Isabel Smallegange wins Waddenacademie Prize
To this end, the prize is awarded to a PhD thesis every odd year and to an MSc thesis every even year. In 2009 the first Waddenacademie Prize was awarded to dr. Isabel Smallegange for her PhD thesis "Interference competition and patch choice in foraging shore crabs", for which she received her doctorate from the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) in 2007.
The thesis by dr. Smallegange was one of four nominated for the prize. The jury was pleased by both the scientific quality and diversity of the submissions. The theses were judged according to their originality, methodology, elaboration, conclusions and readability. Based on these criteria, the thesis by dr. Smallegange was unanimously chosen by the jury as best wadden-related PhD thesis of the last two years. The subject of the thesis was the foraging behaviour of shore crabs, one of the top predators of the Wadden Sea. The research shows amongst others that foraging shore crabs use a ?take-away' strategy where they catch a prey in an area with an abundant food supply, but eat it in an area where food is scarce and competition is slim. The jury characterized the winning thesis as being original, having an excellently elaborated methodology and being based on experimental work designed and performed by the winner herself. Moreover, the jury found the thesis exceptionally accessible to those not intimately acquainted with the subject area.
Dr. Smallegange performed her PhD research in a joint project of IBED and the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) under supervision of Prof. dr. Maurice Sabelis and Prof. dr. Jaap van der Meer.