Rüdiger Winfried SCHULZ


October 1975 – February 1980
Student at the Ruhr-Universität in Bochum (Germany), Faculty of Biology. Graduation in Zoology (major), Sensory- and Neurophysiology (minor), Immunology (minor).

March 1980 – January 1983
Ph.D. thesis research project (“Studies on the reproductive cycle of rainbow trout, Salmo gairdneri, Richardson”) in the Department Animal Physiology in Bochum, supervised by Prof. Dr. V. Blüm.

Work Experience

February 1983 – March 1990 (Germany)
Post-doctoral research projects, financed by grants from the “Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft”, at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum.

April 1990 – present (The Netherlands)
Assistant Professor and since January 2003 Associate Professor at Utrecht University, Faculty of Sciences, Department Biology, Endocrinology & Metabolism Section.

Since June 2003 (Norway)
Adjunct Research Professor (20% position) at the Institute of Marine Research in Bergen, Norway.

Overview of Research, Teaching, and Administration/Management Activities

My research activities take place in the field of Reproductive Biology. Using morphological, physiological, and molecular approaches I study the development and adult functioning of the endocrine system regulating reproduction, the brain-pituitary-gonad (BPG) axis, with fresh-water and marine fishes as experimental models. This field of fundamental research provides options for interaction with applied research areas, which I have developed in particular with respect to aquaculture but also with respect to ecotoxicology.
Areas of attention have been the production and release of hormones from the BPG axis, and the characteristics and expression of receptors for these hormones. In the recent years, I have paid specific attention to the testis and its two main functions, steroidogenesis and spermatogenesis. My ambition for the future is to improve our understanding of the endocrine regulation of spermatogenesis, a major enigma of male reproduction in all vertebrates including man. The focus is placed on the regulation of the initial steps of this process, the activity of the spermatogonial stem cells, i.e. the balance between stem cell self-renew and differentiation, and stem cell interaction with the somatic Sertoli cells.
I have published 101 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and have been invited to present 14 lectures on international congresses. I have obtained research grants from national and international funding organisations, including the co-ordination of EU-financed projects, covering 39 man-years of salary. I have supervised post-doctoral fellows, PhD students, and technicians in context with these projects. Refereeing tasks have been fulfilled for 12 scientific journals, and for 6 funding organisations.
My contributions to curricula started in 1984. Next to Endocrinology and Reproductive Biology, including the supervision of master/doctoral students, my teaching dealt with subjects that were not directly related to my research expertise (for example, first year practical course in Zoology, or courses in General Histology). It is my experience that it is the integration of structural and functional information through different organisational levels in biology that leads to a comprehensive view of biological phenomena, and that brings about the satisfaction and enjoyment of learning that renders students (and their teachers) enthusiastic.
I have been an elected member of the Faculty Boards in Bochum and in Utrecht (2 terms each), and a member of international, national, and Faculty committees involved in research and teaching affairs. From 2004-2008, I was programme leader of the Master track Animal Biology. Since 2006, I am a member of the Board of Studies of the Utrecht Graduate School for Life Sciences.