Prof. dr. Marinus Werger (1944) is a plant ecologist. He studied in Utrecht and did his PhD in Nijmegen in 1973. In 1979, he was appointed in Utrecht and he was chair holder of the Plant Ecology & Biodiversity group until spring 2009.
Marinus Werger began his career as vegetation expert. Functional ecological research on growth and survival strategies of plants was his main focus. In his own research group he combined this with ecophysiological and population dynamic studies. He practiced these studies in the field, the experimental garden and in his climate room. Moreover his group developed mechanistic models to understand the regulation of biodiversity and to determine levels of sustainable use of ecosystems. In his early years he was a specialist in the ecology of the semi-deserts and savannahs in southern Africa. Later on, he worked a lot in tropical forest ecosystems in South America and East Asia. These research projects have produced many publications.
His research on the functional aspects of the structure of vegetation and the resulting mechanisms of inheritance, developed in collaboration with a Japanese colleague, has attracted a lot of attention internationally. Marinus Werger has traveled to study many ecosystems and was a teacher in lots of international universities as well. He was a visiting professor in Japan (Tokyo, Kyoto and Tohoku) and Israel (Jerusalem) for many months, also he is still honorary professor in China. He supervised a total of 86 promotions within and outside of the Netherlands.
He was editor of international journals and many reference books, which are published in Journals such as Junk, Kluwer, Elsevier, Cambridge University Press and Springer. He was Dean of the department of Biology, member of many national and international committees and boards, co-director of the Prince Bernhard Chair for International Nature in Utrecht for 25 years and board member of Tropenbos International.