Dr J. Sevink (1942) has been appointed professor of Physical Geography, with a particular focus on landscape analysis, at the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam (UvA).
Jan Sevinks research interest is primarily in the functioning of ecosystems in the landscape. He has a strong background in soil science, particularly regarding the interactions between plant and soil, and the human impact on the functioning of ecosystems. Sevink’s research focuses on the Netherlands, the Mediterranean and the tropics. In the Netherlands, the emphasis of his research is on soil and vegetation in nature reserves and forests, and the effects of acid rain and other man-induced environmental problems. In terms of his interest in the Mediterranean region, he focuses on the development of soil and landscape, and works closely together with archaeologists from the UvA, the University of Groningen (RUG) and Leiden University. With regard to the Tropics, Sevink focuses on the influence of land use and environmental change on soil and landscape.
Sevink has worked at the UvA since 1967, first as a staff member of the former department of Physical Geography, and as Professor of Physical Geography and Soil Science since 1987. At the start of his career, he focused on the field of soil survey and land evaluation. He later shifted his attention to environmental soil science and landscape ecology. Application of this knowledge in nature conservation forms the background for his involvement in the management of nature reserves in the Netherlands and abroad, including the Dutch National Park de Hoge Veluwe. From 1998 to 2000, Sevink was director of the Inter-University Research School in Geo-Ecology, and he was director of the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) of the UvA from 2000 to 2005. After his retirement in 2007, on behalf of the UvA he coordinated the merger of Naturalis, the Zoological Museum Amsterdam and the National Herbarium of the Netherlands in the Dutch Centre for Biodiversity (NCB) Naturalis in Leiden. Since 2011, Sevink has worked as guest researcher at the University of Groningen. He is scientific advisor for the Gooi Nature Reserve. He is also a board member of the Center for Taxonomic Information in Leiden and the North Holland Environmental Federation.