Quint Rusman, former PhD candidate at Wageningen University, has received the annual Hugo de Vries Award for the best PhD thesis in botany-related sciences in the Netherlands. Quint performed his PhD research at the Laboratory of Entomology under supervision of Prof. Marcel Dicke, Dr. Erik H. Poelman and Dr. Dani Lucas-Barbosa and defended his PhD thesis entitled ‘Caught between friends and foes; plant mediated interactions between herbivores and flower visitors’, on 12 April 2019. As MSc student Quint enrolled in the EPS Graduate Program, a program that offers excellent MSc students the opportunity to write a PhD proposal and apply for funding. He was one of four applicants (out of 18 in this round of competitive selection) who received a personal grant from the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and this allowed him to further explore his own hypotheses on the influence of herbivory on interactions of plants with mutualistic and antagonistic flower visitors. After his graduation Quint moved to the University of Zürich in Switzerland where he joined the group of Prof. Florian Schiestl. His main interest is in ecological and evolutionary dynamics of complex communities and to study this he uses plants, herbivores, and pollinators as a model.
The Hugo de Vries Award is a shared initiative of the Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands and the Hugo de Vries Foundation and was established in 2000. The winner receives 5000 euro’s and a certificate. Past winners of the award are listed here.
For this year’s contest the jury received five PhD theses of candidates nominated by their supervisors for the 2019 Hugo de Vries Award. The topics covered a broad range of botany-related research from ecology to molecular biology, from population to cell. For the jury it was a pleasure to notice the high quality of the nominees and their research. At the same time the jury faced the challenge to balance the criteria and to select the winner. Congratulations for all five nominees. Please open this presentation to read more about the award, the criteria, the composition of this year’s jury, the nominees and quotes from the jury report.
Unfortunately, due to Covid19, Quint was not able receive the award in person and could not deliver a live presentation because of cancelation of the 2020 Annual Meeting Experimental Plant Sciences in Lunteren. That is why he has recorded his presentation for us. To learn more about the PhD research of the award winner open this link for the presentation.
On behalf of the jury, the Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands and the Hugo de Vries Foundation, I want to congratulate Quint with this prestigious award and wish him a bright future in science and beyond.
Chair of the jury of the 2019 Hugo de Vries Award