Rob van Spanning / Assistant Professor

Dr. Rob van Spanning

Contact details
O|2 building, room 01E59
T: +31 20 59 87179


    • Bacterial respiration and bioenergetics
    • Denitrification and nitrous oxide emissions
    • Regulation and adaptive responses of bacterial regulatory networks
    • Bioenergetics of Mycobacteria; in search of novel drug targets
    • Microbial physiology
    • Systems Ecology

EU-ITN network NORA

Our group and partners have received a €3.4 million grant to set up the training network NORA on nitrous oxide emissions. NORA educates 12 researchers in biological nitrogen cycle processes aiming at getting a fundamental understanding of the biological sources and sinks of nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas. The PhD student appointed here is Daria Kaptsan. Information can be found at the NORA web site.

BE-BASIC related projects

    • Dioxin bioremediation strategies in Vietnam (Thi Lan Anh Nguyen)
    • Systems dynamics of benzene degrading consortium (Lucas Fillinger)
    • Molecular tools for integrative systems ecology (Ulisses Nunes da Rocha)

Sys Eco related projects

    • Robustness of oil degrading consortia (Paul Iturbe Espinoza; currently with Msc Juami van Gils)
    • Microbe-mineral interactions in terrestrial Mars analogues: implications for life detection strategies (NSO-NWO; Joost Aerts)
    • Photosynthesis in extreme environments on Earth as proxy for remote detection of extraterrestrial life (NWO; Lucas Patty)

Brief CV

Academic education

    • 1983 Biology degree at VU Amsterdam, Microbial Physiology
    • 1991 PhD at VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Genes involved in respiration of Paracoccus denitrificans

Work Experience

  • 1983-1987: PhD period on molybdenum cofactor; Prof. Stouthamer, VU Amsterdam
  • 1987-1991: PhD period on respiration; Prof. Stouthamer, VU Amsterdam
  • 1991-present: Assistant Professor Systems Bioinformatics, VU Amsterdam
  • 2007-2012: Editor Microbiology