On 19 November 2019, eminent Dutch biologist Prof. Nico van Straalen received the title of Doctor Honoris Causa of the Jagiellonian University.
The distinction was conferred upon the researcher for significant merits in teaching young Polish scholars, great contributions to the development of ecotoxicology, many years of support for Jagiellonian University research teams worldwide, distinguished teaching achievements, and world-class scientific achievements and popularisation of science in such fields as physiology, zoology, population ecology, genetics, evolutionism and ecotoxicology.
‘Professor Nico van Straalen is one of the most recognisable scientists in the Netherlands and a great science communicator. He is published weekly in several large papers, where he presents his impressive knowledge in a form accessible to a vast group of readers’, said Prof. Ryszard Laskowski from the JU Institute of Environmental Sciences in his laudatory address.
‘Professor van Straalen is also a distinguished academic teacher, lecturing not only at his home university but also at other universities in the Netherlands and around the world. This spring, he visited the Jagiellonian University to teach two great courses in evolution and ecotoxicology. He has supervised theses of numerous university graduates as well as 70 doctoral dissertations, including the works of three doctoral students of the Institute of Environmental Sciences of the Jagellonian University. Professor van Straalen was the co-supervisor of their doctoral proceedings, which became a starting point for these graduates to continue their research in the academic institutions of Canada, the United States and Portugal. The students of Professor van Straalen work in a dozen world countries. Many of his methods have now become a standard in ecotoxicology research and in ecological risk assessment’, Prof. Laskowski added.
'I'm very honoured. I consider it not only as a personal achievement, but also as an achievement for our collaboration with the Jagiellonian University. Governments should base their decisions on environment on scientific evidence. We will make sure to provide them with a solid scientific base though our research', said Prof. Nico van Straalen.
Professor Nico van Straalen was born on 27th November 1951 in Berkhout in the Netherlands. In 1970–1979, he studied biology at the Free University of Amsterdam. His lifetime connection with his home university began right from the start of his academic career, when he became a student-assistant teacher. His academic output comprises 273 publications in the JCR journals. The number of citations of the4se works has exceeded 7,850 (with references in about 5,800 scientific articles), with the H-index of 43. In the last few years, the works of Professor van Straalen have been cited more than 500 times per year. Professor van Straalen has also authored 11 books, including the fundamental course book An introduction to ecological genomics and a few essential works in ecotoxicology. He is one of the few scientists who can be regarded as the founders of the contemporary ecotoxicology.