I studied biology at Wageningen University because I wanted to understand how biodiversity can contribute to human life and society. Therefore, I deliberately wanted to study biology at an agricultural university. On my way, I’ve been lucky to meet some very inspiring tutors who alimented my passion for plants, insects, field margins and cover crops. I have worked in the UK, in France and, for the past 20 years, I’ve been part of a small team at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa, Italy, that strongly believes that sustainable farming systems can only be achieved through empowerment of the natural and human capital present in the local agroecosystems. Over time we have managed to set up an interdisciplinary team focussing on 1) demonstrating how various types of crop diversification (rotations, intercropping, variety mixtures or composite cross populations) contribute to yield resilience and pest/weed/disease control; 2) management of field margins as habitats for beneficial insects and plant species diversity thus suppressing troublesome agricultural weeds and supporting conservation biological control, and 3) the selection and management of cover crops for soil fertility conservation and weed control.