Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
1993 …2023

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Personal profile

My biology career started at the University of Nijmegen where I studied and graduated in 1991. My first job was in ITC after which I continued with a PhD study at the University of Groningen. I conducted a PhD study in the field of wetland ecology dealing with restoration prospects for species-rich fen meadows. This concerned mainly experimental work at the crossroads of plant ecology and landscape ecology, hydrology, and soil science. In 1999, after various short contracts at ITC, the University of Groningen, and the International Agricultural Centre (IAC) in Wageningen, I became a member of the Department of Natural Resources in ITC, where I still work with much pleasure as Assistant Professor.

Iris van Duren can be reached at:



I was involved in research and education on a wide range of topics. From wetlands via biodiversity to carbon studies and from invasive species to the sustainable production of bioenergy, palm oil, and other commodities. I enjoy being scientifically on the move. My expertise is remote sensing and spatial analysis for various applications within natural resources management. Besides publishing scientific papers I hold a diploma in journalism and I see talking to society equally important to communication within the scientific community. That is also why I am an education coordinator for WWF-Netherlands in one of the regional teams.


Knowledge field/theme

Currently, I focus on sustainable biomass production. Carbon in vegetation, biomass feedstock production, bioenergy generation, basically the entire bio-based economy has many spatial aspects. I apply systems analysis within the field of environmental science and ecology. This includes assessment of vegetation status (composition, structure, properties), impact assessment, and life cycle assessment. My aim is to deliver meaningful spatial information to balance nature conservation, environmental exploitation, and other types of land use.



My education focuses on:

  • Remote sensing and GIS
  • Systems analysis in a spatial context
  • Ecology
  • Mapping techniques
  • Spatial sustainability criteria and assessments
  • Bioenergy
  • Biodiversity and nature conservation
  • Spatial decision making

Research interests

I am involved in a wide range of studies via the supervision of MSc and PhD students. In recent years I supervised MSc research in the field of sustainable palm oil and bioenergy production chains. These studies make clear that "bio" is certainly not the same as "sustainable". I also supervised studies on designing ecological corridors for chimpanzees and modelling the distribution of mountain gorilla food species. As supervisor of PhD students I am also involved in studies to improve the accuracy in mapping forest biomass and plant functional traits and in analysing how policymakers can make better-informed decisions by making use of remote sensing-based monitoring next to field-based assessments. This allows my continuous learning and development of new remote sensing approaches and modelling techniques.

Personal profile

Activities in capacity development

The main projects where I was involved in were contract teaching jobs. I organised refresher courses, was responsible for the coordination and supervision of fieldwork within projects, designed self-study teaching materials for the European project EOPOWER, and organized study tours for visiting groups. During my recent sabbatical I did voluntary work for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International where I gave training in basic remote sensing. I've also provided training to WWF staff in Mozambique.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Senior Teaching Qualification, University of Twente

Award Date: 18 Apr 2019