Team

Team Piersma is a group of researchers working with Prof. Dr Theunis Piersma under the umbrella of Global Flyway Network, a foundation under Dutch law. Their home bases are the University of Groningen, NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, and associated institutes along the flyways where the team conducts studies on shorebirds and spoonbills.

Introduction of the members of the team and their projects can be found below. Our collaborators are listed here.

Rudi Drent Chair in Flyway Ecology

Rudi Drent Chair in Flyway Ecology

Theunis Piersma holds the Rudi Drent Chair in Flyway Ecology at the Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering, UG), and he is Senior Research Scientist Research Department of Coastal System at the NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea. This chair is
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Bingrun Zhu (Drew)

Bingrun Zhu (Drew)

I am a PhD candidate at Beijing Normal University (BNU), China, and University of Groningen (RUG), The Netherlands; under the supervision of Profs. Zhang Zhengwang (BNU) and Theunis Piersma (RUG). I conduct my fieldwork in Bohai Bay, and Huolin Gol, Inner Mongolia, China, and mainly focus on the mig
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Bastiaan Blaauw

Bastiaan Blaauw

I am a designer, online application developer and bird lover, living in Fryslân, the Netherlands.  In 2015 Theunis Piersma asked me to build a web application to show the locations of blacktailed godwits that carry a satellite transmitter. The first version of this application was released on the
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Roeland Bom

Roeland Bom

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Royal NIOZ Netherlands Institute for Sea Research. My office is at the NIOZ, Texel, The Netherlands, but my prime area of interest are the intertidal mudflats of the Wadden Sea, West Africa and the Middle East. During my doctoral research I have led various rese
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Adrian Boyle

Adrian Boyle

I am a Global Flyway Network associate for the Australia chapter. I help Chris conduct research particularly on Red Knots when I am in Broome and spend two months every year in northern China during northward migration recording bands and flags on Red Knots and hope this helps in the tentative steps
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Martin Bulla

Martin Bulla

Behavioural ecologists and ornithologists curious about biorhythms, especially those found in the wild and during parental care. Passionate about the shorebirds and the Arctic. His recent work  – on incubation rhythms – brought together shorebird enthusiasts from across the Globe and in doin
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Mohamed Camara

Mohamed Camara

Banc d’Arguin National Park & Global Flyway Network|Mauritania. Profile under construction.
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Ying Chi Chan

Ying Chi Chan

I am a PhD candidate of the University of Groningen (RUG), currently based at the NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research. My project studies how migratory shorebirds are impacted by, and how will they adapt to, the rapidly diminishing habitats at their fuelling stops in China. I am funde
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Sidi Cheikh' Mohamed Ahmed

Sidi Cheikh' Mohamed Ahmed

Sidi Cheikh loves learning, nature and birds, somehow combining a career in public service, the GIS & Mapping industry with his pursuit of a PhD at the University of Groningen on seagrass dynamics! A meteorologist by training, he started his career in conservation when he joined Banc d’Arguin
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Ana Coelho

Ana Coelho

I am a PhD student at CESAM, University of Aveiro (Portugal) and University of Groningen (The Netherlands), working on the project “Waders of the Bijagós” funded by MAVA, that aims at securing the ecological integrity of the Bijagos archipelago as a key site for waders along the East Atlantic F
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Jesse Conklin

Jesse Conklin

I am a guest researcher, through Global Flyway Network (GFN), in the Conservation Ecology Group at the University of Groningen (RUG). Inspired by the epic migratory journeys of many shorebirds, my research initially focused on how individuals manage to fit these migrations into their busy annual rou
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Petra de Goeij

Petra de Goeij

Since 2011 I work as a technician for the Spoonbill project of METAWAD, based at the Conservation Ecology Group of the University of Groningen, and the Royal NIOZ on Texel. I was trained as a biologist at the University of Amsterdam where I did my Masters on the feeding ecology of Spoonbills. Afte
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Anne Dekinga

Anne Dekinga

Royal NIOZ Netherlands Institute for Sea Research.
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Dmitry Dorofeev

Dmitry Dorofeev

I am researcher in All-Russian Research Institute for Environmental Protection and PhD student in Moscow State University. My research is supported by the Global Flyway Network, through the Royal NIOZ Netherlands Institute for Sea Research and the University of Groningen. Several years ago I was in
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Hacen E.M. El-Hacen

