We offer internships for students at our institute. Below you will find a list of recent openings:


Community and Evolutionary Ecology

Community Ecology

Force-up the peat!: Impact of water table increase on peat meadow soil fauna communities
(How) does soil fauna survive flooding? (Thesis project)
Do earthworms protect soil fauna from drought? (MSc thesis project)
How different can you get?: trait diversity in soil animals
Facilitation in soil: the role of ecosystem engineers in community composition
Be loved or be eaten: do signals adapt to differences in species composition?

Evolutionary Ecology

Epigenetic changes and evolutionary loss of lipogenesis in a parasitoid wasp
Trait plasticity and species dominance in beach communities
Tropical rumble or urban jungle: do frogs adjust their calls to different sensory conditions?

Evolutionary Genetics

Bioinformatic exploration of male reproductive protein genes in hermaphroditic snails
Balancing lifespan and reproduction: understanding the role of nuclear receptor E75
Timing matters: how do physiology and genetics facilitate reproduction early on in life?

Behavioural Ecology

Effect of extra physical effort on reproductive performance and mate avoidance
Seeing the light: testing for effects of light pollution on snails
Bizarre reproductive behaviours: physiology and evolution of love darts and other sexual attributes
Sex and conflict in simultaneous hermaphrodites; behaviour, physiology, morphology and evolution
Quantity or quality: measuring female reproductive investment in a hermaphrodite?
The evolution of multimodal signals: Why are there still ugly males?
Feeling the vibes: role of vibrations in host-searching behavior of parasitic wasps
Spying on a Hidden Predator-Prey Communication Channel


Ecotoxicology and Ecogenomics


Assessing the mixture toxicity effects of microplastics, PFAS and two pesticides (Two MSc internships)
Assessing the effect of soil properties on the toxicity of pesticides to soil invertebrates
Making snails happy or not? – Evaluating the impact of antidepressant fluoxetine on the reproductive performance of a hermaphroditic freshwater snail species
Toxicity testing with the oribatid mite Oppia nitens
Assessing the toxicity of pesticides towards soil invertebrates


Do gut microbes facilitate rigid carbohydrate degradation in earthworms?
Innovative test development to measure adverse effects of Insecticides in soil
Ecogenomics of microbial communities in hypersaline environments
Comparative transcriptomics: are transcriptional stress responses comparable among distantly related species ?
Mathematical modeling of dose-response curves using microarray gene expression data.
Super bugs: can heavy metal adapted springtails withstand higher levels of oxidative stress ?
Validation of promising gene expression assays for improved soil quality assessment
The gut microbiome of a springtail: who’s there and what are they doing ?


Systems Ecology

Fire as a window of opportunity for alien species establishment in the sub-Arctic?
Floating fen ecosystems under threat of salinization (joint project by 2 people – HBO or MSc)
Carbon storage in the Dutch dune ecosystems (literature study)
Climate change, plant traits and ecosystem functions above the  Arctic Circle in Sweden (MSc internship)
Unravelling mechanisms involved in higher latitude wildfires: a trait based and experimental approach
Unraveling N-dynamics for better climate simulations (MSc research/ literature review)
Numerical ecology and ecosystem modelling (MSc internship)
Critical salt concentrations of floating fen plant species (Msc internship)
Salt tolerance of agricultural crops (Literature review)


Nature Conservation

Researcher Matt Helmus offers various internships on his personal website. Please click here to get an overview.
Matt can be contacted by email

The island biogeography of exotic species


Science Communication

History of snail research at the VU