We are happy to welcome several keynote speakers at the IENE 2018 conference. Kamiel Spoelstra is one of them. He is a behavioural ecologist, and specializes on the impact of anthropogenic activity on natural habitat.

He graduated at the University of Groningen (NL), and continued with postdoc positions at Princeton University (US) the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology (DE) and Wageningen University. He currently works as a researcher at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW, NL), and is interested in the possibilities for mitigating human impact on ecosystems, in particular of (infrastructure) illumination.

Promising possibilities

Recent changes in lighting technology offer promising possibilities for reducing impact, most importantly the capability for producing custom light spectra. Over the last seven years, Kamiel has run a long-term, experimental large-scale field study and dedicated field and laboratory experiments. These studies cover effects of light on the density of species, and at the individual effects on behaviour and physiology – and consequently on individual fitness.

Effects of night and light

Kamiel is specifically interested in how light at night affects the spatial and temporal behaviour of nocturnal species, and how different species groups interact. He enjoys the application of new automated data collection systems and writing software for processing data. Furthermore, he recognizes the power of citizen science based research and has organized courses to train volunteers in field work with mammals.

Keynote Kamiel

The title of his keynote presentation will be: The impact of infrastructure lighting: spectrum dependent effects on behaviour and density of species in natural habitat. Infrastructure lighting has increased dramatically over the last decades, and continues to increase. Its presence has a profound effect on many – especially nocturnal – species. The illumination of infrastructure may particularly be problematic, as linear illumination may amplify fragmentation of natural habitat. The change from traditional to LED lighting opens up the possibility to mitigate impact. Kamiel will present the outcome of a unique long-term experimental study on the impact of artificial light in natural habitat. The results provide important tools to limit the impact of light at night along infrastructure on ecosystems.