Hacen E.M. El-Hacen

I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Conservation Ecology Group of the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, and a conservationist in the Parc National du Banc d’Arguin, Mauritania. Being born a few years after the most severe drought and loss of biodiversity in the history of West Africa ign
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Ysbrand Galama

Ysbrand Galama

University of Groningen, Conservation Ecology Group.
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Bob Gill

Bob Gill

In 2015, I became a ‘pensioner’ following a 40-year-long career directing shorebird research programs in Alaska, initially through the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and later the U.S. Geological Survey’s Alaska Science Center. It was in 1991, at a symposium in Quito, Ecuador, that I first m
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Benjamin Gnep

Benjamin Gnep

Global Flyway Network associate. I have the privilege to regularly join the shorebird research of the Royal NIOZ as ring reader and field assistant in the Dutch Wadden Sea and at the Banc d’Arguin in Mauritania. Originally based in the German Wadden Sea and its islands, my first contact with Theu
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Patricia González

Patricia González

Global Flyway Network associate|Argentina. Profile ‘under construction’.
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Khady Gueye

Khady Gueye

Global Flyway Network associate | Sénégal. While Khady's profile is under construction, we would like to refer you to a video of her visit to the Netherlands. Khady Gueye investigates Black-tailed Godwits in Senegal (West-Africa). In spring 2014, she visited our study area in Friesland and met
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Chris Hassell

Chris Hassell

I have lived close to Roebuck Bay in Broome, north Western Australia (NWA), since 1996. “21 years at the best shorebird site in the world!” is my un-biased statement on that. In 2006 I was contracted by Global Flyway Network to conduct their colour-banding project at Roebuck Bay. Initially, I wo
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Sjoerd van Hasselt

Sjoerd van Hasselt

I am a PhD student in the Chronobiology and Conservation Ecology group at the University of Groningen. My research focuses on avian sleep. One of the main questions I am trying to answer if birds have sleep homeostasis like mammals, i.e. if sleep is recovered by sleeping either deeper or longer afte
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Mohamed Henriques

Mohamed Henriques

Absolutely passionate by birds and the Bijagós. I am a Guinea-Bissau PhD student in the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon (FCUL) since 2017, and a guest PhD student at the Royal University of Groningen (RUG). Presently I work with shorebirds and my research project is part of a l
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Sander Holthuijsen

Sander Holthuijsen

My fascination for the Wadden Sea (only) started when I was 18 years old. But has never ended. Since 2001 I yearly spend up to 15 weeks per year on the mudflats, from 2008 onwards in a professional way, as research assistant for the NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research. I am currently,
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Jos Hooijmeijer

Jos Hooijmeijer

In 2004 Theunis and I started two long-term research programs on inland, fresh-water, wader species:  Black-tailed Godwit and Ruff. Although I am appointed at the Conservation Ecology Group of the University of Groningen, you can find me most of the time in SW Friesland, The Netherlands, where the
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Ruth Howison

Ruth Howison

I am a post-doctoral researcher at the Conservation Ecology Group of the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. My key interests lie in understanding the dynamic spatial ecology of habitat and habitat choice of the migratory continental Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) along the East Atlantic
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Julia Karagicheva

Julia Karagicheva

Royal NIOZ Netherlands Institute for Sea Research. Postdoctoral researcher. Profile ‘under construction’.
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Anita Koolhaas

Anita Koolhaas

I work at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), where I am responsible for the database of the SIBES (Synoptic Intertidal Benthic Survey) program. This benthic sampling program has been running since 2008 where we sample each year the entire sublittoral Dutch Wadden Sea for sedime
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Eva Kok

Eva Kok

I am a PhD student at the University of Groningen and Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ). I am based at the Coastal Systems group at NIOZ where I work under the supervision of Theunis Piersma. In my project I focus on the role of development in shaping of individuals in Red Knots Ca
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Thomas Leerink

Thomas Leerink

From 2013-2016, I was research assistant in the METAWAD project at the NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research. Chiefly I worked in the lab preparing blood samples for stable isotope analysis of Red Knots (thousands of birds caught at the Banc d’Arguin, Mauritania) in cooperation with Dr
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Jelle Loonstra

Jelle Loonstra

I am a PhD-student and work under the supervision of Theunis Piersma in the Conservation Ecology Group at the University of Groningen (RuG). My connection with ‘Team-Piersma’ started already when I was still in high school and joined a catching expedition on the uninhabited island Griend. Since
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Bob Loos

