Happy birthday Sjef

Today Saturday the 23rd of January we congratulate Sjef van der Steen with his 69th birthday.

After his retirement Sjef found that retirement should not be wasted on playing golf. The passion for bees and science was stronger. Sjef discovered a H2020 call on using honeybees for monitoring pollution.

Sjef did put together a strong consortium and did apply successfully with the INSIGNIA project with the title: MONITORING PESTICIDES AND POLLEN DIVERSITY VIA HONEYBEES.

Now in the last project year, where the analysis machines in Greece and Spain are running 24/7 to get the last APISTRIPS analyzed for pesticides and while the pollen is analyzed via metabarcoding in Portugal and exciting risk maps are created in the Netherland, the protocol for using honeybees as bio samplers is close to be finished. Here Sjef himself invented a new title for himself: “Study Director”.

Sjef is the first private person that was approved for an H2020 application, showing that our project was expected to be very promising. And it is.

Sjef is running our consortium with big involvement, being very present. Would it not have been for the Covid-19 he would have visited all our Citizen Scientist personally. Instead, he was present at all the national online meetings.
Sjef turned the Covid-19 situation into new way of cooperation by having very regular online meetings.

In his free moments Sjef does make the biking roads very unsafe on his e-bike!

On behalf of the INSIGNIA team, we wish you happy birthday, and just keep going as you do.
Flemming Vejsnæs

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