Organisation - February 8, 2018

WUR awards four new honorary doctorates

Roelof Kleis

During its 100th Founders Day, Wageningen University will award four honorary doctorates. All the new honorary doctors will give a talk about their work.

The four doctors to be: Carl Folke, Katrina Brown, Eugene Koonin and Fusuo Zhang. Photo's: M. Axellson/Azote,, NCBI, UN.

They are Swedish ecologist Carl Folke,British sociologist Katrina Brown, Russian evolutionary biologist Eugene Koonin and Chinese plant scientist Fusuo Zhang

Folke (62) is an environmental scientist who has earned his stripes on the cutting edge between the natural and the social sciences. He is one of the thinkers behind the principle of resilience in natural systems, which is posited to underlie human behaviour. Folke is professor of Natural Resource Management at the University of Stockholm and founder/ director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

The concept of resilience is central to Katrina Brown’s work too. She is professor of Social Sciences at the University of Exeter and specialized in how individuals and communities in developing countries cope with climate change.

Eugene Koonin (61) is a researcher at the National Centre for Biotechnology Information in Bethesda in the US. He is one of the brains behind the Crispr technology, the latest miracle tool with which geneticists can tinker with the genome. He works closely with John van der Oost’s Wageningen Crispr group.

Zhang is professor of Plant Nutrition at the Chinese Agricultural University in Beijing. He made his name in Chinese agriculture with the development and application of techniques for boosting harvests, with an emphasis on optimal use of the available nutrients.

Wageningen University awards new honorary doctorates at every 5th anniversary. A total of 58 honorary doctorates have been bestowed between 1918 and 2018. Katrina Brown is the first woman to receive this honour since 1993. As far as we know, she is the fourth woman with a WUR honorary doctorate.