Follow usFacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedInYouTube

Toos van Noordwijk

Director of Engagement and Science


Toos leads the Science Policy and Innovation team at Earthwatch Europe.

Toos obtained a BSc degree in Science from University College Utrecht (cum laude) with theses on climate change and conservation of floating fens; an MSc in Biology from Utrecht University with theses on Bumblebee behaviour and the spatial distribution of shore crabs in relation to their food; and a PhD in Ecology from Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands and Ghent University, Belgium (jointly awarded). Her PhD thesis investigated the life-cycles of a wide range of invertebrates to understand the impact of calcerous grassland fragmentation and eutrophication “through their eyes” and devise practical management solutions. Her PhD work, conducted over 9 years alongside her full-time job as applied conservation ecologist at Bargerveen Foundation, included descriptive field studies, field experiments, large-scale nature restoration trials, a meta-analysis of the impacts of grazing on invertebrates and theoretical dispersal modelling.  

After completing her PhD Toos moved to the UK where she conducted research on agri-environment schemes at University of Liverpool and worked as a self-employed ecological consultant. Toos combines her academic knowledge with pratical nature conservation and restoration expertise and public engagement experience, which she gained working for Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and Utrecht University Museum.

Toos joined Earthwatch’s executive team in 2014 as director of Engagement and Science and now leads a transdisciplinary research team focussing on applied research in the fields of urban biodiversity, climate proof cities, sustainable agriculture, water pollution and citizen science. The team provides the evidence for Earthwatch’s programmes and policy work, conducts novel environmental research, in particular through citizen science, and advances the science of citizen science. Her own research focusses on understanding how the positive impact of citizen scinece on the environment can be maximized and how citizen science can be integrated with other approches to create maximum benefit for people and nature.   


  • 2019-present: Member of the board of advisers of BiodivERsA, a partnership that brings together European funders of research on biodiversity, ecosystem services and nature-based solutions.
  • 2016- present: Active contributor to the COST Action “Citizen Science to promote creativity, scientific literacy, and innovation throughout Europe”, particularly in working group 3, improving the science-society-policy interface.
  • 2008-2014: Member of the Dutch national expert-panel on nature restoration and conservation management in the chalk district (O+BN Deskundigenteam Heuvelland), advising the Ministry of Agriculture and Nature.

Research Interests

  • Citizen Science
  • Research impact and science-policy interface
  • Conservation management
  • Functioning of agricultural landscapes
  • Nature restoration and rewilding
  • Invertebrate ecology and life-history
  • Public engagement and nature connectedness
  • Learning and behaviour change


MICS (Horizon 2020)

Toos is a senior advisor to the MICS project (2019-2021).


Toos is a senior advisor to the NC4EE project (2019-2021).


Toos led Earthwatch’s contribution to the Opener project (2018).


Toos was a senior advisor to the ENCOMPASS project (2018).


Toos led on community engagement and conservation management advice across Wiltshire for the Save Our Magnificent Meadows project (2014-2016).



Creating positive environmental impact through citizen science. In: Vohland, K., Land, A., Ceccaroni, L., Lemmens, R., Perello, J., Ponti, M., Samson, R., & Wagenknecht, K. (Eds.). The Science of Citizen Science. Springer.

van Noordwijk, C.G.E., Bishop, I., Staunton-Lamb, S., Oldfield, A., Loiselle, L., Geoghegan, H., & Ceccaroni, L., 2021.

How citizen scientists can enrich freshwater science as contributors, collaborators, and co-creators. Freshwater Science, 38(2), 231–235.

Thornhill, I., Loiselle, S., Clymans, W., & Van Noordwijk, C. G. E. (2019).

17 years of grassland management leads to parallel local and regional biodiversity shifts among a wide range of taxonomic groups. Biodivers Conserv 26, 717–734

van Noordwijk, C.G.E., Baeten, L., Turin, H. et al. (2017).

Spatial targeting of habitat creation has the potential to improve agri-environment scheme outcomes for macro-moths. Journal of Applied Ecology 53: 1814–1822.

Alison, J., Duffield, S. J., van Noordwijk, C. G. E., Morecroft, M. D., Marrs, R. H., Saccheri, I. J. and Hodgson, J. A. (2016)

Effects of large herbivores on grassland arthropod diversity. Biological Reviews 90(2): 347-366.

Van Klink, R., F. van der Plas, C.G.E. van Noordwijk, M.F. WallisDeVries & H.Olff (2015).

Species-area relationships are modulated by trophic rank, habitat affinity and dispersal ability. Ecology 96: 518–531.

Van Noordwijk, C.G.E., W.C.E.P. Verberk, H. Turin, T. Heijerman, K. Alders, W. Dekoninck, K. Hannig, E. Regan, S. McCormack, M.J.F. Brown, E. Remke, H. Siepel, M.P. Berg and D. Bonte (2015).

Delivering on a promise: Integrating species traits to transform descriptive community ecology into a predictive science. Freshwater Science 32: 531-547.

Verberk, W.C.E.P., C.G.E. van Noordwijk & A.G. Hildrew (2013).

Impact of grazing management on hibernating caterpillars of the butterfly Melitaea cinxia in calcareous grasslands. Journal of Insect Conservation, 16, 909–920.

van Noordwijk, C. G. E., Flierman, D. E., Remke, E., WallisDeVries, M. F., & Berg, M. P. (2012).

Life-history strategies as a tool to identify conservation constraints: A case-study on ants in chalk grasslands. Ecological Indicators, 13(1), 303–313.

van Noordwijk, C. G. E., Boer, P., Mabelis, A. A., Verberk, W. C. E. P., & Siepel, H. (2012).

Students and Postdoctoral supervision

Co-supervisor for Nerea Ferrando Jorge alongside Professor Joanna Clark, Professor Hilary Geoghegan and Dr Macarena Cardenas

Nerea is working at Reading University on her thesis:

Exploring the Role of Citizen Science for advances in Urban Soil Management and Inspiring Sustainable Action. 

Co-supervisor for Robert Feller alongside Professor René van der Wal, Dr Laura Colucci-Gray and Dr Claire Narraway.

Robert is working at University of Aberdeen on his thesis:

Being good neighbours – Understanding the social dimensions of wildlife-friendly gardening


Sign up
Earthwatch Europe

Creating Knowledge. Inspiring Action.

Contact us

Tel: +44 (0)1865 318838

© 2018 Earthwatch Institute. All rights reserved.
Earthwatch Institute (Europe) is a registered charity in England and Wales, no. 1094467.