Professor Theunis Piersma
Theunis Piersma is Professor of Global Flyway Ecology at the University of Gronigen in the Netherlands, where he has established a successful research group and acquired wide international recognition for his scientific work on migration, ecology and evolution of birds and other taxa.
Professor Piersma’s group have established the importance of phenotypic flexibility of individual bodies in influencing evolution in animal species, using a combination of non-invasive field techniques and indoor intertidal facilities. His work has also focused on the evolutionary trade-off involved in the predation and anti-predator behaviours across different taxa along the food chain and his findings have had high policy relevance as they informed on the risks of overexploitation of marine areas.
Professor Piersma is a dedicated mentor to the younger generation of scientists, supervising 50 PhD students and 20 Postdocs, and his team hosts visiting students and scientists from all over the world. He is a prolific science communicator, with 14 books in his name, and has won a number of prizes for his contributions to science. He is currently editor of Functional Ecology and Emu (an Australian journal), and on the editorial board of Current Ornithology, Journal of Ornithology, and Avian Conservation and Ecology, further highlighting his involvement in international research.