KNM webinar “Innovative monitoring techniques in aquatic systems”

Practical information

  • 11 November 2021
  • 16:00-17:15
  •  Online

Aquatic systems can be under a lot of pressure due to several stressors. In order to determine the state and functioning of such systems, monitoring systems are used. For a better understanding, innovative monitoring techniques are developed and used.

To learn more on these innovative monitoring techniques, KNM has organized an online webinar: “Innovative monitoring techniques in aquatic systems”. Four key note speakers will give a presentation:

  • Prof. Dr Paul van den Brink (personal professor Chemical Stress Ecology at WUR): The (mis-)use of (bio)assays for monitoring water quality
  • Dr Reindert Nijland (Assistant professor at the Marine Animal Ecology group at WUR): High resolution eDNA metabarcoding for monitoring of marine ecosystems
  • Lotte de Jong, MSc (Researcher at Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen and PhD candidate at WUR): Transdisciplinary fieldwork for climate adaptation in urban and riverine systems: the ClimateCafe approach
  • Dr Edwin Peeters (personal associate professor at the Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management group at WUR): Water quality monitoring and citizen science

Prof. Dr Paul van den Brink

Monitoring of chemicals in the aquatic environment by chemical analysis alone cannot completely assess and predict the effects of chemicals on aquatic species and ecosystems. This is primarily because of the increasing number of (unknown) chemical stressors and mixture effects present in the environment. Therefore, additional complementary methods are needed that can address the biological effects in a direct manner and provide a link to chemical exposure, i.e. (eco)toxicological tests. The validity of the results of these tests for predicting the ecological consequences of chemical pollution is, however, questionable. In this presentation I will present the ad- and disadvantages of using (bio)assays to assess water quality and list challenges and solutions to improve their validity.

Dr Reindert Nijland

To monitor dynamic aquatic ecosystems, sustained monitoring is vital. In fresh water eDNA is used increasingly for this, but in the marine environment eDNA based biodiversity monitoring is still relatively rare. We have developed eDNA metabarcoding methods for the marine environment, enabling the identification of large taxonomic groups at once, such as all fish species. Furthermore, we have improved the taxonomic resolution of eDNA metabarcoding by using Nanopore sequencing. This enabled the use of longer DNA fragments in contrast with eDNA metabarcoding approaches based on Illumina sequencing. Which our innovative approaches we aim to lower cost and improve resolution of monitoring marine ecosystem such as the North Sea.

Lotte de Jong, MSc

The ClimateCafe approach is a quick-scan method to monitor riverine and urban areas and discuss the impact of climate change. ClimateCafes consist of transdisciplinary fieldwork during which students, young professionals, stakeholders and scientist come together to collect data and design (potential) solutions for climate change adaptation. Over the past decade, more than 40 ClimateCafes have been organised around the globe, including the Netherlands-Rotterdam, Sweden-Malmö, the Philippines-Manila, and Peru-Pirua and recently in the Grensmaas river. ClimateCafe makes use of scientifically embedded methods, related to the contextual challenge. Examples include, urban heat stress measurements by sensors on a bike, urban green monitoring with online platforms such as ClimateScan, water quality monitoring with aquatic drones, qualitative observations and collection of community perceptions. Additionally, data is processed and design workshops facilitate integrated design of potential solutions which is disseminated through (mini)symposia.

Dr Edwin Peeters

Citizens are becoming more and more involved in monitoring their own environment. Also with respect to water quality, monitoring by volunteers has already a tradition of several decades in Anglo-Saxon countries. Monitoring water quality using simple devices is quite straightforward. However, in what way can volunteers be involved in biological water quality assessment? Results of three year monitoring water quality by volunteers will be presented and discussed.


Please fill out the form below to register. Afterwards you will receive an e-mail confirmation with the link to the webinar. The activity is free of charge.

This is one out of a series of webinars which are organized by the KNM. Regularly check the website for other webinars and activities.




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