Mark van Benthem, director and senior advisor
Of our directorial duo, Mark deals with external affairs. Acquisition, creative thinking, that’s his thing. And interaction with people. He is also our greatest idealist. With each project, he checks whether it makes the world a little better. If not, it’s a no-go, as far as he’s concerned. He always weighs up the impact of projects; does it contribute to good forest management, does it promote biodiversity, does it benefit the soil? Unsurprisingly, he is deeply committed to the cause of sourcing sustainable timber.
His favourite tree or forest? "Chilean Patagonia. In an afternoon you can cycle from the temperate rainforest on the coast, to above the tree line. Uphill you come across forests with alerce, the largest tree in South America, which grows very slowly and can be thousands of years old."
Mark is a forest and nature management graduate of the University of applied sciences Van Hall Larenstein and works at Probos since 2002. Since the late nineties, he has been involved in certification of sustainable forest management (SFM) also in his previous work at Face the Future and FSC Netherlands. Over the years Mark has developed a large network within the SFM community and the timber value chain. Since 2008 he assists the Dutch government implementing its Sustainable Timber Procurement Policy. Since 2013, he supports the Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition as expert.
He (co-)authored a large number of articles in professional magazines and practical forest management books, covering topics like the relation between forest management and biodiversity, cultural heritage and afforestation. Mark has a good grasp of languages. His English is fluent, and his Spanish and German good enough to teach courses. Mark has international experience in Chile, Mexico, Peru, Canada, Ukraine, Indonesia, the Republic of Congo, Cameroon and Finland.
Jan Oldenburger, director and senior advisor
Forests and numbers, that's what Jan likes best. As the other half of our directorial duo he deals with the finances, administration and other internal affairs. But he also likes to get his teeth into every type of forest and timber statistic. He works with the government, the Dutch Bureau of Statistics, the timber sector and anyone else looking for figures on forests or timber. But don’t call him a nerd! He also runs practical projects, coaches young colleagues and prefers to work outside.
His favourite tree or forest? "An old douglas fir, sturdy, can take a beating. Wonderful the way you can look up the trunk! Beautiful!"
Jan started his career at Probos in 2004 after completing his study forest- and nature management at the Wageningen University. Since then he has worked in the field of forestry- and timber trade statistics, has performed a large number of market studies on several topics (e.g. biomass, share of sustainable timber on the market, waste wood) and wood flow analysis. Due to his extensive experience as National Correspondent for organizations such as FAO, ITTO and UNECE, Jan has a wide network across the global forest and wood scene, including in relevant government bodies. He is also a member of the European National Forest Inventory Network (ENFIN). His English is good and German proficient.
Martijn Boosten, senior advisor
Martijn is interested in everything. As long as it has to do with forestry and is preferably practical in some respect. Whether it’s about forest history, sustainable timber procurement, agroforestry, invasive species control, biomass or climate-smart forestry, he likes to leave his desk to go into the woods. For example, to prepare a field test, to lead an excursion or make a cultural history inventory. The result, an endless supply of knowledge, which he accesses at will. Does anybody want to know something about anything? Martijn instantly pulls an article or book from his archive!
His favourite tree or forest? "The Ravensbos near Valkenburg. A mixed forest, old, full of cultural history. I used to come there as a child. I saw the ranger on horseback, with a hat and a shotgun, and I thought: I want to be a forester!"
Martijn has a master’s degree in Forest and Nature Conservation from Wageningen University and works at Probos since 2006. Martijn’s main expertise is on climate smart forestry, afforestation, agroforestry, biomass and invasive species. He is one of the key experts on short rotation coppice in the Netherlands. Martijn also has a special interest in cultural heritage in forests and has worked on several research projects on this topic.
Martijn (co-)authored more than a hundred articles in professional magazines on forest management related topics. He is also a co-author to several practical forest management books, which are used in professional education. Since 2007 Martijn is a board member of Pro Silva Netherlands, an organization promoting close-to-nature-forest management. As a member of the European Pro Silva network Martijn has developed a broad network of forest management experts all over Europe. His English is excellent and he is proficient in German.
