP-70433 - MSc Internship Horticulture and Product Physiology
  • HPP-70436 - MSc Internship Horticulture and Product Physiology
  • HPP-70439 - MSc Internship Horticulture and Product Physiology
  • HPP-80424 - MSc Thesis Horticulture and Product Physiology
  • HPP-80427 - MSc Thesis Horticulture and Product Physiology
  • HPP-80430 - MSc Thesis Horticulture and Product Physiology
  • HPP-80433 - MSc Thesis Horticulture and Product Physiology
  • HPP-80436 - MSc Thesis Horticulture and Product Physiology
  • HPP-80439 - MSc Thesis Horticulture and Product Physiology
  • YPS-82318 - BSc Thesis Plant Sciences
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