In Memoriam: Prof Joep Geraedts


Joep Geraedts was one of the founders and the first chairman of the Eugène Dubois Foundation. We recently received the sad news that Joep passed away on 25 December 2022.

Joep was born in 1948 in Swalmen. After high school he studied Biology at the Catholic University of Nijmegen. He continued his studies in Leiden where he obtained his PhD in 1975. In 1982 he came to what was then the University of Limburg as professor of Genetics and Cell Biology. As director of the Limburg Clinical Genetics Foundation, he built up a new Clinical Genetics department from scratch. In addition, he was active in education and research at the university and on the light side, he served as magnificent rector of the humorous Fools’ University of Limburg (NUL).

In addition to academia and healthcare, Joep was also very active in the social and cultural sectors. He was involved in the Foundation for Biosciences and Society, for many years as a board member and later as a member of the Advisory Board. In Eijsden he was chairman of the Chrisjteijn Foundation, which organises concerts and activities with visual arts. He was curator of the Evolution and DNA department of the International Museum for Family History in Eijsden and was secretary of the board for many years.

In 2010, he was the driving force behind the creation of the Eugène Dubois Foundation to pay tribute to the world-famous Eijsden resident Eugène Dubois, the physician, anatomist and paleoanthropologist, who found fossils belonging to an intermediate form between apes and humans in Java. Dubois’ discoveries led to an enormous increase in knowledge about human evolution.

The foundation was set up by Joep, as initiator and leader, with Wiel Schins and Jean Pierre de Warrimont (together they made a film about the life of Dubois, 2010), Ludo Hellemans (who in the Darwin year 2009 curated the Maastricht University exhibition on the theory of evolution ), Harry Fekkers and Wim Buurman.

Joep was very committed to the Eugène Dubois Foundation. He acquired a subsidy from the municipality of Eijsden-Margraten and established the annual Eugène Dubois rotating chair at Maastricht University. The first chair holder was an immediate success: Prof. dr. dr. Frans de Waal. Later professors were all successful and the last Prof. dr. dr. Tijs Goldschmidt has been selected for the prestigious Dutch literary P.C. Hooft Prize 2023.

Joep Geraedts has been the inspiring chairman of the Eugène Dubois Foundation for the past 12 years. He initiated many activities such as excursions and frequent lectures by speakers from the Netherlands and abroad.

The Eugène Dubois Foundation owes a lot to him. We regret the loss of our very dedicated and kind chairman.