Freelance science journalist Tim Vernimmen writes about all things alive. His articles have been published by a range of newspapers, magazines and websites in Belgium and abroad.

In 2009, Vernimmen traveled to Beijing, China to write about medical tourism. In 2011, he spent three months in India, with the support of the Pascal Decroos Fund, to investigate the controversy surrounding the antibiotic resistence gene NDM-1.

In April 2013, the Fund supported a project that took him to Vietnam, Cambodia and Hong Kong for a story about the search for dangerous avian flu viruses that landed him in the middle of the H7N9 conundrum. He subsequently traveled to Borneo to investigate our role in forest destruction and the surprising pragmatism of conservationists working there.

In 2017, he traveled to Tanzania and South Africa to learn more about the sustainability of tree planting projects for carbon conservation, and their potential damaging impacts on local biodiversity.

The Fund also supported two summer series he made for the Belgian newspaper De Standaard. The first one, in 2014, investigated the impact of climate change in southern Europe. A follow-up series in 2020 revealed the impacts of increasing drought in northern Europe, its impact on carbon storage in nature, and the possible consequences for the climate and ecosystem restoration.

In recent years, he wrote two stories for EOS with the support of the Fund's science journalism grants, one about the importance of healthy soils, another about the important questions anyone should ask themselves before supporting or starting a forest restoration project.

Tim Vernimmen


Tim Vernimmen
Science journalist

Supported projects

First aid in reforestation

  • Environment

DODOMA - Many people are eager to help restore damaged or disappearing forests. But which projects actually contribute to carbon storage, biodiversity protection and quality of life for local people, and which ones make the problems worse?

Dirt cheap service

  • Environment
  • Science

BRUSSELS - Though they are right under our feet, soils do not receive much attention. Yet the many free services they provide for us are truly priceless, and they are under pressure. What can we do to prevent all this, and to repair damaged soils, Tim Vernimmen asked eight soil scientists in four countries. In response, they told him about all the things healthy soils can do for us - our food and water needs, our buildings, our health, and the climate - inspiring an article for the popular science magazine EOS that became a plea to stop ignoring the soil. 

The Dry North

  • Environment

BRUSSELS - Climate change is making European summers ever drier and hotter, and not just in the south: During the extremely dry summer of 2018, the drought was mostly limited to the part of Europe north of the Alps. In many places, the summers of 2019 and 2020 were again unusually dry.

Trees and climate indulgence

  • Finance
  • Environment

Deforestation is a big problem worldwide. At the same time, climate change, caused by the increasing emission of greenhouse gases, is threatening not only nature, but also humanity. The idea that we can combat both problems at the same time - by planting trees, which store considerable amounts of CO2 when they grow - is therefore attractive.

Climate change on holiday

  • Environment

The term climate change usually conjures up images of melting glaciers, rising sea levels and outsize hailstones. But what will be its impact on life on Earth? Science journalist Tim Vernimmen interviewed scientists in Southern Europe who document species' gradually shifting comfort zones.

Borneo: the forest for the trees

  • Environment
  • Culture

About one third of the natural vegetation on the island of Borneo, one of the most biodiverse places in the world, was lost in the past thirty years. Through the decades, scientists and conservationists working on the island have grown a thick skin, and came to realize that reserves will not suffice to save the rainforest.

Controversial Dutch bird flu study continued

  • Innovation
  • Healthcare

Last year's publication of a scientific paper announcing Dutch virologist Ron Fouchier had succeeded in growing an airborne avian influenza virus in his lab in Rotterdam caused a big stir. Though inherently risky, such research was necessary, he argued, because it would teach us which naturally occuring viruses to look out for.

On the trail of the superbug

  • Healthcare

According to The Times of India, the medical tourism sector in India adds up to at least a hundred thousand patients per year - and an amount of dollars many times higher.