Universiteit Leiden

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Michiel Hooykaas


Dr. M.J.D. Hooykaas
+31 71 527 2727

In 2011 Michiel Hooykaas obtained his Masters Degree in Biology & Science Communication and Society. From 2012 onwards he has been involved in teaching during the Biology Study Program. In 2017 Hooykaas started his PhD-research, focused on Species Literacy at the Science Communication and Society Department.

More information about Michiel Hooykaas


In 2011 I obtained my Masters Degree in Biology & Science Communication and Society. In 2012 I became a teacher at the Biology Department, and for five years I have coordinated and taught biology courses, ranging from a course about biodiversity of animals to a module about popular science writing. In 2017, I started my PhD-research at the Department of Science Communication & Society, focused on Species Literacy in the Netherlands.


As a result of human activities, biodiversity is declining at a high rate. For conservation to be successful, biodiversity awareness and a broad-based public support are needed. Effective communication to society about this topic is therefore becoming increasingly important. Identifying the specific areas where awareness of biodiversity can be improved can help bridge the gap between laypeople and biodiversity professionals. My research project is focused on species knowledge: Species Literacy. Are the Dutch actually aware of the native animal species that surround them? What does this say about the connection between the Dutch public and nature and what implications does this have for biodiversity communication and conservation?



I coordinate and teach the BSc Biology course Biodiversiteit Dier (Biodiversity of Animals). During this course, that is focused on the animal kingdom and the tree of life, I give lectures and supervise practicals in which we discuss and study different groups of animals. In addition, I am involved in the MSc Science Communication and Society, where I help with the supervision of students.
 In the past I have coordinated and taught a variety of other courses from the biology bachelor program as well, including:

  • Book Project (Boekproject)
  • Popular Science Writing (Populair Wetenschappelijk Schrijven)
  • Biology of the Organism (Animal) (Biologie van het Organisme Dier)
  • Project Ecology, Biodiversity and Behaviour (Project Ecologie, Biodiversiteit en Gedrag)
  • Further, I have been involved in other BSc modules/courses as well, such as the Minor Human Evolution, Zoology and Developmental Biology and the ‘Aansluitingsmodule Biologie’.


  • Science
  • Instituut Biologie Leiden
  • IBL onderwijs


  • Tijdschriften, bijv. Kijk Populair wetenschappelijk werk
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