Anne Reichgelt, senior advisor
Anne grew up near the sea in probably the least afforested area of The Netherlands. Therefore she treasures the value of every tree and woodland. Especially in the context of biodiversity, landscape and climate change. During her European MSc Ecosystem Conservation and Landscape Management she studied the different approaches in nature management in Finland, Ireland and The Netherlands. She recognizes the importance of international cooperation in order to protect natural values, guarantee a sustainable use of natural resources such as timber and to tackle global problems such as climate change. Therefore, as member of team Probos, she is coordinator for climate smart forestry.
Her favourite tree or forest? “I’m a great fan of riparian forest. Canoeing in the Biesbosch or strolling over the bridge across the Moerputten near Den Bosch; you can imagine you’re visiting the Dutch version of a mangrove.”
Anne is enthusiastic, creative and interested in many different forest and nature conservation topics. As editor in chief of a professional magazine on forest, nature and landscape she thinks highly of translating difficult scientific matter into practical guidelines. Due to her study in Ireland she is fluent in English.
Sven van Best, advisor
Sven is a climatologist and prefers to work with forests in the context of climate change. Especially forests in relation to climate mitigation and the nexus between climate mitigation and adaptation is where Sven is mostly interested in.
During his studies, he gained increased motivation to slow down global warming. As part of his studies, he conducted research in Indonesia and Brazil, which resulted that his heart lies at tropical forests into eternity. Sven has completed his bachelor Environmental Science at Avans University of Applied Sciences in Breda and his M.Sc. Climate studies at Wageningen University and Research. He is specialised in human-environment interactions and has written extensively about how land-use changes affect tropical forest ecosystem services. After completion of a research internship at FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Netherlands, Sven started working at Probos as a consultant.
His favorite tree or forest? "The Amazon forest with its ‘flying river’. If you stand high above the forest’s canopy on a tower, you will see water vapour manoeuvring its way. At such a moment you become more and more aware that the Amazon forest ecosystem is a super-organism which plays major key roles in the functioning of local, regional, and global climates."
Sven: “Probos is a challenging organisation that is committed to sustainable forest management, contributing to a healthier and more future-proof Earth. Putting the importance of the forest first so that all life can thrive, is a vision that I share. With Probos I am driven to do my part in contributing to a healthier future for all kids, creatures and climes on Earth.”
Sietze van Dijk, advisor
Sietze has more than 40 years experience in the forest sector and forest based industry, of which he worked and lived for over 20 years in the tropics, both in the Congo Basin and in the Amazon region, and now works at Probos since 2020. Before that, he and Probos already worked together at several projects related to certified sustainable forest management (SFM) and timber trade and the introduction of lesser known timber species (LKTS) in EU markets. In Suriname, in the early 2000, he was the first to facilitate the introduction of FSC certification in the country. Since then he is engaged in the SFM and CoC certification and the responsible sourcing of timber and timber products. In 2005 he co-founded the environmental consultancy firm 'Environmental Services & Support (ESS) to which he is still associated as a senior consultant in the field of environmental assessments, forest certification and related capacity building programmes for a wide range of international funding agencies. At Probos, Sietze shares his knowledge and experience and employs his network in support of the international profile of Probos. Part of his present work relates to data gathering and analysis on the impact of EUTR and FLEGT-VPA on EU timber markets and how this may contribute to the further increase of certified tropical timber trade globally.
His favorite tree or forest? "The ‘kankantri’ (Ceiba pentandra) in Suriname: A gigant that still can be seen everywhere in the open landscape and agricultural field as a solitary tree left standing due to its imputed cultural values as part of the traditional marrons’ beliefs”. “And of course the few and far between shrubs and trees in the semi-arid region of the Gash Delta in Sudan, where I learned to always think twice before cutting a tree, realising that its timber is the last it can provide for”."
As parttime consultant Sietze wil share his knowledge and experience within the Probos team and employ his netwerk in support of the international profile of Probos.
Jasprina Kremers, advisor
Jasprina stood out in her study of forest and nature management. The moment she finished her graduation presentation in 2017, we asked her if she wanted to apply for a job. She thought that was a great idea! She finds herself too practical for scientific research, too curious for just practical work. So at Probos she is perfectly positioned where knowledge development meets practice. For example, she conducts a literature study into soil compaction by forestry machines, contributing very practically to more sustainable forest management.
