Pre-PhD I was educated in theoretical biology for my MSc (Utrecht University). Though this was lot’s of fun and appealed to my inner nerd, afterwards I decided that I needed to get away from my computer a bit more and embarked on a PhD (Groningen University) that combined field work with mathematical modeling. During my PhD (2006, cum laude) I studied life-history decisions in a long-lived shorebird on a tiny island in the Netherlands. When my field experiments were flooded 3 years in a row, I decided to take this as a sign and switch fields to study climate change ecology.
Postdocs After a short stay at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany (damn, these human demographers know their stats!), I first headed up north for a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Norwegian University for Science & Technology to get acquainted with theory on stochastic population dynamics. Wondering where the sun had gone, I then headed down south to work as a research fellow at the Australian National University for 3 years on Australian’s favourite bird: fairy-wrens. These birds have quite a reputation because of their extreme promiscuity and lots of weird behaviour, but they are actually quite decent birds I can tell you from personal experience. In fact, I discovered that they are also a very useful model system to study how individuals respond to climate change (they really, really love rain…).
Group leader Having settled down in green and sunny Canberra, with two kids contributing to my Darwinian fitness in the meantime, from 2013-2017 I was a senior lecturer and group leader at the Australian National University, where I got experience in building up a research group and was privileged to advise several talented PhD students. Most recently I moved to the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) where I am a senior researcher continuing my usual science stuff and enjoying the company of enthusiastic MSc & PhD students and postdocs that share an interest in global change ecology. In between sciencing (that is an existing verb, right?), I perform editorial board duties (Journal of Animal Ecology 2013-ongoing; Proceedings of the Royal Society: B 2018-ongoing; theme issue for PhilTransB in 2017) and am on the board of the inter-institutional Centre for Avian Population Studies.