Gert-Jan Burgers, project leader of and supervisor within HERILAND, is full professor in Mediterranean Archaeology at the Faculty of Humanities of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VUA). He is also director of CLUE+, the VUA interfaculty research institute for Culture, Cognition, History and Heritage, with approx. 350 staff members from various fields of science. Prior to that Burgers was director of the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (2012-2013) and Head of the Heritage and Ancient Studies departments of the same institute (2006-2013). In these capacities, Burgers’ mission has been to bring together researchers from a wide variety of academic disciplines, to jointly investigate scientific and societal challenges and to formulate strategies for addressing those challenges.
To that aim, over the last decades Burgers has developed and directed a series of large scale archaeological field projects in Italy. Since 2004 he has also directed critical heritage projects, notably in the Italian region of Apulia and in Rome (see below). Linking these projects to larger European consortia, Burgers has built up an extensive international network of researchers, as well as of policy makers, urban planners, architects, citizen organisations and other stakeholder groups involved in heritage management and spatial planning and design.In all project cases Burgers has attracted substantial external funding from national and international public sector organizations, including NWO (Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research), Italian government departments and the European Union, as well as commercial sponsors.