Our team

Governance NPEC 2024

Operational management

The facility managers are responsible for day-to-day operation of the facility. For their management tasks, they are supported by a small team which provides administrative, financial and communication support. Facility management is coordinated by both Utrecht University and Wageningen University & Research.


Dr. T.P. (Dolf) Straathof, Managing Director (WUR)

Dr. R.L. (Roeland) Berendsen, Managing Director (UU)


H.J. (Rick) van de Zedde, MSc, Chief Technology Officer (WUR)

Valerian Meline (UU)

Dr. V. (Valerian) Meline, Phenomics and Data Scientist (UU)

Lucas Schmitz (WUR)

L.H.G. (Lucas) Schmitz, MSc, Operational Manager growth rooms/greenhouse (WUR)


G.J. (Gerard) Derks, Ing, Operational Manager Open Field (WUR)

Vinicius Munaldi Lube (UU)

Dr. V. (Vinicius) Munaldi Lube, Phenomics Engineer (UU)


Dr. M. (Marciel) Pereira Mendes (UU)

Jannick Verstegen

Jannick Verstegen (WUR)


Ing. D.M. (David) Brink, BSc (WUR)


Jonatan Hovenkamp

Berry Onderstal (Drones)

A. (Berry) Onderstal


M. (Rinie) Verwoert

NPEC data team

Peter Roos

Peter Roos, Data Steward (WUR)

dr. S (Sven) Warris

Sven Warris, Data Team Lead (WUR)

Tim van Daalen

Tim van Daalen, Data & Sensors Quality Lead (WUR)


Joris Luijsterburg, RDM Infra (WUR)

Executive board

Responsible for the overall scientific and strategic management of the NPEC facility. Decides on the acquisition, maintenance and upgrades of the facility and it closely monitors both the technical progress as well as the financial state of affairs.


Prof. dr. M.G.M. (Mark) Aarts

Prof. Dr. M.G.M. (Mark) Aarts (WUR); Chair

Prof. dr. ir. G.B. (Gerlinde) de Deyn (WUR)

Prof. Dr. Ir. G.B. (Gerlinde) de Deyn (WUR)


Prof. Dr. Ir. C.M.J. (Corné) Pieterse (UU)

Prof. dr. G (George) Kowalchuk

Prof. Dr. G.A. (George) Kowalchuk (UU)

Supervisory Board

Monitors the Facility on a ‘not day-to-day basis’ and advises the Executive Board. It approves the annual financial and management reports.



Prof. Dr. J.C.M. (Sjef) Smeekens (UU); chair

dr.ir. PWJR (Petra) Caessens (WUR)

Dr. Ir. P.W.J.R. (Petra) Caessens (WUR)


Prof. Dr. Ir. B.J.G. (Ben) Scheres (RijkZwaan)

Prof. dr. G.R. (Geert) de Snoo (NIOO-KNAW)

Prof. Dr. G.R. (Geert) de Snoo (NIOO-KNAW)

NPEC technical experts / ambassadors

Module 1 – Ecotron


Dr. K.E. (Kathryn) Barry (UU)

Prof. dr. G (George) Kowalchuk

Prof. Dr. G.A. (George) Kowalchuk (UU)

Module 2 – Plant-Microbe Interaction Phenotyping

Dr. R.L. (Roeland) Berendsen (UU)


Prof. Dr. Ir. C.M.J. (Corné) Pieterse (UU)

Module 3 – Multi-Environment Climate Chambers


Dr. D.H. (Diederik) Keuskamp (UU)


Dr. M. (Martijn) van Zanten (UU)

Module 4 - Growth Rooms

Tom Theeuwen

Dr. T.P.J.M. (Tom) Theeuwen, growth room CF imaging & photosynthesis (WUR)

Sofia Bengoa Luoni

Dr. S.A. (Sofia) Bengoa Luoni, growth room CF imaging & PSI software (WUR)

Joseph Peller

Dr. J.A. (Joseph) Peller – spectral imaging, colour calibration & light measurements (WUR)

Module 5 - Greenhouse

Robert van Loo

Dr. E.N. (Robert) van Loo, Plantarray system & drought protocols (WUR)

Viviana Jaramillo

P.V. (Viviana) Jaramillo Roman, Plantarray system & lab-to-field protocols (WUR)

Gerrit Polder

Dr. Ing. G. (Gerrit) Polder, spectral imaging

Module 6 - Open Field

Magdalena Smigaj

Dr. M. (Magdalena) Smigaj, UAV thermal imaging & calibration (WUR)

Harm Bartholomeus

Dr. H.M. (Harm) Bartholomeus, UAVs imaging and data processing (WUR)

Henk Kramer

Ing. H. (Henk) Kramer, TraitSeeker UAV data fusion and RTK-GPS alignment (WUR)

NPEC User Platform


Prof. Dr. V.A. (Viola) Willemsen, Chair UP (WUR)

User Platform members

  • Teun Munnik (UvA)
  • Martijn Bezemer (Leiden)
  • Remko Offringa (Leiden)
  • Marcel Proveniers (UU)
  • Fred van Eeuwijk (WUR)
  • Gerard van der Linden (WUR)
  • Ingrid van der Meer (WUR)
  • Geert Smant (WUR)
  • Wi van der Putten (NIOO)
  • Kathryn Berry (UU)
  • Marciel Pereira Mendes (UU)

International Advisory Board

Nine members of national and international renowned researchers and industrial R&D leaders in the field of Plant Sciences advise on the NPEC performance and future strategy at least annually, but also on its own initiative.


  • Dr. Astrid Junker, head of Plant Phenotyping Syngenta, Germany
  • Dr. Ulrich Schurr, Pflanzenwissenschaften Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany
  • Prof. Eva Rosenqvist, Section for Crop Sciences, Denmark
  • Dr. Bettina Berger, University of Adelaide, Australia
  • Dr. Francois Tardieu, INRA, France
  • Prof. Malcolm Bennett, Faculty of Science Sutton Bonington Campus, United Kingdom
  • Dr. Dong JIANG, College of Agriculture, Nanjing Agricultural University, China
  • Dr. Ir. Kris Audenaert, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Department of Plants and Crops, Belgium
  • Dr. Nico Eisenhauer, Leipzig University, Germany