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PhD candidate Auke-Florian Hiemstra named Person of the Year

Auke-Florian Hiemstra, an external PhD candidate at Naturalis Biodiversity Center, is the Leidsch Dagblad Person of the Year 2022. With more than 1,000 votes, he was the Leidsch Dagblad readers’ favourite.

Hiemstra, who is conducting research at Naturalis into how animals use plastic in their nests, was nominated for his environmental activism. Together with his girlfriend Liselotte Rambonnet and a team of volunteers, he takes to the city’s canals every week to rid them of plastic waste. He has also written a children’s book about animals in the city.

This garnered praise from a voter quoted in Leidsch Dagblad as saying, ‘He works hard to make Leiden liveable for humans and animals.  His storytelling moves people and makes Leideners aware of the importance of a cleaner, more beautiful city.’

Cartoon as prize

Hiemstra’s prize was a cartoon by Maarten Wolterink.

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