Wim van der Putten is Head of the Department of Terrestrial Ecology at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology. He graduated at Wageningen University in 1984 and defended his research on ‘establishment, growth and degeneration of Ammophila arenaria in coastal foredunes‘ (performed at the Institute for Ecological Research in Oostvoorne) at Wageningen University in 1989. From 1988 onwards, he was appointed as a Postdoc the institute of Ecology at Heteren. In 1994 he became senior scientist at the department of Plant-Microorganism Interactions and acted as interim head in 1997. In 2000, he became head of the newly established department of Multitrophic Interactions at the Netherlands institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW). In September 2003, he was appointed extraordinary professor in Functional Biodiversity at Wageningen University. In 2005, he was awarded a VICI-grant from NWO-ALW (the Dutch research council), and in 2012 he obtained an ERC-Advanced grant from the European Research Council. Currently.
Wim has been associate editor of the Journal of Coastal Research, Plant and Soil, Plant Biology, the Journal of Applied Ecology, Oikos and Oecologia. Currently, he is associate editor of Ecology Letters and Board Reviewing Editor at Science. Since 1992, he has been coordinator of a number of European research projects (EUREED, CLUE, INVASS, EcoTrain), as well as PI in others (TLinks, Biorhiz, Consider, Soilservice, EcoFinders, and Liberation). He has been co-editor of a book on Soil Ecology, as well as on the European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity.
In 2010 he initiated the Wageningen Centre for Soil Ecology (CSE; http://www.soilecology.eu/) and since then he is chairman of the daily board. Aims of this centre are to stimulate utilization of knowledge from fundamental research and to attract and support young researchers in soil ecology. In 2011, he was one of the founders of the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative (GSBI; http://www.globalsoilbiodiversity.org/) that integrates and disseminates information on the biological status of soils world-wide, a.o. serving as an expert centre for FAO, CBD and other global organizations.