2020 Yentsch-Schindler Award Recipient

Dedmer van de Waal

The Yentsch-Schindler Early Career Award recognizes an early-career scientist for significant and balanced contributions to research, education, and society. Dedmer Van de Waal is the 2020 Yentsch-Schindler Award winner for his outstanding fundamental research on the impacts of global change on harmful algal bloom dynamics and toxicity in freshwater and marine systems, scaling from physiological responses at the cellular level to ecological processes at the community level, and for his deep involvement in translating these complex scientific results into a language understandable by the public. Van de Waal is a senior scientist and currently acting Head of the Department of Aquatic Ecology at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology.

Van de Waal’s research has been instrumental to understanding environmental controls on harmful algal bloom (HAB) dynamics and toxin synthesis in aquatic ecosystems. By combining field observations and laboratory studies, Van de Waal has demonstrated how environmental stoichiometry, specifically with respect to nitrogen, affects bloom formation and toxin production for various HAB species. His work also addresses the impacts of global change and rising carbon dioxide levels, and how interactions of HAB species with pathogens such as fungal parasites and viruses manifest on the community level. He has published 50+ articles in peer-reviewed journals which have over 1,000 citations.

In addition to his outstanding achievements in research, Van de Waal is actively engaged in outreach to the broader community, from children to policy makers. He also has an impressive record mentoring graduate students and post-doctoral researchers. As the chair of the Dutch national platform on harmful cyanobacteria, Van de Waal brings together scientists and water managers to better predict, monitor, and address the issue of HABs in the Netherlands.

“Van de Waal embodies the spirit of the Yentsch-Schindler award: a robust research program, a commitment to science communication, and service to the scientific community. Dr. Van de Waal’s accomplishments to date demonstrate his exceptional promise for making continued contributions to the field through his commitment to scholarship, education, and service. We are excited to present Dedmer with the Yentsch-Schindler Early Career Award this year.” said Mike Pace, ASLO President.

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