Dr F.T. de Vries (1978) has been appointed professor of Earth Surface Science at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Science.
In her research, Franciska de Vries focuses on the crucial role soils play in ecosystem response to global change. She specifically looks at how soil communities are affected by climate change, land use change and nutrient enrichment, and how these affect their functioning. De Vries is specialised in the interactions within soil communities and between soil organisms and plants, and how these link to carbon and nitrogen cycling.
De Vries’ chair Earth Surface Science forms part of the department of Ecosystem and Landscape Dynamics of the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED). She will develop her own research programme within this department. This research is focused on improving our understanding of the functioning of the critical zone – the complex geo-ecological system constituting the landscape and soil interfaces at the earth’s surface – in a changing environment. The complexity of this critical zone is the result of interacting physical, chemical, biological and anthropogenic processes. The ESS group works on biotic and abiotic interactions at the earth’s surface at scales ranging from the molecular to the landscape level.
Alongside her research, De Vries will also have important teaching duties, especially within the Bachelor’s programme in Future Planet Studies and the Master’s programme in Earth Sciences. She will lecture and also focus on curricular development and innovation. De Vries also plans to play a role in promoting transparency, equity and diversity in academia.
De Vries has been affiliated with the University of Manchester since 2013, where she was appointed senior research fellow and associate professor at the School of Earth and Environment Sciences in 2017. During this period, she was awarded the prestigious David Phillips Fellowship by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). De Vries has taken part in several European projects and established the special interest group Plants, Soils, Ecosystems of the British Ecological Society. She is also actively involved in the initiative ‘500 Women Scientists’ as coordinator of the local pod in Manchester. De Vries is a member of the editorial boards of Journal of Ecology,Ecosystemsand Oxford Bibliographies Online Ecology.