Luuk van Gerven


My name is Luuk van Gerven. I’m a 3rd year PhD student at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO). After doing an MSc in both geophysics and hydrology and being a professional musician for a while, I found my way in aquatic ecology. I try to better understand the occurrence of free-floating plants, as a high abundance of these plants can lead to dark and anoxic conditions that threaten aquatic life. Therefore, I regard the resource competition of free-floating plants with submerged water plants. This competition is asymmetric as the floating plant has the primacy for light and therefore has a competitive advantage compared to the submerged plant. The asymmetry makes that most theory on resource competition, which is developed for symmetric competition, is not applicable anymore. To address this form of competition I use dynamic models, ranging from mini-models − that only focus on particular mechanisms − to the ecosystem model PCDitch, which incorporates all ecosystem processes that influence the outcome of the competition.