Her favourite tree or forest? "A fully grown, ancient English oak. I have seen a lot of them in Scotland, solitary in the open field. Magnificent!"
Jasprina has an MSc in forest and nature conservation and started working at Probos soon after her graduation in 2017. During her studies, Jasprina was already actively involved in the Dutch forest management sector and graduated on the topic of climate adaptation in forest management. At Probos, Jasprina is engaged in a wide diversity of projects on e.g. agroforestry, climate smart forestry and monitoring in the framework of the FLEGT Action Plan and the European Timber Regulation. Her English is good and her German proficient.
Joyce Penninkhof, advisor
Joyce studied the bachelor and master Forest and Nature Conservation at Wageningen University. During her master she gained working experience in Finland and at Probos as an intern. After graduation in 2012 she worked at the communication department of Wageningen University and since 2015 she works at Probos.
Her favourite tree or forest? "The forest on the Sint Jansberg near Groesbeek. Hilly, on an old estate. You come across deciduous forest, production pine forest, but also old ponds. It almost feels foreign."
Joyce has a broad interest and at Probos she works on all kinds of subjects. She is an expert on invasive species, mainly Japanese knotweed, and sustainable timber procurement policies. Joyce organizes the yearly conference of the Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition, gathering participants from all over Europe to share knowledge and experiences. Since 2016 she assists the FSC group manager of the Dutch FSC certified group of forest owners. Her English is fluent and she can get around comfortably in German.
Suzanne Stas, advisor
Suzanne is a tropical forest ecologist and has lived and worked in the tropics for the past decade. The extensive areas of forests and the immense diversity of plant and animal species in the tropics fascinate her enormously. She has spent many nights in a hammock in a forest to measure and study countless trees.
Suzanne loves organizing, coordinating, advising and bringing people together. She really enjoys to work with local partners on applied sustainable forest management, underpinned by scientific knowledge. Suzanne is specialised in ecosystem services, REDD+ and land-use planning and has worked in Indonesia, Vietnam, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Cameroon, UK, Romania and the Netherlands.
Her favourite tree or forest? "The beautiful tropical forests on Seram island in the Moluccas in Indonesia. These remote forests contain beautiful limestone areas, border the sea with coral reefs and on your way to the forest you pass several indigenous villages. If you are lucky, you can hear the endemic Moluccan cockatoo flying over."
Before joining Probos, Suzanne worked for various international universities, research institutes, NGOs and a consultancy firm. She received her PhD from the University of Leeds (UK), where she studied the effects of logging on carbon stocks, tree diversity and forest recovery in Vietnam.
At Probos, she mainly works on sustainable tropical timber value chains and improving the business case for sustainable forest management.
Sander Teeuwen, advisor
Our youngest addition, Sander is just as crazy about numbers as his mentor Jan. He simply gets a lot of satisfaction from digging through large datasets and drawing neat conclusions from them. So it’s hardly surprising we asked him to come to work with us to collect, analyze and transfer data immediately after his graduation. As the son of a gardener, he is no stranger to practical work either. That is what attracted him to Probos; a perfect combination of research, practice and knowledge transfer.
His favourite tree or forest? "The old open beech forest on the Oostereng near Wageningen, with the light falling through beautifully when the sun is shining. Even in the winter, when nobody else is outside."
Sander has working experience in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest, investigating the effect of logging activities on the regeneration of tree species. His English is fluent and his German reasonable.
Marleen van der Kolk, officemanager
Telephone+31 317 46 65 69
Marleen is our enthusiastic and creative office manager. She likes to regulate and organize and will do this by maintaining websites, design and secretarial work. This all to support the Probos team members. Marleen grew up in the forests of Wageningen and enjoys taking walks in this region. She hopes that through her work at Probos, she will contribute to more and healthier functioning forests.
Her favourite tree or forest? "The birch in our backyard! Beautiful in any season, offers shade on hot summer days and the garden birds can shelter from danger."