Jeroen Reneerkens
Jeroen Reneerkens photo resizePostdoctoral researcher
University of Groningen
The Netherlands

Involved with the BOU as:
IBIS associate editor

Follow Jeroen on Twitter @J_Reneerkens

BOU member since: 2017

Most likely to be found . . .
. . . behind a laptop, dreaming of my fieldwork in Greenland.

What does being an IBIS associate editor involve?
Finding appropriate reviewers for submitted manuscripts, formulating an opinion about submitted research based on (sometimes contrasting) opinions by the reviewers and me and trying to get the maximum out of conducted research in an encouraging manner.

What do you enjoy most about being an IBIS associate editor?
Critically reading about the latest advancement in ornithological science together with reviewers and editors and see a manuscript improve within weeks.

What would you say to anyone who is considering submitting a paper to IBIS?
Please do so! Your work will be handled by a kind team of colleagues and – if found suitable for publication – given the attention by publicity officers, resulting in a lot of attention for your work.

Why are you a member of the BOU?
The BOU unites ornithologists in the United Kingdom, Europe and worldwide via inspiring conferences, a high quality journal IBIS and excellent possibilities for research grants. I very much appreciate the stimulating focus on early career researchers and the way in which the BOU promotes research via social media to the scientific community and the general public.

If you’ve attended a BOU conference, what did you get out of it?
The feeling to be part of a large international network of like-minded ornithologists and a lot of useful information in a short period of time.

When did your interest in ornithology begin?
I received my first bird identification guide at the age of 9 which contained a section about how to investigate bird migration, and my first borrowed pair of binoculars at the age of 10. I have never stopped being interested in birds, and bird migration in particular, ever since.

What is your most memorable bird-y experience?
There are many such experiences and of different kinds, but most are from Greenland where I have followed a colour-ringed breeding population of Sanderlings since 2007. Special moments were unexpectedly recapturing that Sanderling with a geolocator we have been chasing for some years, finding that Sanderling I ringed as a freshly hatched chick several years earlier, interacting with tame individuals that brood their chicks in your hand or which you have to lift off their nest to inspect their eggs, encountering the fifth Sanderling brood on a sunny day with a Wolf howling in the background, etc.

What is your favourite outdoor place and why?
Greenland, because of the feeling of working in a pristine habitat where the 24 hour daylight does not limit your working hours and where you can see shorebirds singing, fighting, copulating, incubating and guiding chicks. Every aspect of their appearance and behaviour is totally different in the breeding area than how I see them most often, in their winter area. Just the idea that they have flown so many kilometres alone, or that a tiny chick will do that within a few weeks still blows my mind. And all that in a wonderful landscape where every day brings new surprises, with a nice team of co-workers and no distracting e-mails or phone calls…. it can’t get much better!

What would you say to anyone considering research in ornithology?
Do it, it will not disappoint you!

If you could visit anywhere in the world, that you haven’t yet been to, where would it be and why?
Walvis Bay, Namibia, to see the habitat of Sanderlings at the most southern part of the East-Atlantic flyway. Second choice would be the Taimyr peninsula in Siberia and third Wrangel island.

What are the big conservation challenges in the next decade?
The ongoing human destruction of suitable habitat will make it even more difficult for migratory birds to adapt to ongoing climate change. International collaboration is essential but also very complicated.

As an early career researcher, what do you hope to achieve within ornithology in the next 10 years?
I hope to learn what determines where a fledged Sanderling settles in winter, what the probability is that any Sanderling survives between fledging and settling.

What are your interests outside the world of ornithology?
Spending time with my wife and son. Nature in general (long hikes!), photography, travelling and music (both live concerts and from my stereo).

View my University of Groningen page
View my ResearchGate page