How to make the invisible soil life visible?


About the research

Did you know that a teaspoon of forest soil contains more living organisms than there are people on earth? This subterranean life is essential to maintain the beautiful fauna and flora in our forests. By raising public awareness, Iris Vanermen (KU Leuven) wants to help keep our forests healthy, so that we and future generations can enjoy them for a long time to come.

Iris Vanermen
KU Leuven

Ever since she was a child, Iris Vanermen has been fascinated by nature in all its forms of life. She therefore chose to study bio-engineering sciences, a scientific but broad education that still allowed her to go in many directions. During that training Iris became more and more convinced that the interactions between man and nature on a macro scale are crucial to ensuring life on earth. She began to focus on land management with a focus on soil and water systems. Now she is working on a PhD that builds on this, but puts more emphasis on society. Specifically, she is investigating how we can raise awareness about soil biodiversity in forests. This is important in order to improve this soil biodiversity and thus create healthy forests.

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