Nederlandse Zo÷logieprijs 2014
2014 Dutch Zoology Prize

The winner of the 2014 Dutch Zoology Prize is Dr. Rudy Jonker.

The prize was presented on 2 June 2014 by Dr. Jan Kammenga (president of the Royal Dutch Zoological Society) at a symposium organised by the recepient and the KNDV.

Migration and Social behaviour

Barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis)
(Image: Bert van Opstal).

    The central theme of Rudy Jonker's research is to understand migratory changes and the role of social behaviour therein.

    Rudy Jonker incorporated theoretical models, behavioural experiments, field observations, advanced statistical methods and genetic analyses to obtain a truly integrative zoological perspective on the Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis) migration/non-migration system.

    His research integrated migratory decisions at the individual level, foraging decisions within and across groups, family decisions related to a delay in spring migration, family decisions across different migratory strategies, genome-wide SNP development for barnacle geese and population genetics of the global Barnacle Goose population.

    A central aspect of Jonker's work is developmental plasticity. Individuals develop a particular (migratory) behaviour, influenced by the interactions they have with their family and other members of social groups.

    The outcome of this development can give rise to expected behaviour (natal philopatry) or completely novel behaviour (non-migration) without requiring a fundamental new trait to have emerged but merely as a result from already present traits and changing ecological conditions. This puts emergent properties of populations in a rapidly changing world in a fresh and intriguing perspective.

Trans-generational responses to a changing world

Symposium Dutch Zoology Prize 2014

On 2 June 2014 the KNDV and the Resource Ecology Group at Wageningen UR hosted a symposium on the occasion of the Dutch Zoology Prize 2014 that has been awarded to Dr. Rudy Jonker (University of Bielefeld, Wageningen UR).


  • 10:45 Welcome on behalf of the Royal Dutch Zoological Society (KNDV) by Jan Kammenga (President)
  • 11:05 Introduction by Herbert Prins (Wageningen UR)
  • 11:15 Joe Hoffman (University of Bielefeld, Germany): Can heterozygote advantage rescue a fur seal population from demographic collapse?
  • 12:00 Lunch (bring your own or cafetaria)
  • 12:15 General Annual Meeting KNDV (for members of the society)
  • 13:45 Bram Kuijper (University College London, UK): Why are strong parental effects so rare? Insights from evolutionary theory
  • 14:30 Ron Ydenberg (Simon Fraser University, Canada; Wageningen UR): Hemishere-scale redistribution by sandpipers resulting from predator recovery
  • 15:15 Coffee/tea break
  • 15:45 Presentation of the Dutch Zoology Prize 2014
  • 16:00 Rudy Jonker (Wageningen UR): Revolutionary non-migratory migrants
  • 17:00 Closing and drinks

A poster of the symposium's program is still available.