38 ditches of Living Lab officially opened


A better environment starts at the Living Lab. Leiden Scientists investigate the effect of chemical compounds on biodiversity in 38 natural ditches. The official opening took place on 8 June 2017.

Breeding ground for creative innovations

After the introduction of Peter van Bodegom, Dean Geert de Snoo and alderman Paul Dirkse opened the Living Lab by revealing a plaquette on the research building. In his speech, De Snoo called the Living Lab a breeding ground for creative innovations, where all kinds of disciplines and educational forms come together: school classes, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, Leiden University, and different research institutions. These institutions include Naturalis Biodiversity Center, but also the Leiden institutes of Environmental sciences, Biology and Physics. Alderman Dirkse said to be proud of this Leiden initiative, that has been supported by crowdfunding.

Enthuse for nature

The Living Lab is not only a research facility, it also offers room for education to students. The Living Lab organises weekly school class visits together with Technolab. During the opening, Technolab showed the attendees how they teach school classes about research and nature in a playful manner. The students for instance experience with a Jenga game that a food web can collapse. In addition, Technolab makes Living Lab research understandable for classes.

The Living Lab has partly been made possible by a successful crowdfunding campaign, which raised 15,000 euro’s. The 38 separate ditches were dug in November 2016. Because they are directly linked to open water, the ditches are full of life such as insects and other water organisms. The ditches are also overgrown with water plants and there is a realistic shore edge. The results of this research can therefore be directly linked to nature.