Rudy Rabbinge obtained a doctorate in agricultural and environmental sciences after studying agronomy. In 1985 he was appointed professor of plant ecology. He succeeded de Wit as Professor of Production Ecology in 1988. He was later appointed as a university professor. He retired in 2011. From 1999 to 2007 he was a member of Senate on behalf of the Labour Party. In the Senate, Rabbinge focused on Agriculture, Finance and Development Cooperation. He was chairman of the Permanent Committee for Development Cooperation and secretary of the Labour Party group. Rabbinge was also a member of the Taskforce Biodiversity and Natural Resources. This taskforce adviced the government on issues in conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in the long term.
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