Bob Loos

Fieldwork is challenging, often satisfying, but always delightful, even though this photo may suggest otherwise ... After working in financial advice for 30 years, I have since 2015 the privilege to do field work for Global Flyway Network. Birds (often) have long legs that can carry colour rings wh
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Ahmed Medou

Ahmed Medou

Banc d'Arguin National Park & Global Flyway Network|Mauritania.
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Hebo Peng

Hebo Peng

I am a PhD candidate of the University of Groningen (RuG), based at the NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research. My PhD research focuses on migratory shorebirds staging along the coasts of China. By sampling benthic prey of intertidal mudflats, and observing the behavior of shorebirds, I t
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Emma Penning

Emma Penning

I am a PhD student at the University of Groningen and I am based at the Coastal Systems group of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ). I have worked under the supervision of Theunis Piersma since the start of my masters. I work in the research project Conservation of the Dynamic I
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Eldar Rakhimberdiev

Eldar Rakhimberdiev

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Conservation Ecology Group, University of Groningen (Netherlands) and at the Department of Vertebrate Zoology at Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russia). I love working with Theunis for his rousing optimism, boundless thought and unique ability to mix interes
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Matt Slaymaker

Matt Slaymaker

I was initially introduced to the work of the Global Flyway Network in 2009 when I took up a position of assistant warden at Broome Bird Observatory, Western Australia. After a year spent sharing the amazing birds of the region with guests and visitors and assisting Chris Hassell and Adrian Boyle wh
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Job ten Horn

Job ten Horn

Since 2009 I’m working as a technician at the NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research in the Coastal Systems department. I live in the beautiful town of Oosterend on the island of Texel, close to mudflats of the Wadden Sea. I coordinate the colour- ringing of Bar-tailed Godwits and Red
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Egbert van der Velde

Egbert van der Velde

University of Groningen, Conservation Ecology Group.
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Mo Verhoeven

Mo Verhoeven

I am a Team Piersma researcher that tries to understand what the source is of the variation in the migration of Black-tailed Godwits. I work at the University of Groningen, Conservation Ecology Group, as PhD student. We do our fieldwork in Fryslân with a large team, which is a lot of fun! Howeve
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Yvonne Verkuil

Yvonne Verkuil

I am the manager of this website in my capacity as the Personal Assistant of Prof. Dr Theunis Piersma. I’m based in The Netherlands in the Conservation Ecology Group of the University of Groningen where I work as molecular ecologist, and I’m the Chair of the International Wader Study Group. M
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Raf Vervoort

Raf Vervoort

In a previous life I worked as a molecular biologist, now I devote my time to fieldwork on Ruff. Since 2011 I have visited the RUG study area in Friesland, to investigate the spring migration of Ruff, with support of Theunis Piersma. In spring 2014 and 2015 I joined Team Piersma as a field assistant
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Jan van der Winden

Jan van der Winden

Although my research focus is not on waders, Theunis Piersma has always encouraged me in my applied conservation studies on terns, herons and other endangered marsh and coastal birds. Especially as soon as my scientific studies started to involve the migration ecology of Black Tern, Arctic Tern, Pur
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Hong-Yan (Nicky) Yang

Hong-Yan (Nicky) Yang

I'm a volunteer PhD candidate in the Conservation Ecology Group at the University of Groningen (RUG). I'm also a freelance ornithologist in China at present, based in Beijing. I'm interested in the role of shorebirds in the intertidal ecosystem and how birds respond to their constantly changing envi
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Shoudong  Zhang

Shoudong Zhang

I am a PhD candidate at Fudan University (FDU), China, and University of Groningen (RUG), The Netherlands. Under the supervision of Profs. Ma Zhijun (FDU) and Theunis Piersma (RUG), I conduct my fieldwork in the Yalujiang coastal wetland, China. I mainly focus on the stopover ecology of Bar-tailed G
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Misha Zhemchuzhnikov

Misha Zhemchuzhnikov

I am a PhD student at Royal NIOZ Netherlands Institute for Sea Research under the supervision of Jan van Gils and Theunis Piersma. My research is focused on trophic interactions between birds and their arthropod prey. Are red knots mismatched with their food source due to shifting sy
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Gone but not forgotten

Gone but not forgotten

Lucie Schmaltz, PhD student, University of Groningen, Conservation Ecology Group, 2011 – 2018. Tanya Compton, Researcher, Royal Netherlands Institute, 2012 – 2018. Piet van den Hout, Msc and PhD Researcher, Royal Netherlands Institute, 2001 – 2017. Matthijs van der Geest, Msc and PhD
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