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prof. dr. ir. Kees van Gestel

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    Personal profile

    Personal information

    Cornelis A. M. (Kees) van Gestel is Professor of Ecotoxicology of Soil Ecosystems within the Department of Ecological Science, Faculty of Science of the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. He studied Environmental Sciences at Wageningen University, and started his career in 1981 as a scientific advisor on pesticide risk assessment at the Dutch National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). At RIVM he also started his research in soil ecotoxicology. He obtained his PhD from Utrecht University (1991), and moved to the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam in 1992.

    Research

    In soil, the bioavailability of chemicals is highly dependent on their interaction with soil particles and the resulting concentrations in the soil pore water. Organisms may affect their exposure by the way they interact with the soil, with some organisms literally eating themselves through the soil while others just walk on it or feed on leaf litter. In soil, pollution rarely is restricted to single chemicals. And life in soil is dynamic, asking for a dynamic approach when assessing the bioaccumulation and effects of chemicals in soil organisms. Finally, effects on single species may have consequences for the soil community and its role in important ecological processes (ecosystem services) like decomposition and nutrient cycling. My research focuses on aspects like bioavailability, routes of exposure, toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics, and mixture toxicity, but also aims at addressing effects at different levels of biological organization. I am studying metals, pesticides, nanoparticles and microplastics, using earthworms, enchytraeids, springtails, oribatid mites and isopods as the test organisms. I am interested in the application of our results in the risk assessment of new and existing chemicals. In addition, I am interested in using ecotoxicological test methods for the effect-based assessment of (contaminated) soils and other substrates.

    Teaching

    Kees van Gestel is teaching biology, ecology and (eco)toxicology at the Vrije Universiteit, and PhD courses on ecotoxicology and chemical risk assessment at the national and international level. He has been supervising over 35 PhD students and many more undergraduate students. He is winner of the SETAC Europe/Noack-Laboratorien Environmental Education Award 2015.

    Ancillary activities

    • Member of the SETAC Europe Council
    • Chair of the SETAC Europe Certified Risk Assessor programme
    • Editor Terrestrial Ecotoxicology of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
    • Member of the Advisory Board of the Open University programme on Environmental Sciences

    Ancillary activities

    No ancillary activities

    Ancillary activities are updated daily

    Academic qualification

    Ecotoxicology, PhD, Universiteit Utrecht

    Award Date: 12 Jun 1991

    Environmental Sciences, Master, Wageningen University

    Award Date: 23 Oct 1981

    User created Keywords

    • ecotoxicology
    • mixture toxicity
    • toxicokinetics
    • bioavailability

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