For science & sustainability

Our aim is to answer fundamental questions in Ecology and Evolution using cutting edge experimental, modelling and field approaches. Our results are used to help solve societal issues, and provide robust answers to environmental problems.

Our department is composed of an international team of top Professorstechnicians, post-docs and PhD students. We cover a range of diverse study systems and technical approaches.

We are dedicated to educating a new generation of scientists aiming to push the frontiers of research. We offer a bachelor program in Biology, a Masters’ program in Ecology and Evolution, opportunities for international internships across a wide range of topics, and four year PhD training.

Our work in climate change, forest management, evolution, behavioural science, ecotoxicology, sea level rise, sustainable agriculture, coastal protection, and more continues to attract the attention of local and international media.

Study Systems

From tiny viruses and bacteria, to giant mammals, and fungi that spread for hundreds of hectares underground, the diversity of life on Earth is astonishing. Every organism is shaped by, and in turn shapes, its environment. At VU Ecology, we are studying organism-environment interactions across ecosystems of all sizes and types, ranging from microbial communities, to the Earth as a whole.


The Nature of Life Seminars are organized by the Department of Ecological Science (AEW). We invite exciting international and national speakers, aiming to include both well-known established ecologists and rising young stars. The topics cover a broad ecological spectrum and are of interest not only to all ecologists, but also to most other biologists, environmental scientists and earth scientists.