Arjen Speksnijder


Arjen Speksnijder studied geobiochemistry at Leiden University and obtained his PhD in microbial ecology at the University of Nijmegen. After a postdoc period at the Natural History Museum of Londen and the University of Aberdeen, he became staff researcher molecular microbiology at Plant Research International in Wageningen. In 2007 he became head of the medical microbiology laboratory of the Public Health service of Amsterdam. In this position he was involved in human epidemiological research with a focus on Chlamydia, HPV, HCV, and vaginal microflora. In 2013 he moved to Naturalis in Leiden where he is currently head of Laboratories for Research and Education.

His research interest is genetic assessments of biodiversity by eDNA metabarcoding for human impact studies, environmental quality, taxonomy support, and metacommunity interactions.

He is currently involved in developing detection techniques of allergens in air samples in relation to hay fever predictions and patient exposure towards pollen and fungi.

His background in molecular biology, microbiology, ecology, and development of detection techniques supports projects within Plant.ID in his role of knowledge broker. At Naturalis he currently develops bioinformatics pipelines for eDNA assessments and curates sequence reference databases. Furthermore, he develops DNA quantification techniques. He has a broad scientific network and manages the research laboratories at Naturalis for which he promotes facility sharing and knowledge exchange.